Just in time for Thanksgiving, we explore a little known, but very much wide-spread problem. Overspending at the grocery store.
Outside of major expenses like buying a house, car, engagement ring, or other investment, there are few places where you will spend more money than at the supermarket. Unfortunately, grocery stores are filled with enticing traps and hidden expenses. Curb your grocery store spending problem and hone in on responsible money management by keeping these tips in mind:
- Always make a list. Even if you’re just quickly going to grab a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread, make a list! This simple visual can keep you on track, and it serves as a reminder of what you came in to get.
- Never shop hungry. If you’re like most consumers, shopping hungry is a recipe for disaster. Everything looks good and you make impulsive purchases that drive up the total cost. It’s best to shop when your stomach isn’t growling.
- Don’t shop for rewards. While many supermarkets offer rewards programs and coupons, only buy what you need. If you aren’t careful, you’ll end up shopping for rewards and not food.
- Bring a calculator. Savvy shoppers claim that carrying a calculator with you can help you stay on track. After placing an item in your shopping cart, add it to your total and determine how much you’re spending. You can also use the calculator to determine the price difference between various sizes of the same product.
The grocery store can be a dangerous place for individuals looking to stay on a budget. Instead of walking into the store blindly, develop a plan and stick to it. By saving money in the supermarket, you are mastering one of the most difficult money management problems around.