Everybody needs groceries. We all eat, and we all buy food. Sticking to your grocery budget is crucial in these times of economic uncertainty, and the food budget is often one of the areas where we have quite a bit of flexibility in our spending.
There are a few tips for saving money at the supermarket that probably bears repeating. Most of these things are common sense, and you have probably heard them all before, but they are still relevant if you are going to save as much as you can when you go shopping.
The first one that most everyone has heard before but is still important is that you should never go to the supermarket when you are hungry. Just like if you starve yourself all day long, you tend to eat everything in sight when evening comes; the same goes for the grocery store. If you are hungry, you tend to buy everything in view.
Another thing is to look at all of the shelves. Not surprisingly, the most expensive items tend to be placed at eye level. If you are looking for the bargains, look towards the bottom shelves. That is where the cheaper and the generic brands locate.
Shop by yourself. Anyone who has children knows that this one is true. You always tend to buy more when you shop with other people. Kids tend to ask for things that you wouldn’t usually buy, and even spouses tend to make you buy more than you would if you were alone. If you want to save the most money, make sure that you shop alone.
Shop as early in the day as possible. If you have noticed, all of the treats come out later in the day when there are more people. By getting to the store early in the day, you will save time by avoiding the crowds and money by avoiding the treats. Plus, just getting it done and getting out of there will tend to save you money.
Next shop, when you are in a good mood, Bad moods tend to make you want to buy more junk to drown your sorrows in. Don’t buy non-grocery items like contact lens solution at the grocery store, as they tend to be more expensive there. And always, always make a list and a calculator and stick to your list. If it is not on your list, don’t buy it.
There are other tips and techniques, of course, like taking advantage of coupons and rebates and finding the best sales, but the best basics for saving money are just the ones that make the most common sense.