Did you remember to buy your favorite juice this week or are there no more eggs left in the fridge? Get your basket, cart or bag ready and let’s go groceries shopping. But before that just read this brief guide we’ve put together with the help of the Savewallets team, to help you spend smart, in order to save smart.
Here are 5 ideas or steps to bring order in midst of the chaos with we tend to approach groceries. Sneak peak: it’s all about pre-assessing, balancing, “timetable” logic, going weekly and using cards strategically.
STEP 1. Make a point of assessing what you have before leaving home
Even 15 seconds can be enough to touch base and check out what you have left at home, both at the pantry and the fridge. This will work against that scene we’ve all been through: “Were there 3 tomatoes left, or am I imagining it?”. We’ve all found ourselves at some point, standing in confusion before the vegetable aisle. Put a stop to this!
Don’t buy more than you need. This will only make you lose control of your budgeting and worse, leave you with unused wasted items.
STEP 2. Finding the right balance: lists vs. deals?
You must have heard already, how important it is to make a list before going to the supermarket. Yes, this is certainly one way to go. For some items in particular this is perfect: cleaning products, for example, and other less ephemeral products as well.
Making a list at home will help you avoid buying more than what’s necessary, especially because it generally pushes you to assess what you have already to begin with (see step above). BUT: keep an open mind when it comes to getting the best of deals in the supermarket. Allow yourself to explore a bit too. Consider some flexibility in your list, with the aid of generic concepts and items, like in Step 3…
STEP 3. Buy with “timetable” logic
What are you shopping for? Certainly not to merely get your fridge and pantry full, just for the sake of it.
Think “breakfast”, “lunch”, “dinner”, “snacks”, “cleaning supplies”. Organize the products in your basket according to moments in the week. This helps avoiding a disorganized shopping scheme, spending more than necessary, forgetting to buy what’s needed and potentially having to throw food away because your schedule didn’t match with what you bought.
STEP 4. Buying once a week keeps overspending away
This tip is related to thinking with “timetable” logic. Add a one-week timeframe. Reducing grocery shopping to the last thing you do at the end of a hard day of work makes you more inclined to buying more for instant gratification. This is when we start buying things we don’t need. So, try to make one visit to the supermarket a week (maybe over the weekend), and trust yourself!
STEP 5. What about loyalty cards?
Check out what your regular supermarket offers. Some cards allow you to collect points for future purchase or other benefits (be sure you know what these are and make them work in your favor). Others allow you to apply further promotional codes and discounts.
Just be sure you know what the options are and how to make them work for you.
EXTRA STEP…like buying online
Some people find that buying online is a better way for them to shop for groceries. In that case, as we mentioned in a past #WeeklyLifeHack, check out services like MySupermarket.co.uk to find the supermarkets with the best deals and spend smart!
All set? So… what’s for dinner this week? Since we are on this topic… remember to take a look at our past blog on The Best Farmers’ Markets in London. Plus, it is always good to go over some budgeting tips in our own classic The B@*!# word: how a personal budget will actually bring you peace (… and how to do it right).
P.S: We would love to know any ideas that helps you to spend smart on groceries or a secret weapon that you use to save on your grocery bills. Share your story and tips and get featured on our blogs! Oh, and did we mention you can win some free gifts too!