Let’s face it – from busy parking lots to long lines, grocery shopping can be stressful. Shopping online is an easy way to watch your budget, but what happens when you go into your local store and can’t see the items in your cart adding up? Here are some tips to save money, navigate a smart shopping experience and eliminate the traditional headache.
Planning out your meals and coming to the store with a list of items to stick to is essential. Start with a list of things you are looking to purchase and the price expectation, and see how that fits your groceries budget. Once you have this prepped, you can prioritize items in case your budget is limited.
The concept of buying power reigns true even on a consumer level; the more you buy, the more you will save (in many cases). Buying in bulk can be a great way to save additional money. Look for sales like “two packages for 5€” and “buy ten cans, get one free.” Still, be aware of any expiration dates and don’t buy so much that you have to throw things away. If you do buy extras, be sure to freeze any perishable items until you need them.
Try this mental trick: if you’re not buying in bulk and only need a few items, use a basket instead of a cart. By using a basket, you will limit yourself to a smaller number of items due to the sheer size of the basket versus the cart. Additionally, as the basket gets progressively heavier, you can guarantee you will rush faster to checkout and limit your time in the store as well as your spending!
While visiting your local supermarket may be most convenient, it may not be the cheapest. Check out your nearest discount store before you run to the grocery store. You may be able to check a lot of things off your list for just a few euros. Additionally, try visiting a variety of grocers in your area to figure out which one is the cheapest. You might find that you could save 20€ or more per trip if you shop at Lidl or Aldi, for example.
Buying generic products gets you the same product at a cheaper cost. Most of the time, the products will be almost identical, and you can compare the label to make sure you are getting the same inputs within your desired outcome. Generic suppliers open the marketplace to other competition driving the price of products downwards. This is particularly prevalent in the pharmaceutical industry, but the same concept applies to retailers alike.
For more tips on cutting costs, read our article about lowering your utility bills!