a lifestyle blog

supermarket savers

Today is shopping day. No, not for a new pair of wedges or a pair of skinny jeans, but for groceries. This is not a chore for me, as it is for some. I like scouring the shelves, while typically riding my cart down the aisles with freeing abandon, wind in my hair, while getting disapproving looks from the produce guy. Hey! Whatever makes it fun, right?

What's not so fun is when my eyes are glued to the register, watching those little green numbers flash higher and higher. Yes, it means I will have a stocked fridge, but my wallet will be left with an empty stomach. After quite a few shopping trips that left me broke, I have learned how to save some money and stretch my food budget a little more.

NEVER go to the store hungry. This is common knowledge, but I have to reinforce it. I am typically a healthy eater, but when my stomach is growling, it somehow convinces my hands to grab unnecessary snacks. Those greasy chips and sweet cookies go uneaten, and there goes the ten dollars I spent on them.

Make a list. Taking a quick look through my cabinets and fridge gives me a better idea of what I need. Nothing is worse than coming home from the store to see I already had an item that I just purchased. Those tuna cans really know how to tuck themselves away behind the soups. Tricky, tricky fish. Making a list also stops me from making an impulse buy. When I see what I need written down on paper, I want to stick to it because I know it will save me the other kind of paper, money. It's a little reminder to save!

Bad bargains. Not all bargains are good, even though the colorful ads placed around the store make them seem like they are. I know I don't really need ten boxes of cereal for ten dollars. I'm not feeding an army. I'm feeding myself. My pup doesn't sit with me at the breakfast table with a spoon in hand, reading the morning paper. So, I tend to stay away from those "bargains." Same goes for coupons, I make my list first so I'm not tempted to cut out a coupon I don't need. Some impulsed buys are just disguised by a low price.

Look up and down. Popular brands, which are typically more expensive are placed at eye level. They are paid a good amount to be there and you pay a good amount for them. So stand on those tippy toes of yours, or do some squats to find some cheaper items placed on the higher and lower shelves. They still taste just as good without the cool name brand. If you prefer the taste of your favorite brand, then buy it, but if there is no difference then don't.

Watch that register. No, it's not fun watching the cost of everything add up, but shielding my eyes from the damage is not the best idea. I read the numbers and items carefully. Sometimes, I catch the sale items ringing up at full price, or produce was keyed in wrong. Those are mistakes I would not want to miss. Items go on sale every day and they aren't always updated in the system right away, and different veggies can have quite a range in price. I'd rather be that knit-picky customer if it saves me some dough.
So, here I go with a content belly and a list in hand...

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