Going to the grocery store can be an expensive affair. We all have the story of the time we went in to spend $10 and ended up spending $100. However, with a little planning and good decision making, any grocery shopper can keep his or her bill low. Here are five grocery shopping mistakes you should avoid to save money at the grocery store.
Buying Name Brands
These days almost every name brand item has a generic substitute. In most cases these generics have the same level of quality as the name brand. Sometimes they are even made at the same facility, but with different packaging! Make sure and go for the generic items unless you have some reason not to do so.
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Buying Too Many Perishable Items
It is easy to overestimate how much you will use before another trip to the store. Be careful not to buy to much of any perishable items at the store. For example, it can sometimes save you money to buy the half-gallon of milk instead of the gallon if you will only use half a gallon before it goes bad, even if the gallon is cheaper per ounce.
Going to the Store When Hungry
Everything looks good at the grocery store when you are hungry. If you go to the store before eating you may find that you stuff your cart with more than you need, and with several unhealthy items as well! Try to go right after a meal to avoid impulse buys and to avoid getting more than what you need.
Not Making a List/Not Sticking to the List
It can be easy to think that you know everything that you need before going to the store and can figure it out when you get there. However, if you don’t make a list, you will find that you might make a bunch of impulse buys and come home with several things you don’t need. You will probably also waste time by wandering around the store trying to remember exactly what you need. Also, keep in mind that you need to stick to that list when you get to the store!
Ignoring Sales and Coupons
If you do not pay attention to sales and coupons, you can miss out on some serious deals. Make sure and check the local paper before you go to the store and see what coupons you can find. Clip those and take them with you. Also, see what stores are having sales. You may have to visit 2 or 3 stores to get everything you need, but it can be worth the effort.
Saving money at the grocery store can take some work. However, if you avoid the mistakes listed above, you can get the same groceries you get every month for much less!