1. Use the local flyer to plan your shopping. If a certain meat is on sale that you know you will eat, base a meal or two for the week around that.
2. Always make a list. You’ve heard it before because it really works. Base your list off of the flyer and whatever other items you need. I even write down the sale price next to it to have a quick reference while I’m shopping. You can also use those prices to quickly estimate how much you will spend. Then it’s up to you to keep track of whatever else you buy. Be careful, it’s easy to lose track if you go off the list!
3. Set a number for how much you want to spend.
Even before you set foot in the store, know how much you want to spend. What good is a sale if you are still spending too much?
4. Get to the grocery store early. There’s nothing worse than planning your shopping only to have Frugal Frida beat you to the store and buy up all the meat for her freezer stockpile. The Coupon Queens take their shopping seriously. You can too. They will be there to make sure they get the deals. You have to do the same. It’s also less crowded and allows you to get in and out faster.
5. Try to avoid going down every aisle. If you don’t need anything in a certain aisle then skip it. Marketers know how to get you to grab things that you may not want to get. The perimeter of the store is usually safer and healthier. Most things in a box are overpriced unless there is a sale or coupon.
6. Shop without distractions. Don’t text or talk and shop at the same time unless the conversation has to do with grocery shopping especially at the check out. If you have kids, leave them home with your significant other. They can easily de-rail your best laid plans.
7. Watch each item as it rings up. I hate to sound like El Cheapo but there have been so many times that a sale item does not ring up for whatever reason. Catch it in the moment. Check that list that you made or have the cashier check the flyer if an error occurs. Remember you precalulated your amount, so don’t let your planning and money go down the drain. Good Luck!!