It’s fairly common knowledge that when you create a grocery list before you go shopping you will save money.
Everything is scientific these days. Everything is based on time and movement studies and designed to coax money from your pockets as quickly as possible. The same is true of grocery stores. Why do you think the bakery smells so good? It is just a sales strategy designed to get you to buy bread when you come to the store for just coffee.
Do Not Buy on Impulse
It works too. You smell the baked goods and on impulse, you buy some. Just because of the smell. You really didn’t need the extra bread. The same is true for the candy bars at the checkout counter. I almost always throw a dollars’ worth of chocolate on to my order with no thought at all. Hey, it is only a buck, right? That is exactly what the super market wants you to think.
Groceries are one of the big ticket items on your budget. It has been estimated that what you spend at the market makes up 8% of your total budget. That is a lot of bread.
Create a Grocery List
One of the best ways to cut your grocery bill is to create a shopping list before you go to the store. Once you are at the store, stick to the list. Do not deviate. Do not buy items on impulse. Think of it as you versus the store. They want your money, you want your money. If you have a list, stick to the list and avoid all the temptation traps laid down by the store, you win the battle. Your money stays in your pocket where it belongs.
To save even more money, use your stores sale circular when you are making your list. Build your weekly meal plan around the items that your store has on sale. A list of on sale items is going to save you money over just a list of groceries.
Another way to save money was discussed last week. Before you make your grocery list, pull all the items in your fridge that are about to go bad to the front. Use up those items in your next meals and leave off the list replacing those goods until they are actually used.
More Ways to Save When You Create a Grocery List
Other ways to save money with a grocery list include:
- Create a backup grocery list. Fill this list with the items that you buy on a regular, every week basis. You can then use this list when you don’t have time to create a custom list for the week. You get what you need and avoid impulse purchases.
- Never shop while hungry. We talked about this too in another post, but it is worth re-emphasizing. No matter what is on your list, shopping while hungry is a sure path down the road to impulse purchases. When I’m hungry, it is not just one candy bar at check-out. It is two and sometime even three.
- With list in hand, shop fast. Don’t go shopping with all the time in the world. Have an appointment to go to or kids to pick up from soccer. If you have time to shop, you are more likely to deviate from your list. You give yourself time to rationalize the emotional, impulse purchase. You should be moving at a brisk pace through the aisles, giving yourself only enough time to drop what is on your list into your cart. Once the list is complete, get out.
Food is expensive. After your mortgage or rent and fuel for your car, it is normally the most expensive item in your budget. Cutting your food expense, where you can, is an excellent way to put more money into your bank account. When you create a grocery list, you will cut your food bill. Sticking to the grocery list will cut that expense even further.