How many times have you written a list in the car right before you walk in the store that says, milk, bread, snacks, fruit, & cereal???
- You haven’t looked at the sales flyer.
- You haven’t checked to see what you already have - so you end up buying more of what you have and it goes to waste.
- You haven’t made a meal plan - so you end up wasting time having to go back to the store for ingredients.
- You buy every item you see that has a sale sign.
This officially makes you the worst kind of shopper! You are an “Impulse Shopper”! *gasp* Seems harmless right? Wrong!
Here’s a few statistics for you:
- Shopper’s who run to the store for a “quick trip” end up buying 54% more items in their cart than they intended. We've all run into the store for 1 thing & ended up coming out with a basketful.
- You are 3x more likely to buy something that is on an end cap or display shelf than in the regular aisle. You think, "Well, if it’s on the end it must be a good deal it has it’s own special section & sign"… WRONG!
- The more people you take with you, the more likely you are to impulse buy… Who didn’t already know that?
The biggest way that you can become a smarter shopper is by only shopping with a list AND then only buying what’s on the list! That's the hard part.
We talked about one of the steps of meal planning being to make your list based on sales & then planning your meals around it. This is simple. But in order to do this you must know your prices. How can you know if something is a good deal or on sale if you don’t know the regular price? Just because it has a sign that says "New Low Price" or it has a fancy end cap… does not mean it’s on sale.
A good idea is to keep a price book. Write down the regular shelf price of things you buy as you’re shopping or from your receipt when you get home. This way you will know when things you need & use go on sale.
Another way that we can avoid going into the stores for a “quick trip” is to keep a running list somewhere in your kitchen where you write down things as they are gone or almost gone. I have a white board that has my meal plan written out & then anything I need to get when I go shopping. I add these things to my list as they go on sale or if I can’t wait.
Ok, so on your list you will have the items you need based on your menu planning & your list of things you’re out of that you can’t wait to buy & then the sale items that you want to buy & stock up on. Another good idea is to categorize your list… Produce, meats, dairy, cleaning, frozen, ect. And if you can, put those categories in the order of the store layout.
** Shopping successfully will save you money AND time! This should be an easy way to add savings without taking much time & effort! For more ways to save check out these posts: Gathering Around the Table, So Simple, Pack it up, Pack it in, How to Increase the Value of your Coupon and the Start Saving page.