I have a confession to make. I am not a good cook. The only meals I ever prepare are instant noodles, pasta with ready-made sauces, microwave meals and occasionally stir-fry. Because of my lack of culinary skills, I dread going to the supermarket. My recent ramblings about my grocery shopping bills has grabbed the attention of one my frugal friends Lucy, and she gave me some really good advice that I want to share with you. FYI, Tips 1,2,3 saved me approximately $10.60 on my grocery shopping this past weekend.
1. Always prepare a grocery shopping list
I am guilty of this one where I have never prepared a grocery shopping list in my life. I have seen countless people going through their shopping lists in the aisles of supermarkets, men and women alike. I always thought that was a waste of time to prepare the list and then squint my eyes to go through the items again at the store.
Lucy made me realize that I was wasting money at the supermarket by grabbing whatever my fancy dictates at that moment that I didn't really need and throwing them into my shopping cart without realizing that the merchandise has been designed and placed strategically by marketing experts.
2. Never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach
I have gone to the supermarket on several occasions before meeting a friend for lunch or dinner and I realized that my judgment was guided more by my taste buds that day, and I ended buying too much stuff for that week.
3. Always look out for sales and use coupons
I am probably most supermarkets' favorite customer because I don't think I have used a grocery coupon in my life. Lucy is a big coupon shopper and she checks out the Sunday's papers for coupons and sales before making her shopping list. I was told to always take advantage of special sales and stock up on items I know I will run out in less than a month. More importantly, I could save a few bucks here and there which adds up to a new pair of shoes if I use coupons on my grocery shopping.
4. Don’t bring the kids to the store
This doesn't apply to me since I don't have kids. But it does make a lot of sense because I have seen harried mothers with their kids in tow throwing candy and chocolates and toys into their shopping carts just to keep a crying or screaming child quiet.
5. Become a member of discount stores
This may not apply to everyone, but for those of you with bigger families, shopping at discount stores like Costco and Sam’s Club may be the way to go to save on your annual grocery bills. The annual fee can be easily recouped if you constantly buy staple items in bulk or when you want to buy big-ticket items like TVs, computers or furniture.