Think running into the supermarket to get a loaf of bread is easy? You would be right, but not before they tempt you to spend money on a bunch of other junk first. Grocery stores are laden with traps that try to convince you to buy more than you set out to get. Here are some ways you can avoid them and save some money and shelf space.
- Make a shopping list and stick to it. This is the easiest and most effective way to avoid overspending at the grocery store as long as you make sure to adhere strictly to the list. If you do this, you don’t even need to worry about following all the other tips.
- Bring a calculator with you. All cell phones have a calculator function, so whip those out every time you are trying to decide which item is a better deal. If you are caught between spending $5 for a regular-sized can of coffee grounds or $6 for a slightly bigger one, look at the volume difference between the two and do the math. Although most of the time, the bigger volume will be cheaper ounce-per-ounce, this may not always be the case. Use the calculator to figure out which is the best deal. Also, don’t forget to factor in your consumption. Just because the math works out doesn’t mean you are actually saving money if you aren’t going to finish it before the expiry date.
- Avoid the “2 for $5” deals. You need a can of green beans, and you notice that your grocery store is having a “2 for $5” sale. Should you get two cans instead of just one? That depends. Again, do the math and calculate how much each item is selling for with that promotional price. Sometimes, the promotion is not a bargain at all and the merchants do this because a combination of numbers and prices usually sound cheaper than just listing the price. Furthermore, these “bundled bargain” lure customers in buying two or more of the item to get the “special price” when they only needed one. (Here are a few bulk buying strategy that actually work.)
- If you did not originally want to buy anything from the baked goods section, avoid it. Grocery stores purposely let the smell of baking bread waft through their bakery aisles, triggering the cravings of unsuspecting customers. To avoid coming under a sudden hankering for carbs, stay away from the bakery.
- Think again before adding that candy bar or gum to your purchase. Grocery store cash registers are flanked with colorful displays or gums and candies. Because those items are usually cheap and eye-catching, customers don’t think twice about adding it to their cart while checking out. The next time you find yourself reaching for that Snickers bar, ask yourself if you would have wanted to buy it if it were not displayed there.
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