Do you have the tendency to spend more than you intended to when you do your grocery shopping? If you do, welcome to the modern world; there are tons of choices and even more pressure to buy. The thing is that it isn't always beneficial to have so many choices. In fact, for us modern world dwellers it is more a curse than a blessing to have too many choices because we get tempted so easily.
It's no wonder we do, because marketers use clever tactics to make us buy, even though we didn't need those new shoes in the first place. What is your biggest indulgence when you hit the shops? Do you struggle to resist the latest fashion, gadget or chocolate? Most of us have an area in which we buy on impulse rather than need.
To help you avoid impulse buys, I have comprised a list of red alert tips. These are often the main culprits in seducing you out of your financial comfort zone. Once you learn to see the dangers of impulse buying, you will be armed with the mind tools to save money every time you leave your home.
- Avoid Grocery Shopping On An Empty Stomach
If you are hungry before you go food shopping, eat a little snack first. Perhaps even a glass of water will do the trick for you. We tend to make the worst fast food and snack purchases when we go shopping on an empty stomach. Definitely not a good idea.
- Always Use A Shopping List
Shopping lists are a must if you want to curb that spending urge. Obviously, you will need to stick to them too once you are in the shops. You will save hundreds of dollars every year by just implementing this tip alone.
- Cut Up Your Credit Card
Credit cards are the single biggest reason so many people are in serious debt. The plastic fantastic is in fact a huge cause for people's misery. The amount of credit card debt in America alone is staggering and a real cause for concern.
But even here in Australia, it is so bad that teenagers, fresh from high school have already amassed thousands of dollars of debt. Unless you can pay off your credit card bill every single month don't even go down that road.
- Buy In Bulk
Bulk buying allows you to save some serious dollars. Items are often reduced if you buy several. As long as you will use them over time (before the use-by date expires) you can use these deals to your advantage.
- Make Use Of Those Annoying Junk Mail Flyers
I really can't stand junk mail. As little as I do like junk email. But, if we know we need something particular, these little flyers and brochures can be an actual blessing in disguise for great savings. I suggest to make it your habit to coincide your shopping day with store sales dates. They will help you to save. But only if you buy what you really need.
- Shop On the Weekend
I'm not trying to be a smart ass here. Weekend grocery shopping can whack some 20% of your whole bill. You will often find heavily reduced vegetables, meats and dairy products. Their use by date might be very close but if you plan your weekly food roster accordingly you can effectively slash a huge amount of your budget. To avoid wasting time in long lines, go early!
- Buy The Store Brand
Store brands are often sufficient for use. I admit they are not always the answer though. Sometimes more expensive is worth the effort.
- Don't Fall For Misleading Price Labeling
Shops make money by placing their most expensive items at eye level. They also trick you into thinking you are getting a bargain deal by using similar price labels than on their actual deals. Many shoppers fall for that age old trick and end up spending way more than they really need. Learn to look in the bottom half of supermarket aisles or higher up for better deals.
- Leave Your Kids At Home
Kids can be even more expensive when you take them shopping. Not only do they want everything they see, bad behavior will encourage you to rush and simply buy things without the needed thought process. Leaving kids home where possible (especially young toddlers) will give you peace of mind and the ability save money. You can promise them a small present that mustn't cost a lot for being well behaved in your absence. Obviously this will only work if they are being looked after by a responsible adult or sibling. If they are in daycare, go shopping then.