The grocery store is such an oasis of good smells, yummy foods, and tantalizing treats. It’s amazing what one can find in the aisles of her local food market. There is everything from apples to carrots, cookies to cakes, chicken to milk and so much more. So what is the best way to navigate a grocery store in order to stay within budget?
Grocery stores have a strategy in how their wares are placed on the shelf. The wise shopper knows this and accounts for it when shopping.
Shopping the perimeter of the store is not only healthier, but also more frugal. Have you ever noticed this is where the fruits, veggies, dairy, and other fresh and yummy essentials are placed? The center aisles of the store have more processed food. Impulse buying has a field day in these aisles. Ask me how I know!
Are you looking for a good deal or a sale? Check the end caps of the aisles. This is where many stores will place items that are on sale. Just be sure to double check the aisle in order to cost compare. Stores will also place higher-priced food here from time to time in order to snag you as you’re quickly walking by, perhaps towing a child or two.
If you decide to check out an aisle, be sure to look high and low on the shelves. Manufacturers can and do pay more to have their product placed at eye level – either yours or your child’s! Be sure to look higher and lower in order to see if there is an inexpensive alternative. There typically will be more than one.
My best “go to” strategy for shopping and staying on a budget? It’s my grocery list. I simply don’t leave home without it. As we use things up, they get added to the list. The day I go shopping, I then add the remaining essentials to the list.
To make the best use of your time and to avoid extra trips down the cookie aisle, organize your grocery list according to your store’s layout. Place all the produce together, all the canned goods, all the dairy, and so on. The grocery lists on Say Mmm will automatically categorize most items for you. This will streamline the process, cut down on the amount of time you are spending in the store, and, more importantly, cut back on the number of impulse items you walk by while circling back to pick up all the items you missed on your first pass through the store. Your grocery list will become your treasure map.
Be sure to never ever shop hungry, but you already knew that right? And if you can, leave the spouse and kiddos home. Not only can they be distracting, but typically your grocery bill will go up. At least mine does.