I am beating this topic to death for good reason. Meal Planning and grocery shopping are part of everyone’s life. Unless you employ a full-time private chef for your family. Or eat out for every meal.
Which is fine if you can afford it. But I can’t.
Have you ever wandered into the grocery store without any sort of plan? What happens?
The same thing that happens when I “window shop” for shoes – I end up overspending because I get overwhelmed with all of the choices.
Food shopping can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.
5 Mistakes That Trip You Up When Grocery Shopping
Spending time on coupons
Can you tell I am not a fan of coupons? Despite the success of the many extreme couponers out there, I have never found clipping to be a good use of my time. This is because many of the coupons are for food that I prefer not to buy.
Also, to collect coupons requires an organizational system to store them. There are some digital coupons out there too, but I don’t use them. I haven’t even figured out how to use the Target Cartwheel app on my phone.
My other issue with coupons is similar to my issue with grocery circulars. Many of the coupons require you to buy multiple pieces of the item to get the discount. I don’t need 3 boxes of sugary breakfast cereal or other packaged foods.
Not having a list
I have said this before and I’ll say it again; if you do not have a list you will end up spending money on items you don’t need. We all do this. I think it has something to do with our hunting and gathering instinct, we buy what looks good in the moment.
When you take the time to make a list you have a roadmap for yourself. You can navigate the store without your attention being grabbed as easily. If you have already checked out your grocery circular you know what is on sale that you actually buy. (Learn how to read a grocery circular.) There are no surprises.
Shopping on an empty stomach
There is nothing worse than your stomach growling while you are perusing the natural foods aisle. I swear, I have probably spent $500 on organic snacks for just this reason. Everything looks delicious when you are hungry.
Have a snack before you go so you aren’t tempted. The same rule applies for online food shopping, everything looks really good when you are starving.
Taking too much time
When I go grocery shopping I like to get in and out. The longer I gaze at the fresh bread and the frozen delicacies, the more likely I am to buy something.
You are not in the grocery store to socialize or to admire the lovely display of Tastycakes. If you don’t need anything in the breakfast aisle, don’t go down there. Which leads me to another mistake.
Not Knowing Your Way Around Your Store
There are 2 major grocers in my area. I like each of them for different reasons, but I do prefer certain locations. It’s ok to have a preference about where you are shopping, that is why we have choices.
Assuming you are pretty familiar with your favorite grocer, learn the lay of the land. Figure out where they keep the organic ketchup and your favorite sprouted grain bread. Make your way around the store to everything on your list.
If you don’t know your way around you could end up wandering up and down every aisle. This is a surefire way to buy things that catch your eye. Why is it the attractive packaging is placed at eye level in every store? So you will buy it.
I’ll admit it, food shopping can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. Plan ahead and you will be good to go.
For more information on how I shop online to save money check out this post.
Here is the link to Amazon Grocery. My favorite place in the world!