How to Shop Smartly When You’re On a Budget

Wondering how to be a smart grocery shopper and how to avoid overspending at the mall? 

I understand why this would be on your mind. Unfortunately a trip with $50 no longer results in the same amount of goodies and necessities.

When I went food shopping with my grandma a few years ago, food stamps meant getting boxed cereal without guilt, picking up expensive fruit and buying big holiday meals.

It was heaven. 

Smiling woman with short hair
How to shop smartly on a budget

But recently, with price gauging on the rise, I had to take a second look at what I valued in my shopping.

After awhile I was able to come home less frustrated and angry at the world of food and shopping.

Keep reading to find out what tips I learned to maximize my saving and reduce my monthly spending.

Related Post: 5 ways you can invest in yourself for free

We all want to the know the secret of saving money and what are the top 3 saving money tips. How can we save money on a tight budget and how can we do what every other successful budgeter has done.

There isn't a secret. Or a foolproof plan but what you can do is follow the guide below and see how it can apply to your every day life.

Once that happens you've began a life changing moment.

#1- Have faith in your budget

Make a budget

The number one tip for shopping online or in person is to believe in and stick to your budget. Shopping smartly at the grocery store will be a mixture of walking with purpose and not aimlessly browsing.

Take your time when it comes to shopping and do not fall victim to the money tricks of businesses. Just because something is on sale does not mean you have to buy it. And if it is on sale then take a look at the original price. Sometimes you'll notice a discount isn't even worth purchasing.

If you're interested in learning how to use a simple budget with less expense tracking you can read about the No-budget- budget here

Usually the items you see at eye level are marked up on the shelf. Look around the upper and lower sections and see if you find any deals.

Simple Tips to save money while shopping | Blissful Wallet | Shop with ease
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#2- Have a plan and stick to it

Write a shopping list.

Avoid entering the the supermarket without meals in mind. Grocery shopping can spark inspiration for meals and even holding a package of sweet treats can set your tummy to rumbling. Eating before going grocery shopping can save you a ton of cash and automatically make you an expert grocery shopper.

Think of what you eat within the week and search for the best deals.

Buy the items you normally eat for dinner ( things you eat regularly are cheap dinner ideas). Any money left over in your budget after buying breakfast, lunch, and dinner can be used for snacks.

Snacks are something that can be planned but usually when grocery shopping you pick up either what's on sale or what looks good at the time. Instead of trying to plan ahead, buy the snacks after you have priced your main ingredients and items.

Go to the mall with a plan

Window shopping isn't the best activity when you're avoiding retail therapy. Huge stores like Macys entice you with scents and set up the store in such a way that you can easily get distracted.

Before you go into a mall, an expensive tourist attraction, or anywhere else that will cost you money, figure out what you have to buy. Waiting until the last possible minute when grocery shopping or going out to determine what you will buy could end up costing you more in the long term. Decide what you will eat before you guys get in the car in case your stomachs decide an expensive pasta meal instead of affordable sandwiches is the way to go.

Christmas shopping, back to school shopping, or any other occasion, can turn into a pile of debt if you don't practice mindful spending.

Being mindful doesn't only mean yoga. You can indulge in free self care in other ways
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Related post: Simple and easy way to begin a Christmas fund

Don't be spontaneous

If you are barely making ends meet, looking for ways to cut back on spending, or simply trying out a new budget, you shouldn't add another expense.

If you see random ingredients that you have never bought before, don’t buy them this trip.