How to Shop Smartly When You’re On a Budget
Wondering how to be a smart grocery shopper?
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.
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 and stick to your budget.
Take your time when it comes to shopping and do not fall victim to the money tricks of businesses.
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.
#2- Have a plan and stick to it
Write a shopping list.
Avoid entering the the supermarket without meals in mind.
Buy the items you normally eat for dinner (usually the 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.
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.
Christmas shopping, back to school shopping, or any other occasion, can turn into a pile of debt if you don't practice mindful spending.
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 it this trip.
You’ve managed to live and shop peacefully without this new item in your pantry for a long time. You can survive without it for a few more months until you have wiggle room in your budget.
#3 Make more meals from scratch
A bag of potatoes, which you might be able to find for cheap in some supermarkets, can be several meals.
Even having more eggs or bread in the house can make cooking more convenient, especially for busy adults.
#4 -Buy fruit from outside venders/ vegetable stands
You can definitely get a pineapple at a flat $3 rate instead of hoping that the market is selling them for cheap. Same for fruits and other tasty healthy treats.
I will never forget when my bag of grapes were weighed and cost $8.49. Never again.
#5- Shop around
Shop with patience
This is a bit tedious but entirely worth it. If you know that Store A sells cheap beans but Store B allows you to buy toilet paper in bulk, go to both stores.
The same goes for when you know you want you want to buy but have to wait for semi-annual sales or for your favorite website to offer a coupon.
The money you save can go toward something you've been wanting to buy. You can boost your sinking fund.
The money can also go toward your long term emergency fund!
You can master shopping even when it is frustrating. Getting better at grocery shopping doesn't have to mean never buying things you like again.
Start with patience, make your budget, and tell yourself you can do this.
Scroll to access a FREE resource geared toward growing your mind through self care and your wallet through saving.
Let me know in the comments how if you've noticed anything that stores do to get you to spend money!