Do you ever make a trip to the grocery store to pick up a few things and then as you check out you fork over $80 only to come home and not have the item you originally made the trip to the store for?
You are doing grocery shopping ALL wrong. Don’t worry it isn’t your fault. According to market researcher Paco Underhill and author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, 60-70% purchases made at grocery stores are impulse buys. Grocery stores are setup in a way for you to add items into your chart and increase your purchase.
Here’s three steps to get groceries for $20-$40 a week
1.) Do it
Just like Nike says, ‘Do it.’ Make weekly grocery shopping part of what you do. When you eat primarily at restaurants, take-outs, and fast food you are paying significantly more on food. Get in the habit of eating out just for special occasions like birthdays. When you take your lunch to work you can save thousands of dollars a year on food.
Going once a week for grocery shopping is the sweet spot. If you find yourself making multiple trips throughout the week you probably feel like you are running around like a chicken with your head cut off. If you go once every other week you may find that you don’t have enough food at home to eat, then you end up eating out more.
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2.) Make a list and check it twice
Santa was on to something with checking lists twice! Before you go to the grocery store make a list of what you need for the week. Check the list once before you go to the store to see if you have everything on your list for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snacks, and also toiletries (like shampoo, toilet paper, etc.). Literally go through your pantry to see what you have already and what you need. Without checking your list before shopping, you end up buying ingredients that you already have on hand. Or you can forget something and have to make another trip to get groceries.
When you are at the grocery store bring your list and then check it twice. As you find items at the store check them off your list and ONLY get items that are on your list which will help you avoid impulse buys.
3.) Look at Prices
When you are shopping take just a few seconds to stop and look at the prices of the items you are buying and get the lowest priced brand. The difference really does add up. Here are two examples:
- Leading Brand of 24 oz. spaghetti sauce is $7.88 versus off brand price $1.68
- Leading Brand of 8 oz. salad dressing is $4.29 versus off brand price of $1.36
Try this system out for grocery shopping: do it, make a list and check it twice, and look at prices. You can get groceries for $20-$40 a week!