No one can save you from a surprisingly high grocery bill. Supermarkets know the right strategies to make you spend your hard earned money. So we put together the most expensive mistakes you can make in the grocery store. Avoid these mistakes and you will save time and money.
Do not make a list
Benjamin Franklin was not talking about groceries when he said, “If you do not plan, you’re planning to fail!” However, it still applies to your food budget. Without a list of necessary groceries, you are much more likely to get what appeals to you, which will eventually reduce your bank account (and increase your waistline).
Next: Free samples have a cost.
Testing the samples
Supermarkets and big box stores know free samples of work. (We’re looking at you, Costco) The research supports the theory of reciprocity. In other words, as behavioral economist Dan Ariely explains, “If someone does something for you, they really feel a pretty surprising obligation to do something for them.” In fact, at least 25% of buyers who try an item will buy that, whether they need it or not.
Next: A new excuse to snack before buying
Go shopping on an empty stomach
You may have heard that you should avoid buying at the grocery store when you are hungry. You will fill your cart with all your cravings. However, new research shows that you should not visit ANY type of store on an empty stomach. A study by the University of Minnesota shows that “being hungry increases your desire to acquire things,” whether it is food, household items or clothing. Then, before you run errands, enjoy a satisfying snack.
Next: Like the sizes of the dishes, this need for groceries has grown over the years.
Using a full-size supermarket cart
In 1938, the world was presented to the original shopping cart: two levels of wire baskets with wheels. Now, the cars are almost three times larger than the large stores that offer flat versions for bulk items. One study found that shopping carts twice as large encourage buyers to buy 40% more. Sometimes it is impossible to place your purchases in a small basket, but if you can keep a hand basket or a mini car, you will be richer for it.
Next: How to “connect yourself” in the grocery store
Shopping at eye level
The branded grocery stores are almost always located at eye level, which encourages you to take those more expensive items and move on. The next time you face the grain section or the display of canned goods, take a knee and consider the most accessible brands near the ground.
Next: Do not be afraid to increase your volume.
Do not buy bulk staples
You can keep many basic foods, such as pasta, rice and spices, for years before they spoil, so buy in bulk. It is worth buying everything in large quantities, from honey (a shelf life of two years) to dried beans (at least one year’s shelf life). The best way to save? Wait for sales and then store big. Other good bulk purchases include lentils, farro, quinoa, granulated sugar, flour, nuts and oats.
Next: The focus is the key to verify.
Do not pay attention during payment
It’s easy to get distracted by nearby magazines or a talkative cashier. Do not let these distractions prevent you from seeing how your groceries accumulate on the monitor. You could easily miss a sale or pay too much for a mistake by the store or employee. Speak when you see something wrong on the screen or pay the price.
Next: It’s good to have commitment problems with your supermarket.
Only buying at a grocery store
It is difficult to buy elsewhere if you love Trader Joe or have gone to the same Aldi for years. But we owe it to your bank account to shop around. Make a list of your weekly groceries, track costs in a few different supermarket chains and find the lowest prices. Many buyers are surprised by their findings. You can save money easily by visiting different grocery stores for certain things. Not to mention that each chain has its own reward system (more on that later).
Next: The best time for a babysitter
Bringing the children
Many people do not have the money or the time to leave children at home when they need food. However, if you can manage it, you will save money by shopping alone. First, grocery stores address children using colorful displays and placing friendly items go down to the floor, where the children will grab you. According to Real Simple, buying with children makes parents spend up to 40% more.
Second, shopping with the little ones distracts. With a mindset of going in and out, parents tend to compare prices less.
Next: Do not take shortcuts.
Buying prepared foods
Grab prepared chicken skewers from the deli or bacon-wrapped beef is attractive when faced with a time crisis. However, buying prepared foods will break your budget faster than you can say “pasta salad”. A similar money killer? Prepackaged foods, such as washed lettuce, pre-cut fruit and pre-packaged products. Buy the basics and do it yourself.
Next: Trust the brands of these stores and you will save.
Avoid store brands
Brand labels can be seen better, but you are only paying for the aesthetics. You save an average of 25% when buying generic foods, and will not sacrifice taste, according to Consumer Reports. The research found that consumers were highly satisfied with store brands in grocery stores. Who had the best generic brands? Trader Joe’s, Wegmans, Publix, Costco, Raley’s, Whole Foods and Harris Teeter.
Next: The “Clean 15” is a real thing.
Have you heard of the “Dirty Dozen”? These 12 foods, including strawberries, spinach, apples and tomatoes, should always be purchased organically. Apart from the most pesticide-laden products, foods do not necessarily have to be organic. If you have a tight budget, you can choose your organic products to save money.
Next: Swaps can save your bank account.
Sticking to your recipes
Their pasta sauce may require fresh tomatoes and ground beef, but canned tomatoes and ground turkey may be for sale. Do not be afraid to exchange ingredients. Even traditional family recipes can handle an exchange or two; It will save you money from the long-term grocery store. Other substantial exchanges: cabbage for lettuce and frozen berries and vegetables for fresh.
Next: Do not cut the corners with your toiletries and supplies.
Purchase household items at the grocery store
Grocery stores should only be used for purchases. It is best that you buy most of the other household items elsewhere. Do you need pet food or batteries? Go to a big box store instead. Tools or kitchen supplies? Try a hardware or department store. Toilet paper or shampoo? The goal may be the best. Most grocery stores charge for all the amenities that buyers tend to take to avoid multiple stops.
Next: As in life, purchases are all about time.
Programming your purchases all wrong
Time is everything when it comes to shopping. Go during peak hours and you’ll feel rushed; Buyers tend to grab what works (without much research) when stores feel crowded. Ignore the sales cycle and pay more for the basics; Many grocery stores have sales in six-week cycles.
Buy when you need dinner and tend to spend more for less. Buying on certain days of the week (like Wednesdays) could equal double coupons and special discounts.