Be a Frugal Grocery Shopper

by : Kate Tilmouth



Every week we all have to go grocery shopping, its just one of those things we all have to do whether we like it or not. The trouble it we can become complacent by the routine of it and forget to check what is actually going into our baskets and how much we are paying for it.

Inn these times of price rises and the increase in personal debt, being a frugal grocery shopper should be something we all choose to become. Our weekly shop can be one of the biggest single financial outlays that we make every week and by taking a closer look at how we shop and what we are buying will help to cut out monthly budgets and allow us to use our money more wisely.

There are some simple rules in becoming a more frugal grocery shopper and they are all easy to implement without having to make dramatic changes to the way we shop. Also by becoming more aware of how the supermarkets try to entice us into buying more and understanding how we can avoid these marketing traps will also help us to reduce our weekly grocery bill.

The first rule is to make a list of the things you actually need before you go shopping. This sounds like an obvious thing to do but many people simple go out each week and buy the same things all over again without first checking if they actually need it. The simple step of checking your cupboards first will stop you buying duplicate items and will also help to stop food wastage.

Also plan in advance which meals you are going to prepare for the coming week. Only buying what you are going to eat will also reduce wastage and expense. Planning meals will also allow you to take advantage of what food is in season, costing you less and giving you a much fresher and wider range of meals all year round.

The next rule is to make yourself less vulnerable to all the marketing strategies employed by the large grocery stores to get you to spend more. These strategies include:

Placing staple food items like bread and milk at the very back of the store, forcing you to have to walk through other isles that may tempt you. If all you need is bread and milk then stick to the side isles and to reach the back of the store.

Moving isles around is a common ploy to make you have to hunt for your items and so being exposed to other items along the way. A hard one to avoid but stay focused on the item you are looking for.

Placing higher priced food at eye level on the shelves. Many shoppers forget to take a look at the lower shelves where they will find similar lower priced items such as the stores own brand.

In store advertising signs are often placed along the isles making statements such as "best for you" and "will make you happy". This is advertising hype and many of us fall for it, unfortunately this items will hit your wallet and blow your frugal budget away. Many similar items made by less well known brands are of just the same quality but will cost a lot less. By trying to make yourself less susceptible to these in store advertisements will help you to be the frugal shopper you want to be.

Another rule in becoming a more successful frugal shopper is to drop the packaging. Many process foods cost you more than the fresh variety if they have been specially prepared i.e. shredded, or diced. So when buying fruit and vegetable buy the fresh variety and do the little extra work in preparing them yourself. You will not only be saving yourself money but will be helping to save the planet by not buying all the packaging that goes along with processed food.

Lastly, don't forget to use grocery coupons. They can be found everywhere these days form magazines and newspapers to free downloadable ones from the Internet. Take advantage of this free money and collect the coupons for the items you use on a regular basis. It can be quite a saving over the year.

Being a frugal shopper can be an easy and even fun thing to be, especially when you realise how shrewd you are at getting one over the big marketing boys, whilst saving yourself lots of cash every month.