Tips To Curb Overspending At The Grocery Store

2020 has been a tough year for all of us, and as we look forward to a better year come January, there are things that need to change within our habits as well to ensure brighter prospects. One thing that many of us have had to take a long, hard look at this year is finances and spending habits.

Overspending is one of the biggest issues most people have trouble with when it comes to following a budget or reigning in their finances. And one seemingly innocuous expense that can end up costing way more than you had planned for is groceries.

You may not have thought of your weekly visit to the grocery store to be a battle of the wits, but there are so many pitfalls that you could stumble upon to result in the one thing you want to avoid – overspending. From strategic product placement to intentionally making you walk all around the store – grocery stores have an arsenal of tricks up their sleeves to make the customer spend way more than they intended to.

Here are some simple tips and tricks to bring your spending under control. Learn how to become a thrifty and consistent grocery shopper!

1. Don’t Shop While Hungry

You’ve probably heard this bit of advice being thrown around by your mother – but, as always, mom is right! Going to the grocery store while feeling hungry is just an invitation to spend way more than you need to on food! So always schedule your trips to the supermarket after you have eaten.

2. Make a List

This is another piece of advice that you have most definitely heard of, but it is also very important. Make sure the list you make at home is extensive and covers everything you need to get. Don’t leave any space for impulse buying because then you’ll be tempted to overspend!

3. Make Use of Coupons

Ain’t no shame in the coupon game! Make use of all the coupons and vouchers and card offers available in your local supermarket. Scheduling your shopping trip so it falls within the validity period can help get you some great deals.

A word to the wise: sometimes, we end up buying things just because they happen to be cheaper or on sale. If it’s not something you intended to buy, it’s a waste of money no matter how much of a discount you get it for. When using coupons, make sure they are for things that are actually on your grocery list!

4. Shop Alone

A trip to the grocery store shouldn’t be a family affair! We don’t need to explain why you shouldn’t bring kids to the grocery store, and it’s better if you don’t bring along your spouse or any other adults either because they may be idle while you shop and end up adding extra things to the cart.

5. Calculate as you Go

Include the prices in your list when you are making it so you have an idea of how much you should spend. At the grocery store, make a mental calculation (or better yet, use an actual calculator – there’s one on your phone!) and keep adding the bill every time you place something into your cart. This way, it stops you from buying unnecessary things and will help you stay within the budget.

6. Take Only Cash

One of the best ways to stay within budget is to spend ONLY cash. If you only take a set amount of money to the store, you literally have no choice but to spend within that budget! Using your credit or debit card just gives you a license to spend “limitlessly”. It would even be a good choice to leave your ATM card at home so you don’t get tempted into making last-minute purchases that you regret later.

7. Check the Bottom Shelves

Grocery stores employ various tricks to make you spend more money than you intended to. One of those is to place the higher-priced products at eye level, making it easier for you to pick them up. Make sure to always check the bottom shelves, which is where the cheaper brands of the exact same item often are!