It’s now the new year and perfect time to evaluate your finances to either figure out where you went wrong last year, or what you can improve upon. It may seem that as soon as your paycheck is deposited it’s shortly gone on paying bills and whatever is left for spending. In order to free up extra money each month so you can work on building an emergency fund and saving for retirement you greatly need to reduce expenses. One of the best ways where you will quickly see savings is to avoid going out to eat and go to the grocery store. While you will save plenty by preparing your meals at home you can save even more at the grocery store with a few tricks and maybe use that additional extra money to find the best roth ira providers.
Shop at the Right Time
The weekends are the most crowded time to go shopping, so if the stores are packed anyways, then what is the extra incentive to put anything additional on sale. If you are looking for great deals, try shopping mid-week, where you can look for additional sale and promo items throughout the store. Not only will you save money, but since in my opinion time can sometimes be worth more than money, why shop on a crowded day when, say during the week after dinner, you can zip up and down the aisles without a soul around.
Don’t Leave Without a List
Before you head out to go shopping it’s a took idea to take stock in what you need so you can make a list. Without a list, not only will you forget items that you went to the store in the first place for, but you will also avoid any impulse purchases by sticking to your list. If you can take it a step further and organize your list by section, you can avoid going back and forth in different aisles to make your trip more convenient and efficient.
Never Shop on an Empty Stomach
If you have every gone to the grocery store, or even worse Costco where they have free samples down every aisle, you want to buy everything that looks good and pretty soon your cart is full and your wallet is empty by the time you get home. After you get some food in your system you will probably regret the purchases that you made, especially when you look at your account balance the next day, probably throwing your budget out of what. If you can eat a full meal before you head out to the store you can have a much clearer head when it comes to making the right purchases.
Coupons Still Work
Sure, newspaper subscriptions may be dying off and you don’t sit down with the Sunday paper any longer and clip coupons, but that doesn’t mean that the days of using coupons are over. With the amount of mail, I get on a daily basis, there is no shortage of coupons. Also, check the grocery store’s website for digital coupons that you can load to your store card. The only trick is that you might have to print off the list before you go to the store so you don’t forget what you added.
Stick to the Perimeter of the Store
I heard someone say once that if you stick to the perimeter of the store you will purchase fresh healthy items and avoid going up and down the aisles filling your card with impulse purchases. If you think about, by shopping around the edges you can buy fresh meat, produce, bread, dairy, even stock up on frozen items, in order to prepare meals at home. By avoiding the aisles, you can skip the drinks, chips, and cookies that you would otherwise be tempted to fill your cart with and inflating your total at the register.
Shopper Rewards Card is Key
While they may just mark up the retail price and have the sale price be what it should be for using your shopper’s reward card, but why not use it anyways if you’re going to save money. Not only on sale items but you can also take part in the 10 for $10 sales for where you can buy five of the same color items to get additional savings. In addition to savings on groceries, your card can also give you relief at the gas pump by using your gas points you accumulate from regular shopping, knocking at least $0.10 off each gallon. Hey, at least it’s something. Not to mention, big box stores like Costco are especially cheap and consumer friendly. Costco gas hours are open fairly late, so even if you aren’t stopping by the store, you can still stop at their pumps on the way to and from work.