Tips for Smart Grocery Shopping

Unlike shopping for clothes or shoes, grocery shopping involves a little more planning and responsibility. After all, running a household isn’t a joke. Grocery shopping isn’t just one individual’s wish list, it requires keeping in mind the needs of everybody in the family. Whether it is a family of twelve, or a household of two, if this is strategically planned, it can work wonders. Here are a few ways to help you while you go shopping for groceries.

How To Shop Efficiently

Make a List
This is a must for all shoppers, irrespective of the fact whether you are a frugal shopper or a squanderer. List down everything you and other family members require. Don’t do this in a hurry. Start making a list a few days before you actually plan to make a trip to the local supermarket. This gives you enough time to check your refrigerator and storage containers in the kitchen. Check if other members want to add to the list.

Classify your List
Divide your list into broad sections: vegetables, dairy, spices, snacks, toiletries, etc. This will help you remember if there is something missing in the list, and help you pick up exactly what you need from a particular section in a store.

Ready-to-cook Meals
These are things you often forget in your shopping list, and then feel stressed out when you are in no mood to cook an elaborate meal. Ready-to-cook meals come handy occasionally. Stock them up.

Make a Budget
You definitely aren’t going to spend all your money on grocery. Plan how much of your earnings should be kept aside for the grocery. There are many products in the market to tempt you to spend more. Try not to overshoot your budget. Trust me, there are lots of things you can do with the saved money.

Take Somebody Along
Yes, you know your job well. But no harm requesting a family member to accompany you if the list is long. However, take someone who is not a wastrel. This way you can get some good advice and also get some help to move out of the store fast.

Make a Trip During Off-peak Hours
Not only will you get enough parking space if you go to the store when it is not crowded, but you will also be to finish your shopping faster. The long lines at the cash counters can be really frustrating. Avoid going on weekends or major holidays. Most stores also tend to finish their stock during peak hours, so you might miss out on something that you desperately need.

Check Out the Best Bargains
Read every offer carefully. Maybe you can get a good deal. Check out the pamphlets and banners displayed for the customers. Ask questions if you have doubts, but don’t get swayed by the offers. This is not the last time the store is offering a discount. You can come back later. Where is the bargain if you are buying things just for fun?

Start From the First Section
When you move systematically, you know exactly what you need. You can definitely browse around. But then look at your list. Is that mentioned on your list? Is that something you really need? Move fast if you don’t need it now.

Don’t Compromise on the Price and Brand
If you feel that the store you went shopping last week has a better range of tea bags, don’t buy them from this store. Mark it in your list, so you don’t forget to buy the tea bags from the other store. Also, if you feel apples at a particular supermarket are more expensive compared to another market your friends told you about, avoid buying them from here. Shop wisely.

Never Just Grab Items at Eye Level
Always look on the shelves above and below, probably that is where what you need exactly is. Stores often have wide-ranging brands and products in different quantities. Check out the right quantity pack. You don’t need to horde things in your kitchen.

Avoid Looking Back
Give a final glance to your list before you arrive at the cash counter. Once at the cash counter, don’t just keep going back to the shelves to grab things again and again. There are other people waiting in the line and their time needs to be respected.

Keep An Eye on the Cash Register
The person at the counter can make a mistake, so be careful of what he is billing you for. Make sure you remind him if there are any freebies on any products. Check if all the products you picked up have been carefully put in your bag.

Avoid Plastic Bags
Lead by example. Carry your own cloth bag as far as possible. Be sensitive to the environmental concerns.

If you follow these tips, you can have a pleasant shopping experience, where you will have gotten all you needed, and save a few bucks as well.