5 Essential Habits of Super Savers: Supermarket Savvy
Last Monday, I wrote about shopping habits that help stores lower costs, which in turn helps them to keep costs down for consumers. This week, I give you essential five habits that will directly lower your costs.
1. Only buy what you need, and store it well. Experts calculate that Americans throw out an estimated 25% of the food we buy. If you spend $100 a week, that’s $25 (or $1,300 a year!) that you’re throwing in the trash. Would you throw that many dollar bills away? Shop with a list, and click here for food storage tips.
2. Plan your menus before you shop. I do weekly menu plans, based on what’s on sale. Menu plans help you create a good shopping list, which you need for aforementioned habit #1. A good list also keeps you from running to the store more than you need to, which can cut down on the number of impulse items you buy.
3. Buy ingredients, not packaged foods (but know your limits). Packaged foods are typically more expensive than buying individual ingredients for a recipe that you make at home. But be honest with yourself. Will you use that can of tomatoes to make pasta sauce? Or will that seem impossibly hard after a long day? If you’ll keep ignoring it in your cupboard and ordering pizza, spend the extra cash on prepared sauce that you’ll actually use.
4. Buy staples in bulk. It’s true you can combine sales with coupons to score some things super-cheap, but it’s generally worth it to buy staples in large quantities. If that overwhelms you, find a friend to split bulk purchases.
5. Budget time as well as money. That means create a schedule, and make sure it includes time each week for prepping food. Pre-make rice, bake and freeze healthy muffins, simmer some soups. Having items ready to go means you’re less likely to splurge on convenience foods.
Shop smart and save! Check out more tips on couponing and savvy shopping!