We have all done it a million times! We go to the grocery store with a set budget, but by the time we check out, our budget is out the window. You think you can add one more thing to your cart, or you suddenly get a craving for something on the shelf, and before you know it your spending way more than your budget allowed. Use these grocery shopping tips to stay on budget:
Eat Before you Shop: Did you know going to the store hungry can make you spend up to 50% more than you actually need to. When you shop while you’re hungry, your cravings tell you that you need everything on the shelf. Never go to the store hungry if you want to get out alive!
Always Have a List: If you are going to the store, even for a few items, stick to the list! If you have a list, you are less likely to put other things in your cart. A list helps you know exactly what you need and not have you second guessing whether you need peanut butter or not.
Know Your Store Before You Go: If you have to walk through tempting aisles before you get to the aisle you need, chances are you’ve already gone over budget. Instead, know where your needed items are in the store and go through the door closest to your items.
Make it a Race: You don’t have to go running through the store, but seriously set yourself a time limit. If you only have 30 minutes to spend in the store, you will spend less time “shopping” and more time getting only the things on your list. Race to get the items on your list, and get out of there.
Stay Out of the Snack aisle: Unless you absolutely have to get snacks (meaning it’s on your list), stay out of the snack aisle. Those snacks may not seem like a lot, but they can sure add up. A bag of chips, salsa, some cookies, and a pop may not seem like a lot, but all those things together will put you over the budget.
Go to a Boring Lane: Ok, so all lanes are boring to stand in, but go to the lane with the least amount of tempting stuff in it. While you’re standing in line waiting, those little chapsticks, pops, Reese’s bites, and beef jerky are going to become more and more appealing. So, instead of tempting yourself, stand in a line less likely to break your budget.
Use Only Cash: You can’t really break your budget if you don’t have enough money to pay for everything. Leave your debit and credit cards at home and pay the old fashioned way. Take out only the cash you budgeted for your grocery bill and you will be sure to stay on budget.
It’s always such a drag to stay on budget, but when everything works out well at the end of the month and you have a little bit extra, you will be thankful you stayed at your budget. What other tips do you have to stay on budget?