Do you ever find yourself stopped in the middle of the grocery store trying to remember that really important item your husband/wife/son/daughter asked you to pick up, but can’t remember for the life of you? Do you often wonder why you are waiting in a seemingly endless checkout line? I probably won’t be the first to tell you this, but your time is worth something and you shouldn’t be spending so much of it shopping for your weekly groceries.
In today’s post I am going to reveal four easily adoptable habits that you can start doing immediately to save you both your valuable time & money as it relates to your frequent trips to the grocery store.
What are the 4 Savings Habits You Need To Start Doing Immediately?
- Go through your local stores weekly circulars for sales and deals… ahead of time
I can’t tell you how many times I have been thrown off by NOT knowing about a great deal on something ahead of time. When this happens, it not only adds to the time I spend in-store trying to decide if I want to get the item, but also to my expenses when I DO decide to get it.
I personally get a total of three store circulars from the different grocery stores in my area and I make sure to go through each of them to see who has the best deals and on what products. Most of the times, the sales don’t overlap so it comes down to what I am shopping for, ultimately determining where I shop that week. For example Hannaford might have a sale on Chicken Thighs for $1.99/lb (save $0.50/lb) and Market Basket might have a sale on Chicken Breasts for $1.99/lb (save $1/lb), I’d likely go with Market Basket’s Chicken Breast sale because I like Chicken Breast more than I like Chicken Thighs.
So start going through your local stores circulars and make notes of what is on sale & what you will need to get and then…
- Make a List & Check it Twice
Once you have read through the circulars and have made a few notes for the groceries you need that are on sale, make a full list of everything you will need to get on your next shopping trip! This is the most important habit on this list. Why, you ask? It is the secret power for getting in and out of the grocery store without 1. forgetting something and 2. getting any expensive add-ons. A good list = Time and Money well saved.
Take this one step further (as I often do) and organize your shopping list by the different isles/sections in the grocery store so that like-products are together. Each grocery store will vary in terms of its layout, but generally speaking the perimeter of the store consists of the produce section, deli/meat section and milk & other diary while all frozen and packaged foods are located within the store’s isles. By organizing your list this way, your shopping trip becomes a lot more efficient and effective by not having to run back and forth because you missed an item in a section you’ve already visited.
- Look for and print/clip coupons & redeem rebates for products that are on-sale and/or on your list for extra savings
It seems that coupons are available everywhere these days, so be sure to take advantage of them! Your first stop should, of course, be CouponSurfer. We have over 400 manufacturer coupons, in a wide variety of categories and brands, that you can easily print from home to really add to your savings at checkout.
Also be sure to check the coupon inserts from your Sunday papers and clip coupons for items that you have on your shopping list or for items that you may purchase in the near future – just be aware of the expiration date!
Lastly, you may recall my recent post on the new mobile app solution Ibotta. As a refresher, you can use Ibotta in conjunction with you printed coupons to double-up savings for some products but more importantly, you can save incrementally by redeeming rebates for items of which no coupons are available, i.e. fresh produce and milk.
- Avoid the long lines…DON’T Grocery Shop on the Weekends
Research over the years has reveled that Saturday’s and Sunday’s tend to be the busiest grocery shopping days of the week…which makes a lot of sense considering the amount of people that work M-F 9-5. However since your time is important, an easy way to get some of it back is to try moving your grocery shopping to Monday or Tuesday instead.
By switching to Monday or Tuesday, you’ll still be able to take advantage of the great sales you sought out in the circulars, without the ridiculously long lines. And remember, if a product on your list is out of stock and is on sale, ask for a rain check!
Depending on your work schedule, you may not be able to avoid shopping on the weekends. If you fall into this category my advice is to then choose the time you go shopping wisely… now that Football season has officially kicked off I would recommend shopping on Sunday’s between 1pm – 7pm!
They may seem simple, but I promise you that by adopting these 4 habits you are bound to save a bunch of time and money in the long-run. Have you had luck in saving money and/or time by adopting any of these habits already? I want to know! Leave me a reply in the comment section below and be sure to share this post with your friends and family, so they too adopt these savings habits too.