According to recent reports, an average family may be spending more on their groceries than necessary. Even with coupons and discounts, shoppers have the tendency to go beyond their budget at least once or twice during their supermarket trips. To avoid falling in the same pitfall, here are some of the common supermarket mistakes shoppers commit that you should avoid:
Shopping on a weekly basis
According to some experts, shopping on a weekly basis is not entirely a wise move financially because you tend to pay full price for at least half of what you buy. Rather than buy only what you need for the week, it is recommended to stock up on items that are on sale and you know you’ll always use. Avoid buying perishable items in bulk unless you have a freezer. To take advantage of sales, make sure to check your stores’ sale schedules and sync your shopping accordingly.
Shopping without a list
Avoid going to the supermarket without a list on hand. If you shop according to whim, you tend to overspend because there’s no list guiding you on what to buy. Remember that the supermarket is full of enticing and tempting items. The list is one way to avoid getting tempted and spending more than what you bargained for.
Sticking too rigidly on your list
While bringing a list is one way to stay on budget, you don’t have to be rigid about following it all the way through. You need to leave room for flexibility especially when it comes to sticking with your recipes for the week. Studies suggest that only two out of ten items in a recipe will be on sale. You might want to plan recipes according to what’s sale if you want to save more money on groceries.
Failing to use coupons
Coupons are available to lure customers to shop. Take advantage of these discounts as they can add up to a significant sum in the long run. With the help of mobile apps, you also don’t need to carry around stacks of coupons. All you have to do now is download the right app and you have a virtual collection of coupons and discounts handy whenever you head to the supermarket.
Buying pre-packaged produce
If you’re after convenience, prepared produce may seem like the perfect choice but they aren’t always the most economical. In fact, pre-packaged produce is believed to be at least three times more costly than its counterpart. You also should take into consideration that fresh produce spoil faster. It’s best to buy only what you need for the week to avoid waste.
Failing to use the store loyalty card
If you shop at the same supermarket store month after month, it makes sense to use the store loyalty card. As incentive to loyal members, you may be able to avail more discounts and special offers when you shop for your groceries. Apply for a loyalty card if you don’t have one yet and make sure to swipe it every time you buy groceries to accumulate points and rewards.
Not checking the cost per unit
In order to have a clear and right picture of your items’ cost, make sure to check the cost per unit on the tag. Most supermarkets have this displayed on their shelves so it’s easier for customers to compare prices. The cost per unit detail is especially helpful when the net weight of the product differ from brand to brand. To save money, you naturally should opt for the one with the lowest cost per unit.
Failing to double check your receipt
Before you leave the store, go home and unpack those groceries, make sure to double check your receipt. While store clerks rarely make mistakes, it can still happen from time to time. By checking your receipt, you make sure that you got the right on sale prices and coupon discounts for your items. If you spot any discrepancies on your receipt, head over to the customer service desk and you should get instant refund for the error.