May 13, 2009

Successful Grocery Shopping

Successful Grocery Shopping   [Main Story]

capGrocery shopping can quickly become expensive, and shoppers sometimes end up with too much dessert and not enough wholesome food. The following rules can help curb unnecessary spending:

      • Create a list beforehand and stick to it. If you remember what you need, you can obtain essential items without duplicating foods.

      • Eat before you shop. Hunger makes many unnecessary items more appealing than usual. (I speak from experience!)

      • Draft a food budget and stick to it. If you allot a certain amount of money to buy groceries each month, you can gauge your purchases by the costs of food.

      • If you can, pay in cash. This provides a tangible “limit” of the amount you can actually spend, so it ultimately helps you stay within your budget.

      • Limit yourself to as few luxury items as possible. An occasional treat 
is OK, but luxury items aren’t necessary for dietary nutrition—and they tend to be more costly.

      • Avoid prepackaged items. True, they cook more quickly, but buying the basic ingredients and fixing the meal from scratch can save money.

      • Remember that fresh foods and produce spoil quickly. Produce is one of the most expensive products to buy, because it is sold by weight and the shelf life is far shorter than other foods. Buy your fruits and vegetables in small amounts each week so that you are guaranteed fresh produce.

      • Don’t write off generic brands. Sometimes a knock-off tastes better—and it’s usually cheaper! Experiment with a variety of goods and products to see what suits your tastes best.

      • Check out more than one grocery store. Products are not all priced the same at every grocery store. You may buy produce at one store, while boxed goods might be cheaper at another.
—Bonnie McLean