Many of you have made a decision to “shop better” in 2015. While there are certainly steps to take toward developing a stockpile so you can shop from home, there also are some basic tips that can help you become a better shopper -- and in turn, save you more money.
First, do the prep work. For some, the advance prep work involves combing through the sales inserts found in The Telegraph each week.
For others, the prep work is a digital experience. Personally, I find that using digital information helps me save more money.
I leave the hard work of finding the sales, determining which coupons to add to the sales prices, and figuring up the final prices to the experts.
Because I shop at Publix often, I use a website named “I Heart Publix” for that help. There are websites dedicated to helping you save money that feature the deals at nearly every grocery store out there.
If you are not sure which website to use in determining what sales are going on at your favorite store, start by using a website like Southern Savers, Hot Coupon World or Hip2Save.
All three of these sites are a “conglomeration,” of sorts -- they do not simply focus on one store, but rather offer information for saving in a variety of places.
Second, once you’ve discovered what items are on sale, which coupons you need for the best deals, and the quantities you’ll be purchasing, make sure you have a complete list.
One way people (including myself) blow the budget regularly is by making impulse purchases. Make a list and stick to it.
Now, there are times when I go to shop and find that the items I need are not in stock. Once I have acquired my rain checks, I may choose to investigate some other items that are on sale and for which I have coupons.
But overall, I really do try to avoid picking up any items that are not on my list.
Third, allow yourself time to shop.
We are all pushed for time, but often I find myself spinning my wheels, so to speak.
If I run in to a store hoping to rush, rush, rush through the shopping process, I will likely miss some deals, overlook an item, or become frustrated that I am not able to shop at my own pace.
Try to find a time that you can shop when the store is less crowded and you are less rushed.
Yes, it may require rethinking your schedule, but the savings and the less-rushed feeling you will experience will be worth it.
Fourth, and finally, commit to make one trip to the grocery store per week. Reaching this goal is possible only if you have truly accomplished goals one and two in this column.
Without the prep work and having a complete list of the items you need, you will surely find yourself back at the grocery store multiple times during the week. It goes without saying, the more times you find yourself in the grocery store, the more money you will spend during the week.
Save yourself time and money by visiting the grocery store only once per week.
These are just a few of the ways you can create better shopping habits, which will allow you to save money.
At the very least, these habits should at least keep you from spending as much money at the store as you have in the past.