Grocery shopping can be an expensive part of your monthly budget. Most people will agree with the previous statement and because every household has a monthly grocery expenditure this article is for you. The savings elements discussed here could save you hundreds of dollars every year. With the cash crisis we are experiencing in Zimbabwe at the moment, every cent saved goes a long way. We shared this article with a few readers prior to sharing on here and the general feedback was folks realizing that managing their grocery shopping expenditure could answer half their cash problems.
There are a few things you can do to ensure you save money every time you buy groceries online or at your local grocery store.
1. Create a Grocery Shopping Budget
A budget is a spending plan for your money. Creating one for your groceries will help you keep a close eye on your spending habits and help you avoid over-spending or abusing your money during grocery shopping. For more on budgets you can read our previous article on budgets here (Budget – Create One for Your Home).
2. Make a Shopping List
This is a list that is supported by your budget or plan. It’s what will help you to stay within budget once you are actually in the grocery store. Having a list will help you avoid impulse buying and to get in and out of the grocery store in record time.
3. Plan Your Meals
Not knowing what you will eat later makes it difficult for you to plan on the groceries you need to buy now for your meals resulting in potentially buying groceries you don’t need. You end up wasting money because it could have been used on something you actually need and half the time those groceries end up going bad in your fridge or pantry. As you can see the first 3 tips focus on planning, planning and more planning.
4. Empty Stomach
This is something most people don’t consider. Think back to when you went grocery shopping on an empty stomach and you will remember the regret you felt afterwards. When you shop hungry or on an empty stomach you have less self-control and you are more susceptible to impulse buying.
5. Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk can save you lots of money if managed well. You don’t want to end up with too much of something and then have to throw out much of it when it goes bad especially with more perishable foods. To save you can also team up with another house-hold so that you enjoy the volume discounts and share the groceries so that you don’t run the risk of perishables going bad in your storage. Of course you don’t necessarily need a shopping club for non-perishables; you will save a lot of money by buying things like tooth paste and soap in bulk if your grocery offers volume discounts.
6. Shop Around
Price comparing is the smart way to shop around. Always believe that someone else is potentially offering the product you are looking for at a discount… so the only way to not miss out on the saving is to shop around and price compare. The list you created in ‘2’ above makes it easier for you to price compare relevant grocery items that you need to buy, otherwise you could land yourself in big trouble for blindly comparing groceries.
7. Be Careful With Items on Special
There is a reason items go on special and there is a good reason for their placement in the store and the design of the flyers or printing them on attractive glossy paper; it’s to make you buy the grocery items whether you intended to or not. Adhering to your list from ‘2’ above will help you to stay within your budget from ‘1’ and save money by not falling for impulse buying that is part of the goal with the marketing done by your local grocery store.
8. Scheduled Shopping Days
Making too many trips to the grocery store exposes you to more marketing and advertising meant to tap into your impulsive shopping habits. Have you ever needed to dash to the store just for a loaf of bread then once you got there thought, “I didn’t come all the way here just for one loaf. I might as well grab a bit of this and a few of this and that”? That’s another example of impulse buying that can be avoided by sticking to scheduled shopping days. To avoid increasing the temptation to impulse buy, you must select specific days designated to grocery shopping. Most people find that an average of one or two grocery shopping trips is adequate for them. You have to try and limit your to about the same (two or less) to help stay within budget and focused on your planned groceries rather than the impulse buying that takes more money out of your wallet.
9. Find a Discount Coupon
Sadly the idea of using discount coupons at the till is frowned upon by most; it’s just not a culture most Zimbabweans like to do. BUT you will be amazed at how much money you save if you find a discount coupon and use it for your grocery shopping. There are many places to find grocery discount coupons including your local newspaper or the new www.findadiscount.co.zw FREE platform for both sellers and buyers to more effectively market discount coupons. So the next time you want to buy something, have find a discount on findadiscount.co.zw and save on your groceries. As more grocery shops and sellers become aware of the findadiscount platform, you can expect the range of discount coupons to increase and for you to save even more.
10. Shop Online
This is a relatively new shopping option for most Zimbabweans. The sector offers much opportunity for both shoppers and sellers. The few online grocery stores currently available in Zimbabwe don’t all offer cost savings to shoppers. It’s important that you price compare and choose the right online grocery store that will save you money and offer you great convenience and other benefits you are looking for. Probably the most promising online grocery store is www.groceries.zimshoppingmalls.com because of the lower prices on most of the products and affordable delivery options for shoppers. Although this grocery store is not fully functional I am excited to see it fully online and offering price saving promotions and professionalism expected from our team.
There are many other ways to save money on your grocery shopping. We hope that you have enjoyed the above and will try to apply these money saving tips soon, perhaps shopping for your next groceries or a gift for the upcoming Mother’s Day on May 14th.
Share with us your thoughts in the comments section below…
University of Zimbabwe graduate, Honors in Sociology. Former model, TV Presenter and MC. Blogger, lover of food and all things artsy. I am loving my role in Social Media Marketing in Zimbabwe and educating clients on the ecommerce ecosystem era. Wife to one, mother to two and friend to many 🙂