Do you find that you're always spending more than you meant to at the grocery store? It happens to all of us. The good news is there are some very simple tips you can use to make sure you stick to your budget. Whether it means making a list or eating before you shop, you can cut down on the unnecessary items that seem to sneak into your cart.
1. Make a List and Stick to It
How often do you make a grocery list? A list can be a great way to make sure you get the things you need, but if you find yourself adding items to the cart that aren't on the list, try making a game. For example, see how quickly you can get in and out of the store. This forces you to focus on your list and doesn't give you time to make impulse buys.
2. Use the Envelope System
Another great tip that will force you to stick to your budget is using the cash envelope system. The envelope system has you set aside a certain amount for an expense in an envelope each pay period.
The purpose is to help you avoid overspending by using cash. Take the envelope with you and leave the debit cards at home. This will force you to stick to your budget.
3. Eat Before You Shop
A big mistake everyone makes from time to time is to go shopping on an empty stomach. Suddenly, everything looks good. When you get home though, you may wonder why you bought meat sticks and potato chips that weren't on your list. You may even buy things you normally wouldn't even consider.
Eat a meal before shopping so that your tummy doesn't do the shopping for you.
4. Leave the Kids at Home
Bringing your kids to the grocery store always leads to overspending, whether it be too many boxes of sugary cereal or candy bars that seem to magically appear on the conveyor belt. Either way, it's best to shop while the kids are in school or to leave them at home with your spouse if you can.
5. Keep Your Eyes Forward in the Checkout Lane
Last, but not least, don't look around in the checkout lane. This can be such a mistake. Candy is much more expensive per ounce in the checkout lane as is everything else. Instead, focus on making sure you got everything on your list, that your coupons are in order, and that your payment is handy. Don't fall for these overpriced items.
There are so many different ways that you might overspend at the grocery store, but there are ways to stick to your budget as well. Whether you leave the kids at home or avoid checkout lane impulse buys, you can stick to your grocery budget.