Becoming a MoneyWise shopper helps you become a better steward over all the resources God has given you, which includes your time and money. After all, why spend more money on food than you have to?
To avoid overspending on food, then start with a plan— after all, grocery store marketers have one for you! They want you to spend as much time as possible in their stores. Studies show that the more time you spend in the store, the more money you will spend. The displays are even set up for that purpose.
For example, have you noticed the food bins or tables located at the front of the store, the ones that you have to navigate your cart around to get to your destination? The bins are strategically placed because marketers hope that a few of the items in the bins will end up in your cart.
If you want to avoid overspending on food, then use the following plan on your next grocery store visit:
1. Figure out how much money you will spend before going to the store. Otherwise, it’s like giving the store a blank check.
2. Shop with a list and calculator. Shopping lists help you shorten your time in the store and avoid buying items that you do not need. The calculator helps you stay within your budget.
3. Check prices carefully at the cash register to avoid being overcharged if items ring up with the wrong prices. You would be surprised at how often they do.
- Focus on foods located on or near the walls (store perimeter). This is usually where the healthier foods are, like fruits, vegetables, and protein (fish, poultry, low fat dairy). Processed foods high in fat, salt, starch, and sugar are usually located in the inside aisles, so shop these aisles last and don’t stay in them very long!
- If you locate an item that you want, always look at prices for similar items on the top and bottom shelves. Items that are eye level are generally higher priced than the ones near the top and bottom shelves.
- Avoid buying items at the cash register and on the end caps (the displays at the end of the aisles). Food manufacturers pay grocery stores for placement in these prime locations and the items featured there typically have a higher profit margin.
If you see an item you want at the register or end cap, then find it in its normal location. Chances are, you will find another almost like it—but at a cheaper price.
- Finally, never shop when you are hungry; everything looks good, plus you will end up buying items that you do not need.
It might take a little more thought to become a MoneyWise shopper, but the process will pay off in the time saved and in the extra dollars in your wallet.