How to Shop Like a Pro
When I was younger, I loved going grocery shopping with my mum. There was something magical about picking things off the shelf, ticking them off the list as you went along and finally getting home to pack them away neatly with everything in its place. I’m almost sure it was only fun for me and not so much for my mum because there was always the part where you had to pay for all the stuff. Knowing me, I had thrown in some ‘must have’ items like expensive shower gel that she didn’t even notice. Fast forward to the future and while I enjoy shopping, I have had to become more deliberate about it. I can’t just walk in to the supermarket because those random trips always end up costing you more than you anticipated.
With the new month just starting off, a few tips on making your shopping trip as painless and as efficient seems like the noble thing to share.
Never go in without a plan
I have mentioned before that lists are everything. I have a little notebook that houses all my lists and if I ever lost it, I would be doomed. I do extensive shopping lists because I shop from multiple stores to get the best deals. Typically, my lists include supermarket shopping, wholesale shopping, fresh produce shopping and miscellaneous (one off items in speciality stores). If my list isn’t ready or if I haven’t done the once over around the house to see what I need, I don’t go into the store. I’ve found that even when I randomly scribble a list before the trip I end up forgetting things. Worse, I end up buying things I want rather than need. Track everything you buy and need to buy. It will make the next month’s shopping easier as all you will need to do is edit it out (if you use an app on your phone it’s even easier).
Keep looking out for the best deals
The life of a frugal (ish) mum means that we’re always on the lookout for the best deals. In the beginning, it gets old fast because it isn’t second nature. When you start out, every two for one deal seems like a winner until you dissect it and realise it actually isn’t. While I don’t advocate for running to every single store to compare prices, I do champion keeping tabs on how much different things cost in various shops (There’s that list again!) With every shopping trip, you can make a small note against the item about the price so that when you see a deal elsewhere, you can compare the price and see if you’re actually saving. This is one of those lists that you grow for yourself over time so don’t stress about it immediately.
Be consistent about when you shop
There’s something to be said about consistency by every successful person I know. It yields results. Now you might not be building a shopping empire but stocking your house for the best value is pretty damn close! I shop around the same time every month never leaving it for later than the first week of the month. I like to get it out of the way and starting a new month with a fresh batch of shopping is easier for me to monitor and track. The predictability of when I shop also allows me to block time off on my calendar to do it so that nothing comes up. If things run out unexpectedly, you end up running to the supermarket (or the super expensive convenience store at the petrol station) to pick rice or sugar and come out with a new nail colour, some potato chips and something you saw on offer. But if you plan for it, you can (mostly) avoid it.
What are your pro shopping tips? I would love to know! Drop me a line below.