How to Stay On Budget at the Grocery Market

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Groceries are getting more and more expensive all the time, so to keep your spending under control you need to know how to stay on budget at the grocery market.

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There are lots of ways you can save on groceries such as knowing how to use coupons, shopping sales, or buying different things at different stores, but in this article we are going to explore something a bit different. It is very easy to wander up and down the grocery store aisles and grab everything that looks good to you, but here are three ways to shop that will help to keep you on target and on budget.

Only What I Can Hold

The first way is the one most likely to keep you on budget. The concept is simple. You only get to purchase what you can hold. No carts or baskets are allowed. Yes, this means you may be stopping by the store more often, but if you try this method you will notice that you eliminate the unnecessary items very quickly in favor of what you really need. It is very hard to impulse shop when you can only carry 8 or 10 items at a time.

People will look at you funny, but don’t let it bother you. When you get to the register you will be happy with the low price of your groceries and even happier that you aren’t holding extra bags of chips or sweets that you didn’t really need. About one-third of the time I walk into a grocery store, I choose the ‘only what I can hold’ method of grocery shopping.

Just a Basket Please

The second way is a step up from the only what I can hold method, but you still don’t get a cart. This time, you seek out and carry the handheld basket around the store. This basket works well if you have irregular things on your list like produce or several small items that you need to get, since holding them would be difficult. However, the basket is a limiting cap on the amount of groceries you can buy while on this trip, so you won’t spend on things you don’t really need.

I love shopping with a handheld basket. I can get through the aisles even after work when they are busy and I rarely stray from my shopping list since I only have so much space. I shop this way about one-third of the time as well, and I get in and out of the store quickly. With the basket, weight is also a factor. Once that basket starts to get heavy you will want to head up front to check out.

A List Must Accompany A Cart

How to Stay On Budget at the Grocery Market, Seekyt

The third method is necessary from time to time, and that is to yous a shopping cart. But wait! Before you get to use a cart there is one requirement. You must shop from a list. Period. A shopping cart is a marketing ploy by the store. Believe it. There is a reason it is so comfortable to push and holds a whole lot. If you had to put your groceries in bags while you shopped you might realize when you have 4 bags of groceries, but in that huge cart it doesn’t look like so much.

Let’s face it. Sometimes you have to use the cart. After all, who wants to carry around a 24 pack of toilet paper or a jug of laundry detergent. That being said, you really need to shop from a list to stay on budget at the grocery market. If you don’t you are not going to save enough money. All of those items may be cheap but if you accumulate 100 of them you are not going to like checkout.

Using a list can be a pain, so if you are not the paper and pen kind of person but have a smart phone consider one of the many free apps that allow you to make a list and check things off as you go through the store. It’s easy and you can organize your list by grocery market sections to make your shopping trip fast and easy.

I shop with a cart in the remaining one-third of my trips, and I am very serious about my list, though I admit I add 2 or 3 items here and there. You have to be serious about it if you want to stay on budget.

What’s Your Container of Choice?

So you have what you can hold, the basket, or the cart with the required list. What are you going to use the next time you want to stay on budget at the grocery market? Mix it up a little and see how it goes.

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How to Stay On Budget at the Grocery Market, Seekyt
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.