We visit the supermarket regularly, yet few of us are aware of how our shopping habits can impact our budget. To help you, here's a list of the most common shopping mistakes we tend to make. You'll also learn how to save on purchases without sacrificing on quality.
1. Shopping for products in the wrong order
Once you enter a supermarket it may be hard to limit the number of items we buy. But, if you can't resist filling your cart to the brim, at least start your shopping at the vegetable department. Fruits and veg will take up lots of space so there will be less room for other items.
2. Not knowing the prices of products you buy regularly
Memorize or write down the prices of the products you buy regularly. This will help you not fall for 'fake sales' whereby the price remains the same, when it is marked as reduced. So, the next time you go to a supermarket, this technique will enable you to make fewer unplanned purchases and take better advantage of genuine discounts.
3. Not planning ahead
This doesn't just stop at your shopping list, but your home meal menus for the coming week as well. Preplanning your meals from Monday to Friday will enable you to know which products to buy to prepare the dishes. In addition, you're also less likely to make useless purchases.
4. Not paying attention to the weight of the produce
If there are similar sized packages on the shelf, such as butter, one of which is slightly cheaper than the other, check the weight before you buy. It is likely that the pricier package which weighs more will be worth its value more than the cheaper alternative.
5. Ignoring the store’s own brands
These days most supermarkets sell a variety of goods under its own label. Such food tends to cost less than those produced by well-known manufacturers. Also, their quality is still of a high standard. The only difference is in the less colorful packaging. Such products are made by the same factories that service popular brands.
6. Not trying new products
While we may have our favorite products and brands, manufacturers of new, little-known brands often sell quality goods at a significantly lower price. Trying new things will not only save you money, you may just discover tastier and healthier foods.
7. Not keeping an eye on discounts
Check your supermarket's website or leaflets to discover discounts, enabling you to find the best offers.
8. Avoiding inexpensive products
Basic items like cereals, sugar, salt, spices and other similar items can be purchased at a very reasonable price. For instance, ordinary packaged sugar is just as good as products sold in attractive packaging.
9. Choosing items that are nearest to the front edge of the shelf
If you want the freshest products, always reach for items at the back of the shelves. Shop employees are known to reserve the front of the shelves for food with a use-by date that is about to expire.
10. Falling prey to marketing ploys
Be on the look out for products such as vegetable oil 'with vitamin E', 'without GMOs', etc as all of these marketing gimmicks have a good effect on sales. Before opting for these products ask yourself if they are really so exclusive. Vitamin E can be found in sunflower seeds, and for this reason, it should be present in sunflower oil. GMOs can only be found in foods of plant or animal origin- items which are not of such origins, such as salt, should be excluded.