I find supermarket trips therapeutic. I get to spend alone time plus I enjoy discovering new products sold in the market. Unfortunately, grocery trips could mean “gastos” and if I’m not too careful, my grocery bill might balloon up. There was a time the husband and I spent more than P10,000 in our weekly grocery – and we only had one kid that time! When we were just starting, we also go to S&R to buy food for the weekend even if we went to Landmark already the day before.
Thankfully, we learned and we are now wiser with our spending. Here’s what we did: 1. Don’t bring the kids.
This is my cardinal rule when it comes to grocery shopping. In my experience, kids tend to point at whatever is enticing to their eyes and throw a fit slash (inadvertently) make a scene in case they didn’t get what they want. Aside from causing a scene and the annoyed look from other shoppers, buying what your child wants could mean additional pesos on your grocery bill. In my case, my kids want branded snacks – and a pack of Chips Ahoy doesn’t come cheap.
In case you insist on bringing your little one, avoid aisles that could trigger “Buy me this” moment.
2. Stick to a list.
I always make a list of things I need to buy in the grocery – and made sure to stick to it. It helps me buy within budget, which means added savings too.
Here’s another tip: make it a habit to check the expiration date. You don’t want to throw food away after a few days in your kitchen shelf, do you?
3. Buy in bulk or in biggest sizes.
I came from a big family, so I’m used to seeing my mom buy in bulk – tissue, detergent, toiletries, and anything we can store. From her experience, buying in bulk allowed her to save more compared to getting smaller sizes.
Since then, I made it a point to buy dry, long shelf life items like shampoo, conditioner, and my kids’ soap and lotion in bulk or in their biggest sizes. These items last for minimum of one month, which means I can allot the P1,000++ from the budget dedicated to these items to savings or other important items.
4. Fill your cart with fruits and veggies.
Do you want to save up from meat without compromising your health? Fill your cart with lots of fruits and vegetables. It minimizes meat consumption and at the same time, keeps us healthy. I always cook dishes with veggies either in it or on the side and so far, we were able to prolong meat in the freezer. 5. Place big items on the farthest part of the cart, where your eyes can easily see the big purchases.
Sometimes, you have to trick your eyes and make it believe that the cart is full. One of the things my husband and I do to “trick our eyes” is we place the biggest items on the farthest part of the cart. When I push the cart, it creates an illusion that the cart is full already. It worked, so far. 6. Avoid the unnecessary.
Everytime I go to the grocery, there is always this urge to go to the snacks and chocolates aisles and indulge myself with sweets. Of course, I didn’t give in since aside from health concerns, these treats are unnecessary and could add up to the total bill. After all, these treats and sweets don’t come cheap.
7. Bring your own plastic bag.
I have to put my hands down on the Quezon City officials for initiating this “No Plastic” movement. It minimized plastic use and helped save the environment. Despite the extra bulge in my bag, I still opted to bring my own grocery bags instead of paying P2.00 per plastic.
Fine, it’s just P2.00 (times 5 or 6, depending on the bulk of our grocery items), but it’s still an amount worth saving. Yes, I’m that kuripot.
If it’s any consolation, bringing your own plastic bag often comes with freebies. In the supermarket I frequent to, they usually partner with household brands and I get to try them for free since I bought my own plastic bag.
8. As much as possible, pay in cash.
This is a cardinal rule. My husband hates using credit card, though I find them convenient at times. With credit card, there is a tendency to go overboard and exceed the budget since you can “pay for it come payday.” As much as possible, we use cash to make us more aware of our spending. Plus, we hate the idea of paying for something at the end of the month (except for utilities, of course).
What about you mommas? Any grocery tips you would like to share?