It is evident that groceries are really expensive these days and it is, therefore, fair to help you and other women with a few hacks or tips when it comes to grocery shopping. It is National Women’s Month after all.
In honour of you and other fabulous South African women, here are nine recommended ‘grocery shopping hacks’ that you can consider:
- Make sure you do your meal planning in advance and have a shopping list ready BEFORE you enter the store.
Divide your list into the following categories: meat/poultry, canned goods, frozen items, produce/fruit and veg as well as other. Remember to plan your meals according to seasonal produce.
- Limit your grocery shopping outings to once or twice a month.
This will encourage you to plan ahead and save on fuel costs / travel trips. Remember (if you have kids) to preferably go shopping on days when the little ones can be left at home. This can help you to avoid buying unnecessary items.
- If you don’t need to buy many items – avoid using a big shopping cart.
Why not use a basket instead? Remember: the bigger the size of the cart, the bigger the opportunity to add more items to your grocery bill.
- Do the math when choosing between individual items/parts and bulk.
Work out what ten individual coffee sachets will cost you versus a box of ten or a whole chicken versus single parts (like the wings or drumsticks etc.) for example. Remember that the ‘bulk sale’ sticker does NOT always imply a real discount.
- Don’t go into the store on an empty stomach.
Eat something before you go shopping to avoid those impulse buys. Plus, it can avoid those feelings of guilt arising afterwards.
- Consider doing veggie, meat or fruit buys at a family market in your area.
You can then play your part in supporting the local/surrounding farmers. But, do your research beforehand and make sure that the produce etc. is indeed fresh and affordable.
- Keep a lookout for regular grocery specials.
You can take a look in the local newspaper, brochures, those printed marketing boards or billboards and online ads. Remember to also compare prices from various outlets, stores and brands to make sure the products or items you want to buy are indeed on ‘special’.
- Don’t forget about online grocery shopping options.
These days there are various online platforms to choose from – do your research well, try and save on fuel costs in the process and ask for recommendations via social media or other communication networks as well as community groups that you are aware of.
- Keep your eyes fixed on the supermarket scanner.
Manual or digital errors can occur when it comes to the grocery bill you have to pay. Don’t get caught by surprise when ‘extra products’ make their way to your overall grocery bill. Remember to always try and scan through your bill to make sure you did not pay for anything extra.
Why not give one or a few of these ‘grocery hacks’ a try? And, don’t let grocery shopping unnerve you when it comes to your pocket or hard-earned cash.
One final tip: recognise the signs when you find yourself in a ‘financial danger zone’. If you start using excessive credit to pay for your living costs like groceries, you know you are in quite a bit of trouble. There are various financial and debt related professionals that can assist you before your debt becomes a burden. So, don’t hesitate, rather communicate.
Happy grocery shopping and National Women’s Month to you and all your lady friends out there.