Shopping well on a budget is a skill; One which many wish they had. When you consider the size of your income and you attempt matching it to everything on your wish list, you’ll quickly realize that you cannot afford to spend money with such reckless abandon. Unless perhaps you have a lot of disposable income to do away with.
Grocery shopping is a significant, if not compulsory expense in most Nigerian households and the most frequent too. Hence we cannot truly avoid it. But there are ways we can make it affordable. These 10 tips can help you the next time you need to shop for groceries.
1. Before you can shop on a budget remember you need to come up with the budget first. That is, a list of items you need in their order of priority and the estimated costs written alongside, so as to enable you arrive at a total cost. This will help to ensure that items on your list are within the scope of what you can afford.
2. Go shopping armed with your list and stick to it. Remember, the rule is DON’T BUY IF IT’S NOT ON YOUR LIST!
3. Shop on a full stomach. By doing this, sticking to your budget becomes one bit easier because the tendency to buy foods and snacks you did not budget for will be lesser (except you’re going shopping with the kids).
4. Plan your meals for the week before you shop, and buy only what is on the menu.
5. Reduce your shopping frequency to once a week, bi-weekly or even monthly, if its convenient for you; But avoid running to the market for ‘salt’ and ‘pepper’ every other day.
6. Buy foods that are in season, they tend to be cheaper – make foods that are in season a significant part of your menu.
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7. Do not buy in bulk, if it is something you do not use frequently. Buying in bulk might be cheap, but when you consider that buying something you do not need in bulk will tie down money that could be used to buy other essential items, you’ll see that its actually expensive when you buy and do not use.
8. Don’t go shopping when you are tired. Shopping is an activity that requires one to be physically and mentally active. Hence it is better to shop when you have the energy because we tend to make better choices when we are all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
9. It is better to pay for your shopping with cash, this way you’ll find it easier to stick to your budget. If you nonetheless wish to use a debit card, ensure it is a card that is tied to an account without a lot of money in it. If not, you might get carried away by how fancy it is swiping your card on the POS machine.
10. Lastly, make sure you use up what you bought before buying more – It is best to clean out your fridge and cupboard ahead of when you intend to shop next. By doing this, you’ll minimize waste and make certain that you do not buy more of something you already have or do not need.
Which tips did we miss? Tell us in the comments section.
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