Every journey looks different. However, there is a general trend in many couponers’ adventures. Come along as we take a closer look at Angie Erickson’s story.
As I shared last week, you need to do some homework so you can be in control of your spending instead of solely allowing the advertisements to guide your shopping trips. It is important to find out the sale cycles for the items you purchase as well as what is a good purchase price for those items.Ã‚ This week we will talk about how to shop with purpose.
1.Ã‚ Don’t go to the store without a list.
When I shop without a list, I almost always spend more money than what I had planned. You know the feeling: you get to the register and wait for your total as you try to hide the grimace on your face when you discover the extent of damage from your shopping spree.
Then you feel guilty about how your lack of planning has made a huge dent in your grocery budget for the week. It can happen to anyone; ask me how I know! If it happens to you, learn a lesson, move on, and bring a list next time you shop.
2.Ã‚ Stick to the list you’ve prepared.
I set out with a list that has the general total I will be spending. If I continually put random products into my cart, my total increases rapidly. Now, if I am in a store and realize that I forgot to list a staple item which I will need soon, I carefully calculate whether it is smart for me to purchase the item at the store where I currently am or if I should go to another store, possibly my “Everyday Go-To” store.
However, I do not want to run all over town to save $1.50 on an item. I have also realized that if I do go to my “Everyday Go-To” store for that one item, I sometimes end up purchasing more than that one item and spending more than the $1.50 difference, anyway!
3.Ã‚ Start simple.
When starting my money-saving journey, I ran myself ragged to get the best deals. Thankfully, over the past few years, I have learned that my time is important. I do not go to every store every week.
If you are just starting your journey, you may want to start with one or two stores. Then add on stores as you feel ready. (PYD’s note: Read my post on Four Stages of a Frugal ZealotÃ‚ for further discussion on the different stages you go through as a coupon/sale shopper.)
4.Ã‚ Consider all factors.
It is easy to see a great deal and snatch it up without taking the time to consider all factors involved. Perhaps you’ve already used your grocery budget for the week or maybe you will need to drive 20 minutes to get the deal.
The following is a list of things I consider when deciding which stores will get my business for the week:
- Calculate my grocery budget for the week.
- Evaluate what items I need.
- Look at the store advertisements and lists on Pocket Your Dollars.
- Weigh the savingsÃ‚ against the cost of gas and time it will take to get those deals.
- Check my schedule for the week.
- Taking all of that information into consideration, I then decide which store(s) will earn my business for the week.
If you apply these principles, they will help you to stay within your grocery budget and effectively shop with purpose!
Join A Money Saving Journey next time as Angie shares how to eliminate the last minute trips to stores and stay within your grocery budget by utilizing “Meal Planning!”
Angie is a Pocket Your Dollars team member who teaches Pocket Your Dollars grocery-saving classes to mom’s groups, Community Ed programs and other civic organizations in PYD’s stead. Angie also compiles the bi-weekly Co+Op Deals shopping lists and helps update the shopping lists with additions and changes noted by readers. When she’s not doing those things, she is a stay-at-home mom to two little ones. If you are interested in having PocketYourDollars or Angie speak to your group, pleaseÃ‚ contact us.
Your turn:Ã‚ Have you ever had that feeling of guilt due to a lack of purpose in your shopping? What factors do you take into account when deciding which stores will earn your business for any given week?