Manage Your Debts

your personal money management - helping you keep more of the money you make

Saving on Groceries: Part II

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Finding methods to save money on groceries is a great way to reduce your expenses every month.  In the first article about saving on groceries, the benefits of coupons and planning your meals for the week were highlighted.  Now it is time to add another money saving weapon to your arsenal.  The shopping list you use can be an effective means of lowering your grocery bill.  The following techniques will help you do just that.

Lists Save You Money

Most of us already use a list when we go grocery shopping.  Often there are too many things to buy for you to try to remember all of them without some type of aid.  This is good because the foundation is already set and only a few changes in how you use this list will make it an effective money saver.

Using the List to Save Money

On your list, write down the meals planned for the week or however long it will be before you go grocery shopping again.  This will help you determine the absolute essentials you will need to buy and list those in a separate column.  Also list a couple of snack items you may want but keep the number small.  Include any other incidentals that you may need, such as cleaning supplies.  At the top, write the maximum you will spend on this trip.

Stick to the List & Record Prices

This is extremely important.  If you start throwing items in your cart that were not on your list, you will blow your budget.  That is the simple truth.  The only way the list will save you money is if you have the discipline to stick to what you have written.

As you shop, write the price and quantity next to each item as you go.  Make sure you bring a calculator or cell phone with a built-in calculator program along with you.  Knowing exactly how much money you are spending as you shop is a great motivator.  Not only will it give you the incentive to stay within the budget, but there is an added bonus if you come in under budget.  If this happens, you can decide to save the money or you can treat yourself to something special as a reward.  Remember to make sure that the special item does not break the budget.

If you do go over budget, evaluate your items.  Did you stray from the list?  What items can be put back without being missed?  There are almost always one or two items that can be saved for the next trip to the grocery store.  It's not always easy to put items back but after a few weeks, doing the pre-checkout evaluation will become routine; a routine that will begin to save you money.

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