Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Game of Groceries

Sunday afternoon grocery trips have become my hobby. A trip to the grocery store can be fun. “Fun?” you ask. That’s right. Here are the rules for a fun grocery trip.
Prepare – Make a list. I use to know which items are on sale and have matching coupons. This also determines my menu for the week. Only purchase items on sale and with a coupon. By purchasing these items when on sale and with a coupon instead of when you run out, you don’t  run out.
Eat before you shop – If you go to the store hungry, you will be tempted to purchase items you don’t need and items that are not on sale. You will also be in a hurry and possibly miss extra savings.
Go alone – If you take other people, they will want to purchase things that are not on sale and without a coupon. They  also distract you from focusing on the savings at hand.
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes - Sometimes it’s necessary to climb the shelves to reach items up high and at the back.  I have even tag teamed with another lady blessed with the same height challenge I have.  She boosted me up, and I retrieved items for both of us.  And I’m never past asking a taller shopper for help.
Stay organized - Stores will frequently run specials requiring you to purchase 10 items (mix and match) in order to receive an additional 50 cents off each item.  You must be sure to purchase these items in exact multiples of 10 in order to maximize the savings. Organize your cart by grouping these items together for a quick count before checking out.
Be Aware at the Checkout – Group like items together to keep cold things cold and for ease of putting things away at home. If it is extremely hot outside and you are shopping at more than one store, it helps to have a cooler with ice in the trunk. Pay attention to make sure all coupons scan and none are missed. Also make sure the store special for the multiples of ten are taken off at the end ($5.00 for each multiple of ten).
Look at the Receipt – This is the payoff. Once you have paid, look at your receipt and see the percent of savings at the bottom. Have a goal. Mine is 50-75%. Don’t let the cashier discourage you. At some stores the cashier is trained to tell you how much you saved with your store card. This is not the entire story. Look at your receipt for the savings including coupons.
Play by the rules, and enjoy the fun. Then enjoy the benefits of stewardship and giving. You will have a smaller grocery budget, and you can share your savings with others. Hope you have FUN on your next grocery trip. I can’t wait for mine.

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