Tips to consider when shopping for groceries

We all go grocery shopping to pick food stuffs or items that we need. Some of us follow money saving tips while others just wing it. Below, I have outlined a few tips to stream line your shopping experience plus also save you a few shillings.

Buy fruits and vegetables that are in-season

This can be pretty straight forward but you may be surprised how many people actually follow this. Not only is it cheaper to purchase fruits and vegetables when they are in season, they also taste so much better.

Use a shopping list

If you are not already doing this, then you should. This neat trick will help you to avoid purchasing unnecessary items that you quite honestly don’t need or can do without. This will in turn help you save money. You can go a step further and include price estimates to your list, this will help you sum up or guesstimate how much you will spend before you even get to the shop/market.

Shop alone

Avoid taking your kids or friends with you while shopping. We are not trying to be antisocial here but there is a reason for this. Let us start with the kids. Kids will tend to make you buy things that they see and not necessarily need: candy, toys. I’m sure you have seen kids creating a scene or bugging their parent’s to submission to buy them something. If you can, leave them with a guardian. Friends on the other hand may influence your decision by having you try out other items that you wouldn’t buy if you were alone.

Beware of offers

Offers, how we love offers. There is nothing wrong with buying items on offer; we all love a good deal, right? Wrong!!! Sorry to burst your bubble but this is one big marketing strategy. There are some genuinely great offers every once in a while but I would advise you to only buy  something if you really need it. It might be an offer to buy three cans of shoe polish and get one free. Do you really need four cans of shoe polish? Learning how to save money in Kenya really needs you alert when doing your grocery shopping. Do not completely write off offers. I only say that you be cautious and not get offers that only offer you less money in your pocket.

Plan your meals ahead

Planning ahead for what you are going to cook over the week gives you a clear picture of how much flour, managu, tomatoes or beef you need to buy. Going shopping and buying food items on whims isn’t a good way to stay within your budget, nor is it an effective approach for eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. Planning your meals is also a sure way to clearly estimate how much you would need for the month for your household.

 Don’t go grocery shopping when hungry

Other than making it hard to concentrate, going grocery shopping on an empty stomach will cloud your judgment until you satisfy your visual hunger pangs. Simply put, you will buy lots of food you won’t need. This will most likely be processed or precooked foods that are most probably over priced and also not entirely great for your health (smokey). Please make sure you are not hungry and your kids are fed if they are accompanying you. You will save quite a lot at the end of the month.

Timing

Plan to shop early – Most grocery stores stock their shelves late at night or early in the morning before the store opens. Not only will you have better odds of all your items being in stock if you shop early, you’ll often have the best pick of produce.

Never shop on Sunday afternoons – From shoppers making their way to and from church to procrastinators hitting the shops before the weekend is over, Sundays are one of the most crowded times at most supermarkets. Doing major shopping at peak hours is a bad idea; it’s never fun to fight the crowds. More people in the supermarket means’ longer lines and longer lines mean more time you have standing in front of well displayed items that you need.

Always Help the Bagger

Few people actually do this and reason for not doing so is “Si analipwa”. Have you ever gotten home and found that the bread was packed at the bottom and your flour and  2 kg detergent stacked right on top? You now have bread that looks like a fist and flour that smells like lavender. Don’t let your food be squished and ruined at checkout. Help the bagger pack. This will help protect fragile items on the journey home and save time when it comes to unloading them.

There is so much more you can do to save money and get value for money while grocery shopping. These just happen to be a few things a personally follow.

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