Try these tips as you head to the store to stretch your budget a little further.
We all need to buy food and necessities (and some not-so-necessary items) at the store. Though entering into our favorite stores can cause overspending with just the delight and temptation of browsing. Here are a few ideas to implement on the way to the store. You might find that your dollars stretch a bit further.
Buy in Bulk
No, really! And I'm not talking about the crazy (somewhat compulsive) bulk-shopping like purchasing cases of tubes of toothpaste at a time. Take a realistic approach to bulk-shopping. Whether you're a fan of Sam's Club or Costco, it's worth the annual membership fee. Walk the aisles to see what's available and compare prices with those at your regular grocery store. My favorite bulk finds are:
- Purchasing shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheeses in five-pound bags is quite the savings. When I get home, I divide up the five-pounds of yummy, cheesy goodness into smaller sandwich storage bags and freeze them.
- Picking up six pounds of ground beef is the way to go. I brown all six pounds at once and let it cool completely. Then I divide up the cooked ground beef into storage bags and freeze. Nacho night also becomes that much easier because the meat is already cooked.
Whether paper coupons or electronic coupons, take the time to clip away. Your local newspaper still offers paper coupons. Many grocery stores offer coupons based on your shopping history when you sign up for their frequent customer program. Stores like Target offer an app including digital coupons to clip as you shop. Further, nearly every store has some sort of frequent shopping program. Signing up is often free, and you can rack up the points for free merchandise.
Make a List
I've taken too many trips to the store for a few things. Just a few. And I come out with a cart-load of items that I saw and impulsively picked up. Has this happened to you? It's even worse when I go to the grocery on an empty stomach. Everything looks good! Plan ahead by making a list of what you need from the store ... and stick to just that list. Better yet, shop online from your list for store pickup. This will prevent impulse buys throughout the store as well as at the checkout.
Return Unnecessary Items
I have a pile of items that I've intended to return to the store for various reasons. You, too? It could be that the dress I just purchased didn't fit, I found out that I already had purchased the candle for our table, or my husband didn't like the shirt I found. Whatever the reason, take the time to return the unused items that need to be returned. That's just money straight back to your pocket.
Start at the Clearance Rack
When you're at the store looking for a needed new outfit, start browsing off of the clearance or sale racks first. Stores rotate merchandise regularly, so there's always something new on the clearance racks. Tops, pants, shoes, and outerwear can all be found on sale or even on clearance. Chances are, you'll find just what you need at a fraction of the cost.
What's your favorite budget-saving tip? Share in the comments below.