Navigating the Aisles: Budget Shopping Tips

Navigating the Aisles: Budget Shopping Tips

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By Bromwich+Smith Staff | 1209 words | Reading Time: 5 minutes | Date: 2024/02/01 

Navigating the aisles these days seems like an exercise for our wallets. It seems like more professionals are back to shopping on a college students budget. Let's explore the importance of creating a budget and tips on how to shop without compromising your bank account. 

Budget 

Understanding your income and expenses will allow you a clear overview of your current financial situation. It is important to be aware that your financial situation can and will change so we suggest that you make notes to remind you of what happened during the month. Identify areas you fell short or incurred a surplus including why. Perhaps you were on vacation for two weeks and your utilities and grocery budget were down or you received a bonus at work and were able to pay off overdue bills. Setting a budget is not just managing day-to-day expenses it's a tool that allows you to achieve financial goals. This can include saving for emergency funds, planning for retirement, securing an education plan for your children or purchasing property. 

Tracking 

Utilize all financial resources available to you to best track your budget. These tools can provide real time insights to your spending patterns. Keep your receipts and records as it not only helps you to budget but serves as a visual reminder to your spending habits. You need to be accountable for your spending so consider discussing your financial objectives with someone you trust. 

I want it but do I need it 

Prioritize your needs over wants when making financial decisions. Ensure that all essential expenses are paid for before you allocate any money to "fun” spending. Learn how to say no to impulse purchases as they can derail even the most well thought out plan purchase. Consider practicing delayed gratification when it comes to shopping. As we live in an instant gratification era; we don't immediately see the impact purchases have on our budgets. Avoid shopping with credit cards or instill a 24-hour rule. If you see an item walk away and give yourself 24 hours to decide if the item is worth the purchase. If it is- then make the purchase but often, you'll find yourself deciding to just say no. 

Grocery shopping 

Many of us dread going to the grocery store walking up and down the aisles not sure what to purchase and ultimately find ourselves overspending. 
 
1. Plan ahead. By planning your meals in advance, you will be able to create a targeted shopping list and avoid unplanned purchases or midweek take out. 

2. Utilized leftovers. Maximize your grocery shopping by re purposing leftovers get creative to ensure no food goes to waste. Some families have a night where the meal is made entirely of leftovers. Try making a game out of it by seeing who can make the most creative and edible meal! 
 
3. Budget friendly recipes. Spend some time online researching cost effective recipes to utilize affordable ingredients. This could include incorporating lower priced items like beans and lentils, or only shopping for in season items. Don't be shy about asking friends or family for their go to recipes and feel free to make it your own by adding your own unique flair. 

Shop for sales 

Keep an eye on store promotions and how they are advertised. You may need to sign up for your local grocery store app or E newsletter to receive information on best deals and in store coupons. Take advantage of any customer loyalty programs offered. You may find yourself with cash back or points that can be redeemed for future items.  Many stores will offer price matching which only saves you money in the long run.  

Another cost-effective tip is to price check the unit prices to determine the best price. Many stores will offer their own in-house brand which may not be any less affordable than the name brand items based on the unit price. Find nonperishable items in bulk can lead to long term savings. Be aware of expiration dates and storage requirements as well as your families need for these items. Are you going to use the entire item, or will you lose money because you do not need that much of that specific item.  

Discounted shopping 

When it comes to shopping sales it's important to look at all stores and not just groceries. Explore thrift stores and consignment stores for gently used items at discounted prices. You may want to explore online platforms and marketplaces to help reduce your overall shopping expenses. 
 
Have you crowned yourself a coupon king or queen? While traditional paper coupons may seem outdated, they can be an effective money saving tip. Explore flyers for paper coupons, online digital coupons, online apps or loyalty cards to find all the best deals.  

Cash back apps are gaining in popularity. They allow consumers to save money by offering cash back on purchases made through the platform. These apps often partner with retailers on everyday purchases. Many retailers have their own loyalty programs to reward customers for shopping with them. Join these programs to receive discounts, exclusive deals and points towards future purchases. 

Large item purchases 

Retailers often experience slower sales mid-month and may offer incentives during slower times. Don't be shy asking for the best available offer. Towards the end of the month sales incentivized retailers may be motivated to meet their sales goals which will lead to increased discounts and promotions for you. 
 
If you're looking to plan a vacation, try booking during off peak season. The cost of the airfare, hotel an excursions can vary significantly depending on the time of year. Keep an eye out for airline promotions which are often announced during special deals which can offer reduced fares and additional flight perks.  

Shopping on a budget is not about limiting yourself it's making choices that help you align with your financial goals. By creating a budget sticking to it and smart shopping you will see a difference in your spending. 

Bromwich+Smith has a number of debt relief strategies to help you regain control of your finances and get your life back on track. Reach out today for a free, confidential, no obligation consultation. Bromwich+Smith’s Debt Relief Specialists are available by phone at   1-855-884-9243,  Live Chat  or you can request a call back at contact us page. We want to see you flourish!      

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