Grocery shopping can be a therapeutic experience for millennials enjoying their newfound independence while renting a condo in the Philippines. Ironically, a visit to the supermarket can be stressful when you go over your budget.
How can a young working professional be a wiser shopper? Check out this money-saving grocery shopping guide for millennials.
Pre-grocery shopping must-dos
1. Make a grocery list
Adulting starts with a goal, right? Grocery shopping is no exception. Creating a detailed shopping list forces you to work within your budget and toward a specific goal, like saving a certain amount each week.
Without a list, you'll be prone to overspending. In fact, shoppers with unclear goals tend to make more unplanned purchases, based on the findings of a Marketing Science Institute research.
As you make your list, check your food supplies, toiletries, and other home essentials to see what needs to be replenished and what you can skip buying.
2. Lessen your trips to the supermarket
The more frequent you buy groceries, the less likely you save money because—admit it—giving in to the temptation of impulse buying is a lot easier than controlling it. Instead of shopping almost every day, visit the supermarket only once per week. It's also a smart idea to plan your weekly menu ahead so that you don't have to buy your ingredients every so often.
3. Eat a light snack
Ever noticed how stalls selling roasts and baked goods are usually located at the grocery store entrance? Yes, their appetizing aroma is meant to make you hungry and lure you into buying them even if you're already aisles apart.
Never make the costly mistake of going to the supermarket hungry. You know what will happen next.
Before you go, have a light snack or bring some mint candies to curb your hunger.
4. Go to the supermarket alone
As much as you'd like to bring your kids along, it isn't fun to deal with a kiddo throwing tantrums just because you refused to buy his favorite snack. And you’re too busy to notice your other kid sneaking some chocolates into the cart. Guess what—you'll end up buying more than what you've planned for.
Spare your wallet by leaving your kids and partner behind. It takes just a couple of minutes to get to and from the nearest supermarket if you live in a DMCI condo for rent in Metro Manila, anyway. So Mommy's or Daddy's grocery shopping won't take that long.
Ways to save money in the supermarket
5. Stick to just one grocery store
Being loyal to one supermarket can save you money through its loyalty program. Get a loyalty card that can earn you discounts, freebies or rewards each time you shop.
6. Use just the right cart size
Do you often use a bigger cart when you shop? Chances are, you'll buy more items than you’ve intended to. Shoppers purchase 19% more when they fill a larger cart, according to marketing consultant and book author Martin Lindstrom.
Not convinced? Try using a shopping basket or a smaller cart, and compare the difference in your grocery expenses.
7. Familiarize yourself with the aisles
Know the supermarket aisles by heart so that on your next grocery shopping, you'll just go directly to the aisles carrying the items on your shopping list. You can save both time and money that way compared to passing through all the aisles, which can tempt you into buying more than what you need.
8. Scan the top and bottom shelves
Don't just scan products at your eye level. Make sure to check the top and bottom shelves, too. Usually, you'll find the cheaper brands and discounted items there.
9. Compare prices
Just because a product has a lower price tag doesn't necessarily mean it will provide better value for your money. Compare food prices based on the number of servings you'll get. When picking a shampoo, check the prices on the aisle and compare them based on size. You might find a brand with a cheaper price but the same size as the leading brand.
10. Use a cash back credit card
Credit cards aren't necessarily evil—it's irresponsible use and late payments that put a cardholder in debt. When managed properly, a credit card can be a good financial tool. To save money, consider switching to a cash back credit card that allows you to earn 0.50% to 6% rebate on your grocery purchases, saving you as much as Php1,000 per month.
11. Choose the counter with the shortest queue
Ever wondered why most lines at the checkout lanes are long? While people standing in line are waiting for their turn at the cashier, they have a lot of time to check the product display at the counter and add some more items to their cart. Outsmart that clever marketing strategy by going straight to the shortest queue. If you're carrying only one shopping basket, line up at the express lane instead.
Skip these money-wasting items
12. Sugary drinks
Prices of sweetened beverages have increased following the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law in early 2018. These include soda, sports and energy drinks, sweetened juice drinks, sweetened tea, and flavored water.
If you're trying to save money on your grocery expenses, your favorite sugary drink has to go.
13. Pre-cut salad ingredients
Getting ingredients from a salad bar can cost you more than buying fresh fruits and veggies, and prepping them yourself in your condo. Not to mention that the salad bar could be among the grossest areas in the supermarket. Products are left uncovered and unsupervised—you won't know if someone sneezed while picking cucumbers or if a kid dipped his fingers into the dressing.
14. Pre-sliced fruits
The same goes for pre-cut fruits in the grocery store: you're paying a higher price for the convenience of not having to slice and prep the fruits at home. But it only takes a little effort to do so. Instead, purchase the whole fruit to save some money.
15. Packed marinated meat
Buying pre-packaged and marinated meat products may be convenient but expensive. For a cheaper price, get fresh meat from the supermarket and ask the butcher to chop or slice it for you. As for marinating the meat, you can do it at home in just a few minutes.
Buy the groceries you need while staying within your budget with smart shopping strategies and self-control. Keep this millennials' grocery shopping guide in mind, and you'll be on the right track to saving money.