Have you checked your list? Have you checked it twice? Maybe you started early and are now finishing your wrapping. Maybe you’re a last minute shopper and still have loads to do! No matter what kind of shopper you are, we can all benefit from a few smart shopping tips.
Live Well Utah shared some great ideas about smart shopping earlier this month. You can check out their 25 Holiday Money Wasters at livewellutah.org. It is just as easy to waste money on our grocery budget as it is on the rest of our holiday shopping.
Check out these money wasters, that that can dig deep into your grocery budget, and learn easy ways to navigate around them.
- Shopping without a budget. Without a budget, over spending is almost inevitable. Know before you go! Figure out what you have available to spend, check grocery store ads, and plan your menus. With your grocery list in hand, stick to your list, budget, and menu plan. Be sure to limit purchases you haven’t planned for.
- Shopping at the last minute. Rushing around often leads to spending too much. When in a hurry we tend to throw items in our cart that we don’t have an immediate need for, but we might need down the line. Take a little extra time before hand to plan your shopping trips to prevent last minute splurges.
- Not comparing prices. Checking grocery store ads will let you know if you are getting the best deal on food items. Many grocery stores will price match items. Don’t be afraid to ask so you don’t end up running all around town to different stores.
- Buying too many specialty foods or drinks. Of course it is natural to partake in the fun food items available this time of year, but buying too many of them can really break your grocery budget. Plan for economical meals, and limit splurging on specialty items.
- Not using coupons. This time of year you can find great deals on many items. Check for coupons from food manufacturers or your local grocery stores. Don’t use a coupon just because you have it, but do use coupons when they will save you money on items you are going to buy anyway.
- Splurging on meals away from home. Because it is such a busy time of year, cooking at home can seem like a challenge. Eating out too many times can take a toll on your budget. With a plan in place, it is easier to eat at home because you already know what’s on the menu. Plan easy meals that require minimal preparation and cooking to help you stay motivated to cook at home.
Don’t wait for the new year to get on track! Start now and make smart shopping a habit. A fresh start to a new year will feel much better if you’re not trying to catch up from the holidays.
It’s great served as a traditional salsa with tortilla chips, on a bed of rice, atop grilled chicken, or in a wrap. Enjoy!
Certified Nutrition Education Assistant