Money is cruel, but food is even crueler. Have you ever noticed that 50% of your grocery bill comprises of other items like shampoos and detergents, and rest of the 50% comprises of food items. Do we really eat this much? Actually, no! We do not eat this much but we do crave for this much food. After all, we cannot resist buying those boxes of chocolates placed in the racks near billing counter, or extra boxes of cookies placed just next to the milk rack, because drinking milk without cookies sounds vague.
This is not simple craving. This is consumerism: tactics used to convert desires into needs and persuading wishful thoughts into commercial purchases using psychological techniques.
However, even while knowing this, you will end up with 50% food items or sometimes even more on your grocery bill. Following is a practical guide to help you avoid buying unnecessary things from food to other items while buying grocery items.
Always Create a Plan for Groceries
Planning for groceries may seem impractical to some people. In US and Scotland, a majority of the people buy groceries once a week. In England and Wales, people buy groceries twice a month. What happens when you go to the grocery store twice a month or once a week? You end up buying extra goods so that you do not run out of the stock until your next grocery trip. You need to plan the grocery trips.
- Check around the town to find out the grocery deals. Do you know that many grocery stores clear their monthly stock at the end of the month and sell goods at around 15% off?
- Always plan only one visit to the store per month.
- Make a list of items. The list should look like this.
|Hand wash – 2 bottles||Detergent – 1 pack||Whole wheat flour – 2 packets||Deodorant for men – 1||Extra towels – 1 small and 2 large|
|Shampoo – 1 antidandruff small and 1 color sustainer large||Fabric Softener – 1 small||White rice – 1 packet||Hair spray – 1 small||Storage basket – 1 medium|
|Hand sanitizer – 1 small||Stain remover – 1 small||Mixed herbs – 1 small packet||Hair brush – 1||Window cleaner – 1 small|
If you purchase similar grocery items ever month then make a list on MS Excel. Print many copies and use them to create your list for this month. For bathroom goods, go to the bathroom and check every item. If you believe that the item is enough for whole month then deduct it from the list. Similarly, go to the kitchen, and so on.
Stick with Your List
Always buy only what you have on the list. As mentioned earlier, the grocery stores put snack racks closer to the billing counter so that people pick them while their bill is being prepared. These items add at least 5% extra goods and money in your bill.
Visit With a Full Stomach
You crave when you are hungry. Consumerism targets your craving, and not hunger. Simply, eat your fill before visiting the store so that you can control your craving, and hence, the bills and grocery items.