Plan before you hit the shopping mall

Written By : SUN FIJI ADVERTISING. How do you shop for groceries? Do you run to the store every few days to buy things you ran out of, or do
02 Jan 2009 12:00

image Written By : SUN FIJI ADVERTISING. How do you shop for groceries? Do you run to the store every few days to buy things you ran out of, or do you shop once a week with a list, making meals according to a plan? Are you an impulse shopper, or do you always carry a list with organised coupons? Here are the basics you need to save money and time, and make your life easier in the hunt for food.
Grocery stores are designed to keep you in the store as long as possible. All ‘essential’ items (milk, bread, produce) are located on the extreme corners of the store, so you have to pass by lots of other tempting merchandise even if you’re just running in for a quart of milk. The most expensive products are placed at eye level (except for kid’s products, which are placed at their eye level). Products on display at the end of aisles are usually not on sale or a special buy. Once you know these details you can plan your shopping list according to store layout, and save time and money by avoiding impulse buys.
Before you even go to the store, you need to make a plan. Start by looking through supermarket fliers, internet offers, and newspaper coupons/advertisements to see what’s on sale this week. If frozen chicken breasts, for instance, are two bags for a dollar, plan some meals starting with chicken. Go through your favourite web sites and cookbooks and plan 3-4 days of meals. Use this plan to make a list of items you’ll need at the store. For an example, see this shopping list you developed for a weekend’s worth of meals. Look through your pantry, freezer and refrigerator and note the ingredients you already have that fit into your meal plan. This is a good time to start keeping track of staples in your pantry and freezer. Attach a notebook to your pantry or freezer and make a list of items as you use them up. Check the lists before you shop and you’ll never unexpectedly run out of anything. You also need to become very familiar with my grocery store’s layout. Make a list according to the store organisation. Fruits and vegetables are at the top of the list because that’s usually the first department in the store. Frozen and bakery items are usually at the end because those are the last departments before the checkout counters. Get to know the layout of your store and this will become a habit with you too. Try not to shop when you’re hungry, tired, or rushed. It will make a big difference in your shopping experience, ending with you saving more money.
When you get to the store, look for fliers near the door that offer special buys or one day only sales, and add them to your list if they fit in your plan or if they are easily stored.

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