Don’t Do These 5 Things While Grocery Shopping

Things Not To Do While Grocery Shopping.

Avoid These Grocery Shopping Habits

Grocery shopping can be stressful. Most of us just want to get in, get what we need, and get the heck out of there. Especially if you go grocery shopping on a Saturday afternoon (also known as: The Worst Time to Go Shopping). Is this you?

To make sure you get your shopping done quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively, here are 5 things you should not do while grocery shopping:

1. Don’t shop on an empty stomach

To curb impulse buys, it’s always best to go grocery shopping immediately after you’ve had something to eat – not before.

If you shop when you’re hungry, everything in the store looks delicious. Even things you have never tried before. This often leads to many impulse buys that can kill your budget.

2. Don’t shop without a budget in mind

Speaking of budgets, you should always know what your spending cap is before you go shopping. If you don’t have a grocery budget, you never know when to stop shopping.

Not sure how much you should be spending on groceries each month? Track your grocery purchases for at least 3 months (6 is best) and get the average number. Then, cut that number by 25%. So if you usually spend about $600 on groceries, cut it to $450.

Save that $150 toward retirement, your child’s education fund, a down payment on a home, or anything else you need to save for.

Keep your budget in mind when you go grocery shopping. And don’t go over your budget.

Note: If you already spend very little on groceries, only cut 10%. (You may not need to cut anything t all.)

3. Don’t shop without a list

Shopping without a list (for anything, not just groceries) can be very dangerous. Just like shopping on an empty stomach, shopping without a list often leads to many impulse purchases.

Make your list before you go shopping and as soon as you get to the store, bring your list out and only buy the items that are on it.

4. Don’t shop with young children

If you’re able to shop alone, do it. Always shop by yourself whenever possible. Children have a way of convincing us that Dunkaroos and Twizzlers are a good purchase. Doritos and Oreos? Yes, let’s buy those too!

If you absolutely must shop with your children, let them know ahead of time (before you set foot in any store) that you can only buy what is on your shopping list.

Read this post for more tips: How to Shop With Kids

5. Don’t forget to watch the register

Have you heard of the Scanning Code of Practice? If not, let me explain. The Scanning Code of Practice is a voluntary code that many retailers follow. It promises customers accurate pricing. If an item you are purchasing scans at a price higher than the advertised price, you get it for free (up to $10).

Make sure that you are watching the register as your items are being scanned to catch any errors, and if you see any, mention the Scanning Code of Practice to your cashier. The majority of them will either not mention it, or not know about it.

An average shopping trip for me is about 1 hour long. The reason I am able to complete my shopping in such a short period of time (1 hour is short, isn’t it?) is because I am prepared.

I have my list, I know my budget, I shop alone, and I never shop on an empty stomach.

Get in, get out, go home, enjoy the money you’ve saved.

Is there anything you would add to this list?

photo credit: mirror

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  1. Shannon says:

    It wasnt until taking on a p/t job at shoppers (when my son was a 6 months old so i could speak with adults and make some money for his college fund) that i even learned of scanning code of practice after reading ABOUT IT ON THE FRONT DOOR. I asked my store managers and none of them knew about it.They hated me because id let customers know the policy if they didn’t ask and constantly gave away free stuff. I told them to improve the systems to make less mistakes and that was pretty much the end of that job. Then one day in the cash office a manager hugged me and I told them that made me uncomfortable and since i was still on prohabation they fired me before i could file a workplace harrassment complaint

  2. Lori says:

    the scanning code of practice is only for non-ticketed items, so for example, if you are buying a shirt that is marked down and it’s normal price is $10 but it has a clearance sticker onit for $3 and it rings up the worng price at he register this doesn not apply to the SCOP. Think UPC label, those are the ones that apply. also, the orice could be wrong in your favour even, so if the item scans at the wrong price either higher or lower then the shelf price you get it free up to $10 or $10 off the item if it is more then $10. Only one item though, so if you are buying multiples, the first item is free and the rest are just price adjusted to the correct price.

    • Josie says:

      The SCOP DOES NOT apply to items that are scanned at a lower price ….

      The Item Free Scanner Policy – The Retailers’ Promise of Price Accuracy.

      If the scanned price of a non-price ticketed item is higher than the shelf price or any other displayed price, the customer is entitled to receive the item free, up to a $10 maximum. When the item has a price tagged, the lowest price applies. When identical items are incorrectly priced, the second one will be sold at the correct price.

  3. Debra says:

    I like your article, but I have always shopped with my 3 children and they know we rarely buy anything without a coupon, they help me look for deals/sales/clearance items and coupon tear pads. I think I am educating them to become great shoppers. They will often say “that’s not a good deal” when they see a price of an item (even cookies) and they move with our list.

  4. Sherisse Al Sabeh says:

    For our family, we have managed to get a system down. Everyone is involved. We have a detailed shopping list with the stores we are pm with , with they flyers and coupons are together. My husband and I divide the list and pick our “team” ( we have three kids). Our oldest (11) is responsible for looking for tear pads or coupons on products we buy. Our eldest daughter is the “gofer” (10) she will go down one side of the isle wile I am at the other end. Looking for what’s on the list. Our youngest daughter (5) she is looking for items that are on sale for a dollar or less….. She is soooo good at his…… Our family trips usually take about an hour and as a reward, we take the kids to mcdonalds( using coupons from taking surveys). At Walmart, we have learned the schedual of one of the cashiers. She is coupon savvy and code of conduct saved. She also k ows about other flyer deals that I sometime miss and gives me those prices. We never leave the stores without checking our receipts. And it seems that there is always one kind of error. Good thing we check 🙂

  5. rhonda says:

    i made 2 of these mistakes today.
    i took my kids and wanted to leave them in the store as payment and take my coupons home!!!!
    and i forgot to watch the register and check my receipt before i left. i was charged twice for apples. i price matched them and they put the regular price and the reduced price on. i should go back, but i’m tooooo annoyed right now! argh.

  6. loree says:

    also watch the fruit and veggies that are by weight.. I’ve had it rang up so many times wrong.. Apples were on sale for 0.99 a lb.. (about 2.20 a kg) and they were weight and prices at 4.99 kg.. both the cashier and the manager couldn’t grasp the fact that I was over charged on my apples.. all because weighed in kg but prices at the bins are marked in lbs..I wonder how many people were over charged for their apples that week.. needless to say i got the apples for free and she was so flustered and didn’t get it.. she also took the 4.99 off my bill… the weighing and pricing.. that is something that really erks me.. make it one or the other.. please..

  7. nancy duncan says:

    i did a scop today and the cashier said that she couldn’t because the whole bill has to be rung up first? and then i have to notice the mistake??

  8. Josie says:

    It’s not necessarily the cashier’s fault if they don’t know the coupon policy. Most stores don’t even do training for it, you just have to ask as you go if you don’t know or understand. Calling someone dumb because they weren’t taught is just ignorant.

  9. Roberta says:

    I agree never leave the store without checking your receipt. I used to check my receipt once I got back to the car but some items cannot be returned as soon as they leave the store (ie dairy and produce). I once picked up the wrong sour cream that was not on sale and could not return it for the correct sale product because it had left the store.

  10. Josie says:

    You should just mention SCOP. If you don’t cashiers just override to the “correct” price. SCOP is voluntary, meaning they don’t have to do it without you mentioning it. Why would they just hand you something for free? It’s not a Policy, it’s not something they HAVE to do, it’s something they do to keep customer’s happy. So if the customer is happy getting the “correct” price, then that’s what they do.

  11. Cassie says:

    You can definitely get your freebie in line, you don’t have to go to customer service.

  12. Lori says:

    try to check the prices right at tyhe register because if you don’t notice unitl you have left the register and laready paid then you have to go to customer service and wait in that line for it to be corrected(Wal-Mart)

  13. Cassie says:

    That is a good point! You don’t want to be stuffed, but you do want to eat something before you shop.

  14. Cassie says:

    True, I find Tuesday to be the best day for me (even though I rarely make it out on a Tuesday).

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