My husband and I avoid going to the grocery when we’re hungry. We notice that we tend to by a lot more than what we need. Also, I love going to the grocery to relieve stress? I don’t know, but for some reason, wandering in the aisles and discovering new products are stress relievers. I tend to overspend when I go to the grocery. So for today, I’ve listed down tips on how not to overspend when going to the grocery. This is because I also need to follow these rules for myself.

1. Don’t go to the grocery on an empty stomach.

When you feel hungry, everything looks appetizing. You’re bound to find everything delicious and you’ll end up grabbing “yummy” things that you see (which will be almost everything in the store).

2. Include in the list only necessary items to buy.

Another tip on how not to overspend when going to the grocery, is that before shopping, sit down first and list down the necessary items that you intend to buy. Check for used up or empty items in your refrigerator, bathroom and stock room. Take note that the list should only include the essentials, not the unnecessary ones. Only buy what’s specifically written in the list. Resist the impulse to get items based on what you feel at the moment (which is soooo hard to do, btw!)

3. At the grocery, don’t be deceived by promos!

There will be lots and lots of promotional items and marketing tactics (like bundling of things together to appear cheaper or to make the product seem more valuable), so be smart about it! If an item is bundled with a tumbler, think first. Do you really want the tumbler? Fine, if you were really intending to get that same product which so happened to have the tumbler. I fell into this trap and now, I have 6 or 7 tumblers that I don’t use (A big No-No for people who are following the KonMari Method which I am sincerely trying to do). My point is, think if you really really need that other item.

4. Calculate how much you can save if you buy bundled or bigger items.

I’m not saying all promotions are bad. If you are thinking of buying a bigger bottle of shampoo than a smaller one, calculate how you much you can save from it. Factor in your usage. You might be splurging if a smaller bottle is already enough in a month than a bigger one. For bundled items, make sure to calculate that it’s really cheaper. Some stores just lure you to buy 2 items in one go.

5. Set a time limit.

Do you know how it is in school when the teacher asks you to pass your test papers because time is up. Do that for grocery shopping. This will force you to go through your list first then later wander around IF you have enough time.

6. Pay using your paper bills – not with your credit cards.

You might not be aware of your daily expenditures if you use your cards instantly. Try to pay using your cash because it makes you realize how much money you are losing from your wallet. Ang sakit! (It hurts to see less money inside your wallet).

Let’s not set ourselves up for financial struggles in the future. If we can avoid financial pain and overspending, let’s avoid it! A life without worry is what we want for ourselves. We can sleep well at night and we can live a longer, happy life… and it all starts in the little adjustments that we make in the grocery.