Don’t Let The Grocery Store Rob You

Students aren’t exactly known for their fat wallets. Most students work hard to pay for their tuition, books, lab fees, rent and of course, their social life. You’ve probably noticed that one of the best ways you can save money is by cutting back on things you don’t need.

The grocery store can be a dangerous place for your credit card. While you’re shopping you are tempted to buy those cookies you don’t really need, or to go with the expensive cereal. Here are a few ways you can avoid speeding more at the grocery store than you want to.
Make a List
Before you even head out the door to go shopping, make a grocery list. Check your cupboards and refrigerator to see what you need and write it all down. Then, when you are in the store, don’t buy anything that’s not on your list. Stick to what you need, and don’t let anything get in your way. If you are the type that likes to take advantage of good deals when you get to the store, set budget for yourself. For example, tell yourself that you only have $20 to spend on things that aren’t on your list.
Find Savings Programs
Think beyond coupons and weekly deals. See if any of your local stores have discount cards. These cards are normally free and can help you save on your total shopping bill. Sometimes, schools in college towns offer special cards for students that can help you save even more.
Experiment with Brands
You don’t always have to buy the name brand. There probably are a few things you’ll want to buy this way, but for most items, you can go with a store brand. Medicine and some food items are good examples of this. Compare the prices and you’ll be surprised how much you can save. Often these items are at the end of aisles or on the bottom shelves, so keep an eye out for them.
Make a Monthly Budget
You probably already budget for things like rent and your cell phone bill. But, you should also be budgeting for your trips to the grocery store. Decide how much money you can spend each month, and then write your grocery lists with that in mind. When you have a clear limit, you’ll be less likely to go overboard at the store.
Saving money at the grocery store is as easy as making a plan and then being careful what you put in your cart. Next time you hit the store, try these tricks and see how much you can save.
Jill Hardy writes for UniversitiesOnline.Net, a website that has information on the best online colleges and how you can start a new career.