Savvy Shopping Tips

No matter how good a shopper you are, there's always room for improvement. Whether you want to save money for a fabulous vacation, hold back to have money to add to your child's tuition fund, or you just need to tighten your belt, it pays to learn a savvier way of shopping. Take a look at the following tips and see how many of them you're already adopted as part of your weekly shopping routine.

Plan Ahead

You'll save money if you create a week's worth of menus and only then write up your shopping list. Keep a list of the ten meals you prepare most often for your family so you can keep your home stocked with those items. This prevents impulse buying and also means that when it comes time to make that meal, you won't need to make a quick trip for that one item you forgot-which often leads to buying more things you wouldn't have bought otherwise.

After you've thought out the meals and made the list, look over that list again and see if you can change your list to make it more cost-conscious. It's a known fact that shoppers who come armed with a shopping list spend 41% more than those consumers who couldn't be bothered to make a list.

Use What You Buy!

Many shoppers make the mistake of buying items that they end up not using. For instance, if there's a terrific sale on ground meat, it's okay to buy a large amount but make sure you repackage the meat into reasonable, family sized portions and freeze. Throwing out meat that is past its prime is a darned shame. Betty Morgan* from Little Rock, Arkansas likes to butcher her own chickens to save money. "Sometimes chicken wings are on sale. I like to cut them into two pieces: the larger piece, called a drumette, and the other, more boney piece. I save the boney pieces in the freezer and once I have a lot of them saved up, I make chicken stock.

I make Buffalo wings with the drumettes and the kids just love them!"

Teach The Kiddies

An unfortunate fact of life is that when we bring the kids with us to the supermarket, we spend more. We need to teach them to be savvy shoppers. The solution is to give them a budget. Don't let them go a penny over the amount you've allowed them.

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