Before you go to do the shopping, here is a list of do’s and don’ts that will save you money. If you have to go into a physical store, this is my top 10 list. I mostly shop online, so I get to avoid this, but I definitely still earn loyalty points.
Loyalty Programs –
Join loyalty programs. The ones we all know are PnP Smart Shopper, Spar Rewards, Discovery Vitality, Momentum, Clicks and Dis-Chem, even your credit card, FNB e-bucks, Absa rewards, Nedbank Greenbacks and Standard Bank Ucount, Edcon Thank You and WW Rewards, but often local butchers and grocers also have loyalty programs. Times are hard for everyone and stores want to draw in more customers. So why not ask them about this?
Loyalty programs can help you save money
2. Sales Sheets-
Before you go into a store, have a look through your local papers which are always filled with sales items. You need to remember though, that just because it is on sale, doesn’t mean you have to buy it. If you don’t need it, leave it on the shelf.
We don’t have lots of actual coupons in South Africa, not like you see the people on the couponing programs on TV. We used to have them! I remember a sheet coming in the Edgars club magazine and I think the You/ Huisgenoot also offered them. We do, however, have phone apps that give discounts, SnapnSave which I like for people who do go into stores, and Ezee coupons, the Checkers app, and Unilever deals. Also companies like Groupon and Takealot.com are great online discount finders.
4. Name brands-
Each store has its own brand. Make sure to check the prices as, sometimes, the store brand is NOT cheaper than the branded product, even if it is on special.
5. Shelf sales-
Look carefully at the shelf talkers. Those are the price tags on the shelf, and sometimes, the sale price is also NOT cheaper. At the same time, those sales tags often align with specific loyalty programs. You need to know your normal prices to take proper advantage of instore sales. A large item may in reality be more expensive than two smaller packs of the same item.
6. Best Before items-
This is something that most people don’t know about. Most small to medium size stores, whether they are part of a chain or just an individual, often sell stock which has reached its sell by date or will reach it on the next day. If it is freezable, or you know you will be able to use it within the week, then go ahead and buy it. If it is going to possibly go to waste at home, rotting in your fridge, or on the shelf, then don’t be tempted – you are wasting money! I have bought great things this way. At New Year I found 2 litre bottles of milk for only R11! I bought ten and froze them. In my home we use about 2 litres of milk per day. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/index.php/2015/07/22/how-old-is-it-2/
7. Seasonal sales-
In this case I don’t mean clothing, although that is a great way to save. I am talking about fruit and vegetables. Buy only those that are actually in season, they certainly cost less. You can take the opportunity to learn to can fruit, so that you will have out of season fruit whenever you want.
8. Bulk stock-
Don’t get caught buying something in bulk, that you don’t really use, just because it is cheaper. If it sits in your cupboard, it is costing you money. This applies to fruit and vegetable also. If you cannot use 2kg carrots, 9kg potatoes and 9kg butternut, don’t buy. It will cost you double the price of the original purchase, plus the price of the new, when you have to throw away the rotten produce.
Plastic shopping bags are bad! They don’t last as long as the fabric ones, often breaking after the 3rd or 4th The material ones, on the other hand, last longer and can be washed every now and then.
10. Emotional shopping-
This is my number one tip, even though it is actually 2 tips. Never shop without a list and NEVER shop on an empty stomach! It will cost you at least double. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/index.php/2015/07/26/things-i-learned-while-shopping/
All of this I have learned over the last year. Some of it I have known intellectually, but until you consciously put these steps into your shopping habits, you will not understand, how much money we waste each time we go to the grocery store.
Do you know your REAL grocery bill?