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8 Grocery Shopping Tips That Will Save You Money
8 Grocery Shopping Tips That Will Save You Money
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Money Management

8 Grocery Shopping Tips That Will Save You Money

Doreen Gathoni
December 1, 2021

We love the convenience of having local online and in-store grocery shopping options; however, grocery shopping is one budget category you will considerably spend on. 

According to a consumer survey by Mastercard in 2021, “Four out of five (79%) surveyed consumers in Kenya are shopping more online since the start of the pandemic”.

We’ll get to look at both, but let’s start by taking a look at in-store budget shopping tips.

First, let’s remind ourselves of two experiences, we all go through as shoppers:-

  1. There is no denying that grocery prices have been on an “up-and-down loop” the past few months, and over time, you may have found yourself tossing out your shopping list routine for the unplanned option
  1. Surprisingly, even if you’ve stuck to a shopping list, shopping is not a straightforward affair – your list is always challenged by discount offers, charismatic sales staff with freebies, (or worse) what you want is out of stock or the price has gone up.

Luckily, there are tips that allow for some wriggle room for you to enjoy your shopping experience, while saving on time and money.

Here Are 8 Smart Shopping Tips For You

1. Always have a shopping list and a calculator

Create an accurate “plan of attack” of what you need and the estimated cost, by carefully going through receipts and your inventory. 
Here’s what to include in your shopping list:-

i. A “Master List” For Weekly Purchases

This list-section includes consistent weekly purchases, also known as staple items (e.g.) milk, bread

Skip the kiosk. Take a trip to the supermarket for pocket-friendly options, which offer different quantities, flavours and prices you can pick to fit your budget

ii. Check Twice & Pay The Right Price

You don’t need to write / type out your shopping list, instead (take a picture). 

Turns out a snapshot of what is in your fridge, freezer, cabinet, pantry / store – this works as a personal map’ to help you pick what’s needed while monitoring your spending 

So, how do you stick to the plan? 

Carry and use your calculator, to help you know when you’ve reached your spending limit plus the total amount to be paid 

2. Opt to shop with cash and for mobile payments, deposit the exact amount you have planned to spend to avoid over spending.

Leave your debit card / bankcard / ATM card and avoid the chances of overspending. 

3. Carry your loyalty card. It pays too

This option is often a lifesaver, especially when money is tight. 

The best thing about these loyalty programs is they are FREE! Sign up at any time and get your card in minutes. 

4. Do your homework. Know where & when to shop. 

Before you head out, do these 3 pre-shop checks:- 

     i. Visit shop / retail store websites, save and read SMS notifications and flyers for updates on ongoing and upcoming discounts. 

       Don’t settle for the number on the price tag; compare prices before shopping and watch the Ksh.3, 5, 10 (etc.) savings add-up to a nice surplus sum.

Again, remember to look at your receipts.

     ii. Pay attention to the offer ADs, pick the free flyers / leaflets. 

        You can actually use these flyers / leaflets as a “sticky note guide’’ to re-check your list’s item details, shopping date options and to update your current budget (if          need-be)

     iii. How far is your shopping center / supermarket? 

  • Arrive Early (before 10 am, is a good bet) to avoid aisle traffic, road traffic and the sale-stock scramble  
  • Plan for your transport including taxi fare, if need be

5. Weigh and Pay

Did you know you could ask to have spices, fruits and vegetables weighed to match the amount you want to spend? Some supermarkets have this option too

Skip the prepackaged options and pay for what you want to spend when buying (e.g.) green-grams, beans, rice, cowpeas, lentils, spices (etc.)

6. Skip the greengrocer a.k.a kibanda for veggies & fruits and get more in value for your money. 

Now, whether you live in the city or rural areas it’s quite affordable to eat healthy / healthier since every market or neighbourhood has a market you can easily access. 

Here’s how you save money:-

  1. Cut out the “middle man” by getting fresh produce at low prices in larger quantities (just like your local grocer does) 
  2. Switch up your menu for healthy, affordable options. It’s cheaper to shop for what’s in season, especially for fruits (e.g.) mangoes, avocadoes, tomatoes, plums (etc.)
  3. Set a shopping schedule to save time and money

Nobody wants stale groceries and grocery shopping, so grocery shopping every 2 weeks is a sure-bet to getting fresh veggies and fruits. 

7. Take a Trip To The Wholesale Store & Shop For Non-Perishables In Bulk 

Wholesale shopping is an exciting and rewarding way to experience what the phrase “Pay Less, Buy More” means.  To get started on the right track:-

  1. Plan out your meals for longer durations (even up to a week) 
  2. Do not buy what you cannot actually store. Consider storage space and storage containers you own (remember there’s a budget to stick to, if new containers isn’t on the list)
  3. Freeze and Save. 

If you have a freezer, don’t miss out on freezer or frozen food options which have a long shelf-life  

8. BYOB. Bring-Your-Own-Bag

Other than this being a brilliant eco-friendly choice, the advantages of recycling have long-term benefits, both for you (the buyer) and the seller. 

Carry bags that make it easy to pack-and-carry and avoid most shopping accidents like spills, stains, squashed bread / fruits, by keeping in mind all of your shopping list’s items.  

Other money saving shopping points to remember:-

  1. Prepackaged vegetables and fruits cost more than the unpackaged vegetables and fruits. Take the time to handpick what you need
  2. Skip the extra charge of shopping bags which cost between Kshs.15 - Ksh.60 in supermarkets 
  3. Get creative with your BYOB options. 

For example, If you’re driving consider plastic crates to put your shopping in, a shopping backpack (easy on the shoulders-n’-back), a shopping buddy to help out - after all, shopping is always better with enjoyable company 

There are many more tips you probably know of too but these are an easy, affordable starting point to master your budget. 

Try them out and be proud of how much you save. 

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Gathoni is a skilled content developer with over 5 years of experience in content development as a graphic design and copywriter, in different industry sectors. Her passion to nurture positive, stronger, communication impact continues. You can find her on LinkedIn here.

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