The advent of supermarkets in our lives changed the way we shop. The availability of everything under one roof has led to a smooth and easy shopping experience.
But have you ever felt that you made more purchases than you had planned? The ‘SALE’ trap lures everyone. The ‘when’ and ‘which’ product to push is at the supermarket’s discretion.
A savings of XX amount helps draw a glossy picture in our mind, only to realize later the quantum of money spent to earn it. Appearances are deceiving, and fragrances mystify and cloud your judgment.
A smart shopper will gleefully tackle all these and save the buck lost otherwise.
A packaged product has a lot of information on the pack. You should go through these carefully before opting to buy the product.
It is important, that before adding a product to your purchase cart, you check
- The date of manufacturing and expiry
- The price stickers
- The LOI or list of ingredients
- The flavors, fragrances, and taste
- Allergic agents, if any (varies from person to person)
- Licenses and approvals
- Procurement source
- Usage pattern
The manufacturing and expiry dates are salient points to check for in any product. Do not buy a product that is near expiry as you might not use it in time. Often the supermarkets keep the perishable products with a shorter shelf life in front and the ones with a long expiration time at the back.
The price stickers and labels give you information on the MRP or maximum retail price. It also tells you about the offer price (if the supermarket is offering any discount on the product).
Professionally printed price stickers like promo stickers (% Off Marked Price Stickers, Sale stickers, New Tags), food stickers (dairy-free, egg-free, vegan friendly), tamper proof seals are often used in Supermarkets. They look very attractive and have a great appeal to the shopper’s purchase decision.
You should always check the LOI or the list of ingredients. Check the higher-proportion ingredients and make an informed decision on how they will affect your body. Should you be allergic to any ingredient, be cautious while adding it to your cart.
On the back of the pack, you can check the certifying authority, which will tell you about the safety standards opted for its manufacture. You can enquire about the date of procurement of the fresh produce to give you an idea about when to consume it.
Right Product In Right Season
Being in sync with nature helps in many ways than you know. If you plan your vegetables and fruit consumption as per the season, you always get fresh produce.
As we all know, fresh produce tastes better and is a healthy alternative to processed food, with added preservatives.
Before you step out for the supermarket, make a list of items that you need. Loitering around the aisles, searching for the ‘products to pick as you see’ approach kills a lot of your time and money.
Buying non-food items with a long expiration time in bulk, like the cleaning agents or tissue roll, is another good practice. Since you use these products year long, buying them during the offer season helps save money.
Cash Only Please!
When you have a fixed list of items to buy, you can set a budget for the job. Carry an amount equal to your purchase basket and keep a small buffer amount. It ensures that you do not overspend on anything you did not have on the list.
Also, carry the amount in cash. Research data suggests that when people pay via cards or a virtual mode, they spend more than the allocated budget.
Be Well Fed
When we are hungry, we often tend to become irrational. We make choices that we regret later. So, a well-fed tummy is a better state to step into the supermarket.
You may also end up purchasing instant foods more like a natural urge to curb hunger. These impulse purchases are not only unfriendly to your pocket but also to your health.
Hence, never go shopping when you are hungry.
Also, being informed about the product that you buy is a good idea. Before buying, it is a good habit to check the smell, shape, and look of the fresh produce.
When you touch a vegetable, you can understand whether they are spoiled or fresh.
Pick them as per the size of the family. Overstocking vegetables only leads to higher food wastage.
Wash before you cook or eat.
Let the Smell Not Lure You
Stepping into a section or stopping on a counter while passing by is very common. The smell of bakery products often lures you to buy your favorite pastry or muffin even when you are not hungry.
The fragrance attacks your senses and makes you hungry. Junk foods may camouflage as gourmet. Good branding makes the products dubious, as they claim to be healthy, while in reality, they are not.
So on your next visit to the supermarket, spend as much time as possible, reading and checking the products that you buy. Being in a hurry while shopping for food is not a good decision. Plan your purchase well in advance to avoid any overspending.