How many times have you gone grocery shopping only to be tempted by something you don’t need, that usually isn’t healthy, and is definitely not in the budget? In fact, grocery stores make most of their money on the convenience and snack foods that people buy impulsively – such as the new brand of extra crunchy potato chips or the latest weight loss frozen entree guaranteed to melt away the pounds while you eat.
Impulse buys while at the grocery store are even more dangerous to your budget than the occasional splurge on that T-bone steak or chicken breasts. If you find that you are constantly falling victim to those impulse buys that the grocery stores tempt you with, make a rule that if you manage to resist the temptation for the entire month, that you can reward yourself with that steak or other treat. Because you very likely will have saved several times that amount simply by not giving into temptation.
When you go grocery shopping, make the rule that you are only allowed to purchase what is on your list, and absolutely nothing else (barring the accidental omission of milk or bread for the kid’s lunches). And stick to it, with the incentive of the special item you normally can’t afford.
What if you think you really need that impulse item? Don’t fall victim to it, and instead remember it for your next grocery trip. If it makes it to the list for the next week’s shopping trip, it is fair game. But don’t buy anything you hadn’t planned on buying when you left the house.
The only exception should be if there is an in-store sale, and with coupons, that product becomes free or next to nothing to buy. You never know when those unexpected in-store only sales might crop up and that is also why you should never leave home without your coupons!