Save by Shopping the Perimeter

Shopping for groceries is one of those chores that most of us do without putting any thought into the process. It becomes routine. Whether it’s during an early weekend morning or late at night, we often mindlessly make the journey to the local supermarket.

We grab a shopping cart and begin navigating up one aisle and down the next, like mice in a maze, filling our carts with various boxes and cans as we make our way to the checkout lane. Then we hear the total amount of our purchases and wonder what happened? How did we spend so much money?

During your next shopping trip, make an effort to take a good look at the layout of the grocery store. Notice how the essential items like bread and milk are in the farthest location from the entrance so you must walk past the non-essentials? See those displays located at the end of each aisle? These shelves often feature new or popular products, not necessarily bargain items.

The outside perimeter provides the healthiest groceries like produce, dairy, meats and other whole foods. Items in the center of the store are generally the pre-packaged and more expensive convenience items. Most staples and general merchandise are also located in the center of the store, so we can also save money if we avoid picking up non-essential items along the way.

It’s not always possible to shop without going up and down at least a few aisles but if you are a savvy saver with a shopping list you’ll save the most money by sticking to your plan. Don’t let the lure of new products and the higher margin non-food items blow your budget. If for some reason you’ve decided to go without a list, try shopping just along the perimeter of the grocery store.

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Shari is a freelance writer and speaker specializing in the topics of starting a home business, living richly on less, and the challenges of raising children while doing both.

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