We’ve all been there. It’s like a gravitational pull to the hot food display equipment when you enter a grocery store, powered by the delicious smells of soups, meats, and seasoned vegetables. You might blow half your budget on these per pound bars just because your mouth is watering. There is a way, however, to keep the prepared foods from breaking the bank. To save money in the store you have to be willing to plan your trips and strategize.
Plan your shopping
Everyone has items that tempt them in a store, whether it’s chips or sweets that one weakness can be the start of a dangerous spiral into expensive junk food. If you’re particularly tempted by the bakery, for example, avoid that area of the store. Draw out a diagram of your regular grocery store and find a way to plot your path without having to walk past the department or aisle with the items you don’t need or can’t afford. Even if it means walking through and extra two aisles or taking the long way to the meat department, it can ultimately save you tons of money to remove temptation from the equation.
Strategize your spending
Have you ever compared pricing on prepared food versus the whole, raw version? For example, how many packs of chicken breast would cost the same amount as buying a whole chicken? Especially when it comes to produce, purchasing the whole item as opposed to pre-cubed, sliced, or shredded, versions can save you tons at check out. Likewise, if you buy a whole chicken instead of a pack of breasts and a pack of thighs, you’ll probably spend the amount but have twice the meat! If you’re willing to put in a little extra prep work, you can put more goodies in your basket.