Let’s begin this article with an interesting brain teaser – Name one activity performed by every Indian irrespective of gender, age or financial status. Piece of cake, ain’t it? Without any doubt, we can all agree that Grocery shopping stands out as the unanimous winner. Every person at some point in their life must have been subjected to what might have been a gruelling experience for some and an absolutely delightful one for many. Whether we like it or not, Grocery shopping is the most important activity in everyone life as it puts food on the plate.
Grocery shopping has evolved a great deal. Gone are the days when grocery shopping meant compiling a shopping list on a small piece of paper, standing in long queues in front of the local kirana shop and struggling to carry back large shopping bags home. The arrival of the Indian grocery online market has completely revolutionised the shopping experience for customers and troubled the existence of traditional brick and mortar retail shops. The COVID pandemic was a blessing in disguise for the online grocery market and large corporates like Bigbasket, Grofers, Swiggy, Flipkart & Amazon to name a few, have grabbed the opportunity to penetrate every Indian household.
Food inflation has been a serious concern of late and the union government has been taking a lot of measures to curb the ever-increasing prices of edible oils, vegetables and other basic groceries. While the government is doing their bit, we are forced into a situation to bring back the traditional practice of budget shopping. Here are our 5 expert tips for grocery shopping on a budget.
Avoid the urge to buy things you ‘want’ and not ‘need’:
It all started with the introduction of supermarkets when the corporates found a way to tap into the minds of a common man to influence them into buying things they might want later but not need right now. Supermarkets have completely transformed the traditional shopping experience, which was otherwise a monotonous exercise, by introducing the ‘fun’ element. These days, grocery shopping is one of the most popular ‘let’s do something exciting’ experiences for a common middle-class household. One of the most common scenes in a supermarket is to find a family of four, spending hours in large, well lit, airconditioned supermarkets pushing the shopping cart through the aisles, grabbing everything they want but actually don’t need and eventually burning a hole in their pockets. It’s high time we change this habit and put a restraint on impulsive buying. Shop only for things we need at the moment instead of stocking up for later. You’ll definitely end up saving on a lot of unnecessary expenses.
It’s time to bring the pen and paper: Draft your shopping list
If you’re looking for someone to help you budget the household expenses, look no further than your mom or grandmother. Talk to them to find out how they planned grocery shopping during their days. Start by taking stock of groceries at home and prepare a list of items you need. Avoid frequent trips to the local store and try to wrap up the purchase for the month in a single visit.
Go digital, Go online
If you’ve had the experience of shopping while trying to console a cranky infant, you’ll definitely appreciate the benefits of online shopping. Online shopping is the most preferred channel for the gen z audience. Not only does it save time you spend visiting a store but it’s also easier to stick to your monthly budget. There are also websites available that help you compare grocery prices at popular supermarkets. Choose your favourite supermarket, download their app, sit at the comfort of your home and complete the shopping. This mode is particularly favourable during the pandemic period when it is not safe to venture out. You can also enrol for the loyalty programmes and avail of cash benefits.
Watch out for ‘Sale’ days
Keep an eye out for the social media handles of your favourite supermarkets or brands. ‘Sale’ days have become a day to day affair and you can easily plan your shopping based on your favourite grocery item going on offer for a reduced price. You should also be able to easily find some discount coupons from brands as well as on your credit cards. Avoid shopping for items during their off-season period. Vegetables for instance are highly susceptible to off-season peak pricing. It helps to have a list of seasonal availability of goods pasted on the refrigerator so that you know what goods are to be avoided during a certain period.
Purchase must need groceries in bulk
You should easily be able to get items like vegetable oils, dhals, spices and other personal and home care products like soaps, detergents at a discounted price if purchased in bulk. It is always advisable to purchase all non-perishable goods that have a longer shelf life in bulk.