Stop! Don’t grab that shopping cart just yet. Do you intend to buy $100 worth of groceries? If not, you probably shouldn’t grab that oversized cart. Did you know that grocery stores increase the size of their shopping carts so that you’ll spend more money? Personally, the main reason I grab a shopping cart is for the convenience of carrying my purse and coupon tote bag. It’s so much easier, but now I realize shopping carts are magnets for impulse spending and succumbing to the marketing strategies within a store! Here are four ways to control your spending by changing how you shop for—and carry—your groceries.
1. Carry your groceries in your hands
I’ll bet you’re scratching your head at that suggestion. Just try it. If all you need is a bag of salad, a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk, use your two hands to keep what you purchase at that. You’ll be surprised at how carrying your groceries will prevent you from grabbing something you don’t need, which will save you a few bucks. Believe me, I’m surprised at how much this controls my impulse buying. It will feel strange the first couple of times, but it’s a great way to get in and out of the store quickly!
2. Use your own recyclable bag instead of grabbing a shopping cart
Depending on how much you need to purchase, this is a great way to handle small items and keep your spending limited. Plus, you can sling the bag onto your shoulder to carry with your purse. If I have coupons, I only carry the ones that I plan to use and leave the binder in the car. If I find a great deal and know I have a coupon, I’ll do a repeat visit to the store. It’s great exercise!
3. Use the store’s handheld basket
This is a method that I never used until I started to think of ways to combat my impulse shopping. These baskets are typically at the entrance of the store and are pretty sturdy. If you fill up the basket, you’re done! This will limit those impulse purchases and keep you conscious of the amount of space you have available for the items you need. The only downside about these is that they are uncomfortable to carry on your arm—but discomfort is cheaper than spending money that you don’t have, right?!
4. Consider home delivery or curbside pickup
You can shop online at Walmart and get free shipping for purchases $50 or greater. Walmart also offers many items that are available for in-store pickup. However, coupons are not allowed on online purchases—you can shop through ebates.com and earn 2% cashback, though! Shopping online helps keep my spending in check because I only go in the store to pick up my order then leave.