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How I Ended Up Saving Rs 18,000 a year on Grocery Shopping

Here are some of the strategies that have worked for me to reduce the grocery bill by Rs 1,500 per month. That’s over Rs 18,000 a year- enough to buy a new phone.

When I was a salaried employee, I'd go to the supermarket with a rough idea of what I want to buy.

MRP served as a measure of quality- higher the price, better the product- or so I thought.

As an entrepreneur building a new start up, I now realize that money doesn't come cheap. I decided to start saving money wherever possible.

Here are some of the strategies that have worked for me to reduce the grocery bill by Rs 1,500 per month. That's over Rs 18,000 a year- enough to buy a new phone.

#1: Create a list and stick to it

It's easy to pick up stuff which you never planned to buy. It might be a new biscuit or a sports drink. Individually, the cost might not be high. But they add up. If you find something interesting and want to try them out, delay the purchase. Then see if you still need it.

Delaying your purchase decision helps you overcome impulse purchases.

Have a separate monthly budget for splurging (if you choose to)

#2: Shop at small Kirana stores rather than big supermarkets

When you go to the nearby Kirana store, you give the list to the shop owner. He takes what's in the list and hands it over to you .No added purchases. No upselling like "Would you like potatoes to go with it"!

Kirana shops also offer discounts and free delivery to regular customers.

#3: Understand the behavioural marketing strategies employed by supermarkets

Have you noticed the following?

•Dairy products are often placed at the extreme end of the supermarket

•The costliest products are often placed at eye level in the supermarket shelves

•Chocolates are other quick to pick up items placed near the billing counter

These are marketing strategies employed by supermarkets to get you to buy high-margin products. Understand them, and then ignore them.

#4: It's cheaper to buy in bulk, unless when it's not

It's often cheaper to buy larger quantities of items in your shopping list.Sometimes manufacturers reduce the price for larger quantities or they pack extras (1KG free when you buy the 5 KG pack).

However, keep a tab on bulk purchases. Buy only things in bulk you will use over a period of time. It's easy to buy chocolates in bulk and finish it off the same day, but not detergent or bathing soap.

#5: Remember the golden rule

Here's something you need to remember. The more processing something requires, the costlier it's going to be.That's why it's often cheaper to buy the components for making fresh salad rather than buying pre-cut salad mix. Try and stick to simpler food items that involves minimal processing.

You eat healthier food and save money at the same time. How's that for a bargain?

Don't just take my word for it.Or for that matter, anyone else's words blindly.

Most experts advice you to never go shopping when you are hungry. The reasoning is that it makes you susceptible to impulse purchases.

In my case, I find it best to go shopping when I am mildly hungry. When I am hungry, I tend to stick to my list and wrap up my shopping faster. No loitering in the supermarket aisles aiding impulse purchases. See what works for you and create a process around it.

Are there more smart ways to save money doing shopping? Share your suggestions using the comment section.

About The Author

Adarsh Thampy, CEO of Leadferry, is an entrepreneur and life hacker. He writes about simple life-hacks to save money. Adarsh is also a NISM certified mutual fund distributor. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.

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