Even when you’re trying to save money, there’s often that one person in the family who just isn’t quite cooperating with the plan. The one who still really wants those extras.
Maybe it’s Mom, maybe it’s Dad, maybe it’s one or all of the kids. But that person sure makes going grocery shopping difficult. How do you avoid buying all the extra stuff they want?
Well, kids are easier to cope with than when it’s the other parent. You either learn to say “no” or you go shopping without them as much as possible. Neither one is easy at times, and as your kids grow you will have to figure out what works best for each age, but you do what you can.
Such as have them buy the extras they think they can’t live without with their own money.
But it’s much more difficult when it’s one of the parents who isn’t hearing the other say “we need to spend less money and don’t really need that.” It gets to feeling as though you’re nagging or that they just aren’t paying any attention to you.
And of course an adult can easily just go back to the store on his or her own and buy the things you said no to before. It can take much more effort to break through the stubbornness.
Shopping alone is often much cheaper than bringing anyone else along. Just make sure it’s the person most willing to limit impulse buys. And bring a list.
A list can help even when you do bring the family along. Warn everyone who’s coming along that only items on the list will be bought. Go through the grocery store ads so you know what deals you don’t want to miss, and at least tentatively plan the kinds of meals you’d like to have for the week. The more you know about what you’re actually going to eat, the less excess you will buy.
Talk over the issues too, and be clear about exactly what is happening to your budget due to overspending at the grocery store. Making the problem clear may not be enough to immediately stop the problem, but it does mean you can brainstorm some acceptable solutions.
Take a look at your eating habits too. Can you give up convenience foods? What about sodas? Candy?
These items tend to add up fast, and many aren’t too good for you to begin with. Work up a way to work these out of your diets if possible, or at least agree on limits. I’ve always found that if they’re in the house, they get eaten, but if they aren’t, I won’t get desperate enough to go to the store just for them.
Changing your grocery shopping habits probably won’t solve all your money problems – many families have other places that could be cut equally or even more effectively, but it’s an area many are willing to target. Talk it out, work it out and see what happens.