Grocery shopping is a very routine task. That’s a great thing in many ways. However, the regularity of it can also lull you into a sense of complacency.

You can get into a rut. If that happens, then you might make mistakes that end up costing you money.

That’s why it’s important to get into the right frame of mind before you go grocery shopping. I like to ask myself the following nine questions before I head out to the store.

1. Am I Hungry?

If the answer is yes then it’s important to pause. Eat something. Then you can go grocery shopping. If you don’t take this precaution then you’ll almost certainly fall prey to impulse buys at the store. You just can’t think clearly when you’re too hungry.

2. Am I Emotional?

Many people engage in emotional eating. Even if you don’t, you just don’t make the best choices when you’re dealing with heavy emotions. Therefore, you shouldn’t shop when you’re feeling weepy, stressed, or highly emotional. Meditate, do yoga, or do some deep breathing before you go grocery shopping.

3. Do I Have My Grocery Shopping List?

You should always have a list with you when you go to the grocery store. You should only buy what is on the list. This is just smart shopping.

4. Have I Checked My Fridge?

I like to clean out my refrigerator right before I go grocery shopping. If I’ve been smart throughout the week, then I won’t have anything to throw out. However, sometimes things go awry and food has spoiled. I toss that out. I do a scan of what’s left. Then I compare that to what’s on my list, and I update my list accordingly.

5. What Is My Meal Plan?

This goes along with the above two questions. It’s important to plan out meals for the week so that you have exactly what you need but don’t buy any extras. I usually make my meal plan first, then I check my fridge, then I updated my grocery list.

6. Do I Have My Coupons for Grocery Shopping?

Do you have a good coupon for every item on your list? Have you clipped digital coupons for the grocery store where you’ll be shopping? Why would you spend more on your groceries than necessary? Do this homework before you leave for the store.

7. Do I Have My Loyalty Cards?

Most grocery stores offer loyalty cards or memberships that decrease costs. Of course, you can often enter your phone number instead of showing a physical card. Nevertheless, sometimes it helps to have the card. For example, at my local grocery store, they have a “soup and salad” punch card. If I forget the card then I don’t get the deal.

8. Do I Have a Backup Plan?

If the grocery store doesn’t have the items you plan to buy with a coupon, what are you going to do? How will that affect your grocery list and meal plan? Moreover, do you know the store’s rain check policy so that you can get the same deal when the store is stocked up?

9. Do I Have Time to Get My Groceries?

If you shop when you are in a rush then you are likely to make mistakes. While they won’t be devastating, they can certainly cost you a little bit of money. Avoid that by making sure that you have ample time to get your shopping done. Many people enjoy shopping during off hours when the stores aren’t so busy.

Is there anything you ask yourself before going grocery shopping?

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