Staying stuck in a rut with your shopping habits could be costly


by Veronica Hunsucker

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If you find yourself stuck in a rut, almost subconsciously going through the motions of daily existence, you could be unintentionally damaging your budget. It could be beneficial to your financial situation to take a few moments to examine your eating habits, shopping habits, and overall lifestyle to see how much of an impact traveling in a rut is having on your budget and your life in general.

You may consider yourself a frugal shopper but a closer examination of your shopping habits might reveal that you are stuck in a shopping rut and actually missing opportunities to save money. If you shop at the same grocery store each time you buy groceries, you are missing out on sale items other stores have. You may have gotten accustomed to buying basically the same items each week and preparing the same meals over and over again. If you step outside of the rut, you will discover items on sale at other stores that will allow you to diversify the meals you prepare without spending more money and possibly even saving money.

When you shop at your favorite grocery store, you probably know where things are located and most likely could shop there blindfolded. That may not be to your advantage. By reaching for the same products each time you shop, you could be missing a lesser priced item one or two shelves below the item you usually reach for. Product prices change so what is the least expensive brand one week might not be the least expensive brand the following week.

The same concept applies to shopping at a department store. Sometimes you need to venture down a different aisle or maybe even shop a different store to save money. You don't always have to buy household cleaning supplies or personal care items at the same store. Check out sale papers, shop at a different store, and enjoy being freed from your rut.

Another rut that people fall into is shopping at the same time each week. If you always buy groceries on the same day, you are missing out on some money saving opportunities. Discount bins are a great way to buy more and pay less. If you practice the art of awareness shopping, you will take time to find out when these bins are the fullest at various stores and vary your shopping time accordingly.

If you always eat at the same restaurant, you could be missing out on some new, exciting culinary adventures while also missing out on some real meal deals. Watch for advertised specials at a restaurant you don't normally go to. Change your designated dining out day or night to coincide with those specials.

It would be well worth your time to pay attention to the ruts you are traveling in. When you see yourself repeating a pattern over a period of time, change the pattern. Whether it's shopping a different store, buying a different product, discovering a new, favorite clothing store, or eating at a different restaurant, stepping outside of the rut can be a money-saving adventure and a welcomed lifestyle change.

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