GROCERY SHOPPING IS LIKE WALKING INTO A CANDY STORE FOR ADULTS
Impulse buying behaviour is something that every consumer has to deal with whether you believe yourself to be an economical shopper or not. Frugal shoppers are as sensitive to the marketing process of luring shoppers into buying stuff they don’t need as are those who aren’t so thrifty.
As you already know I’m a grocery shopper with eyes and ears and occasionally a mouth that engages in food-related conversation. Most often I enjoy observing and listening to what others are saying if they are in my vicinity. Don’t worry I’m not a grocery store stalker, just a nosey customer.
Types of Impulse food purchases
Over the past 5 years that I’ve posted our grocery shops in the Grocery Game Challenge I’ve been more attentive to what people are buying. I’m not the best at multi-tasking but since part of my hobby (this blog) requires knowledge about other shoppers I tend to snoop a bit.
When you’re not looking I am because I want to know what you’re buying. I’m also interested in knowing what you’re reading on packages before you toss it in the shopping cart. Oddly enough the shopper who does the fly by shopping intrigues me the most. That’s the person who has their arm out and just tosses products in their cart without a second glance. How do you know that you’re getting the best deal?
- Buying without reading labels
- It’s on sale so I need it
- Everyone else is buying it
- Timed specials
- Looks good, Smells good, Tastes good
- In the moment
It’s easy to understand by reading the above list why so many of us tend to spend more for groceries if we give in to these impulse food purchases. Just about every week that I go grocery shopping with Mrs. CBB there are temptations all around us that even we have given in to with regret. You can’t just talk about something you haven’t experienced especially when it comes to the emotional side of finance.
Fix it or deal with it
Not one shopper is free from impulse food purchases because humans have the tendency to let their stomach win over their food budget. We eat to survive and when we smell something good or food looks good, we want it. Whether we need it or can afford it is a different story however today I want to talk about what impulse food purchases you should be avoiding while budgeting your groceries.
I’m trying to change the way I grocery shop and my biggest downfall is impulse food purchases that catch my attention or that I simply toss in my cart because I need it. I don’t always know price comparisons of everything I buy. What are some of the worst products I should be avoiding at the grocery store? – Sandy from Chatham, Ontario.
Great question Sandy!
I can explain to you impulse food products to pass up but most importantly you need to understand the underlying reason about why you are giving in to temptation.
If we make our way into Metro or Zehrs they offer a bulk food section similar to what you would find at The Bulk Barn but on a MUCH smaller scale. Although prices at The Bulk Barn may seem higher than at the grocery store or other discount shops there are excellent sales they can offer because bulk food is what they specialize in.
Grocery stores don’t specialize in bulk food but offer it as a convenience or tactic to keep you buying from them and not the competitors. Don’t fall into this trap. Avoid the bulk food section at all costs because I’m 100% certain you’ll be paying far more than needed or what you would have spent at a shop specializing in bulk food.
If you find something in the bulk food section that you missed on your shopping list check the aisles first before you agree to buying in bulk. You may find that you’ll save more buying more. A great example was a jar of Planters peanuts were on sale for $1.99 at Zehrs last week. If you go to the bulk food section you’ll find peanuts for $3.99-$9.99lb for various types of peanuts. I did the math and buying the bottle of nuts was far cheaper.
Oh those sample employees know how to sell new products they are marketing not only with tempting samples but with coupons and a pretty display right next to their booth. Some shoppers feel as if they must buy new products especially if they sample them at the store. No. Another gimmick is new product labelling that boasts better flavour, new look etc. Don’t fall for it. Manufacturers are just trying to keep impulse food shoppers alert.
Although new products are great when you want to experiment in the kitchen or try something you haven’t tasted before always be aware of the impact that product will have on your grocery budget. Just because cheese has improved flavour doesn’t mean it’s worth more than the brand next to it.
I often find using a coupon and waiting for a sale to be the best defense if you MUST try something new. The more you can save the better especially if you don’t fancy the product.
Yes, yes it is the one of the worst impulse food purchases to make at the grocery store. Empty calories and deserving moments are costly to any budget. Opt to make homemade or look around for reduced bakery goods if you must feed into your sweet and salty mood.
Stay away from the chips, chocolate bars, bag of snacks and other treats at the cash register they are all too expensive. This is the stores final way to motivate impulse food purchases before you leave the grocery store.
Anything you Smell
This is the hardest for Mrs.CBB and I because no matter how much we eat before we go grocery shopping a tantalizing smell is intoxicating. You know the moment you walk into a grocery store that your nose is on the hunt especially those grocery stores that offer the in-store bakery, pizzeria, deli and hot food counters. Fortino’s in Burlington next to IKEA comes to mind. Walking in that grocery store is like coming face to face with a chocolate cake and nobody is watching.
You will almost always find these around the perimeter of the grocery store, the very place we believe to have the biggest savings. This is not always the case because grocery shops are getting wise to this so they are changing things around. Have a look next time you grocery shop and take note of product placement. You’ll see what I mean.
Fight impulse food shopping with consumer power
Ultimately, impulse food purchases will equate to one of the highest percentages of money-making profits for grocery stores. If it’s not you buying it someone else will however the more you continue to educate yourself about grocery store tactics and improving the way you shop you’ll see changes to your monthly expenses.
What are some of the hardest impulse food purchases for you to pass up?
If you have a grocery or budget question you’d like to ask send me an email: email@example.com
March Grocery Game Challenge
Join in the 2017 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post. Here are The Grocery Game Challenge rules to get you started and where you’ll also find a link for the 2017 GGC schedule. Please feel free to download, save and even print the schedule.
Congrats to Ballot #4 Christine for winning the February Grocery Game Challenge!
Post your shop and you can be next.
New monthly prize: See the Grocery Game Rules
March 2017 Blog Posts:
- Our weekly menu plan based on a $265 Grocery Budget– GGC#1
- Critical 6 Point Consumer Exit Grocery Store Check-list– GGC #2
Free Money Saving Tools 2017
Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!
This is the budget that brought us to debt freedom back in 2013 and now I’m offering to all of you for FREE. We still use this budget every month as it helps us to see our overall financial picture.
Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.
Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE.
CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet. So many free resources at your fingertips.
Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide 2017
The Ultimate Grocery Shopping guide is ongoing with new informative money-saving posts added every month.
Even if you don’t live in Canada there are some amazing budget saving tips that will help put you on the path to more savings at the supermarket.
Share this guide with your friends and tell them about Canadian Budget Binder especially if they are struggling with their grocery budget.
The time is NOW to get started saving money on groceries so please enjoy the many money-saving posts in the The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.
2017 Grocery Shop Results
Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2017: $3180 or $265/mth
(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.
Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
- Total Grocery Budget for this Month: $265
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $265
- Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
- Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
- Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
- PC Points Plus Earned to date: 431,000
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
- Shoppers Optimum: Just under 850,000 Optimum points (I will update this twice a year) $1500 worth of free stuff.
Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
- Zweet to cash out : $18.25
- Checkout51 to cash out : $24.50
Our Grocery Shop This Week
All totals below already have tax factored into them.
- 6 x Nescafe Instant Coffee PM Freshco $3.99
- 2 x Allens Apple Juice $1.47 each
- Garlic Powder $2.00 bag
- 3 x dozen large eggs $1.97 each
- Bananas $1.16
- 2 pk mozzarella balls $5.00
- Grape tomatoes $1.57
- 2 x seedless cucumbers $1.47 each
- Celery $1.67
- Broccoli PM Freshco $1.47
- Whole Mushrooms Fresh $1.47
- Romaine Lettuce $2.47
Total Out-Of-Pocket $52.42
- Total to spend this month : $265
- Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
- Stockpile budget used this month: $10.99
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $0
- Total in-store discounts this week: $0
- Total in-store discounts to date: $67.91
- Total spent this week: $52.42
- Total spent so far this month: $232.03
- Total over/Under spend this shop: over
- Total over/Under spend for the month: n/a
- Total left to spend for the month: $32.97
- Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $231.06+Feb $255.16+March ($5 budget increase) $
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
This week we ventured into Walmart because of the snow storm and it was closest to us. The main reason was because they had the best prices on vegetables and we needed to price match Freshco. Unfortunately No Frills is at the other side of town as is Freshco so we don’t often make our way to those shops.
We still have $14 in our stockpile budget to use up and although I could have placed the instant coffee in that category this week I just left it as is. I’m sure with this month being 5 months that it will get used up with another great sale. If not, even better. Our pantry, freezer and refrigerator is sitting in a comfortable spot right now, not too full, not too empty.
That’s our food shopping week!!
Coupons and Coupon Apps
Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons! These are your latest Checkout 51 offers which you can use to help save money. We’re finding less and less coupons in the stores these days. What are your thoughts? Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons?
If you notice I’m missing a valuable link please message me and I’ll get it added to the savings list below.
Sign up for the Nielsen Canada Home Scan Program and you can earn rewards points fast to redeem for awesome products or gift cards. I did this in the UK and loved it!!
Plus check out these other hidden areas online to get more coupons!!
If any of these links are broken please report them to me.
- Healthy Essentials Printable Coupons (Johnson and Johnson)
- Danone Coupons Get up to $25 in coupons
- Clorox Coupons Sign up to print coupons in the Clorox family which include Greenworks, Glad etc.
- Kraft Canada Sign up and receive recipes and coupons by email
- MySavings.com Printable Smart Source Coupons
- Walmart Canada Printable Coupons
- Proctor and Gamble PandG Sign up for printable coupons
- Hidden Coupon Portals You Should know about – I found this over at Save a Loonie and you’ll want to sign up for notifications and check out the site so you get notified every time a hidden coupon is available from Save.ca, Brandsaver, Smart Source etc.
Grocery Game Challenge 2017 FAQ’s
- Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible. The rules have been updated to reflect changes for the 2017 challenge year.
- Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
- What is the monthly prize and who can claim it?- The monthly prize is a $10-$20-$50 PC Loblaws Gift Card and for our out of country friends it’s $CDN via PayPal. Please see GGC rules.
- When does the Grocery Game close each month?: The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month but you will still get a ballot when you post your shops even if they are late but I encourage you to stay on schedule. If you choose to post monthly or bi-weekly you will only get 1 ballot for that shop. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it altogether. Don’t let that be you! You can post your shops all month-long.
- Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: No, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year in order to plan accordingly our budget.
- Do you stockpile food? We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any longer as we found we weren’t eating it fast enough. Stockpiling is still great and just one way to help cut your budget to save money if you do find items that you can buy in bulk at a sale price.
- Canadian Coupons:Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
- Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading with mobile coupon apps being the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site Save.ca that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many other coupon apps available. If you find an app that I don’t talk about please let me know as they are always being added and I’d like to review them.
- What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our Iphone so if you wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
- What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
- What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
- How Do I Know what stores accept coupons?: If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.
Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do. This is why The Grocery Game Challenge is one of the most popular hang out spots for people who want to save money on groceries.
If you’ve just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 get ready to look at your grocery budget by learning;
- Where you are spending money
- How much money you are spending
- How much money you are saving every month
If you want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!
If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email. If I use your topic I will put your name in a draw for a prize at the end of the year.
You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!
Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge 2017!
Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?
- Follow Me on Social media by clicking any of the buttons below on the blog.
- Check out my new Free Recipe Index
- If you like FREE then click this link for my FREE Excel Budget Spreadsheet and all my Free Money Saving List
- Don’t forget to Subscribe to Canadian Budget Binder by Email to get my daily email. Once you subscribe you MUST VERIFY your email account so check your spam folder and inbox for that email! By Subscribing you get all the inside scoops first plus any new finance tools and tips.
- If you notice and broken links or errors please email me or leave a comment below.
- Note some links used in this post will be affiliate links.