TIPS FOR SENIOR GROCERY SHOPPING

Mar 12th, 2012 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Finances

Shopping Tips Aid Senior Citizen Budget

Senior Citizen Journal writes a lot about shopping tips and senior citizen discounts that help stretch the senior fixed income.  Senior finances remain one of the top 10 concerns of seniors everywhere.  Seniors find they save money if they apply discipline to their shopping expeditions. SCJ editors have come across some more suggestions on the Internet, and we share them with you in this post.

What percent of your income do you spend on food?  The average in the SCJ office is about 11%.  Statistics suggest seniors spend from seven percent to 35 percent of income on food.  The lower the senior income, the higher is spent on groceries.  So here are some suggestions you might find helpful as you plan your grocery shopping trips:

  • Make a grocery shopping list.  This is what our grandbabes call a ‘no brainer’.  If you make a list of what you know you need, you will be less likely to come home with odds and ends that you may never use. As you prepare your list, use the sale fliers you get in the mail about mid-week.  Sign up online with your favorite supermarket to get their specials and their coupons.  Use the information you glean to help you make your weekly list. 
  • More importantly regarding your list, take the time to create (on your computer) a list of items you need regularly from your favorite grocery store by aisle. Number the aisles on your list so they correspond with the aisles in your store.  This makes both creating the list and shopping much easier and more efficient.
  • Grocery stores generally have the healthiest food on the perimeter of the store.  For example, our favorite supermarket has the fresh fruits and veggies off to the far right as we enter.  The dairy, fish, seafood, meat section is at the back of the store, as is the yogurt and cottage cheese and milk products.  Bread products are at the far right back of the store.  If you create your list based on where products are in the store, you will be less likely to get caught with a snazzy display of food that looks great, but probably contains trans fats, a ton of calories and ingredients that aren’t all that good for you.  Use the list you created specifically for your grocery store to make shopping easier.
  • Take along, (and remember to use!) your reusable grocery bags.  Many stores give discounts for using your own bags, not their throw-away plastic ones.
  • If you have only a few items to purchase, use the hand-held shopping bags or the smaller carts if they are provided.  Again, you will be less likely to pick up something that ‘looks good’ if you don’t have room for it.

These lists of tips are never complete, and we will always be adding to them as helpful information surfaces.  Be sure to keep checking back with Senior Citizen Journal regularly!



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