The term ‘lean’ is from the business manufacturing world and describes a theory of making things more efficient and less wasteful in every way possible. But with household finances being more under pressure right now than ever before, perhaps it’s time we considered using some for these lean techniques to reduce the amount of money we are spending on products and groceries?
The average household creates an enormous volume of waste every year, and we all seem to be paying good money for products that eventually end up – quite literally – in smoke. With this in mind, here’s my guide to becoming a leaner shopper, to help you save a little more and waste a lot less.
The Big Shop
First of all, let’s discuss groceries. Whether you go for your big shop once a week or once a month, it’s prime opportunity for the grocery stores to take advantage of you. Ultimately, they aim to get you to spend as much time in-store as possible, as statistics suggest the longer you are walking the aisles, the more money you will spend. So, ensure that your weekly or monthly shop is for things you actually need. Make a list, or, even better, sign up for a delivery service. There will be a small delivery charge, of course, but the money – and food waste – you save will dwarf this amount in comparison.
Life is already full of enough temptation, so when marketers everywhere are trying to attract your attention in every way they can, it’s no surprise that you fall for their tricks every once in a while. How many times have you been persuaded to buy on a whim, before realizing you don’t need them or they don’t add any value to your life? So, perhaps it’s time to turn off your TV during the ad break. Maybe you should unsubscribe from the constant stream of emails sending you offers and deals on things you don’t need. And you should also consider thinking about every single purchase you can make. Is it worth it? Are there other options with better value? And does it meet a need you already have, or is just making one up for you?
We all need ‘things,’ of course. But you should try to choose them for yourself, rather than falling for persuasion. Start using review sites such as Top9Rated, and then look around for genuine opinions from actual people who already own or consume that particular product. The Amazon review section is an excellent example of this in action.
Tired of throwing away out of date food or rotten fruit and veggies? It’s a simple case of organizational failure. Get into the habit of planning your meals on a weekly basis, draw up ingredients lists, and only buy what you need. You’ll be astonished at two things: first, the amount of money you save, and secondly, the amount of trash you throw away every week. Not only is it good for your wallet, but it’s also good for the environment and your moral fiber!
Think you could be a leaner shopper? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!