You know what happens. You’re racing from one thing to another and then you get home and realize you’ve forgotten to pick something up at the store.
Or you’ve had a long day and it would be so easy to pick up a high calorie snack when you fill up your gas tank.
The cost of convenience can really be tough on your budget.
Here are some ways to save money when convenience is a necessity.
Stay out of the convenience store if you can. Try to substitute with something you already have in your pantry. See if you can borrow something from your neighbors. Try to do without.
Pay at the Pump. If you just can’t resist those impulse buys at the grocery store when you stop to fill up for gas, then use your credit card and pay at the pump. You will only be able to buy what you came for and nothing else.
Take advantage of store rewards. Many convenience stores have loyalty programs. If you must make a purchase at a convenience store, be sure to check for discounts.
Use a rewards credit card. I’m not a big fan of using your credit card for consumables, but if you are excellent at paying off your balance in full every month, you could get at least a few pennies back for your stop at the convenience store.
Buy the store brands. Even at convenience stores, where the prices are often outrageous, you can still find deals on store brands.
Compare prices. Look for multi-packs. For example, it may be cheaper to buy a 6 pack of candy or a 2 liter bottle of soda than it is to buy a single candy bar or a 20 oz bottle of soda.
Of course the best way to avoid the high cost of convenience is to plan in advance. Make lists and keep them in your purse, or use a service like ZipList to keep your list on your phone.