May 27, 2014

5 Tips to Avoid Overspending in Ramadan

Umm Suzana is a Columbian mother of three currently living in New Jersey, USA. She is passionate about natural remedies and ways to save on family spending.

During the blessed month of Ramadan, our usual attention to daily house and family routines get turned towards making the most of our worship, as they should. But whether it’s a start of the month iftar stock-up or a last minute run to the store before suhoor, someone will eventually have to get some groceries. And in case that person is you, here are five tips to help keep your spending in line:

Tip #1: Never Shop When You’re Feeling Hungry
Shopping while hungry increases the chances that you will buy on impulse. Your tummy is growling, your throat is parched, and your brain is thinking: “food, drink, now!” With all of this going on, you will be much more likely to give in to purchasing food items that you don’t really need, blasting your budget right out of the water.

It’s best to eat before you shop. That way the only thing your brain has to focus on is sticking to the list. If you’re fasting, trying doing your grocery shopping early, right after your morning suhoor. Or try it in the evening after you’ve finished your iftar.  

If you have to shop with children in tow, make sure that they have been fed beforehand too!

Tip #2: Make a List
Everyone’s list will be different depending on how and when a person prefers to shop. But in general, make sure your list includes the day-to-day particulars as well as the bulk items that you know you will need throughout the month. Items like plates, napkins, dates and water can be bought early on and in bulk to help save time and money!

To save cooking time for last minute iftars or unexpected guests, stock up on veggies and herbs early on too. Once purchased, they can be chopped and frozen into small, easy-to-cook portions that you can use throughout the month.  

When you get to the store, strive to not buy anything that’s not already on your list. Buying off the list is a quick and almost sure way to overspend and come home with unnecessary items. Think of this way: If it wasn’t on the list in the first place, you more than likely don’t need it!

If you have trouble making a list on the spot, try keeping a piece of paper or a white board on the fridge where you can jot down the items you run out of, especially the items you want to stock up on before Ramadan begins. This not only helps save time in making your grocery list but also helps keep you from forgetting important items for your home.  

Tip #3 Set Your Budget
Setting a budget beforehand helps keep you in line when your impulses lean towards unnecessary purchases.

Before Ramadan begins, try to make a bi-weekly budget so you don’t have to spend time shopping every week or even every day. Our goal this month should be to spend as much of our time as possible in worship, not waiting in lines at the grocery store. Make sure to include enough money in your budget to cover any possible tax costs.

Once you have your list set, check the grocery store circulars and newspapers for current deals and coupons. Every state differs but in New Jersey, the circulars are usually released on Fridays and the store coupons on Sundays.

Mark down the sale items that match the items on your list so you know to go straight for the deals when you get to the store. If you find coupons matching your list items, clip them and use them at the register to save even more, inshaAllah!

For even more savings, check with your local stores for a free customer rewards card that you can swipe to get gifts cards, cash back, or extra discounts on the items you need.

Tip# 4: Pay Attention to the Shelves!

Oftentimes, stores place their most expensive items at eyelevel, within easy reach, while the clearance items are placed towards the bottom or back of the shelves. So if you want to save, be prepared to bend down and dig a little to find the deals.

Tip #5: Make Duaa
As with everything else we do in the deen, we should always ask Allah to accept our efforts and bless them for us.

The Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, said that the dua of the fasting person will not be rejected!

The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, said: “Three supplications will not be rejected (by Allah, subahana wa ta ala) the supplication of the parent for his child, the supplication of the one who is fasting, and the supplication of the traveler. (al-Bayhaqi, at-Tirmidhi – Sahih)

MashaAllah, what a wonderful blessing! So definitely take time in Ramadan to make lots and lots of dua, even when it comes to the shopping.  

If you struggle to sticking to a budget, ask Allah to make it easy for you. Ask Him to make it easy for you to get in and out with everything you need. If you know your particular grocer isn’t coupon friendly, make duaa that Allah gives you safe travels to and from the store and gives you the patience to deal with whatever obstacles the day may bring. 

1 comment:

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