Oct 13, 2017

Shop like an old lady

Living in Japan can be pretty pricey. If you are living on a tight budget like my family and me, then you have to get creative on how you cut corners and save a few yennies here and there. Here are a few ways to keep your wallet in check. One of the biggest chunks in our budget is food. As a family of five, we have to try as hard as possible to keep this low so we don’t often eat out. Even cooking at home can be costly, trying to stretch that paycheck each month and eat all the vegetables we can afford. This is why the ugly produce bin is our first destination at the supermarket. It is all going to be chopped up anyway so who cares if it's bruised or got a weird growth. I often comb different grocery stores for their marked down produce and dairy products because each place varies everyday. However if you aren’t like me and have only been shopping on weekends, then you need to change your time to shop. Weekdays after 8 pm you can find some great deals. This is when the meat, fish and , “daily” (ie deli section) of the stores go on sale with 20 to 50 percent discounts.

This is a 20 percent off marker. Some will be spread out through the store, other places all the discount items are conveniently moved to the same section.

You may have to fight the old ladies for that half priced meat, but it’s worth it and it shows that old ladies really know how to shop. Take cues from them to find the good deals. 

Weekdays also are usually when the stores have their 2 倍 point days.  

Twice the points means twice as fast to get that 500 yen discount. If you haven’t already signed up for a point card, do it now. Almost every store in Japan has a point card including supermarkets and even some dentist offices. Effective and efficient use of point cards can save you quite a bit in the long run. So can not using the stores shopping bags. Not only is it ecologically friendly, it is also more economically friendly. Some stores charge for bags, others give discounts to those who don’t take them. Others have point cards they stamp each time you bring your own bag in and give a discount after a certain accumulation of points. “Mai basuketto” or “my basket” are more common to see in this area than the typical eco-bag because you can just carry it right out the store. It skips the step of bagging your groceries. Another thing that I have found to be cheaper depending on the item has been shopping at drug stores instead of the local grocery store. My nearby Seims always has cheaper eggs, milk and bread products. They also have more discounted items because the old ladies don’t get to them first. If you shop like an old lady and don’t let any of the deals pass you by, then living cheaply is a breeze. Maybe then you can afford that 1000 yen melon. 



American step mom with beautiful Brazilian babies. Raising them in Japan. I'm a crafter too