Supermarket Savings: Tip-of-the-Day #171


There are a few simple ways that you can save some dough at the market. Some are obvious and will just serve as a reminder, some you may not have thought of! Have a look:

Curb impulses
Make a list and check it twice! DON'T go down every aisle if you don't have to. Why? Studies have shown that 50% to 60% of all supermarket purchases are made on impulse, and that figure increases to 70% when shoppers go down every aisle. If you stick to a shopping list you'll spend less, and you won't forget something you actually need.

Don’t shop hungry
It's hard to resist "snack foods" and other things you wouldn't normally buy if you go shopping when you're hungry. Worse yet, there is candy, soda and chips at the checkout that will also mysteriously find their way into your cart if you're not careful. Eat first, then shop. If you have to shop on an empty tummy pick up an apple. No joke - apples stave off cravings.

Ditch brand loyalty
New research by a trade group for the makers of generic products suggests that consumers can cut their weekly grocery bills by 30% if they buy a store's brand (read: generic) instead of the better-known national brands. The biggest savings can be found on over the counter drugs and beauty products.

Again, stick to your list
Grocers often place staples in the back of the store so that you must walk past all the other goodies to get there. Stay focused! And, when shopping the shelves, always check out the goods on the top and bottom shelves because the items placed at eye level are there for a reason - for you to buy them! Look around for the better deals.

Buy whole foods
While pre-sliced meats, pre-cut carrots and individually packaged servings of fruit may save you some time in the kitchen, it will cost you. A head of lettuce at a San Francisco grocery store runs $1.99, while a bag of already-cut and washed lettuce from the same store is $2.89. You'll save money if you do more of the work yourself.

Rein in your natural shopping habits
Avoid "bargain bins", end cap displays and other similar promotional tactics. These are often items that stores are trying to clear out and you don't want someone else's garbage even if it is on sale!

Check product sizes and pricing
To make sure you're really benefiting from buying the Costco-size jar of mayonnaise, check the unit price to see what you're paying per ounce, pound, liter or other measure. And, mayo aside, consider how perishable the product you're purchasing en masse actually is. Bags of fruit, potatoes or onions may be at a better per-unit price than if you buy them individually, but any savings could be lost if you have to throw away some of the produce because it spoiled before you could use it.

Clip coupons
Coupons can save you money, but don't buy something you don't need just because you have a coupon! Also, if you've been using a product you really like, don't switch to a competitor over .50 cents. Companies that issue coupons are trying to stomp out their competition. If you prefer the brand you're already using, stick with it because those few cents may not really make a difference in the end if you've had success with your original pick.

Don't shop with anyone else
It's been proven that people who visit stores in groups tend to spend more than those who go alone. And, men are more prone to making impulse buys, and kids often want everything in the cookie and cracker aisle, so just try going it alone.

Check your receipt
Too often I've been overcharged for products that were on sale and not even noticed until I got home. Check your receipt when you're still in the store so if something is wrong you can have the cashier fix it on the spot.

Start saving!

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