Secrets to smart supermarket shoppingSeptember 9, 2014
Are you tired of spending a ton of money at the grocery store each week? Do you buy things at the supermarket on impulse – just because it looks good or just because you’re particularly hungry? Do you walk into the grocery store planning on picking up bread and milk but walk out with 20 extra items?
If you want to shop smarter at the grocery store, then this post is for you. It’s full of great tips and tricks on saving money and being a savvy shopper at the supermarket. You don’t need to use coupons to be a smart shopper. You just need to know some of the secrets of the trade and then use them to your advantage. Let’s get to the list now, shall we?
Tips for Grocery Store Shopping
- Never shop hungry: This one is obvious. If you’re hungry, you’re more likely to buy things on impulse – because you’re hungry and the item is strategically placed / looks delicious. Never go to the store hungry and you won’t be as tempted by impulsive supermarket items.
- Shop at home first: Before you head to the store, take inventory of your refrigerator, freezer and pantry. Make sure you check to see if you have that item in your house already before you buy another one. See if you can use something else you have instead. For example, if you were going to buy pasta at the store, but you already have brown rice in the cupboard, why not use brown rice as your carb instead of pasta? You won’t spend as much at the store, and you will be using stuff you already have in your house.
- Make a list and stick to it: Everyone always says that a list will cut down on random, impulse buys and it’s true. Make a complete list at home of everything you need from the store. As you’re walking through the store, do not put anything in your cart that does not appear on your list. Stick to that rule!
- Time trips for the day your supermarket marks down soon-to-expire items: Find out from your store manager when items are typically marked down on sale. Time your trips so you can take advantage of these deals first!
- Avoid brand names usually: Generally, generic foods taste just as delicious as the brand name counterparts, but generic varieties are often much cheaper. Only buy brand name if you’ve tried both and are truly not pleased with the generic version – and you’re still willing to pay for the difference!
- Do the math on unit pricing to see if it’s really a good deal: If you are about to buy something marked as “Great value” or “Bulk Pricing,” take a moment and calculate the price per unit and determine if there’s really a good savings there.
- Shop in tune with the season: Buying fresh produce when it’s in season is a great way to save money at the store. When fruits and vegetables are in season, they are more affordable. Stock up then. If something is not in season, check out the frozen section and see if you can find the fruit/veggie you want there- you can sometimes find a good deal that way.
- Love those “loss leaders” – sales items in weekly food ads: These are the items are featured in weekly circulars and are usually very well priced. Stick to those items in the store each week and you will save over the long run. For example, if grapes are featured at a great price this week, and you usually pick up either grapes or cherries, then stick to grapes this week.
Do you have any more tips on how to navigate the supermarket wisely? I’d love to hear your secrets in the Comments below!