Times are tough and many of us are doing all we can to tighten our belts and keep a close eye on our budgets; everything from spending less on entertainment to not traveling very far due to fuel prices Another major expense is the cost of food You’ve probably heard all over the news that the cost of food has been consistently rising for months straight; and besides hearing it, you’ve probably felt it in the bank account as well.
Although times are tough for many there are some important things you should know about shopping at the grocery store In this article I will share with you some things that I’ve learned since tightening our belts at our home.
1. Shop at the cheap stores.
The best prices overall are usually found at the discount stores Often times they are “Big Box” stores, however places like that can purchase their items at a lower cost, therefore pushing those savings on to you
2 Be Smart about Circulars/Advertisements and remember the coupons out there!
Not all items that are in circulars are necessarily on sale A good thing to know is that manufacturers pay to have their products in a circular because it boosts their sales up to 500% even if there is no price cut Keep your eyes open for that Sunday paper they are usually packed full of coupons to use for 30-90 days on average Even though saving 35 cent on one item may not seem like a lot, it adds up quickly if used on multiple items.
3 Avoid store take-outs
Watch out for the end of the isle bins, displays or recipe-related items and their placement…especially the middle shelf items Much of the time bargains are often on lower shelves!
4 Be color-blind
Stores and manufacturers often use colors to persuade the shopper to choose one brand over another Attempt to ignore colors and check out the individual unit prices so you can truly compare the items intelligently.
5 Slice, dice and chill it yourself!
Prepackaged items that are packaged in convenient independent ways are usually always overpriced! I suggest purchasing the item in a bigger package or even in bulk and packaging it up yourself Sandwich bags are great for this or even the kitchen appliances you can purchase to remove the air from the plastic bags are great for freezing or simply vacuum packing things up to keep fresh! Chilled drinks are also priced higher.
6 Try store brands.
Much of the time store brands are exactly the same as the big brands, just hidden in other packaging Try the store brands, if you and your family enjoy them then you can save up to 50% on many items! How great is that?!
7 Limit your impulse buys.
Do you write out a shopping list? If not, start to do so and stick to the list If you’ve forgotten something on the list, allow yourself a certain dollar amount, say $10 so you can still get what you want/need, but won’t over extend yourself.
8 Ask for a deal!
Have you been practicing your negotiation skills? A great, easy way to do that is asking a store to match the price or coupon of a competitor Let’s face it, there are stores that have everything from automotive parts to sewing supplies, if we don’t have to drive from store to store to get all the good deals, why do it? Advertising in the recent weeks have shown a major “big box” store stating that they will match other store’s prices Pick your favorite store and see if they too will match prices! It can’t hurt…only help, so try it.
9 Don’t leave your store membership card at home.
These little cards can save you big bucks at the checkout They are easy to store and more convenient than clipping coupons.
10 Watch the scanners.
Make sure you are watching the items that are being scanned Mistakes can be made by the person doing the scanning, or even the machine itself so keep an eye on both By doing so you can prevent any over charging that may accidentally occur.
By utilizing these great 10 tips you will be sure to have more money Enjoy your summer and if you really want to save money on fresh produce, my favorite recommendation is plant a garden! If it’s too late to do it this year, I would recommend doing so next year Not only is the food free, it’s more delicious than store bought produce Here’s to saving at the grocery store!
Lisa Harris Gore is an Award Winning Educator, Wellness Consultant and is a regular contributor for the health and nutrition website PSCLife.com – one of the web’s top retailers of Cosamin ASU – a hip, joint, and sore muscle supplement for those ailing from joint and muscle pain.