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admin 01-22-2009 03:48 PM

Grocery Shopping Tips
 
Grocery Shopping Tips

MAKE A LIST AND STICK TO THE ITEMS ON THAT LIST!!! It is very easy to buy items at the supermarket on a whim, and sticking to a list will help you control that urge and save money in the process.

TipsDude 01-22-2009 04:33 PM

Re: Grocery Shopping Tips
 
Shop on a full stomach. Once again, you are more likely to make un-wise "impulse purchases" if you are hungry at the time you are shopping.

TipsDude 01-22-2009 04:33 PM

Re: Grocery Shopping Tips
 
Bigger packages (i.e. "bulk packages") are not always the most cost-effective. Compare the unit prices of items that you can find on their pricing labels to see how you would save the most money.

TipsDude 01-22-2009 04:33 PM

Re: Grocery Shopping Tips
 
If you are just making a quick trip to the store for one or two items (such as milk or eggs), try not to use a shopping basket or cart, as you will find yourself far less likely to buy more unnecessary items this way.

TipsDude 01-22-2009 04:34 PM

Re: Grocery Shopping Tips
 
Try as much as possible to make one large shopping trip, as opposed to several smaller trips. The more trips you make into the supermarket, the more likely you are to spend more money than you need to.

TipsDude 01-22-2009 04:34 PM

Re: Grocery Shopping Tips
 
If possible, try to grocery shop by yourself. People who shop in groups are more likely to spend money on unnecessary items.

TipsDude 01-22-2009 04:34 PM

Re: Grocery Shopping Tips
 
If you are a coupon clipper, clip coupons only for items that you actually need. You may save money by using coupons, but you're not really saving money if you're purchasing an item that you would not have purchased in the first place.

TipsDude 01-22-2009 04:34 PM

Re: Grocery Shopping Tips
 
One store will not have the absolute lowest price on all items. Look carefully at sale prices at various stores and comparison shop. If you're at one store and you know an item costs less at another, if it's something you can live without, wait until you get a chance to go to the other store to get it.

TipsDude 01-22-2009 04:35 PM

Re: Grocery Shopping Tips
 
If you find yourself perusing the magazines while in the checkout aisle and then buying them, consider a subscription to those magazines, as it will be cheaper then buying them at the check-out each week. Also, if you find yourself buying items such as batteries or nail clippers in the checkout aisle, try to wait until you are at a discount store to purchase those items, since they are generally more expensive at the supermarket.

TipsDude 01-22-2009 04:35 PM

Re: Grocery Shopping Tips
 
If a store is offering a sale, such as two of one item for four dollars, check the unit price label carefully and the phrasing of the product description. If you only need one of the item, many times you can buy it for the same price (i.e. two for four dollars, or one for two dollars). But, check carefully, as this may NOT always be the case!

bongobro 01-24-2009 04:29 AM

Re: Grocery Shopping Tips
 
Grocers put the staple items (bakery, produce, meat, and dairy) around the perimeter of the store. Thus, if you need just a gallon of milk or a head of lettuce, you have to walk past every single tempting "end cap." That's the retailing term for the ends of the grocery aisles, where stores stock impulse items (for example, a big cookie display right next to the milk). Beware!!!

bongobro 01-24-2009 09:51 PM

Re: Grocery Shopping Tips
 
Save money on vegetables by choosing the kind that's best suited for your recipe. If the veggies are the "star" of your dish, choose the best-looking ones you can find. If they're in a supporting role, as in a soup or casserole, the store-brand canned veggies work just fine! For example, fresh tomatoes are great if you're using them in a salad or slicing them for sandwiches, but canned tomatoes are perfectly fine if you're cooking them in chili or soup.

bongobro 01-26-2009 05:57 AM

Re: Grocery Shopping Tips
 
When shopping for staple items (flour, sugar, canned goods, etc.), don't be afraid to try the store brand! The vast majority of store-brand products are equal in quality to the brand-names, and in some cases, are made or packed by the manufacturer of brand-name products.

For example, Ralcorp Holdings makes breakfast cereals for a number of major national and regional supermarket chains, as well as cookies, crackers and other dry grocery products.

If you're uncertain, you can always buy one or two packages to try--chances are, however, you'll continue buying them after seeing how much money you're saving...

bongobro 01-26-2009 06:00 AM

Re: Grocery Shopping Tips
 
Those pre-packed containers of celery sticks, carrot sticks, chopped onions, etc., look very convenient, but you can invest in a good knife and a chopping board (to do your own veggie preparation) for the extra money you're spending to have someone cut your vegetables for you!

TipTasker 01-21-2011 04:14 PM

Re: Grocery Shopping Tips
 
With a Kroger's card, you can load coupons onto the card. No more clipping! Then when you go shopping and you purchase that item, your extra savings will be added right to your receipt. Other stores use this system too. Try searching for online coupon stores that you can add right to your store cards!

bongobro 04-04-2011 02:36 AM

Re: Grocery Shopping Tips
 
Buy only plain white facial tissues or you could be crying real tears when you run out. I recently purchased three boxes of Kleenex tissues; one contained white tissues; one contained blue tissues; the third contained green tissues. Each box cost the same, but the box of white tissues contained 200 tissues (and made note of that fact proudly on the tear-open tab). The blue and green boxes were the same size--but contained only 184 tissues!

I guess it costs more to dye the tissues :rolleyes: !

UPDATE: As of March 2014, those same boxes contained 160 white tissues and 152 colored tissues respectively!

bongobro 12-30-2011 06:22 AM

Re: Grocery Shopping Tips
 
If you use those little pump containers of liquid hand soap in the bathroom, you know how much those "economical" refills can cost you. Try using dishwashing liquid to refill the soap containers instead. Since you're soaking your hands in dish soap if you wash dishes by hand, you might as well try making one product do double duty...

and some of the newest dish soaps boast of many of the same moisturizers found in liquid hand soap...

bongobro 04-21-2012 11:30 PM

Re: Grocery Shopping Tips
 
Take a closer look when examining multi-purchase deals. Some deals (say 5-for-$5) are great if you use the product regularly and/or have the room to store it; many stores, however, may show a product at 2 packages for $5, but put a different price for a single purchase of the same product. For example, two bottles of cranberry juice cocktail may be offered for $5.00, but the single bottle may be offered for $3.49--not the great deal it appears to be if you need or want to buy only one bottle!

bongobro 07-19-2012 12:59 AM

Re: Grocery Shopping Tips
 
Some supermarkets, particularly those with custom-cut meat departments, may occasionally have too much fresh-cut meat at the end of the day. These stores often sell the excess at a savings (usually 25%) before the end of the following day. A cut of meat that cost $8.00, for example, may sell for $6.00 during such a sale. Simply freeze the meat and keep it on hand for a future meal, and enjoy the savings!

bongobro 07-19-2012 01:04 AM

Re: Grocery Shopping Tips
 
While those dented cans and battered boxes may tempt you with extra savings over their intact counterparts, approach them with caution. A badly dented can may have damage to the inner liner that protects the food from coming in contact with the metal can itself; some cans may be bulged or popped open from the impact. Don't buy those at any price.

And a ripped-open box may have suffered damage to the inner packaging that could compromise the freshness and/or safety of the product inside.

bongobro 07-19-2012 01:11 AM

Re: Grocery Shopping Tips
 
When a manufacturer changes a product's packaging, the package may not be the only thing that changes. I recently purchased a package of pre-cooked sliced bacon that boasted "NOW! MORE BACON!" on the package. The old package of the same brand of bacon boasted 2.41 ounces of bacon; the new package boasted 2.57 ounces. However, the actual number of bacon slices dropped from 15 in the old package to 12 in the new package, and each slice was little bigger than the ones in the old package--and the new package cost more than the old, to boot...

Compare the price per ounce, especially between the old packages and the new ones!

bongobro 08-18-2013 01:57 AM

Sometimes you have to spend money to save money
 
I know it may sound counterproductive, but consider quantity vs. quality when you shop. It may be better to buy just one green pepper that looks fresh and healthy than to buy six green peppers at a bargain price, only to discover they're flabby, wrinkled, and old enough for Social Security benefits (if not the garbage can).

Also, one good-size chunk of sharp cheddar may cost more than the bigger package of mild cheddar, but the stronger flavor will enable you to use less cheese for the same amount of "punch", so it may actually cost you less per serving.

bongobro 08-18-2013 02:07 AM

Grandma may have had the right idea, after all!
 
Those luscious homemade dishes "like grandma used to make" were often made from scratch, without prepared mixes, instant everything, and microwavable this-and-that. The amazing thing is that some homemade items can be made nearly as quickly as opening a can or a pouch, and taste, well, like grandma used to make.

If you're blessed enough to have such a mother or grandma, find the recipe or recipes she's best known for, copy them down and give them a try. It may take a bit longer, but you may be pleasantly surprised at the results. If you collect recipes and/or cookbooks, that's even better. You'll often find basic recipes for cakes, frostings, salad dressings and other dishes that still taste good today!

Best of all, some recipes adapt beautifully to advances in food products and cooking methods. Don't be afraid to try them (Gordon Ramsey will not be standing over your shoulder screaming at you if they don't come out right the first time)!

And you may just save some money, too.

bongobro 09-29-2013 04:53 PM

When is a clearance price REALLY a clearance price?
 
I'll admit it. I'm a sucker for a low price. But sometimes something on a clearance rack in the supermarket may not always be a true clearance item. Most stores have special hang tags indicating a clearance item with a substantially lower price ("Was $2.97; NOW $1.46," for example). Other stores may also include "DISCONTINUED ITEM" as part of the product hang tag.

Occasionally, however, there may be a simple overstock of regular-priced items mixed in with the clearance stuff (mainly so the overstock will disappear). If there's a price tag in front of the item, check closely. If there's a second, lower price, cool. If there's not a second price figure, take a moment to check the similar product on the main shelf. It may simply be overstock cleverly disguised as a clearance item! :eek:

If you shop at a store with a self-service price checker, scan the item there, too!

bongobro 01-21-2014 01:27 AM

Time may NOT be on your side with reduced-priced items
 
If you buy items from reduced-price displays, closeout stores or bakery thrift shops, be SURE you check the "best before" date on the package. If you can use the item in the time left on the package, so much the better. However, if the stuff is past the expiration date, be careful! Some foods may be okay, while others may have off-flavors, off-colors, or even mold if left on the shelf too long. :eek:

If something really needs to be pulled off the shelf, let the manager know.

bongobro 03-07-2014 05:55 PM

Be pushy with your purchases...use your calculator!
 
As someone who sees the cash register from both sides of the keyboard, few things irritate me more than someone who buys too many items, then has to return them because he or she overspent. While this is not a problem for non-perishable items or non-food items (laundry detergent, paper towels, etc.), grocers, for health and sanitation reasons, simply CANNOT return an unpurchased gallon of milk to the dairy case or a (possibly un)frozen TV dinner to the freezer.

In many cases, such unpurchased items end up sitting at the register, maybe for a few minutes, maybe for an entire eight-hour work shift. It would be like leaving the food items you purchased on the kitchen counter for several hours, then expecting them to be safe to eat when you finally pit them away. Such items have to be put into "claims"--in other words, they cannot be sold again and have to be disposed of.

That, my friends, costs money...to the grocer, who loses money on the food items that cannot be sold...and to you, the shopper, who ends up paying for those lost items in higher prices.

If you have a calculator, USE IT. You'll save money in more ways than one!


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