Top 10 Grocery Shopping Secrets
Posted on Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 at 6:12 am
Couponing is a surefire way to save money at the grocery store, but there are some other great money-saving secrets to help you save. Here are the top 10 secrets I have found to save money at the grocery store.
Secrets for Saving Money at the Grocery Store
1. Coupons, Coupons, Coupons! Saving money on your grocery bill with grocery coupons is easy when you know your store’s coupon policies. Visit your grocery store’s website or talk to the store manager to learn about their coupon policies. Ask about coupon stacking, coupon doubling, coupon overages, mobile coupons, coupon matching, and expiration dates.
Depending on what state you are in, some stores, such as Kroger, double coupon values certain days. Kroger also waives expiration dates for military families living on base. Other stores, such as Publix, accept competitor coupons and allow you to stack coupons – that is, you can combine a store coupon with a manufacturer coupon. Walmart applies coupon overages to your bill, something few stores are willing to do. Knowing your store’s policies will make couponing that much easier!
2. Get to Know Your Grocery Stores (And Their Managers). Know which stores offer the items you buy the most at the best prices. A little initial comparison shopping can save you a whole lot of money in the long run. Again, talk to the manager to find out about upcoming sales and specials.
3. Loyalty Programs – Use Them. Loyalty programs are another great way to shave money off your grocery bill. Depending on the program, you can save money on your total, earn store credit for future purchases, or even earn cash back rewards. Albertsons offers a “Preferred Savings” card that gives you access to store-only sales. CVS offers “Extra Bucks” toward future purchases when you use your “Extra Care” card. You can earn 2% cash back rewards with Costco’s executive membership – and that’s just to name a few loyalty programs!
4. Understand the Sales. For example, before buying into the 10 for $10 sale, make sure you actually have to buy 10 to get the deal. It’s possible that the item is on sale for $1 no matter how many you buy. Other times, you do actually have to buy the number advertised to get the sale price.
5. Buy Pre-Packaged Produce (But Avoid Pre-Cut). Pre-packaged produce, such as bags of oranges or apples, usually costs less because it is priced per unit rather than per pound. On the other hand, avoid pre-cut produce, such as sliced pineapple or watermelon. These pre-cut items can cost up to twice as much!
6. Oh, Hey “Chubs.” You can save money on meats by purchasing “chubs” – the whole cooked turkey, ham, or roast beef. You can get it sliced at the deli and save up to 50% compared to pre-sliced lunch meats. Do the same with blocks of cheese.
7. Do the Math. First, look for the item’s per-unit on the price tag – some store provide this information. If they don’t, do some quick math to figure out the per-unit. For example, 32 oz. sodas are on sale 10 for $10. Multiply 10 x 32 oz. to get 320 oz., divide $10 / 320 oz. to get $0.031 per oz. Knowing the per-unit price will help you find the best deals.
8. Save the Earth, Save Money. Many stores offer rewards for bringing your reusable grocery bags. Trader Joe’s enters you in a raffle to win a gift certificate, while Target and Whole Foods offer rebates. Inquire about reusable bag rewards at your local grocery stores.
9. Last Call! Markdowns and Clearance Items. Know where to find these items in your grocery store. Some stores display them at the end of the aisle, the back of the store, the bottom shelf of their usual aisle, or mark them with stickers. Ask your store’s manager where you can find markdowns and clearance items.
10. Be Familiar With Tricks that Stores Use to Get You to Spend. If you feel overwhelmed or don’t think all these secrets are for you, try working just a couple into your grocery shopping routine. Before you know it, you will be a money-saving pro!
Do you have a secret way to save at the grocery store? Share with us in the comments below!