Supermarket Savings: 10 Do’s and Don’ts to Save Money on Groceries

By Gary Weiner @ Super Saving Tips

Do's and don'ts to save money on groceriesWhile good planning, and following that plan, is the key to saving money on groceries, there are still things you can do to limit your spending while you’re shopping at the store. Whether it’s avoiding the influence of the supermarket as they try to coax you into spending more, or simply asking for what you want, here are 10 do’s and don’ts to save while grocery shopping:

  1. Don’t fill up your cart. Shopping carts have increased in size over 35% in recent years to encourage you to fill it and spend more.
  2. Do compare prices. Make sure you compare more than just milk, eggs, bread and bananas, which are the most remembered by shoppers. Add at least 5 more items that you buy every week to see if they are a good deal as well.
  3. Don’t listen to the music. The soundtrack you hear at the store is generally designed to make you slow down and shop longer by an average of 29%. Bring your earbuds and listen to your own music. Faster and brisker paced tunes will help you cut your time and expenses.
  4. Do ask for a discount. For fresh meat and bakery goods that will reach their sell-by date within 24 hours, ask the department staff for a markdown. They are still worth purchasing and usually will be marked half price when you ask.
  5. Don’t be brand loyal. Each week different brands are promoted and especially in canned items, there isn’t much difference between brands. Even store or generic items can be made by the same companies as the brands and are much less expensive. Why pay for their advertising and brand recognition? Try them and you’ll most likely not be able to taste the difference.
  6. Don’t assume products on the end caps are always a good buy. Many stores sell this space to companies to give them high visibility. Even signs that say “great buy” or “special” may not be a sale, or the sale might not be the best value.
  7. Do ask for a rain check when the sale item you want isn’t in stock. Stores will gladly provide them or even substitute an upgrade to please you, and the rain checks are good for an extended period of time.
  8. Do keep track of your spending as you shop, either in your head, with a calculator or app, or with the store’s scanning device if they offer that option. Knowing what you’re spending as you shop will help you control your expenses and stay within budget.
  9. Don’t shop when checking out. The items at the register–magazines, candy, gum and even cold sodas–are the store’s way of tempting you with last minute impulse buys. Don’t let them add unnecessary spending to your weekly trip.
  10. Do check your store receipt after each trip, but before you leave the store. Make sure all items scanned correctly and credit is correct for all coupons and discounts. I find mistakes on almost every trip to the supermarket. If they made the error, you will often get the item for free.

If you want to save money on groceries, incorporate these methods into your routine. What’s your favorite in-store do or don’t for food shopping?


   About Gary Weiner @ Super Saving Tips

Over the last 45 years I’ve worked in retail (department stores and supermarkets) and financial planning. In addition, I am a shopper, born and bred, who enjoys the challenges of finding the best items for the best prices. When I’m not busy saving money or blogging over at Super Saving Tips, I enjoy baseball, music, and classic movies. I am retired and live in New Jersey with my wife.

Posted in Shop & Save.

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