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Everyone has a store they call their own but how well do you really know your grocer? To maximize stretching your budget when you shop, make sure you are armed with the right knowledge. Every little bit of savings helps when trying to make your money go as far as possible. Read through these tips and gain a little insight into how to save more money when shopping for groceries.
1- Find out if your store has a clearance section and locate where it is. You never know what you might find marked down to a low price or be on special. If you bring coupons with you, you might even be able to make a last minute match up and score a few things for free.
2- Check your unit prices. Sometimes convenience costs more, so you might be paying more per item just because it comes in a different size package. You can usually find the unit prices right on the shelf tag. One package of cookies might be $0.98 per unit but you might another package of the same brand in another size that has a unit price of only $0.75. You want your money to work for you, not the cookie company!
3- Get familiar with the coupon policy and follow it. Sometimes in larger stores, not all employees are familiar with this policy so it is recommended that you carry a copy of it with you.
(Pro tip! Be on the lookout for store coupons and if that particular store allows “Stacking.” This is when you use a manufacturer’s coupon and a store coupon. Check out this page for more jargon info.)
4- Find out when the sales cycle starts and ends so you can prepare. If you are able to view the circular online or grab an early copy from the store, you can plan ahead for the things that are on sale. It helps to find out what meats, fruits, veggies and dairy items will be on sale since coupons for these items are rare. Also find out if there are any day specific discounts (i.e “Get $5 off when you purchase $25 on Thursdays.”) Savings add up if you know where to look.
5- Don’t fall for the end cap trap. End caps usually have big displays of new products or products that are being marketed a little harder than the rest of the merchandise in the store. Retailers know that they are more likely to get your attention for an item here than tucked away down an aisle. Just remember, end cap sales might not really be a sale.
6- Find out if your store offers a loyalty program and take advantage of it. Some stores allow you to earn points on your purchases that can be used later on things like fuel, other merchandise and discounts. You’re getting more for your money on the things you are already purchasing.
7- Try to shop off peak hours if you can. Early morning and after dinner time are good times to hit the store and avoid a crowd. You will get to enjoy better parking, shorter checkout lines and no rush to get get out. Remember that holidays and weekends are busy times too.
8- Find out if your store offers any discounts for bringing your own, reusable shopping bags. Some stores offer money off on your order if you choose those over plastic or paper bags or have days that offer . You save a little green here and there.
9- Like items are placed together on shelves but did you know that the higher priced items are usually placed right around eye level? Don’t be so quick to grab the first item that catches your eye, it will likely be an item you could have saved a little bit more money on.
10- Don’t get sucked into a sale if you don’t know the specifics. Do you have to buy exactly 10 items in that 10 for $10 sale? Are rain checks offered? How long does the sale last? Don’t be afraid to ask employee’s questions about the sales if it can save you some money.