Lazy Shoppers

Who couldn't benefit from in store savings?

Comparison shopping can put better food in your pot, and better savings in your pocket.
Comparison shopping can put better food in your pot, and better savings in your pocket. | Source

Teaching your food dollars more cents....

Most of us older shoppers know that there are seasons of the year when certain items are usually less expensive, for example citrus fruits in late winter, apples in early fall, etc.

But have you checked and compared local merchants' prices lately?

Shocked by a sudden price increase of an extra 85 cents for the gallon-sized milk I buy, I jotted down prices on other items on that day's shopping list and dashed over to a nearby competitor.

I saved 36 cents per gallon by doing so and had similar savings on most items on my list. In addition, I rewarded the competitor for keeping prices down by giving them my business on those items.

On another trip, this time to the competitor store, I found I could save 7 cents per pound by buying bananas at another store, and the bananas at the other store were fresher, and thus had longer lasting quality.

During the recent recession (and it seems to be lingering) family budgets were tight and folks tended to comparison shop, to be conservative, to make their money go further.

Advertising in competitive market areas features what are called "door openers," items attractively priced so as to get shoppers into their stores. Once in the store the shoppers pay for those savings by doing the rest of their shopping there regardless of the pricing on the other items they buy!

In competitive markets, most stores now mail out flyers on the specials for the coming week. This makes it possible for shoppers to do comparative shopping before they even leave home. This became necessary as newspaper readership dropped.

Another store tactic is to post comparative prices for items in their store which "outshine" their local competition. This is a double-edged sword because it stands to reason that items for which no comparison is given may well be more expensive than at one or more of their competitors.

Who benefits from comparison shopping? Folks living on tight budgets benefit. Shoppers who have time to comparison shop will benefit, and anyone who wants to periodically compare such basic items as bread, milk, eggs, and cereals, along with other regularly purchased items, can benefit.

Yes, freshness and a store's cleanliness, inventory, service,and variety, are important factors in choosing where to shop; but it's money that buys the goods, and good shoppers regularly save when and where they can.

Stocking up on non-perishable specials is good shopping. Using a shopping list to avoid too much "impulse shopping" is good shopping, and by simply limiting the time you spend inside the store, you are likely to save money toward your next shopping trip.

Gasoline is always expensive, even if today it is lower than last week, so anything the shopper can do to avoid repeated trips to stores for forgotten items, especially for items that should routinely be on the weekly shopping list, will end up saving money. Comparative shopping for quality gasoline can result in significant savings, too.

The ultimate savings can come from planning meals ahead of time, and then shopping for the specific items that will be needed and consumed at their freshest and most nutritious.

An added tip: with ingredients and serving sizes now posted on the labels of most food items, it is quite easy to examine two items side by side while shopping. Try that sometime, for example, with two boxes of different cereals which have nearly equal popularity in your household. You will be surprised that the labeling points out which cereal has the greatest value per serving.

It may be okay for folks with big budgets for gourmet, organic, and top brand foods, to simply grab what looks good and pay the price for doing so. They can perhaps afford to be a lazy shopper. But for folks who want to teach their food dollars more cents, a little extra effort can pay big dividends each month.

Save when savings are at a maximum....

Buying in season items usually means better quality at lower prices.
Buying in season items usually means better quality at lower prices. | Source

Menu planning aids in buying only what you need.

Eating in is almost always cheaper and healthier than eating out.  Remember many minimum wage workers must work even when they aren't feeling well.
Eating in is almost always cheaper and healthier than eating out. Remember many minimum wage workers must work even when they aren't feeling well. | Source

It is possible to have good flavor and good nutrition all within a conservative food budget.

Making dishes attractive adds to the appeal of even inexpensive meals.
Making dishes attractive adds to the appeal of even inexpensive meals. | Source

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4 comments

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Great stuff here, I will try to have more cents.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

Ericdierker - Folks will pick up pennies (some will( but not make an effort to save dollars. Those are cents that just don't make sense.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

I usually do all my food shopping at Walmarts. This week their bacon was $ 8.00 a pkg. I went across the street to Little Giant and purchased better looking bacon for $ 4.58, same weight. I never eat bacon until tomato season is here, then i can't resist a bacon and tomato sandwich. Competition is a good thing. It makes ' cents ' to shop wisely.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

always exploring - That +85 cents I mentioned was also Walmart as their gallon of 1% milk had the price "jacked up" to $3.35! My local Smith's Market still sells 2 gallons for $5.00....that's a savings I can appreciate with a sometimes household of eight eating here nearly half the month. Smith's also has lower prices on many of my basic items (higher on some.)

Get your hardware at an ACE or a Harbor Freight, and avoid greeting cards unless you shop around. Better still, make your own and/or send a loving thought of your own.

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