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Money Saving tips and tricks for grocery shopping
Saving money on the grocery bill.
OK so it's shopping day you have your list in hand and it's off to the supermarket you go. You spend an hour or so in there trying to save as much money as possible but yet you get to the check out and your final cost ends up to be $200.00. OUCH!!! So now you are stuck thinking to yourself over and over what did I buy that was so expensive? There is no possible way that I spent that much on so little. After all I still have shopping to do again next week, now what am I going to do I have really over spent this time. Does this sound like a you on a weekly or monthly basis? If so what you need is little bit of advice and some money saving tips on grocery shopping and that's exactly what this article is designed to help you do. Take the time to follow some of these tips and tricks and you may find yourself putting away all the money that you saved for a contribution towards a family vacation or other enjoyable day as a reward to yourself and your family.
First things first. Understanding marketing techniques that your local grocers use may help you to curb the dreaded " Impulse Buying". Have you ever noticed when you walk into the supermarket the first thing you are very likely to see is big promotions towards the upcoming holiday. If July 4Th is a month away you are very likely to see promotions on with fireworks, coolers, bags of chips, sodas, coolers, banners reminding you not to forget your 4Th necessities such as ice, charcoal and beer, and some grocers even go as far as selling grills and even the aprons to go with them. This is a tactic used to get you to purchase something you normally may not purchase there. When you see this the best thing to do is to go about your merry way and continue about getting what you came there for. For some people even stopping and looking at these items can lead to a $10.00-$60.00 impulse purchase which was the whole idea behind the big promotion.
Another trick grocers use a lot is the way that they go about stocking the shelves. A lot of people would never even take a thought at the idea of all the best buys on canned goods may be at the bottom or top shelf. Stores will generally stock a more expensive name brand item on a shelf that is eye or chest level as it it only normal reaction to look straight ahead instead of bending down or getting up on your tip toes to see what else is available. A lot of people have the bad habit of grabbing the first thing they see, by doing so you could be losing as much as $3.00-$15.00 in a single grocery trip. Take your time look at all your options then make a money conscious decision.
When you are walking down the isles, usually the major isles such a canned goods, baking needs, condiments and cereal isle pay no mind to the hanging displays that are situated right where you cant miss them. They are using holding those little handy items such as rubber jar openers, disposable meat thermometers, coupon books and other useful overpriced items that you really don't need however at first glance you think yeah I could use that. Yeah those add about 3 of those to your cart and you have just added $9.00 or so to your final check out cost. Next time you have one of those items in you hand ask yourself these questions. Do I need this? Am I going to use this more then once or is going to take up drawer space? Can I but it cheaper somewhere else? Set the item back down and jot down what it is on a place on your list just make sure you keep it separate from what you are buying. Go about you way and I am sure that later on you may find you really didn't need that item after all and if you do still think you need it you have all the pertinent information written down so that you can possibly buy it cheaper else where.
Also closely related to the hanging handy item temptation is the super temptation racks at the check out and trust me they are there for your spending enjoyment. They stock all kinds of stuff for you to waste your money on while you stand behind four people with carts filled to the top waiting for your turn to check out, Magazines, candy bars, pens, travel packs of shampoo and tissue, beef jerky, lighters and more. Sure most of the items are under a dollar but you and 4 candy bars and a travel pack of tissue you have just foolishly spent $5.00. My tactic to avoid this problem, I pick up a useless magazine that I would never purchase and just thumb through the pages sometimes just looking at the pictures. The trick to doing that is never get yourself into an article that may cause you to buy that $3.50 magazine because you didn't get to finish it before it was time to pay.
When you walk into a store take a look, you may notice that most grocery stores are laid out generally the same. Along all the far walls you will find not only your basic foods that you need but also the healthier foods such as produce, meats, fish, dairy, eggs, cheeses, deli selections and bakery goods. If you decide to work your way around the outside first you will probabley be a lot quicker while taking your trips down the isles to get whatever else may be needed, After all you don't want that stuff getting warm.
Another way to save $5.00-$10.00 is by not buying things such beauty products, soaps, shampoos, feminine products, razors, over the counter medicines, diapers, and other non-food products. The cost of these items are usually quite a bit higher then if you were to purchase the same item at a Wal Mart or K Mart.
Coupon cutting and price matching are both excellent ways to save a pretty good chunk of money every time you shop. There are grocers that honor not only other stores sales but may even honor competitor's coupons too. I know that Wal Mart has excellent price saving opportunities for the money conscious shopper, the one thing Wal Mart does not honor is the buy one get one free deals. A smart Wal Mart shopper will not only print up all local grocers sales flyer's and plan their weekly meals and lunches around the sales but they will also go to Wal Mart and use the price match option and with some stuff they will also use a manufacturer's coupon in conjunction with the sale price being matched. You would be surprised to know depending on the amount of shopping you are doing and what you are buying you can save $8.00-$35.00 each trip you make to the store. The key to accurate price matching is to purchase the identical item and brand that the competitor store is advertising if you have any questions about an item check with a cashier or manager. A person may feel that it is to time consuming to go to all that extreme and the idea of standing in line waiting for the cashier to sort all of these items out may make them cringe, it is not so bad if you take one simple step sort your price match and coupon items as you shop and place them on the grocery belt first so that your check out can be expedited as quickly as possible. Also make sure you bring your printed store flyer's for not only your personal use but also so that it is available for the casheir. It may take you two or three trips to the store to get the stores price match requirements down however if you simply call and check before leaving your home you may be able to jot down some valuable notes to take with you about their exceptions and requirements for using this method of saving. Check with your local grocery stores before hand to find out if they price match or accept competitors coupons.
Another thing you can do to save a little bit is to shop for fruit and produce that is in season and on sale you should also trying substituting fresh fruits and veggies as a great snack alternative. By finding something that is in season it has more of a chance of being on sale and also having a large selection to choose from. Purchasing fresh fruits and produce is also way more healthy for you then buying a $4.00 bag of Doritos. I can hear you already thinking to yourself that gee this sounds great but my kids are not going to go for that. Before you give up so easily try adding peanut butter or cream cheese to celery, chocolate or caramel dip for the fruits, the salad dressing of their choice to go with the fresh cut veggies. So if that don't work what next try maybe some string cheese of cheddar or mozzarella whatever they like. Cheese has calcium in it so it is actually a good snack for kids. You can also try buying crackers such as wheat thins, Trisquit, of veggie thins and adding either cheddar cheese or cream cheese instead of expensive spray cheese. If chips are a must first of all buy store brand you could be saving yourself as much as $3.00 a bag, stay away from the boxed single serve bags that cost $6.00 and maybe try out some tortilla chips and a nice chunky salsa such a Pace Thick and Hearty.
Another thing a lot of folks spend a lot of extra money on is TV dinners, frozen pizza's and quick fix items. These things are not only small in portions and more expensive but they are also not as healthy for you. If you like to keep things around for those later evenings or for the hubby to make while you are at work try freezing single serve portions of left over spaghetti, chicken and rice and other meals you can either make double of when you make it as a meal or as I said previously use your leftovers. By doing so this will also save on your energy bill because all you will need is the microwave to reheat these things. Simply make sure you seal the freezer bag tightly and write what it is and the date on the bag so that you know what order to use it in. You would be surprised to know you may be saving yourself $20.00 or more by doing this.
Another point of advice leave Mommy's little helpers at home with Daddy. If you shop alone you are that much less likely to have even more impulse buys such as toys and other kid friendly items the stores just love to stock. You may save yourself $5.00 in extra purchases or more. Also you may spend more when your oldest child speaks up and says" Mommy I don't want the store brand, Lucky Charms are better" there is a $1.00 difference on just that one item so just think of how many more purchases like that you will make. You could end up spending $10.00 or more just on a different brand because your child prefers that and you just being a good parent wanting make your child happy or even just be trying to avoid a tantrum scene give in to their wants. Also leaving your partner home is also a good idea I know myself when him and I go together we spend an extra $20.00 just at the fish counter on his beloved sushi and then of course me not liking sushi we also by shrimp, so we end up having double the impulse buys. One more pointer never shop while you are tired, angry, or hungry. You are more likely to by comfort foods and a lot of junk such as salty or sweet products.
Hope fully these tips bring you some good savings. I also have written other articles on how to save money. Here is a link to one on saving money on your electric and energy costs. http://www.hubpages.com/hub/Saving-on-energy-costs