These days, it seems there’s no end to what’s available to buy in supermarkets. A wide range of household provisions has always been available, but in recent years, the range has been increased dramatically to include services too, such as life insurance, auto insurance, car breakdown services, Internet access and many other services. This greater freedom of choice brings with it more temptations to spend money, so it’s important to be cost-conscious. There are great savings to be made in supermarkets; you just need to be aware of them.
Add to it the McDonald, Subways and Pizza huts right beside the supermarket entrance. If you give it a pass while entering, you may not pass it on your way out. So it’s not only the products you buy but also the products and services you are made to pay for, goes to your super market shopping list.
I have a quick and simple way to determine if you are over spending at your grocer.
If you see things lying unused for long or if you are throwing away food, most probably you’re over paying while grocery shopping.
So how to control?
Ways to Saving money at the grocery store
To save, you should pat attention to all the points here. Collectively they can save you more money at your supermarket shopping.
Make Fewer Trips
Make at most one trip per week, that’s what we do. The less you go to super market, less possibility of you buying the items you don’t need. Psychologically, paying $10 extra while you’re already paying $50 hurts more than, making a separate trip to buy $10 items.
So make less frequent visits to grocery and you’ll end up needing less and spending less.
Plan your Shopping List
This is the most efficient way of controlling supermarket expenditure. Always go to grocer with a list of items you need. You don’t have to write on paper. There’s “Note app” available on every smart phone. iPhone come with a built-in note app. I extensively use the note app on my iPhone to make shopping list.
People even plan their meals for the week and make a shopping list accordingly. Meal planning ensures less wastage along with a great family plan.
Buy Name Brand Products
These are cheaper, but there is nothing inherently inferior about products bearing the supermarket’s own label. They weren’t produced by the supermarket but by the same companies offering the same products under their own more expensive label.
You will often find these on lower shelves. That’s because the supermarkets hope you will buy the more expensive brands. These are always placed at eye-level so that they will be seen first. Ignore that ploy. Cast your eyes down to the lower shelves to see if there’s a cheaper ‘own brand’ alternative.
Buying in Bulk
If you can afford the outlay, it’s always a good idea to buy items in bulk. This always works out cheaper in the long run. It’s simple economics. For example, a pack of a dozen toilet rolls doesn’t cost twelve times as much as a single toilet roll.
The supermarket obviously want their customers to buy as much as possible on each visit, and the only way to entice customers to do that is to offer discounts on bulk purchases.
Buying Items Nearing the Sell-by Date
If an item has a limited shelf-life and its time is almost up, it will be moved to a special section and be sold at a fraction of its price. The supermarket would rather have at least some money for the item than nothing at all. If they keep it at its normal price, it would most likely remain unsold until its expiry date, after which time it can’t be sold at all. It’s a case of them cutting their losses, which for shoppers can result in great savings. Make sure, though, that it’s something you intend using in the next day or two, while it’s still perfectly safe.
Comparing Supermarket Prices
Some supermarkets are well-known for offering cheaper products. That doesn’t mean that what these ‘economy supermarkets’ are selling is in any way inferior, though. They just don’t spend as much on expensive shelving, elaborate decorations or other fancy attractions that in other supermarkets look great but inflate the prices of their items.
On easy way is to look for flyers that you get in mail. check the prices of the items you normally buy like, a dozen eggs, fruits, meat, milk, serials, cheese, etc. On their websites, you can even add these items on shopping cart and see the total price.
Also, do remember this week’s cheapest supermarket may not be next week’s cheapest. So compare prices regularly.
Looking for Sales and Deals
Offering special savings deals is the supermarkets’ way of attracting and keeping customers. They all have their own particular methods designed to offer something that their competitors don’t offer.
Apart from more obvious deals such as significant price reductions on particular items for a limited promotion period, look out for such things as coupon offers, loyalty points and more. If you’re a regular shopper in a particular supermarket, these are worth taking advantage of.
Avoid Items at Checkout Counter
I never saw an item that I actually needed, in the checkout counter aisle. Basically those are chocolates, magazines and stuffs that you normally wouldn’t buy. They don’t really make it to anyone’s shopping list.
Don’t Shop Hungry
Best way is to visit supermarket right after your meal. Shopping on an empty stomach makes you spend money on food items more or buying from the McDonald and Subways of the world.
There are also deals to be had for online shopping, so check out your local supermarket’s website frequently to see new deals being offered online or in your local branch.
You can safely buy items that are near expiration, if you take it home and put it in the freezer, and then use when needed. Most things can be frozen even milk. Of course don’t forget to use it or that defeats the purpose.
I often see people forgetting about their freezer stuff, it’s an excellent point. While moving we found out 2 years old ice cream hidden away in the freezer. We had to throw it away.
Myles Money says
Great points! I like to buy fruit & vegetables when they’re in season because they’re cheaper, they taste better and it supports the local economy too.
We recently moved to a new city in south Florida. And in this area they have farmers market every Saturday. We are excited about the prospects of buying fresh produce and freshly prepared food items.
Aldo @ Million Dollar Ninja says
We never go food shopping without a shopping list and we try to stick to that list as much as we can. We also try to only shop on the perimeter of the supermarket. Going into the aisles is a sure way to spend money on things that you might not need.
no wonder why super markets have small shops around them. They want you to venture in to aisle and spend money on stuff you don’t need, but wish.
Autumn @ The Barefoot Budgeter says
Great tips! We do a lot of the things on this list, but not shopping on an empty stomach has made the biggest difference. We now shop on Friday nights after dinner – the stores are empty so we have time to find the best deals and we aren’t putting extra snack food in the cart.
That’s an excellent way to control impulses and to find time to shop foe deals. very good suggestion