How to Save Money on Groceries at the Store.
After you’ve compared online prices and identified the best grocery stores in your area, it’s time to shop.
Many of the tips in the next section are designed to help you make the best possible decisions when you are inside of the store shopping.
Keep in mind, not every tip will apply to both online and physical store locations.
Create a list
It’s important to shop with a plan. When you browse local grocery store ads, be sure to make a list of the best deals and where they come from. Usually, items go on sale based on availability and demand. This is why you see cherries, watermelon, and avocados on sale during the summer and squash and pumpkins on sale in the fall and winter.
Creating a list of sale items is imperative. Not only will it help you avoid impulse purchases, it will also help you get in and out of the grocery store faster so you can get on with the rest of your day.
Shopping alone is not only the quickest way to grocery shop but also the most efficient. Bringing along children or a spouse can be distracting, increasing the chance you’ll forget an item on your grocery list. Shopping alone will help to reduce the amount of time in the grocery store and will help you stick to your predetermined grocery list.
Don’t shop hungry
I know you’ve heard this rule before, but it is true. If you shop hungry, you will have less patience and less self-control, which will increase the likelihood of making impulse purchase decisions. Do yourself a financial favor and eat before you shop.
Use a smaller cart
Similar to eating from a smaller plate, a smaller grocery cart will limit the amount that you purchase, therefore eliminating food and financial waste. Many grocery stores now offer multiple grocery cart sizes. By choosing a smaller one, you’ll be forced to determine if you really need an item before placing it in your cart.
Consider generic brands
Generic groceries can provide more value than a name brand. The only way to evaluate each option is by reading the labels to compare the ingredients and product weight. In many situations, it is the exact same product in a different package.
Shop after-holiday sales
Take advantage of the discounted prices on holiday food by shopping the day after a major holiday when expensive items like turkey, ham, lamb, pecans, and cheese go on sale. Many stores overstock their shelves for the holidays to ensure they don’t sell out before the holiday is over. However, after the holiday they must sell the leftover inventory. It may not be convenient to grocery shop when you’re still recovering from a major holiday, but the chance to stock up on pricier items can be worth it.
Find the clearance aisle
In every grocery store visit, we make sure to scout out the clearance aisle, which is often hidden somewhere in the back, out of site. If you can find this little section of the store, you will often be rewarded with significant discounts on items that have been discontinued and moved off the regular shelves.
Use coupons strategically
Coupons can be great when you are looking for a deal on nonperishable or hygiene items. However, they can also encourage you to purchase unhealthy, prepackaged foods that you otherwise wouldn’t eat. If the temptation to buy processed or junk foods is too great, skip the coupons and follow the other tips in this article.
Sign up for rewards
Many grocery stores now offer a rewards program to encourage customer loyalty. These stores will ask for your name and phone number during checkout. If you create a free account, you’ll earn reward points that can be redeemed for grocery discounts, gift cards, or gas discounts.
Keep an eye on the cashier
When you go through the checkout line, make sure you are watching as the cashier scans your items. Mispricing occurs frequently, for a variety of reasons. If you aren’t paying attention, you will end up paying for someone else’s mistake.