1. Shop Once Per Week
Shopping once a week forces you to keep make a shopping list. Shopping with a list (and just sticking to it) means you’ll be less tempted by impulse buys, and you won’t forget things and have to go back later which uses gas. You’ll also have time during the week to notice sales, clip coupons, and you’ll buy larger quantity packages.
2. Look for Loss Leaders
Supermarkets often will discount select items to at-cost or below-cost prices to attract customers. These are called “loss leaders,” and typically you can spot them easily as you will be limited to a certain quantity. For example, the first two cans of Chunky soup may be $1.50 each, and anything over two will be regular price of $2.49. You may find these deals while cruising the aisles, but you’ll also spot them on the supermarket flyer front and back covers where they advertise their very best deals.
3. Train for the Price is Right
You may never hear “Come on down!” from Bob Barker, but knowing the typical prices for grocery store items can come in handy. Jot down prices in a notebook for items you regularly buy, and keep track of sale prices for these items too. Before you know it, you’ll be able to recognize a bargain from a mile away. If you stock up on frozen meat and vegetables, condiments, toiletries and makeup and so on only when they are on sale, you could save hundreds each year.
4. Look Up, Look Down
Big brands pay premiums for product placement at eye-level. Generic brands and lower priced products above and below the premium shelves are often better deals.
5. Shop at the Produce Store
Produce stores often have fresher fruit and vegetables than the grocery stores at a cheaper price. Shop later in the day at a farmer’s market and you could save even more, as market owners would rather get rid of stock than cart it back to the warehouse again and risk spoilage. To find a farmer’s market near you, check out www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets.
6. Surf The Net for Sales
Couponmom.com is an amazing resource for finding and organizing coupons. You need to register with this site to use the Virtual Coupon Organizer, but once you’re in, you can see all the supermarket coupons that have run in your newspaper that are still valid.