Top Tips Before You Shop

July 30, 2013

Several simple grocery shopping techniques will help to save you cash at the register, and ensure you make the most of your shopping trips

Several simple grocery shopping techniques will help to save you cash at the register, and ensure you make the most of your shopping trips.
So, how can you get these savings? A focused, planned approach to grocery shopping and collecting coupons will save you a significant amount each month. Here’s SupermarketGuru’s guide to savings:
Check your store’s circular before you go shopping. Use it to make your list. Plan some of your meals around what’s on sale. Make your shopping list with each week’s circular nearby, and stick to your plan.
Log-on and connect with your favorite stores and brands on Facebook and other social media sites and websites. Mommy and Daddy bloggers are also gems for coupons. There are often deals posted that will help you save more than you can imagine!
Know what you spend the most on; keep a list of the items you buy regularly and track the prices over a three-month period. Then you can stock up when they reach the bottom of the range.
Check the discounters - yes, the dollar stores! They often have more upscale items for savings you won't believe!
Store brands are one of the best, and most underutilized, benefits of a supermarket. Today their quality is comparable to the leading brands with few exceptions. Comparing a full week’s grocery list, typically you can buy store brands for over half of the items on your list. On average, you can save 20 percent, but in some cases, you can save even more. Store-branded breakfast cereals, jams/jellies, cookies/crackers, paper goods, pasta and sauces, and cheese and dairy products can get you the best value (price and quality).
When fresh produce is not in season, the price goes up and (in some cases because of the time it takes to get to the store) the quality down - but not when you shop frozen. Frozen fruits and veggies are packed at their peak freshness, nutrition, and in season. Read the ingredient list carefully as some prepackaged fruits and vegetables have added sugar or salt, and should be avoided. Plain frozen produce will save you more than fresh out of season picks. Another great tip is to read ads to discover when produce is in season- simultaneously, the frozen counterparts may be on sale - time to stock up! Check the expiration dates before you fill your cart; and remember, most frozen foods, when stored properly, can last up to a year in your home freezer.
Where else can you find savings in the market?
Frozen vs fresh seafood: Most of the time if you read the fine print at the seafood counter you will see that the fish has been previously frozen. Choosing seafood in the frozen aisle is cheaper than “fresh” at the seafood counter and most of the time better taste and texture. Seafood at the seafood counter can be frozen more than once on its way to the store as opposed to the frozen packaged fish, which has only been frozen once.
Never shop hungry! Cornell researchers Aner Tal and Brian Wansink recently found that hungry shoppers end up buying more calories. The research published in the JAMA Internal Medicine demonstrates why it’s important to eat before you shop. Whether it’s shopping after a meal or snack research proves it’s a wise decision and you’ll make fewer impulse buys a well!
Happy shopping and savings!