Saving Money on Grocery Shopping Is Easier Than One Thinks.
Also a note about food government benefits.
- Yes, do use those coupons; the Sunday paper and your junk mail will give you all you need. Also drop by your main grocery store’s website and see what they have to say for themselves; more often than not, they will have additional digital coupons you can use where you simply enter your phone number at the checkout register to collect.
- Yes, do buy the generic store brands. It is common knowledge they cost less. What isn’t so well known is that more often than not they are made by the same manufacturer as the nationally labeled brands that cost up to twice as much.
- Make it a point to look at the top and bottom shelves. The middle shelves are where the high markup items are.
- Do make it a habit to routinely check the unit pricing. No rocket surgeon degree required; the unit price is right below the sale price. There will be at least one occasion every trip where it will affect your decision as to what to buy. Does your store not conveniently display the unit pricing? If so, then find another store. Also, you may be surprised to learn the larger sizes do not always represent the better unit pricing buy. Stores are sneaky that way, knowing that consumers automatically assume the larger size is the better deal.
- Never buy anything displayed at the register and checkout line. Those are what is known as spontaneous purchases and impulse items and always have the highest markup.
- Always bring a shopping list. It will cut down on your spontaneous impulse buying immensely.
- Never shop hungry.
- Never buy premade sandwiches or other items requiring extra preparation in the deli section. The prices are highway robbery and are for people who are taking their lunch break from work, etc. If the sandwich looks delicious, then just buy the same filling from that same deli instead. This assumes you are willing enough to take the contents from the container and put between two slices of bread yourself. Chicken salad and egg salad are good examples. Doing this will usually save you between $2 to $3 per sandwich. And save the containers, they can repeatedly be used for storing leftovers.
- Stock up on the sale items. Prices can vary by as much as 50% from week to week. Tissues are an excellent example of this. Canned goods are another excellent example.
- Check your receipt for double billing. It happens a lot more often than you think. It usually happens because either the cashier doesn’t like you or the scanner sensor is dirty. And checking the receipt really is easier than you think; even a long receipt takes less than a minute to quickly glance through. When you find something (and you inevitably will), simply return to the same register and tell them. They will refund your money on the spot.
- Never set your wallet on the little counter at the checkout. It won't always still be there when you forget and then go back for it.
- Every trip you make to the store probably costs you between $2 to $5 in gas. Try to organize to make fewer trips.
Frankly, I'm expecting more major food and grocery inflation costs in 2018.
Update. Yep, I'm already seeing examples. And the tariff wars are going to make things even worse.
Government Food BenefitsBtw, Food Stamps aka CalFresh aka SNAP benefits are used by millions of Americans and residents. If your financial situation is less than stellar, it is worth investigating.
Government Websites to Get Startedhttps://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/apply