Grocery Store Madness Requires a Plan to Save

Discover how a quick loan can help you at the grocery store!

As costs skyrocket and salaries remain stuck on the launching pad, it becomes important to economize wherever we can. The same is true at the grocery store. With the following strategies in mind, you can knock significant money off your grocery bills each month.

Do your homework!

Look inside your refrigerator to determine what you really need. That way, you’ll make the most accurate list possible and avoid doubling up on things you still have. Also, you probably receive store ads in the mail, or at least in your newspaper. If not, log on to Web sites for your local stores and comparison shop for what you need. If one store has better sales the day you need to shop, go there. If you know in advance that you’ll need a specific item, and that a certain store is having a special sale on that type of item, like meat or cereal, plan accordingly. You should also take advantage of stores that offer frequent shopper programs and double coupons. In addition, read those labels. Not only will you improve your diet by weeding out products that are high on the fat, high fructose corn syrup and any benzoate content (beware that last one; it’s a relative of paint thinner), but by looking at portion sizes packages produce, you can look for the greatest value for your dollar.

Eat first!

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Eating first can be a wise strategy, as those who go to the grocery store hungry are much more susceptible to impulse buys and in-store snacking. Sure, store security might be uncomfortable with customers opening a box of crackers in the store and munching away, but that won’t stop the truly hungry, will it? Fresh baked bread and inviting announcements over the intercom are far from innocent. They want your money. And speaking of impulse, if you’ve planned your grocery trip ahead of time as we suggest, you will be much less susceptible to the “gotta-grab-its.”

Clip coupons

Earlier, we mentioned coupons and frequent shopper programs. This area alone can save you hundreds of dollars per year. Studies have shown that even part-time clippers can shave an average of 10 percent off their grocery bill. Some products even offer mail-in rebates that, while initially annoying, can add up to greater savings for you in the long run. Frequent shopper programs are also useful, in that many of them entitle you to special store coupons or give you discounts on other items such as gasoline at one of the chain’s fueling stations.

Go generic

Another big money-saver at the grocery store is right there on the shelves. We’re talking about generic or store brands. While this may not sound exciting or have the backing of multi-million-dollar ad campaigns throughout national media, the quality (and ingredients) of generic brands frequently equals (if not exceeds) the more highly publicized brands. Regardless of how many thousands of commercials are made about a food product, they don’t make it taste any better or worse. Thus, it’s up to you to experiment. If generics work for you, you may be able to save as much as 40 percent on your grocery bill each year!

Don’t buy into their merchandising magic

Smart shoppers should also watch out for the ways stores try to guide you to the more expensive items. Such tactics as eye-catching end-of-the-aisle displays, enticing island displays near the store entrance and the placement of more expensive items at eye level – the “middle shelf” syndrome” – are all designed to separate you from more of your money. Dig into the high and low shelves and look for the sale and clearance tags amidst a sea of regularly priced items. You’ll be thankful you did when you look at your bill.

What it at checkout

Once you reach the end of your shopping trip, remain alert at the check stand by paying attention to the price scanner. Not only will the checker likely remain more alert, but you’ll be able to spot when a wrong price pops up. Stores rarely overcharge, but when they do, it’s typically because of a typo or similar technical error. Savings that you’ll enjoy due to spotting register errors may be marginal, but if you save anything at all because you’ve been alert, isn’t it worth it. Moreover, by focusing on how much things cost, you’re much more likely to develop good, economical shopping habits.

And if your budget needs a little extra help after you’re done at the grocery store, consider payday loans. You can apply for one right now and make your short-term budget woes a thing of the past!

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