10 Best Tips for Saving Money at the Grocery Store

10 Best Tips for Saving Money at the Grocery Store

This list is an eye-opener for shopping smart and saving money at the grocery store. With so much financial stress, it's good to save when and where you can, and the first field of battle is the grocery store. The place of bargains and impulse buys. Let's break down some advice to save some moola. As they say, forewarned is forearmed.

1. Never Shop Hungry

A handful of shoppers from a popular online forum cautioned about perusing the grocery store when hungry. When you're starving, more food looks good and deliciously tempting.

So the odds of coming in to buy five items and leaving with twenty-five shoots up. I've been guilty of shopping while my stomach growls in agony, and the first thing I grab is junk food. So spare yourself the extra bags to carry and your wallet.

2. Shop Generic

Nowadays, generic brands are not just in pharmacies. Grocery store brands typically have that same bread for a fraction of the price. There may be some products where only the name brand will do; for me, it's Hellmann's Mayonnaise. But where you can opt for the cheaper store brand or less famous brand, do so.

3. Stick to the Perimeter

Loads of popular junk food are pricey and disappear quickly from your kitchen cabinets. If you want to shop healthy plus avoid temptation, one savvy shopper says to stick to the store's perimeter.

All the healthy, fresh, and raw items are on the outer rim, with the aisles housing the processed goods. I did not realize it, but this is accurate when considering my store's layout.

4. Check Unit Rate Cost

Other supermarket mavens stressed the importance of checking the unit rate. For example, if you see a half-gallon beverage on sale for $4.49, but the gallon is $6.49, you save more by avoiding the sale cost and going for the whole gallon. By ounces, the half-gallon “bargain” costs more per ounce. Stores typically have unit rates on display, so you need to pay attention and shop wisely.

5. Keep to Your List

The one countless shoppers mentioned, but few of us can do, is stick to a list. You know your grocery store's layout, so several commenters mentioned not just making a list and sticking to it but writing the aisles that house the products.

Another went a step further and added to write your list in the order of groceries from when you first walk into the store to when you head to the register. This may help avoid pesky impulse buys.

6. Price Matching

Though I've heard of this one, I've never remembered to use it. If you find an advertisement for something you want at your grocery store's competitor, and it's cheaper, you can ask your supermarket to match the price.

Often they will because they want to retain customers. As some mentioned, not all stores price match, but if yours does, take advantage regularly.

7. Be Aware of the Sales

There's nothing more frustrating than seeing an item on sale but realizing your particular flavor has already sold out. Many stores have weeklong deals.

Learn what day it starts and pick up the supermarket circular listing the bargains. Then pore over it for what you want. Also, many posters recommend checking out the Flipp app, which helps keep you abreast of incoming sales.

8. Look Up and Down

Another crafty trick grocery stores do that I was unaware of is product placement with a purpose. An individual explained to make sure to look up and down the shelves.

Stores usually put the most expensive products at eye level. Even brands stock their cheaper fare lower to tempt you to buy their pricier products, someone else added. So make sure to check out those top and bottom shelves.

9. Bring a Set Cash Amount

Someone with a family of five said they put $200 in cash for groceries into a jar they use to shop. So, determine how much would get you through the week and bring cash only. Doing this forces you only to get what you need and limits impulse buying as you don't have the money to splurge, and what you buy has to last a week.

10. Meal Planning

Meal planning helps you stick to what you need and allows it to stretch. A few people said to plan meals for the week, one or two big meals that can be leftovers for the next day or two, and smaller meals with little to no leftovers. If you have leftovers figure out how to incorporate them into another meal rather than throw it out.

This thread inspired this post.