Grocery store savings secrets

Supermarkets play plenty of tricks to get you to spend more. Here are some common tactics -- and how to outsmart them.

 of 12
 of 12

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

280Comments
Jan 30, 2013 11:29PM
avatar
Don't go grocery shopping stoned and hungry.
Jan 31, 2013 10:03AM
avatar
Three things to help save money at the supermarket (1) listen to what your Grandmother tried to teach you (2) take a calculator and learn to use it to do price comparisons (3) don't buy the pre-mades, any time you pay someone to cook it for you it will double the price. The amount of food that gets wasted is mind boggling, if you learn to cook and make soups and casseroles etc you can cut your food costs a lot, yes you have time even if you work, takes planning, good habits and a little know-how about good nutrition and not buying the junk...... 
Jan 30, 2013 11:12PM
avatar
Those who shop on a regular basis know the items recycle every 6-8 weeks on sale at the same market. 4 for 10.00 12 pak soda, Roasts are 2 for 1, chicken cuts are half price or less per pound, frozen prepared food each have a sale week, frozen pizza half price. Items such as ice cream, canned fruit and vegetables, pasta, breads, salad dressings, coffee and tea, soups, cereals, juices, cookies, crackers, candy, gatorade and so on. Check the flyers, cut coupons and only buy what you will use. We primarily shop Frys supermarkets and Costco. We have used this system for years and we also get gasoline points at Frys and this morning we saved 60 cents per gallon and filled up the two vehicles with 26 gallons of fuel. Savings on fuel $15.60. Have patience, it really works.
Jan 31, 2013 5:55PM
avatar

As for buying produce in the bag, check this out:

 

Green peppers sell for $2.49 a pound.

Yellow, orange and red peppers sell for $3.99 a pound.


You can buy a prepacked set of 3 called 'stop-light' peppers because you get one each of green, yellow and red.   It's a 1 lb package that sells for $5.99.

 

Who do they sell the stoplight peppers to?  People who are not good at math.

 

People who shop should have the basics of arithmetic down pat.

Jan 31, 2013 2:20PM
avatar
I walk through the whole store looking for what I am out of, and if anything I regularly use is on sale.  Some things I prefer the brand name, and some things I go for the generic.  I don't buy things I don't need no matter where they place their item.  And I always look at or calculate the price per.  Not everything is less if you buy a bigger package. 
Jan 31, 2013 12:46PM
avatar

My experience with pre packaged produce is that it goes bad in just a few days and I have to throw it out.  I'd rather pay a bit more for choosing the right produce individually and be able to eat it all than buy a cheap bag of produce and end up throwing almost 50% of it away.

Jan 31, 2013 8:43PM
avatar
watch out for down sized packaging i.e. skippy peanut butter just shrank from 18 oz. to 16.3 oz. looks the same but is almost 10% smaller with a higher price
Jan 31, 2013 2:31PM
avatar

My own pet peeve on grocers right now is the:

"Buy 2 get one Free.

 

And people fall for this without considering that they raised the price prior to sale and why would someone need 3 of the same thing.

Jan 31, 2013 1:24PM
avatar
Shop the sales.  Stock up on the sales.
Jan 31, 2013 1:25PM
avatar

Not sure how this became a political debate but i'll get in on it too..... Much like any system- there are flaws. Much like any person- there are flaws..... I quite honestly do not care for either party anymore. There are too many people that are 100% against the middle and lower class that are putting far to much money in there pockets to believe that what they are saying is truly what is best for our country anymore.... They all have there pork belly projects that do nothing for anybody but they keep throwing money at it just to give there family members higher paying jobs and to have something to talk about while they are sunning on the beach in the bahamas.... However this may not be true for all politicians but it is for almost all that have been in there position for 8 or more years..... And as for the large corporations that import all of there goods so that we may buy cheap made products, well that is a double edged sword in itself.... Yes we need low prices now but it is caused by the fact that we did open our trade up so much that it killed american jobs, and the value of our own products...... Don't get me wrong-- I shop at these chains too but it is purely out of necessity for the lower prices due to my employment status because of the low prices... Also as far as the laws that are passed that so many are ranting about- It took both parties to pass them... So republican or democrat doesn't matter... And chances are that somebody that you voted for helped to pass them...... This country is in serious need of reform!--------- Political reform that is.....

  

Jan 31, 2013 12:43AM
avatar
buy your milk in the new tetra-pak system then it can sit on a shelf in the pantry until you need it, make your own sausage at home, get outside and grow yourself some vegetables and herbs. all are sound investments in saving your hard earned dollars
Jan 31, 2013 10:30AM
avatar
I found out that dumpster diving and drinking tap water are much cheaper than shopping.
Jan 31, 2013 10:57AM
avatar
I thought this was for tips?  Everyone seems to be bashing each other.  Too bad really.
Feb 4, 2013 2:30PM
avatar

I often buy large quantities of veggies when they are in season then I blanch and freeze in freezer bags, a little more work, but worth it if you can customize your serving sizes, plus if you have a vacuum sealer, buy whatever lunchmeat or cheese is on sale that week and divvy it up into small portions to use later, I find that if I do this for a few weeks in a row, I will accumulate a nice stock in my freezer and then my not have to shop for these items for months at a time.  We have a place in town called Erie County Farms, sells in large quantities and good prices, lots of fresh veggies and fruit excellent prices on deli and meat. i go there about 4-5 times a year and I will spend a day or 2 vaccum sealing stuff for the freezer then all I need at the store are incidentals. Works great saves time and money, if you are willing to work a little bit at it.  PS: the thing about Assistance, even though I have worked my whole life 40 + hours a week, can't get help when I needed it, (because I work and make too much money, HA HA) had to get a second job. Meanwhile I know of people who WON"T work because they would lose all the great health insurance and Welfare Benefits they get. They are living better than I am and I work,alot.  Nothing against people that get welfare because they have physical/mental disabilities and CAN'T work., just the ones working the system.  God helps those that helps themselves, good thing cause no one else will!  

Feb 4, 2013 1:57PM
avatar

buy only what you need. avoid anything with a label full of chemicals.

Jan 31, 2013 6:11AM
avatar
There are 2 types of EBT cards, food assistance and cash assistance. The 2nd is a type of food stamp [EBT card] that the "poor" use to buy cigarettes, alcohol, lottery tickets, strippers, and anything else they desire. You can see the money that they use to do these things in the deductions side of your paychecks. Here is a quote from a discussion on a msg board:

Question:
I just recieved my EBT card in the mail today and I was wanting to know if I can buy Cigarettes and beer with it? My friend told me you can't get beer and smokes with the card that you have to go the grocery store and pay a little more for somebody elses groceries with your EBT card and get them to buy your cigs and beer with cash in exchange. I was just wanting to know if I can get just get it with my card or will I have to go to the store and do what he does?

Answer:
"wow you are one idiot... typically you will have to find someone with money that needs food, so you buy them 40 dollars worth of food and they give ya 20 cash fool...or you can find some rinky dink middle east grocer that will let you buy the cigs and food and he rings it up as a miscellaneous product. you will be drunk and hungry so now you will be both out of money and out of food benefits. you then vote for obama who will give you even more benefits like free healthcare but ya gotta vote so they remain in power, its a secret wink wink deal"

Article: NH woman fired for not selling cigarettes to EBT card holder.
www.unionleader.com/article/20120628/NEWHAMPSHIRE09/706289985
Jan 30, 2013 10:32PM
avatar
some of these are laughable.  those "endcap" displays?  mostly failed stuff that was previously in the middle of the aisle, things that sell a lot more that needed the space (because stores arent allowed to change the regular shelf space), or some excess because decisions by people that dont work in the store forced too many into their inventory.

most stores wont be using reclamation services with that kind of idiot deal either.  i could sell those bags for $5-8 myself, save everyone in the chain the work of replacing them, and save myself rebuying them.  at least give an example that makes sense...

meat milk and bread arent on the main aisles because...well it wouldnt make sense.  those things are refrigerated and would take a silly amount of space to relocate.  is not having bread facing the main aisle a big deal?  is not having ANY product facing the main aisle the same way...like are people bitching about lettuce and envelopes "hiding" in their regular areas??

what if a retailer has both left and right entrances?  are they both a success and failure?  what exactly does doing better mean.  citation please.  im sure this news writer was told many times that quoting people that make things up isnt better than making them up yourself.  show your source, show the facts.

lastly, regular people cant afford to visit the store every time they need just one item.  when you get $50-100 instead of just $5, its because you are practical and cant make 15 visits like a bored person with too much money.  
Jan 31, 2013 2:37PM
avatar

all of these things are true,  however when i managed a liquor store highest priced best quality were on the top, hence the term top shelf items.  also, quanity does not always equate to cheaper.  sometimes   the smaller packages are cheaper per quanity.  aslo, when using coupons it's best to by the smaller a packages.  if you have a $1 off coupon, buy the $1.25 package.  you get it for 25cents, rather than a $3 package where you pay $2's.  watch for exp dates, as many retailers don't and you get home w/ expired garbage.  realize that the music in the stores is filled w/ subliminal mesages, so shop w/ an mp3 player to block this out.  as beer man says:  never shop when stoned or hungry as you'll buy stuff on impulse to fullfill your immediate cravings.  watch 4 markdowns, sometimes their a deal, but not always as it may be old and shop worn.  always check experation dates and buy the freshest, as retailers are bad about rotataing there stock.  buy generic when possible, it's usually made by a name brand manufacturer and sold under the store's name.  i could go on and on, but i have an mba, with an emphasis on marketing, so what do i know?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 off. buy the

Feb 4, 2013 2:22PM
avatar
I don't care what they say about saving money with generic brands.....NOT ALL generics are good.  I know, because I have tried many different generics.  So you are not saving money if the generic is not good, despite if the ingredients are the same.  They maybe the same, but the quality is NOT the same all the time.
Feb 4, 2013 2:18PM
avatar
learn how to cook like great grandma! some people think that buying box foods like mac n cheese,hamburger helper,ect ect is home cooking! get real and make real food at home,its easy,cheep and healthy. grow happy healthy kids, its easy.
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

RECENT ARTICLES

    TOOLS

    More

    SMART SPENDING