When you walk into the grocery store and you find that bread, eggs and milk are typically located towards the back of the store, don’t think that’s just a coincidence. It’s not. Those are staple items, so the grocery stores want you to walk through the entire store to get to what you need. Oh, and while you’re at it, you might as well let the impulse shopping kick in (meaning you start adding items to your cart that you don’t really need – and that’s where you lose out on savings.)Anyway, follow these five savings strategies and you won’tbe tricked any longer:
1. Stay Away from the Pre-Cut Fruits, Vegetables: As soon as you walk into the grocery store, you always see those huge refrigerators with pre-cut fruits and vegetables in conveniently plastic containers. Keep in mind that these items are marked up and cost more than if you simply bought the bag or celery or the whole watermelon and cut the food up yourself at home. While this is time consuming, it’ll save a ton of money, so stay away from those refrigerators in the store with all of the ready-to-eat food.
2. Watch Out for Mistakes at the Register: When the cashier is ringing up all of your items, watch that computer screen closely, to make sure they don’t make any mistakes. If an item on the shelf is supposed to be on sale, but it scans full price at the register, speak up! It’s happened to me before – when the cas
hier rings up the same item…TWICE!
[Check out this list of must-have money saving smartphone apps!]
3. Yes, You Can Ask for Discounts: If you’re buying a case of water or a case of iced tea or juice at the grocery store, some chains will give you a 10% discount – but they don’t reveal this secret, so you have to ask for it!
4. Buy What’s On Sale: Easier said than done! But the Grocery Pal smartphone app on the iPhone and Android lets you know what’s on sale at the supermarkets and drug stores in your area, using GPS. Wal-Mart, Target, Safeway, Kroger are among the 100 stores featured on the app.
5. Personalized Discounts: The New York Times reported in August that supermarket giants Safeway and Kroger are now tracking the shopping habits of customers from those loyalty rewards programs. Shoppers who purchase certain items more frequently than other shoppers will receive a special discount. So if you buy orange juice three times per week, you’ll receive a discount, compared to someone who buys that product once a month. Keep an eye out for other grocery stores to offer similar personalized discount programs.