1. Make a list and stick to it. This may sound simplistic but many people head off to do their supermarket shopping without a list, often without even checking out the weekly specials at that market. Make a list based on both your needs for the upcoming week and based around what that supermarket has on sale.
2. Plan menus around the sale items. Every supermarket offers specials to draw customers into their store. Often, the best buys are on the front page of the circulars and are called "loss leaders" in the grocery industry. This is because the stores seldom make any profit on these sale items but the savings are so great, customers come to shop and buy other items as well. While making that list, take time to read the supermarket ad circular from the newspaper or look up the specials online. If the supermarket is offering chicken breasts at a savings, plan a meal utilizing the chicken. The same holds true for hamburger, frozen entrees, and more.
More Ways To Save on Groceries
3. Eat before you shop. Many studies have proven that shopping on an empty stomach leads to filling up the shopping cart with unnecessary items. Hungry consumers buy more so eat before you shop so you won't be tempted to add extras to the cart.
4. Clip coupons. This may sound like something Grandma did back in the day but coupon clipping is back in style and has a new 21st century twist. Check local newspapers, usually on Sundays, for coupon flyers but today there are other options. Look for online sites offering savings coupons on many of the products most of us buy every week. Check out manufacturer websites too - often they feature money saving coupons on their products to boost sales.
5. Look for in-store specials. More and more supermarkets are offering unadvertised, in-store specials. Sometimes they offer a flyer listing these but most often, it's necessary to check the shelves for savings banners or notes. Shop each aisle, looking for special savings.
6. Take your time. Grocery shopping should never be done in a mad rush. Slow down, study the products, compare values, and look for those in-store specials. Take time to compare name brands against store brands, economy size products against regular sizes. Keep in mind that sometimes the "economy" size is not always the best bargain.
Last But Not Least - More Savings Tips
7. Go with store brands whenever possible. It is a little known fact but many of the store brands are manufactured and packaged in the same food plants as the name brands. Best Choice, Always Save, Surefine, Great Value, and such do not operate their own food processing companies but contract with name brand manufacturers to produce their in house labels. Just some of the items you can save big by choosing the store brand include flour, sugar, canned soups, canned vegetables, bread products, dairy products, and even frozen foods.
8. Look for the "value" or "dollar" aisle. These days, many supermarkets have a special section featuring special savings. Sometimes they are "dollar" aisles where everything costs just one buck or they are "value" aisles offering special prices on lesser known brands or discontinued merchandise.
9. Don't forget to check out the day old bakery shelf or the marked down meat. Most "day old" bakery products are still fresh and they can be frozen until needed. Buying from the day old or reduced price bakery rack can save half or more on delicious breads, hot rolls, pies, cookies, cakes and more. Many meat counters also mark down meat items so that they will sell because it's better for the store to sell the items at a reduced price than toss them. Look for meat that is still fresh but marked down and save.
10. More stores are now offering meat specials that range from "Five for $19.99" to "Four For Twenty" or "Five For Twenty-FIve". These programs allow customers to pick specially marked packages of meat for one low price. It is a good way to fill up the freezer, make meal planning both inexpensive and simple, and to just save!
With these ten tips, any consumer can save money on buying the groceries they need and use the savings for something else!