We all need Groceries because we have to eat
First of all, you never want to shop for groceries on an empty stomach. Try to shop around 10 o’clock in the morning to avoid not only a rumbling stomach, but also the afternoon crowds. Additionally, ask your grocery’s deli and bakery if they discount meat and bread on a certain day of the week. One grocery store I frequent sells all its week-old baked goods for one cent on Wednesdays!
This may be the most important strategy to save money on groceries, as well as the most difficult to implement. You need self-control to resist the temptation to buy items that are not on your list.
When it comes to store brand vs. name brand, I tend to buy generics when there is an item I need, but I do not possess a coupon for the brand name version. In many cases, there are very few differences between most brand name items and generic items, and to be honest, I have found some generic products that I prefer to the brand name, such as cookies, peanut butter, and evencola. Remember, some stores do not offer many generic alternatives to name brands. You may want to stick to stores that stock many store-brand products.
- Food Staples. Your basics like flour, sugar, cooking oil, and butter will always taste, and work, the same regardless of what the label says.
- Canned Produce. Any basic canned fruit or vegetable will taste the same in a generic brand can. However, you may want to stick to the name brands when buying the fancy mixed fruit cocktails – the generic brands never give you enough cherries.
- Frozen Produce. Name brand frozen produce typically costs twice as much as the generic version, and the store brand often gives you more per bag.
- Meat. I’ll skip my slimy chicken story and just tell you this: If you’re a stickler for the quality of your meat, you won’t be happy with the generic brand. This goes for everything from t-bone steaks to frozen chicken strips.
- Paper Products. Generic brand paper towels and toilet paper do not hold up as well as the name brands. You end up using twice as much for the same effect, which does not save you any money in the long run.
To ensure that you are getting the best available price on an item, check the unit price, which can be found on the item’s price tag. You need to not only compare different brands, but also different sizes. While buying a bigger package often costs less per unit, that is not always the case.
Grocery stores use many marketing tactics to coerce consumers into selecting the most expensive items. For example, stores often stock the most expensive items and brands at eye level, and place the cheaper items and brands on the higher and lower shelves. As you are going through the store, remember to check all the shelves for potential savings.
It can be a great time-saver at home to use prepackaged and prepared foods. Many grocery stores also offer pre-cut or pre-sliced items, such as chopped green peppers or cheese trays. While these types of items are certainly convenient, they are expensive compared to non-prepared items.
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