Tips for saving money while grocery shopping Part 2

Papa KyKy By Papa KyKy, 12th Jan 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Money>Saving

Part 2 of tips to save money while grocery shopping.

10. Don't be afraid to ask for a raincheck

Don’t be afraid to ask for a rain check. If you see an item that is on sale, but out of stock, go to the customer service desk and request a rain check. The rain check will give you a few weeks to get the item at the same price when it comes back in stock. At the very least, they will have someone check in the stockroom to see if they have what you are looking for. Other times, they may offer for you to purchase another brand for the same price with a manager’s override.

11. Be aware of when bad weather is approaching, and plan well in advance.

Don’t be one of those shoppers that is caught in a long line, due to a snow storm or hurricane rapidly approaching in your area. This will cause you to purchase items that are only in stock, and as a result, possibly spend more money.

12. Look at the expiration dates:

Grocery stores use a method known in the industry as “blocking”, in which they will purposely put the items that will expire first in the front of the shelf, and the fresher items in the back. Why pay the same price for a less fresh item? Always try to get the item in the back of the shelf. This is especially true for items like bread, but often not true with items such as milk, where the entire shelf is usually replaced all at the same time.

13. Try to shop in the bigger grocery stores.

The smaller stores often do not get as much traffic, and as a result will not have as much turnover of stock. Turnover is good, because it means that you are getting items that have not been sitting on the shelf for a long time. Seriously, I have gone into smaller stores, and have seen items with dust on them. Other times, the expiration date is several months old. Get your money’s worth by getting the freshest version of what you want to purchase.

14. Look for manager specials

If you plan on using the item within one day, you can get significant savings by purchasing the manager specials. Sometimes, there is nothing wrong with the item, but the packaging may be slightly damaged. Other times, it is just an item that they know will not last on the shelf long. For example, some stores sell ripened bananas at a significant discount.

15. Combine store and manufacturer coupons

This is one of the biggest tips that the general public often loses site of. If you have a store coupon, you may use that in combination with a manufacturers coupon. One of the best places to do this is Target.

16. If you are going to be loyal to a store, make sure they reward you for it.

Target has a credit card that automatically discounts your order purchased at Target by 5%. Other stores have their own affinity discounts. Some stores in some states also provide fuel discounts for purchasing groceries. At times, I have saved a full dollar per gallon at Kroger fuel stations by taking advantage of the several ways that they provide fuel rewards. Combining these savings with your coupon and sales savings can be profound.

17. Before you check out, check your cart

Give your cart a going over before you go to the checkout line. You may be able to put back some unnecessary impulse purchases before you check out. This is especially important if you did wind up shopping while you were hungry! If you are shopping with a young child, set the expectation that they will not be able to purchase more than one impulse buy, or special treat. Otherwise, your shopping cart will quickly fill up with junk.

18. Study your receipt

This is important for a number of reasons: 1. You can get an idea of how much you are spending and saving on certain items. 2. The receipt may provide additional opportunities for further savings or rewards, such as filling out feedback surveys online. 3. You can see if there were any mistakes on the receipt, or items that came up with the incorrect price. Although it does not happen frequently, it can occur every now and then. I was once charged $17 for a huge bag of dog food that I did not purchase.

19. Don't forget your Catalina Coupons

Many grocery stores provide printout grocery coupons, otherwise known as Catalina coupons. Sometimes these coupons are just junk and advertisements that have no discount. Other times you can get some real gems. I once got a coupon for a free package of fresh sausages. Many times you may get coupons such as $1.00 off your next order. Ignore these coupons at your peril.

20. Check the shelves closely for coupons

You don't always have to wait until you get to the checkout aisle for coupons. Sometimes there is a coupon printing machine right on the grocery store shelf! Other times they are present on the item itself with a sticker. Look closely at the coupon though, as sometimes it requires you to purchase an unrelated item in conjunction with the one you are about to purchase to realize any savings. Finally, you may see other customers leave their coupons on the shelf for the next person. This may be because they changed their mind, or they had an extra coupon that they know that they would not use before the expiration date.

21. Don't forget to check your mailbox & email for special deals!

Coupons mailed to your home from the grocery store can be some of the most valuable coupons around. I've received coupons for $5.00 off my next order, 10% of my entire purchase, etc. And again, since these are considered store coupons, you can use them in conjunction with all of your other coupons. In some cases, stores choose to email you the big coupons. I've received huge discount coupons from CVS pharmacy via email as much as 25% off my purchase!


Expiration Dates, Groceries, Grocery Store, Manager Special, Manufacturer Coupons, Rain Check, Store Coupons, Target, Walmart

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author avatar Papa KyKy
I enjoy talking about videogames, technology, and different ways to save money.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
13th Jan 2015 (#)

Farmer's markets are sometimes good places to shop too, but for sure I know that maybe one store will have something on sale one week and a different store might have that thing on sale the next, but if you have to drive far to chase down sales you waste gas and your time.

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author avatar writestuff
13th Jan 2015 (#)

Excellent article. Thanks for this informative post and sharing your savvy shopping tips. # 11 is KEY for many 'Windy City' residents in U.S.A.'s Chicberia.

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