Just about everywhere you go on the Internet these days you’ll find people offering money-saving tips. Well, I thought I might as well join in by offering some tips of my own for saving money at the grocery store. You’ve probably already thought of most of these, but there are others you may not have considered. Here they are:
1) Buy non-perishable items in the largest packaging available. For example, never buy bathroom tissue in packages of less than 12 rolls or soap in packages of less than eight bars. The packaging is pricey and its cost gets passed directly to the consumer, so you want to pay for as little of it as possible. For example, it costs about four times as much to put eight bars of soap into four different packages of two than it does to put them all into one package.
2) Buy non-perishable items only when they are on sale, and then stock up. Those “buy one, get one free” deals are especially attractive. Also, some types of products like sodas rotate their sale prices by brands. For example, Pepsi products might be on sale on the week and Coke products the next.
3) Buy generic store brands instead of name brands, as long as there is not a significant difference in quality. Obviously, the quality of generic products can vary from store to store and from product to product, so a little trial and error may be required here.
4) Buy paper towels that offer the most sheets per roll, regardless of the square footage; buy bathroom tissue that offers the most square feet per roll, regardless of the numbers of sheets. Think about it: Most people use paper towels by the individual sheet and bathroom tissue by a certain preferred length. Why not buy it accordingly?
5) Never buy grocery items at a convenience store unless it’s an emergency. Convenience stores notoriously stock most items in small quantities – at inflated prices.
6) Avoid buying groceries at a store that offers a discount card unless you have one. Stores like that generally extend few bargains to those who are not card-carrying regular customers.
7) Some stores specialize in offering deep discounts on certain types of grocery items, e.g., can foods, meat, fresh fruits, and vegetables, etc., but make up for it on the other things they sell. The deep-discounted items are called “loss leaders.” They are used to entice you into the store so you will also buy their other products, most of which are typically overpriced. When you shop at those stores, buy the items they discount, but nothing else.
8) Buy perishable items in larger quantities only if you are sure that you and your family will use them before they spoil. Remember, having to throw things out usually more than offsets any discount you may have received. By the way, always check the expiration date, when applicable.