20 Grocery Store Hacks That Will Save You A Ton Of Cash
We have all been there. We need to go to the grocery store to pick up just a few essentials like milk and eggs. You really don’t need much. You find that one minute you are walking down the aisles with your mission in mind and then all of a sudden you wake up from blacking out and you are in the line to check out with $200 worth of stuff. How did that happen? How did all of these snacks get into your cart?
It’s like the grocery store has some weird powers over you. The market lures you in and then spits you out and you wind up broke and with a whole lot of munchies for you devour later. Going to the grocery store can be extremely dangerous for a lot of the population. Here are 20 store hacks that will save you a ton of cash next time you go food shopping.
Try To Develop Tunnel Vision
Grocery stores know exactly what they are doing and they design their stores to make you want to buy more things that you really don’t need.
Because of this, it is your job to develop tunnel vision in order to save your wallet from being depleted.
If you are looking to grab a few things, do yourself a favor and shop the perimeter of the store. Avoiding center aisles will help you bypass all junk food and other garbage that you don’t need and it will help save you some money.
Check Out A Local Market
While you may find that some products are cheaper in a chain grocery store, other items, like produce may be cheaper in a local farmer’s market.
Before you just head to the store, explore your neighborhood and see what your locals markets have to offer.
You may find some great finds, you could save some money and you will get to explore outside and breathe in some much needed fresh air. All these perks are worth the outing.
When Buying Chicken
You may typically go for chicken because it is usually cheaper than other meats.
Did you know, however, that there is also a trick when it comes to buying chicken? Let us enlighten you.
Instead of going for boneless chicken breasts, try buying some thighs instead. Go ahead and compare the prices and you will see how much you’ll save. You can also go for a whole chicken as well to get more bang for your buck.
Don't Wing It
Always make a list and never wing it when you go to the grocery story.
Even if it is just a mental list, it is important to have a plan. If you go in cold, you are going to spend too much on things you don’t need.
To avoid giving in and buying things that catch your eye, make your list, stick to it and don’t stray. It will be worth it. We can promise you that.
Always Check Your Eggs
You may have your hands full while you are food shopping, but it is always a good idea to double and triple check your eggs.
Sure, eggs are cheap but if you go home and see a few cracks, it is a total waste of money.
Some cashiers will ask if you checked the eggs and others may even check them for you. But in the end, it is up to you to make sure you aren’t wasting your money on cracked eggs.
Dry Off Your Veggies
That intense mister in the vegetable aisle has one purpose and one purpose only.
It is there to make sure the vegetables glisten and shine so you feel like you can’t live without them.
Who knew that broccoli could look so good? Just know that when you put damp vegetables into a bag and put them into the fridge, they are going to rot faster. Make sure you try them off before you store them away.
Eat Before You Go
Do you know the biggest mistake people make when they go to the grocery store? Going there hungry.
Do not make this rookie mistake. DON’T DO IT. When you go food shopping on an empty stomach, you are bound to spend a lot of money.
You will buy things that you don’t need and it really isn’t worth it. It’s best to eat a little before you go. Better yet, go there on a full stomach and you won’t want anything at all.
You Don't Need To Go For Brands
You may love the commercials for Honey Bunches Of Oats, but you don’t need to go just for brands when you are going shopping.
Don’t get sucked into brands just because of their fancy boxes and fun jingles. It’s a trick to make you go for them instead, so don’t fall for it.
Typically store brands are exactly the same recipe or ingredients and they are also way cheaper. Don’t be a snob and go for off-brands instead.
Turning Products Inside Out
Do you find that you often buy things that you don’t even get to before they go bad and expire?
You have to be smarter when buying things that have a short shelf life like cottage cheese and sour cream.
One trick to help you prolong the shelf life of these items is to store them in the fridge upside down. They will last longer this way because it creates a vacuum effect that stifles the growth of bacteria that can cause the food to spoil.
Don't Fall For In-Store Deals
These chain stores know that everyone loves a deal so they like to throw some in your face as you are walking down the aisles.
But don’t let those exciting signs mislead you. When a sale says something like “2 packs for $5.00” you can almost always still get 1 pack for $2.50 but they just aren’t saying that on the advertisement.
You don’t have to but that many to take advantage of the deal. It’s just a little trick they are playing on you to get to buy more items.
Keep An Eye On Your Receipt
Let’s put it this way. If you worked an eight-hour shift where you had to ring up items over and over again and look at numbers all day, you would be bound to make a mistake when it comes to the receipt.
Always check and make sure the receipt is correct. Charging $20.99 on grapes instead of $2.99 is an easy mistake and you don’t want to be the one who has to pay it.
Just look it on over and make sure it’s all correct before you walk out of the store.
Coupons are not a thing of the past, so find a system where you keep your coupons organized and don’t forget to bring them with you when you so go shopping.
You can also experiment with “Layering” which means applying multiple coupons to one single item, as long as the fine print allows it.
You’ll end up paying a fraction of the full price and all the work will be worth it.
Look For Expiration Dates
Not looking at the expiration date while you are in the store is another rookie mistake that too many people are guilty of.
Always start by looking at the expiration date, or you may as well be throwing all of your money away.
You can easily make your dairy products last longer by digging around for items with the latest date. Hint: Look all the way in the back. Stores like to put the older items in the front to get rid of them faster.
Ditch Bottled Water
Do you want to waste all of your money and destroy the planet all at the same time? Well, good news. You can!
Just go ahead and keep buying bottled water. It is a complete waste. Literally.
Do yourself and the planet a favor and buy a Brita or a water purifier instead. Then ditch the water bottles and splurge on a nice reusable water bottle and keep filling that up instead and you are good to go!
When Buying Salt
When buying salt, don’t fall for buying something fancy. You don’t need to because it’s all the same. Well, most of it at least.
Almost all kinds of salt are chemically the same, but if you want to avoid any added agents in table salt, just opt for the kosher variety.
It is nothing fancy, it is pure, it comes in larger flakes and you can buy it in bulk!
Flying Off The Shelves
You should know that when customers see that an item is selling out, they are more likely to feel like they need it. YOU DON’T NEED IT.
If you see that an item is flying off the shelves, just know that it doesn’t mean that you need it. It just means that someone need to do some restocking.
Chances are that they have boxes of the same thing in the back. Take a deep breath, go back to your list and walk away.
Don't Follow Your Nose
Do you want to know another tactic that a store will use in order to get their customers to spend more money?
They pump up the smells so you will follow your nose to a trail that leads to more things you may want to buy.
Flowers and savory food are great ways to entice guests to keep lingering in hopes they’ll buy more. Yes, that roasted chicken smells great, but don’t buy it if you don’t need it.
Just Try The Samples
Did you know that you can taste some samples without buying the actual product? Yup, it is totally acceptable so don’t feel bad about it.
According to a study done by the Journal of Consumer Research, customers are inclined to buy more if they’re given a free sample while they shop. We are looking at you, cheese lady!
Something as simple as a free piece of chocolate or a sample of alcohol can coax people into purchasing more than they need.
Meat And Dairy
Have you ever noticed that the meat and the dairy are all the way in the back of the grocery store?
This is not an accident. Stores know that most people are bound to need dairy and meat when they go on a typical shop. Therefore, they put the staples all the way in the back of a sea of junk so you will need to weed through it all in order to get to the necessities.
Memorize your store and where your staples are in order to avoid spending money on the things you don’t need.
Making Smart Choices
In order to save money, it is up to you to make smart choices when you’re going grocery shopping.
Stores know that people usually form opinions about a store based on how much it charges for staple items like bread, milk, and eggs.
Many stores will mark down these items so people will have the impression that all their prices are reasonable. Take a closer look next time you shop and make sure you are shopping at the right place.