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5 Money Saving Secrets Grocery Stores Don't Want You to Know

Does it seem like every time you go grocery shopping your bill gets higher and higher? Does it seem like every time you go shopping, dutifully with budgeted list in hand, that you still come out spending more than you expected? Well, it's really not all in your head. Food prices are increasing and budgeting may not be enough to cut down your grocery bill.

The fact is that food manufacturers and retailers are corporations looking to make money, and they have developed quite a few tricks to get consumers to spend more. Here are 5 tips you can use to be a truly savvy shopper and save some of your hard earned cash:

1. Scrutinize On-Sale Items
Grocery stores are highly organized with the purpose of getting consumers to spend the most money. Large displays of foods "on sale" at the front of the store are often not what they seem. Typically, it's the manufacturer of the displayed foods that has paid the retailer to showcase their product. Go to the isle the display food is on and compare it to other sizes and brands – 9 times out of 10 there is a much better deal to be won.

2. Beware of Bulk

It used to be that buying in bulk (or even just any larger quantity) saved you money. Well, manufacturers figured out that consumers took advantage of this and decided to sometimes quietly price the food in bulk quantities higher than those in smaller quantities. Most consumers grab the bigger box of cereal assuming it's a better deal and the manufacturer wins again. Take your calculator with you shopping. Figure out the price per ounce for those two boxes of cereal – You'd be surprised at how often the smaller boxes are priced less per ounce.

3. Look Above and Below
Most consumers buy products that are placed at eye level on the shelves. As a result of this, most grocery stores place their highest priced items at eye level. Scan the entire shelf, high and low, for better bargains.

4. Shop the Perimeter First

Again, grocery stores are organized in such a way to get you to spend the most money. Costlier, prepackaged foods usually sit in the middle of the store, while staple foods, such as milk, eggs and bread line the perimeter. If you buy your staple items first, your cart will already be filled with food and you'll be less likely to indulge in prepackaged goodies on your way out of the store.

5. Don't Fall for the Marketing

Food manufacturers spend millions of dollars each year studying you – and what prompts you to buy one brand over another. As a result of all this research, they've created some pretty tempting products that are hard to walk away from. However, you have to simply think about what you need versus what you want. Sure those diet snack packs look fun and convenient, but they're also expensive – incredibly expensive when you consider the amount of calories and nutrients you're getting for the price. Also, it really does not take that much longer to peel or wash a piece of fruit than it does to open that snack pack. Plus, the piece of fruit is probably even healthier for you anyways!


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Re: 5 Money Saving Secrets Grocery Stores Don't Want You to Know

Thanks for the shopping tips, I would try to remember that. This recession brought with it a record number of bank closings.  The number of banks flagged as being especially great risk for bank closings keeps rising, as over 400 banks are listed by the FDIC, or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as being troubled.  However, the rate of additions to that listing has slowed, but how long it will take for the banking system to recover is unknown.  If it will ever recover is also kind of up in the air at the moment.  It begs the question of whether all that money we spent on TARP programs were actually preventing any bank closings, or were just lining the pockets of some already guilty suits.

Re: 5 Money Saving Secrets Grocery Stores Don't Want You to Know

Great tips. These food manufacturers are rather sneaky aren't they!
Another tip is that I notice all the size of snack food packages reducing whilst the price remains the same. So you are getting a smaller quantity and being charged the same price. Another thing to look out for if you are buying snack foods.

Re: 5 Money Saving Secrets Grocery Stores Don't Want You to Know

Great tips for shopping for food. There definitely are some changes in the way things are done now. Don't forget the simple things, though, like having a list before you go and sticking with it. Also, never go food shopping when you are hungry.

Re: 5 Money Saving Secrets Grocery Stores Don't Want You to Know

bringmeroses's picture

Eh? I don't know where you live Manish but here we're already into March 2009. Your comment's got the right date and the article has too. Could you be in the past and us in the future? I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone now LOL.

Re: 5 Money Saving Secrets Grocery Stores Don't Want You to Know

Manish Rawat's picture

Hey good post, quite general things that you highlited but worked out diligently  well.
I see some problem with your calender date. It shows 22 feb 2009 to me. Are you guys write from some future world?

This Article Rocks!

Great article. All these are very practical tips.

Re: 5 Money Saving Secrets Grocery Stores Don't Want You to Know

The information you have provided seems to be common sense and almost a "Duh why didn't I think of that." I plan on using this information for an English project by shopping just as I had before reading, and then shopping with your five amazing hints. I am almost willing to bet that your ideas will save me a great amount of money. I have been looking for how to save money without sacrificing quantity or quality of the goods that my family and I consume. In the current economic situation that we are faced with daily, you are on to something that should be widely viewed. Everyone needs to save money and this is a great way to start the snowball effect. It is sad that these secrets seem to be locked up and not widely known by the average American shopper. I also know that you should never go grocery shopping while you are hungry; it only makes you want to buy everything in sight. Also store brands are just as good if not better than the large/ well known brands when you compare ingredients and the health information. Thank you for helping me out so much! UWF

Re: 5 Money Saving Secrets Grocery Stores Don't Want You to Know

This is great advice. Thanks for the money saving tips. Shopping the perimeter will help you eat healthier as well!
 S - This Frugal Life