Where you buy groceries matter. Grocery money saving tips on where to buy what, so you can maximize you savings.
Where Shouldn’t You Buy
Avoid Corner, Gas Station and Convenient Stores
When ever you need just one item, you usually head to Corner/Gas Station/Convenient store. These stores are extremely expensive, ranking second only to airport stores.
Why do people buy there? Because they are, well… convenient.
Even if you need just one item, don’t use these stores.
Don’t Buy At a Store Just Because You Have a Loyalty Card There
Studies have shown that in most stores that carry consumer loyalty programs, the every-day prices of non-sale items are higher by 28% – 71% compared to stores without such programs.
In most cases loyalty card create a perception that the store’s prices are low, while the opposite is true.
The decision whether to use that loyalty card or simply go to a different store should be based on a price list of the items you intend to buy. Read this to learn how to compile and use a price list.
Learn more about the Pros and Cons of Loyalty and Club card – How to use them wisely.
Beware of Loss Leaders
Never go to a certain store to do your whole shopping just because you have a few food coupons or grocery coupons for that store.
Every store has at one time or another few “Loss Leader” products on sale. Loss leaders are products that the store is selling below the retail price, and are actually loosing money for the store.
Why does the store do that? Loss leaders are the bait to get you thru the door. Once inside, most people will buy not only the loss leaders, but rather their whole shopping list.
It is o.k. (even desirable) to take advantage of loss leaders, but you don’t have to play by their rules.
Where Should You Buy, and What
Split Your Buying Power
No store caries the lowest prices on all of its products. Your goal is to divide your shopping between 4-5 stores, buying at each store only the stuff it sells for less.
The best way to do this is to compile a price list as explained here, based on the products you buy the most and 4-5 different stores you usually buy at.
After compiling the price list you will be able to know what to buy where. If you don’t have the time or the willpower to do it, here are a few general nation wide guidance lines:
Superstores such as Wal-Mart, Target and Kmart tend to offer lower prices than supermarkets on snack foods, breakfast cereal and cleaning supplies. Some of them are also willing to accept competitor’s coupons.
Warehouse Clubs, Price Clubs & Co-Ops such as BJ’s, Sam’s Club and Costco offer excellent bargains on wide range of items, but you will have to buy bulk.
There is, however a draw back since some require a membership card with annual fee.
Drugstores and Pharmacies such as Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Duane-Read and CVS are best at over-the-counter medication and personal-care products. Don’t assume though that they are all equal. You can find big price variations between them. Most of them also carry Store Brand next to the Nation’s Brand, making the deal even better.
The Web offers also great deals, especially if you buy in bulk. Consider the grocery section at Amazon.com. There’s no sales tax, and most purchases qualify for free shipping.
Farmer’s Markets are good place to shop for fresh food such as vegetables, fruits, bread, fish and meat. Usually the prices are below the supermarket prices, and you get better quality.
Check this site to find a Farmer’s Marker in your area.
Knowing where to shop is important, buy it is also important to know when (or when not) to shop in order to save money on grocery. Continue reading for more grocery money saving tips.