According to the Time Use Institute, the average grocery shopping trip takes 41 minutes and the average person does around six grocery shopping trips per month. Do the math and that’s over 49 hours per year spent in a grocery store. Something so important as food, and something that is taking up so much time, definitely deserves some Savvy Tips. Here are 10 to get you started…
#1 – Have You Considered Store Brands?
On average generic/store brands tend to cost about 25% less than equivalent name brand products. If you are worried about quality, do a simple search online of the generic equivalents where you shop compared to the name brands you currently purchase. After some research, you can at least consider ditching the name brand to save some cash.
#2 – The Price You Pay Isn’t the Whole Story
Always consider the “unit price” so that you can avoid the traps that manufacturers like to play. Sometimes the different size of packaging can have massive differences in price per unit. It is vital to estimate your personal demand so you don’t overpay, but always look on the price tag for unit price and do you comparisons accordingly.
#3 – Don’t Just Look Straight Ahead
You might not know this but companies pay more money to grab shelf space at eye level because they know that most people don’t scan up and down when they shop. As a result, there is money to be saved simply by considering all options and checking up top and down below rather than simply going with what is right in front of you….P.S. for products geared towards kids, the lower shelf space is more expensive for manufacturers and it pays to investigate the options higher on the shelf.
#4 – Leverage the App Store
There are countless companies that have launched apps to do price checking, coupon generation, or cash back. Many of these are specifically geared towards grocery shopping and can save you some serious coin. Here is a list from thebalance.com
#5 – Price Matching
You might be surprised to find out that many stores price match so rather than having to do multiple trips to multiple stores, with a little research online you can see if your grocery store will price match and act accordingly.
#6 – Plan Your Trip to Minimize Crowds
It might not come as a surprise but Monday and Tuesday tend to be the least trafficked days in the Supermarket due to the fact that many people stock up on the weekends. Additionally, during the week the busiest time slot is between 5pm & 6pm. On the weekends, the busiest time is between 11am & 12pm.
#7 – Shop the Sides, Avoid the Middle
Grocery stores are designed to funnel customers from the produce, meat and dairy on the perimeter of the store to the higher margin (and usually less healthy) items that are located in the middle of the store. The goal is to avoid the expensive processed and pre-prepared foods and instead focus your shopping trip on the healthy items that are found on the outer ring.
#8 – Meal Prep
Not only is meal prepping a great way to ensure you are going to make healthy choices, it is also the easiest way to provide yourself the opportunity to buy in bulk without food going to waste. Cooking enough to pre-portion out multiple meals saves you money due to the cost savings associated with larger quantity purchases. Your waistline and checking account thank you in advance.
#9 – Shop in Season
Shopping produce that is in season is a way to add some variety into your cooking calendar and also save some cash. Unsurprisingly, fresh produce is cheaper when it is in season. So do some searching for seasonal recipes and utilize that as the baseline for what ingredients can be the staples of seasonally delicious dishes.
#10 – The Expanding Cart
Supermarket chains have been steadily increasing the volume of their cart in an effort to prompt you to fill it up, driving additional profits to their bottom line. Just being aware of their jedi mind tricks might help you fight back, or just grab a basket and leave the cart behind.