Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Food Shopping Strategies ; Save Big Bucks

Food Shopping Strategies Beyond Coupons Can Still Save Big Bucks!

If you never clip a single coupon, there are still many ways you can save at the grocery store. NY1's Money Matters reporter Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.

In many cases, the key to saving money at the grocery store boils down to "location, location, location." For example, the end cap offers deals, but consumer expert Andrea Woroch says it may pay to dig a little deeper in the aisle.

"If you compare it back to the other products in the aisle, you may find there is actually a cheaper deal available," says Woroch.

Shoppers who just want market for milk or eggs will probably have no choice but to wander the aisles. Daily necessities are often found at the back of the store, and that is no accident.

"That's the grocery store attempt to get you to walk through various aisles hoping that you'll pick up extra products," says Woroch.

Similarly, candy and batteries are placed right at the register to get shoppers to grab that one last thing, called an "impulse buy." Woroch says the best way to control that impulse is to shop less.

"If your average impulse purchase is $20 per shopping trip and you make three shopping trips per week, then that's an extra $60 you're spending," says Woroch.

Another way to save is to look up or down. Woroch says brand names pay stores a premium to have their products placed at eye level.

"If you shop high and shop low, that's where you will find the generic store versions which are generally less expensive," says Woroch.

That savings can be substantial. For example, a name-brand cereal at eye level may cost $3.79, but the store brand up above costs a dollar less.

If price comparison does not get shoppers to go generic, they should look at the contents. Brand-loyal customers may be surprised to find the ingredients in the store brand are often identical, and in some cases, even organic.

"They find that they're getting the same taste that they would with a name brand but also they find they are saving money in their pocket," says Arlene Putterman, a manager of public relations at Stop and Shop.

Savings can also be found at one's fingertips. Smartphone apps can help shoppers search for coupons and loyalty programs offer special sales just for participants.

For instance, Stop and Shop customers who use hand scanners are offered targeted deals for products they have purchased in the past.

Finally, shoppers can cut their costs by kicking the cart to the curb.

"Shop with just a basket. You are less likely to fill it up and overspend," says Woroch.

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