* Shop the outside aisles – Grocery stores are clever – they place essentials like produce and dairy on opposite sides of the store because they know you’ll wander around the aisles in between. They also deliberately place the things they most want you to buy – or think you’ll buy – on the shelves at eye-level. The inner aisles are also where stores often place their more expensive and less healthier products (i.e super processed foods). So if you’re ever wondering why you left the store with 4 bags of chips or 2 jars of olives that weren’t on your list, you now know why. Next time, just stick to the perimeter.
* Stick to your list – This one seems obvious, but it’s the main way to save money grocery shopping. Make a list BEFORE heading out and stick to it, no matter what. No, ‘oh those crackers are such a great deal, I should just stock up now’, or wondering what you’re going to make for dinner which leads to way too many impulse buys.
* Coupons – They really work! There’s a reason there’s so many reality shows on about couponing. Don’t toss all those grocery store mailers your receive – instead use those to start building your shopping list for the week.
* Get the rewards cards – This is one of the easiest ways to save some cash at the market. Sign up for all of those customer loyalty cards at any grocery store you go to. By simply punching in your telephone number you can save as much as 20% off your total bill! And many stores now offer rewards programs, where once you spend a certain amount of money at their store, they’ll send you money back (redeemable only at their store, of course.)
* Don’t go shopping hungry. Just like how we often make poor food choices when we’re hungry, we will make poor grocery store purchases. Your eyes will definitely be bigger than your stomach and your growling tummy will be dictating your purchases instead of that list you should be carrying.