Food For Thought
Sneaky Supermarket Secrets
by Leanne Ely, CNC
Can I beg and grovel? Just a little? Okay, here goes…please, I beg you, never go grocery shopping without a list and plan for what you’re going to buy. Not only will you spend way more than you budgeted for, you’ll most likely forget something that you’ll need to get dinner (or another meal) done during the week. How frustrating is that!
Keep in mind that supermarkets know how you operate and seek to exploit your vulnerability when you walk in the door!
Here is a list of how to avoid supermarket’s costly seductions:
1. Conquering the Entrance: Whenever you first walk into the store you’re always bombarded with holiday specials, seasonal knickknacks, DVDs, or select sale items. Before diving into that mess of temptation and “deals” – evaluate. Do you need it? Surviving the entrance is just the first step. Think of yourself as Indiana Jones escaping a maze of booby traps.
2. Oh – Sale! BUT WAIT: The sales and specials will go beyond the entrance. They extend throughout the entire store. Especially those that have their own frequent customer cards. If it’s not on the list, always ask yourself the same question: do you need it?
3. The Store’s Personal Brand is Always Cheaper… Or is It?: Not so fast! Examine all your options! And do you have coupons? Brand names have to constantly compete and lower prices to go against the store’s label, and more often than you might realize, brand names can be cheaper than the store! Check the price per ounce and do some comparison shopping. Phew, another close call!
4. Produce Doesn’t Need to be Bought in Bulk: What most shoppers don’t realize, is that produce brings in the highest profit margins for grocery stores. And that’s typically the first department you wander into inducing shoppers to buy more produce than they probably need. It’s good to eat your fruits and veggies, but buy what you need and leave the rest. If it’s cheaper to buy a pre-made bag of potatoes than the bulk potatoes, but you only need 2 taters, in the long run, it’s cheaper to pay for only what you need then to have those potatoes growing eyes in your pantry.
5. Let’s Make a Deal: It’s really easy and so rewarding! First, look for coupons and look out for double, even triple, coupon weeks! You will save an incredible amount and beat the system if you can manage coupons and be aware of sales before walking in. If you can buy an item you always need (say canned tomatoes) with coupons that are doubled or tripled, by all means, stock up! This is where penny pinching is fun.
6. Sale or No Sale: Sometimes a coupon and a store’s promise to double or triple it doesn’t mean you should buy it. Any junk food, even if it is only going to cost pennies on the dollar is not worth it. Don’t get caught up in saving for the sake of saving. The food you buy and bring home will end up in someone’s belly. Ask yourself if the food has quality nutrition before you buy. It’s not worth it otherwise.
Go test the grocery store waters and see how skillfully you can avoid those trap doors when you enter armed with your list!
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