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7 Secrets to Outsmart Your Supermarket

Look Past the Super Marketing to Protect Your Wallet and Your Waistline

112 Comments




 
11/21/2013 9:41:25 AM

TENNESSEEWALKER's SparkPage
My mantras: "Buy what you USE, not what you need". and "A purchase made in anticipation of use is not an impulse purchase." PLUS all the good tips in the article and comments.
11/21/2013 9:33:00 AM

LILLIPUTIANNA's SparkPage
I am always amazed at how Americans can't turn down anything free. Free samples are their weakness. When I'm in the grocery store and someone asks me if I want a free sample, saying "No thank you" makes their brain nearly explode from confusion.

11/21/2013 8:59:14 AM

ALICIALYNNE's SparkPage
Great article! I use several of these tips, especially DO NOT SHOP WITH AN EMPTY STOMACH! For whatever reason, the few times I do so, I magically go about $20 over budget.

End caps and the check-outs are a killer for me usually, but I've gotten better. Last week, I was able to say NO to both pumpkin-spice cookies and hot-chocolate cake mix. I felt like a total boss walking out of the store with my budget intact.
7/3/2013 8:30:27 AM

DELLMEL's SparkPage
I agree with AZURE-SKY. I go early in the morning and I go in the week. I don't like shopping on the week
6/5/2013 2:47:21 AM

VAPORINTHEWIND's SparkPage
yep if you are really needing to or good about saving money that helps. keeps me from over spending on extra stuff i dont want/need like 90% of the time. i learn more and more as i gain experiences what store has better prices for which items i need. im glad im not extremely poor but i definitely dont need to waste money on extraneous items not on my list. also ive noticed with fresh stuff or certain veggies they are cheapest in their non packaged form. i love getting my carrots/kale/garlic etc usually all under a dollar depending on how much i want :)
CANUCKSFAN2
6/4/2013 11:56:59 AM

One way to avoid the samples is to not go on the busy shopping days (Saturday or Sunday) or if you can't avoid those days, go early in the day and you won't find them.
6/3/2013 5:04:58 PM

SOFT_VAL67's SparkPage
one way i plan ahead, is getting all the fliers, sales papers and checking who has the best bargain on certain items, making a list and going on a full tummy....i do not buy party favors, etc, the dolled up paper plates and napkins, a trip to the dollar tree, everything for a dollar if i am in need of anything like that.
stock up on fruits and veggies at the road side market or farmers markets, that way you arent tempted by the bakery and bread items that are placed along the aisles as you make your way to the produce section in most groceries.. i fell for tricks like these, but, i ended up with stuff i would never use and threw away, my family was the worst to cook enough cookout food for 35 people, when there was only 8 maybe 12 ppl there to eat.
go in with list in hand, full tummy, and wear your blinders, dont look to the left or the right, focus straight ahead
6/2/2013 4:58:33 AM

INFINITELEIGH's SparkPage
Im not sure where Esperi is shopping, but I see this in every supermarket I go to in Spain (Ive lived here for 13 years now). Anyhow, you cant blame supermarkets for their marketing tactics. They are, after all, running a business and there to make as much profit as possible. I think theyre actually very clever. We just need to shop smart and stay focussed!
TIMETOCHANGE66
3/19/2013 10:50:09 AM

I circle the outside aisles of the grocery store and only go down aisles if there is something there on my list. I also don't go to fancy grocery stores...they design the store to make food more appetizing...I stick to the basic store and I spend less. I budget for $50 a week per person and we always have lots to eat. I keep a grocery jar too where money is put in on a bi-weekly basis and if you take money out you put back the change with the receipt. It works ! Shop alone...sometimes I take my husband but things have a way of jumping into the cart behind my back...that is sometimes the price to pay for him bagging my groceries for me.
12/5/2012 1:40:21 PM

TIEDYED69PEACE's SparkPage
My favorite strategy for shopping without spending or eating too much is to carry a basket vs use a cart. It's an incredible work out too! It really shows you the consequences of your own actions. I still impulse buy, but I have to put SOME thought into it, because if it weighs the basket down too much or fills it too much, I can't carry the basket anymore and have to lose some items.
5/11/2012 3:53:56 AM

ESPERI's SparkPage
I must say that here in Spain this does not exist. In Sweden the last meters to the cashier always was filled with snacks and sweets but here those things stay in there aisle and you have to go there to get them.
There is only one small shelf in front of the checkout for an offer which is very often fabric softener, bread or potato...
LOVE SPAIN!!!
5/7/2012 12:29:05 PM

MI-ELLKAYBEE's SparkPage
One more thing - I KNOW when they are going to have free samples of things I DO eat - and I manage to make a whole FREE MEAL out of that. Even if it means being there when the sample clerks are taking breaks, changing shifts, etc, so someone who doesn't know me will give me more. Flatter them, compliment the food: do whatever it takes to get your nutrients FREE.
5/7/2012 12:21:09 PM

MI-ELLKAYBEE's SparkPage
I NEVER, EVER buy impulse items because I can't even afford what I NEED. I DO buy what I need ONLY when it is on sale (if it isn't, that isn't when I needed it!!!!!) I use coupins, online sale e-mails, "match" deals from other stores. AND I watch EVERY SINGLE THING they ring up!!!! I mark the item's price with a pen as I pick it up, carry my list, complete with prices, and make them show me that they actually gave me the sale price if they ring up too fast. If there is a REALLY GOOD sale (like on egg whites, which I use every day), I buy all that are left on the shelf, then I go to customer service and get a raincheck for MORE - so I can get the sale price when the sale is over. I look for distressed (broken) packages, dated items near the end of their shelf life, and anything I WANT that is seriously marked down. I get "tempted" by ABSOLUTELY NOTHING because it costs MONEY. A really good shopping trip is one in which my receipt shows that I saved OVER 60 or 65% - which means I paid about $40 and got $100 worth of food. I shop as RARELY as possible, because I don't have the money. My best shopping trip was one on which I paid $18 for $87 worth of food! I shop at night, when it is less crowded, ALWAYS on the last day of the sale week - so they're low on sale items and I can get rainchecks that extend my sale dates for 90 days. ALso, at night, they're going to throw away those broken packages, and clear off the items that reached the end of their shelf life. I've talked the manager down to 10-15% of the original price on those! And, again, ONLY what I wanted ANYWAY.
MDURANT8
4/1/2012 5:24:27 PM

Loved this article! I've been aware of these tactics for a long time now and I'm getting better and better at avoiding them! My biggest weakness is the magazines in front. I usually end up with at least one every time I go shopping and I usually don't enjoy them, either. I'm going to consciously avoid them from now on. It's nice to know that this is a common weakness and not just me. LOL
3/31/2012 3:56:09 PM

CATHOLICCORGI's SparkPage
I already do most of what is commented on here. What helps me the most is to go to the store by myself... my husband costs me more if he goes with... I take my time, use my list and coupons. I also get extra steps on my pedometer, too! I make grocery shopping a game... one that I WILL win!

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