How do you shop at the supermarket? Kyra has some tips….
Plan your menus
Make a shopping list
Check the supermarket ads on a Wednesday
Shop after you have eaten – do NOT shop when hungry! Studies have shown that hungry shoppers spend much more …..
Then Ready, Set, GO!
1. Shop the perimeter of the market
Fresh fruit and vegetables.
• Check out what is ON SALE.
• REMEMBER that if something is advertised 10 for $10 – EACH piece is a dollar [most people do not think of that!].
• Remember too that if something is advertised at 3lbs for $5.99 you do NOT have to buy 3lbs! You can buy 1lb and still get the sale price.
• Weigh what you buy if the price is per lb. If a papaya is only 79¢ per lb – the whole fruit could cost $4!
• Buy what is in season. It is probably fresher [does not come from a distant land] and a better price.
• Buy only what you need. Sometimes we buy a lot because it is a bargain – but it is NOT a bargain if half of it goes to waste.
Check out the good buys in the meat and poultry section.
• A whole chicken is cheaper than pieces – and white meat is more expensive than dark. That said, sometimes a whole roasted chicken is cheaper to buy than pieces or even a whole fresh chicken. You also do not have to take time and effort to cook it and can use it to make more than one meal [see next week’s column].
• Try ground turkey or chicken for your hamburgers. It’s not just for Thanksgiving! Turkey is cheaper, healthier and you do not have to wonder what went into the grinder.
• If you see a bargain, BUY IT. Meat, fish and poultry freeze well.
Move to the dairy section.
• Use coupons or choose the store brands for milk, butter, eggs and yogurt.
• Check the store specials.
• CHECK THE SELL BUY DATE. The items that expire first are placed in front. But remember too that a Sell By date does NOT mean that the item will be bad the day after. You can usually depend on being able to use it for up to a week after.
2. Now you hit the center aisles.
• Haul out your coupons BUT check whether the store brand is STILL not cheaper than the brand WITH the coupon discount. I have found that in most cases the store brands are cheaper – and there is no difference in quality.
• The items the store wants you to buy are at eye level. The better-value items are either positioned high or low. Check both.
• Check special offers. If you find five cans for a $1, remember the four cans you don’t use this week will still be fine next week.
• Brand cereals can be VERY expensive – even with coupons. Once again, check the price of the store brand and bulk packaging.
• Compare the price points of items by checking the ‘per oz’ price that is posted by the item and on the can. It can be quite illuminating!
• Check in the freezers for sale priced items. Sometimes the frozen vegetables are a better price than fresh and they are just as healthy.
• Avoid frozen fruit that has added sugar – you can add that yourself.
3. Check Out Time…• Bring your OWN bags. Some supermarkets charge 25¢ for the bags that THEY supply. That could add up to $2 or more.
• If you have a child or children with you, inspect the cart for anything they may have
covertly thrown in. And resist the whines and pleadings to buy the items strategically stationed at the checkout to tempt you and your kids while you wait in line!
• Hand in your coupons – and remember any other discounts you are entitled to.
Voila! You have shopped like a PRO
Now wasn’t that FUN?