There are a lot of articles out there on how to save money on your grocery bill. Most are done by frugal moms who have come up with some good ways to save by using coupons and planning for specials. However, Supermarket Battles has access to the top food industry veterans and this article provides even greater ways to cut your grocery bill in half. These food industry executives have run many of the top well known brands like Kraft, Campbell Soup, Pepperidge Farm, Entenmanns and many more. Here are their industry tips to save the most on your grocery bills:
Select the right store for the right products:
Cherry pick their feature ads
Discounters like Walmart Supercenters and Super Target generally offer the best overall pricing for comparable items. However, by buying only the feature ad items at traditional supermarkets, such as Kroger, Safeway and Super Valu stores, you will get the most savings. Traditional grocery stores use loss leaders and hot deals to generate traffic. They make it up by getting you to buy other items at full price—resist the temptation. Also, grocery stores are for food items. Buy your health and beauty items at mass merchandisers like Walmart, Target or at Club stores. You can also look for sales at drugstore chains for health and beauty products.
Plan Your shopping list ahead of time
Five minutes is all it takes to avoid heavy impulse purchases. Use the store feature ads along with available coupons to help you focus on only the items you need. Stock up on central aisle, long shelf life pantry items like soup, boxed dinners and condiments. Know what a good deal price is for each category and brand, and constantly look to beat it. In our homes, we post a little note pad by the fridge for people to write down items needed for the next shopping trip. Resist the urge to “drop by the store for a few things”, as these little trips usually end up with more unnecessary items than intended. These impulse items really add up over time.
Yes, they are a pain in the “you know what”, but the savings do add up. Only use coupons for items you regularly buy. Keep two small envelopes: with food coupons in one and health and beauty in another. Sunday newspaper inserts and online coupon sites are the best places to find high values. Coupons are especially beneficial at those retailers that offer double and triple couponing. Unsure if your favorite grocer offers additional coupon savings? Simply pick up the phone or ask the manager on your next shopping trip.
Take Advantage of Stock Up Sales
Big companies, like Kraft and General Mills, are increasing their use of deals like “Buy 10 products get $10 back”. These are great deals and should be used for items like cereal, soup, baking items and other long shelf life products. Focus on the lower $ price items included in the sale ($1.29 vs. $3.29) because the savings are obviously much greater.
Double and Triple Dip with Coupons, Stock Up Sales
and In Store Coupons
Want to really save money? Use your manufacturer coupons at the same time you buy their products on a stock sale or listed in the store’s feature ads. It takes planning and patience. Food manufacturers try to stagger coupon drops to avoid double dipping with their price discounts. Save the coupons you clip and usually about week 3-6, that same item will be on sale with a price discount.
Take Advantage of your favorite Supermarket with Ad Coupons
and Buy One Get One (BOGO) specials
Not all products in feature ads are a good savings. Usually BOGO’S and front page items offer the most savings.
Always Check your Register Slip Before You Leave
I’ll say it again: always check your register slip before you leave the supermarket. Mistakes happen - more often than retailers care to admit. Sometimes they are in the supermarket’s favor; sometimes they are in your favor. Make sure the big savings (stock up sales, coupons, BOGO’s) get credited to your total. If not, go to the customer service counter, or speak to the manager, and complain - they will refund you the difference, on the spot.
Look to Value Brands and Private Label for Regular Savings
Almost every category has value brands that are less expensive and just as good as the name brand. Michelina’s, Malt-0-Meal, Suave, and On Cor are just a few of the value brands available.
Minimize Perimeter Products and Checkout Lane
These items generally carrying a much higher margin for the retailer then center store products. A bread item in the deli section carries a 10-15% mark up versus the same item in the center aisle.
No Time or Too Lazy? Then Use Club Stores and Walmart
If you don’t want to take the time or are just too lazy, then your best places to shop are at discounters and Club stores. Why are product prices typically lower at these types of retailers? Because they purchase in bulk at volume discounts, and pass some of the savings on to the consumer.
Enjoy Your Rewards!
Sure, following these guidelines takes a little planning and practice, but you can measure your success after each shopping trip. Many stores will calculate your savings percentage on your register slip. Take a moment to review this number and then challenge yourself to reach or exceed this percentage level again, on your next shopping trip. Simply stated: If you shop weekly at $80 per trip, and save an average of 15-20% per trip, that’s an average $832 savings each year. That’s the same as getting ten of those weekly shops free!
Now, Go! Shop! Save!