Every store is different. But each week your grocery store will offer deals and discounts in their weekly flyer. My main goal each week is to CUT around 50% off my bill at the grocery store. Realistically, everything you buy is not going to have a COUPON. Even without coupons you can still save because most likely the item you need will at least be on sale! A sale price is usually around 20-30% off the regular retail price.
Here is a few tips on how I save while shopping:
- Manager Markdowns: I am always looking for meat with markdown stickers on them. It is one of my favorite ways to save while shopping. All stores markdown items at different times of day. It is as simple as stopping by the butcher counter at your local grocery and asking what days they mark down meats! Stop & Shop usually marks down their meats every morning so the earlier you get to the store, the better your chances are of finding some great meat deals! Shop Rite is usually around Monday or Tuesdays when you will start to find mark down stickers and Big Y is typically Monday. I can grab loafs of bread for .17¢, bagels and pies for pennies! I just bring them home and freeze them. You can find great deals on produce as well. Many of the grocery stores have a rack (usually toward the back of the produce section) with day old produce, or as I like to call it “Scratch and Dent” section (LOL!) where items will be marked down simply because they have a bruise on them or they are a day old and didn’t sell the day before. Get to know your favorite store and learn these times to save big!
- Clearance: You can find clearance deals throughout the grocery store as well! Some stores will have designated sections for clearance. I look at these sections almost every time I shop. You never know what great items you can find. Most items are simply put there because of packaging (such as a can that fell on the floor and has a dent in it) or discontinued. Most stores even allow you to use coupons on clearance. I have found sooo many things for FREE after coupons! Remember, clearance is usually never advertised so if you happen to find an item in the clearance section and you have a coupon for it at home, buy it anyway! You can always go back with your receipt and they will give you a refund when you turn in the coupon! Make sure to ask at the customer service desk how long you have to return to the store. Some stores are 24 hours and some have an unlimited time span!
- Unit Price: Unit Price tells you the cost per liter, per pound, etc, of what you want to buy. To calculate for unit price just divide the cost by the quantity. Knowing this will save you a ton! I usually compare the cost of deli meats and cheese versus prepackaged. But this can apply to anything you buy.
For Example: What is best?
2 liters of Milk for $3.80, or 1.5 liters of Milk for $2.70 ?
In this case the “Unit” is liters, and the Prices are:
$3.80 / 2 liters = $1.90 per liter
$2.70 / 1.5 liters = $1.80 per liter
So the lowest and best bargain is 1.5 liters for $2.70.
- Sales Flyers: Simply shopping off the sales flyer can cut your budget drastically. Regular grocery stores sales are usually 20-30% off the retail price while places like Whole Foods are anywhere from 40-50% off retail price! Plan your meals around what is on sale each week and use coupons to save a ton of money (sometimes even half!). Sales flyers are usually riddled with store coupons as well! (You know I have to throw something coupon related in here: You can STACK a store coupon with a manufacturer coupon for even more savings!)
- Your Grocers Butcher: Your butcher at your local grocery store should be your friend and if he isn’t, make him yours! Usually most grocery stores offer to cut the meat you are going to buy, tenderize it or even marinade it for you free of charge! This means you can buy a cheaper (and larger) cut of meat and simply ask to have it cut the way you would like it! A great example of this is chicken breasts. I will buy bone-in split chicken breast (because it is wayyyy cheaper) and ask to have it cut in to breasts, cutlets and tenders. Done! Free of charge! I could have simply picked the package of tenders for $3.29 a pound for convenience or bought the bone in chicken for $1.29 a pound and saved $2 a pound, and was able to use that meat for a full weeks worth of dinners!
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