Saving Money at the Grocery Store

There was an article on yesterday’s Wall Street Journal about grocery shopping and how to keep costs down. Here are my thoughts on their suggestions:

  1. Stockpiling: I know there are people who have space limitations to be able to do this but stockpiling makes sense. But buying a couple extra items when the item is on sale is better than buying the extra couple of items at full price. The article quotes the founder of the Grocery Game as saying that most items go on sale every ten-twelve weeks. So if you are just getting started stockpiling, or maybe you are like me that have no idea how much to stockpile, consider buying enough for 2-3 months. Or just start keeping track of your grocery store fliers. I love “analyzing” the sales fliers my grocery stores put out. Now it allows me to point out without having to look at my price book what is a good sale and what isn’t and when I will see the item on sale again.
  2. The article also suggests walking around your grocery store. I must say I am guilty of not doing this. I usually shop with a list and just walk along those aisles. I guess I am guilty of a bit of tunnel vision. But the article suggests that you walk around to discover hidden sales. Also, to get items that may be displayed in other areas at a cheaper price. The article mentions the case of cheese. You can find cheese at the deli counter and the dairy case. Cheese by the deli area usually runs a little higher than at the dairy case.
  3. Try store brands: I have a little experiment in mind regarding the value of going generic. I am hoping to be able to post results by the end of the week.
  4. Buy “must go foods” or items that are superficially damaged or about to hit the “best by” date. I buy a lot of bread this way, when there is a day or two to go on the “best buy” date. We will always eat it before then anyways.
  5. Lastly, the article suggests going grocery shopping on Sundays, with the new batch of Sunday insert coupons on hand. According to a new poll conducted by Consumer Reports shoppers who use customer loyalty cards and use coupons save over 10% in their grocery bill annually or the equivalent to $678.

Personally, I feel that stockpiling is an amazing way to save money on groceries. Of course I also feel that stockpiling + using coupons is the best way to do it. Tune in later this week for the results of my experiment.

Source: Savvy Grocery Shopping by Kelli Grant, March 09, 2008