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Staples like milk and eggs are usually at the back of the store, forcing you to "browse" to get there. Don't get sidetracked!
You'll find select "complementary" products erratically placed beside well-matched suitors, like specialty sauces with the pasta, or BBQ utensils hanging beside the condiments. Don't get sucked in; go to the source where you can compare like products.
Similar to the tip above, a little investigative trip down the aisle where the product is normally kept will likely reveal cheaper products than the "sale" item displayed at the end.
Giant sale displays in corners or high-traffic areas are worth a closer look. Similar to the traps above, there's usually a better option.
The flashy sale sticker might attract you, but on closer inspection it might only be a minimal discount, while the full-priced item beside it remains a better deal.
Fresh foods and basic staples are along the perimeter of the store. Unless you need certain items, try to stay out of the middle aisles.
High-priced attractive items are usually at eye-level. But looking on the lower shelves may reveal a better alternative.
Watch for discrepancies during check-out. I've often picked up sale items and found the sale price hadn't been programmed into the system.
If you don't need it, it's not a good deal! Caviar might be on sale, but that doesn't mean it's in the budget.
Instead of immediately replacing a recently-finished item, get creative and delve deep into the cupboards/fridge. You'll save ingredients from spoiling, and you might save a trip to the supermarket (and the associated expenditures) too.
Tried and true. If you are focused on your list, you're less likely to be distracted by impulse buys.
Many pricing stickers on shelves illustrate the price per standard weight (or serving) - allowing you to properly compare differently sized products.
If the fresh produce isn't in season or local, consider the frozen alternative. As pointed out here, you're not sacrificing nutrition, and it's better for your budget.
Stay alert for sales in your neighborhood. Here are some tips to do this online. And using coupons is an art; here are some tips for the biggest savings.
Online grocery shopping can save you time, and prevent impulsive purchases (especially if you're hungry).
By planning your meals in advance of shopping, you're less likely to have food spoil.
Instead of hitting the supermarket randomly whenever you need something, create a regular shopping schedule. The fewer times you set foot in the store, the less money you'll end up spending overall.
What are your tips for escaping the supermarket unscathed?
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Nora Dunn is The Professional Hobo: a full-time traveler and freelance writer. She is a contributing writer under the CareOne Debt Relief Services Life Balance blog. Having sold her business and belongings to travel, she has been on the road since 2007. She travels in a financially sustainable manner, taking advantage of creative volunteering positions. As a former certified Financial Planner, she is financially responsible for her actions along the way. She believes there is a fine balance between planning for tomorrow, and living for today. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services. You can follow Nora on Twitter @hobonora
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