Did you know supermarkets have all kinds of tricks to part you with more money than necessary? I'll assume you already know not to shop hungry, and to be wary of offerings next to the cashier. If you really want to save money at the supermarket, check out these 17 savvy shopping tips.

Keep Focused

Staples like milk and eggs are usually at the back of the store, forcing you to "browse" to get there. Don't get sidetracked!

Hit the Source

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.  

Ignore End-of-Aisle Displays

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.  

Beware of Big Displays

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.  

Scrutinize Sale Items

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.

Perimeter Shop

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.  

Look Down

High-priced attractive items are usually at eye-level. But looking on the lower shelves may reveal a better alternative.

Be Check-Out Conscious

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.  

Needs vs. Sales

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.  

Don't Go

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.

Use a List

Tried and true. If you are focused on your list, you're less likely to be distracted by impulse buys.  

Compare Price-per-Weight

Many pricing stickers on shelves illustrate the price per standard weight (or serving) - allowing you to properly compare differently sized products. 

Fresh vs. Frozen

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.  

Watch for Sales and Coupons

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.

Shop Online

Online grocery shopping can save you time, and prevent impulsive purchases (especially if you're hungry).

Plan Your Meals

By planning your meals in advance of shopping, you're less likely to have food spoil.  

Shop on a Schedule

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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Guest Blogger Nora Dunn, Life Balance Blogger for CareOne Services, Inc. Nora Dunn

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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