When it comes to supermarket shopping, I’m one of those in-and-outers. I come in with my list (even though some extra things may end up in my cart), I mark everything off, and then I head out. I don’t browse or dilly-dally.
I haven’t always been this way.
In the past I would go to the supermarket hungry (a big no-no), make impulse purchases at the checkout, and even buy everything name brand because that’s what I was used to. It took me years and years and years to become the shopper I am now and to learn these supermarket secrets.
Even though I made mistakes in the past, I don’t want you all to do the same. I hope that these supermarket secrets will save you time and money.
9 Supermarket Secrets Revealed
1. Inviting Aromas Entice You to Buy More
Have you ever noticed that the bakery, deli, and cooked food are toward the front of the store? The instant aroma of fresh baked bread and other goodies can wreak havoc on your wallet if you go to the supermarket hungry.
There’s no way you can avoid the front of the store, but what you can do is grab a quick snack before you go. Don’t eat junk food because it will have you craving more, so you’ll end up spending more.
2. Shake Water Off of Your Produce
This is one of my favorite supermarket shopping tips. Fruits and veggies in the produce section may look fresh with that newly sprayed water on them, but it can raise the price on your bill.
All of that glistening water adds weight.
You may think that the supermarket is doing you a favor by spraying the produce down, but they’re secretly trying to charge you more.
3. Buy Spices from the International Aisles
Have you ever noticed that the amount of spices in a container are getting smaller and smaller, but are costing more and more?
Well, they are!
If you go to the aisles that have the international foods (Asian, Caribbean, Hispanic, etc.) you’ll see that you can get the same spices in a larger quantity, but for a fraction of the cost.
Just because the price is cheaper doesn’t mean that the quality suffers.
4. Buy Fresher Bread
Here is one that I just learned a few years ago. The twist ties on bread correlate to the day of the week the bread was baked. If you don’t want to buy bread that is days old then remember this:
- Blue = Monday, Green = Tuesday, Red = Thursday, White = Friday, Yellow = Saturday
You don’t want to buy a blue tab on Saturday, now do you? I sure don’t! And I still can’t figure out why bread is not baked on Wednesday. Do you know?
5. Never Pick an Item from the Front of the Shelf
Every time I think about this I think about my organizational management classes back in college.
The terms FIFO (first-in-first-out) and LIFO (last-in-first-out) come to mind.
Supermarkets definitely use the FIFO method. They move the oldest items (the items that came in first) to the front of the shelf, so they can sell.
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I always choose products toward the back because they’ve been on the shelf for the shortest time and the expiration dates may be farther away.
6. The Most Expensive Items Will Catch Your Eye
I don’t mean the fancy packaging of the products on the shelves. I mean that the most expensive items are stocked at eye-level. Most people don’t look above or below the middle shelves to pick an item.
If you look just a little farther down and buy an item from the lower shelves, you can save you some moolah!
7. Most Brands (and Off-Brands) are Created Equal
We grew up on a certain brand and we’re dead set on sticking with that brand until our days come to an end. Well, before it gets to the point maybe you can live a little dangerously and buy a different brand.
There’s very little difference between the name brand and off-name brands.
Maybe the packaging, different size options, and competitive pricing are throwing you off a little but a lot of those products are made in the same factory and even by the same companies.
Yep, that one’s a shocker!
You’re just paying for the pretty packaging and the name stamped on a box. Whether you buy the name brand or the off-brand, the same company is getting your money so why give them more when you can get the same product for less?
8. Shopping Around the Supermarket May Be Healthier
When I say shopping around may be healthier, I don’t mean walking every single aisle just to get in a little exercise. I mean literally shopping around the store.
The perimeter of the store is where your non-packaged foods are sold. You can get your fruits, veggies, milk, cheese, eggs, and almost anything fresh you can think of.
The middle of the store is where you find the sodium and sugar laden foods.
9. Organize Your Cart Before You Get to the Checkout
I always organize my cart by how I want my items bagged. You know, frozen food with frozen food, perishables with perishables, cleaning supplies with cleaning supplies.
Besides saving you time, organizing may save you a little money. Most people place items in their carts that they may want to put back when they get to the checkout.
If you notice, there’s no space to put items back near the checkout. That’s why most people decide to just make the purchase anyway.
By organizing your cart before you get to the checkout, you can put the unwanted items back and when you place your items on the conveyor, they’ll be bagged just the way you want. It’s a win-win!
Do you have any savvy supermarket secret tips that help save time and money?
While you’re grocery shopping, you may want to pick up the ingredients to make this Farmer’s Market Grilled Garlic Spicy Salsa!