supermarkets en-US 22 Supermarket Tricks You Haven't Heard Yet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/22-supermarket-tricks-you-havent-heard-yet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="shopping" title="shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Grocery shoppers: Smarten up your savings.</p> <p>Unlike when shopping for big-ticket items, such as Macbooks and flat screen TVs, we spend too little time on smaller, every-day items. Supermarkets are very aware of this and often take advantage of our wallets as a result. (See also:<a href="">Why You Pay More at the Grocery Store</a>)</p> <p>It's time to bring back the savings with these 22 supermarket tricks you haven't heard yet.</p> <h2>1. Research More Prices</h2> <p>Yup, we are going old school with this first, but it is a necessary reminder. According to Reader's Digest, the average supermarket shopper can recall the prices from just four items: milk, bread, bananas, and eggs. Unless you know more prices, you are not able to tell a good deal from a bad one. Start visiting more supermarkets and comparing prices. Another reason to visit more stores is to increase your chances of exploiting price match claims. (See also: <a href="">25 Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill</a>)</p> <p>Keep notes in a little notebook you can carry everywhere (a &quot;Pricebook&quot;), or use an app (like <a href="">ValueTracker</a>) or even a Google Docs spreadsheet (which you can share with friends for even more savings and data collection).</p> <h2>2. Ask for a Rain Check</h2> <p>For us Millennial shoppers, rain checks are a foreign concept. Several supermarkets still honor this old tradition. When a special offer item is out of stock, some supermarkets issue a voucher entitling you to the same deal at a later date. If a supermarket manager refuses to give you a rain check, then politely ask for discount for a comparable item for the inconvenience. Most managers are capable of providing a limited amount of discount vouchers at their discretion.</p> <h2>3. Calculate Individual Prices</h2> <p>Don't be a fool for the buy-in-bulk traps. For example, a supermarket can take a 90 cents can of soup and offer a 10 for $10 promo. Fire up your smartphone's calculator and calculate the individual price of each item. Often, you will find out that the deal is not as good as just buying fewer items or a comparable item right next to the &quot;sale&quot; item.</p> <h2>4. Wear Headphones and Listen to Fast Music</h2> <p>Most supermarkets will play slow background music to calm you down while you shop and make you linger longer around the aisles. Fix this immediately by using headphones and listening to upbeat songs. This energizes you, allows you to focus on your grocery list, and gets you out the door faster.</p> <h2>5. Never Buy a Cake on the Same Day You Need It</h2> <p>If you need a cake, order it in advance. When you buy a cake without pre-ordering, the baker has to select one from the display. You have no clue how old these cakes are, so instead order your cake a day in advance so that it is baked the night before. Also, take advantage of bake sales by paying in advance but redeeming your purchase at a later date.</p> <h2>6. Shake Off That Mist</h2> <p>Several supermarkets use mist sprinklers to make their fruits and vegetables look fresher. Some even use thunder and rain sound effects to lure you to them. Don't fall for the hype. That mist makes vegetables, particularly lettuces, rot faster. Look for the dryest veggies and vegetables, and shake off well that mist to avoid extra weight at the cashier's balance.</p> <h2>7. Ask for Extra Services</h2> <p>Supermarket clerks are not there just to check and bag your items, but also to provide you a helping hand. However, you need to ask (and nicely!) for their help. So go ahead and ask the baker to slice that big loaf, the butcher to tenderize that meat, and the flower attendant to help you accessorize that bouquet. Some stores, such as Kroger, go the extra mile and even season and fry your fish for free. Of course, only if you request it. (See also: <a href="">How to Save Money at the Butcher's</a>)</p> <p>The butcher is your savings ninja. Instead of buying pre-cut, buy the whole thing and ask your butcher to cut it. For example, the butcher can dice a chuck roast into stew cubes and slash a flank steak into strips ready for stir-fry.</p> <h2>8. Plastic That Bread</h2> <p>Just this time, plastic wins over paper. Supermarkets bag bread in paper, but that makes it go stale faster. As soon as you get home seal the bread in an airtight plastic bag so that your bread lasts longer and you don't buy it as often.</p> <h2>9. Look for the USDA Seal</h2> <p>The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) seal quality grade trumps over everything that your supermarket can say about its meat. The <a href=";s-your-beef-&ndash;-prime-choice-or-select/">USDA quality grade</a> puts Prime as the best, followed by Choice, and finally Select. No matter how &quot;premium&quot; a store meat brand claims to be, it means nothing without a USDA Prime or Choice seal.</p> <h2>10. Avoid Weekends</h2> <p>Mondays and Tuesdays are the best days to shop because stores are less crowded, and you can get in and out faster. By avoiding the weekend crowds, you minimize exposure the subliminal &quot;keeping up with the Joneses&quot; effect. Remember that you are here to save, not to impress your neighbors.</p> <h2>11. Off-Load Early and Often</h2> <p>If you have been noticing that checkout lanes are getting smaller and narrower, you are not being paranoid. Supermarkets are very aware that over 60% of customers off-load products as they check out. This is why checkout lanes provide no shelf space and have flimsy gum holders everywhere. They want to make it as hard as possible for you to drop items. Be aware of this and off-load items from your cart or basket early and often.</p> <h2>12. Buy Frequent Items in Bulk</h2> <p>Another interesting stat from Reader's Digest is that about 80% of what shoppers buy, they buy every week. Keep a month's worth of supermarket receipts and tally up your items. If you are buying certain items every single week, you would benefit from getting those at a discount warehouse and stocking up for the whole month.</p> <h2>13. Evaluate the Deli Counter</h2> <p>Most of those fancy cheeses at the deli counter are also available on the dairy aisle. Before committing to a deli item, check if there is a comparable item on the dairy or meat aisles. If you cannot tell a real difference between the two items, then dump the more expensive deli item. The packaging may not be as pretty, but the cheaper price makes up for it.</p> <h2>14. Check the Fine Print From Sales Items</h2> <p>Some supermarket managers are sneaky. They will hang a sales sign in a sea of products. For example, a sign offering 60% off a 14-ounce cereal box is placed by a shelf containing cereal boxes ranging from 10 to 19 ounces. Unless you pay attention at the register, you may not notice that you are buying an item at full price. Read the rules for all sales items.</p> <h2>15. Switch the Hot for the Cold</h2> <p>A new trend in supermarkets is to have a cafeteria for take-out or in-store dining. This is a major trap. That hot pizza is the same as the one over at the freezer section, but at almost double per slice. You are better off by warming up frozen entrees and ready meals yourself at home.</p> <p>Depending on your city, the seafood counter may not be able to have any truly fresh catch. Instead, the clerks have to work with previously frozen items. You are better off choosing frozen seafood because it is cheaper and stays at safe temperatures longer.</p> <h2>16. Find Out When the Store Marks Down Products</h2> <p>At most stores, dairy and meat products are marked down between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Bakery departments often mark down items starting mid-afternoon. Find out when your preferred supermarket marks down items, and pounce on them for big savings. If you notice that an item expires within two days, then ask if you can get the discount early. Most attendants provide the discount because you are saving them time. They have to do it tomorrow anyway.</p> <h2>17. Buy Filet Mignon at T-Bone Steak Prices</h2> <p>A T-bone steak is always cheaper per pound than a filet mignon, sometimes as much as $5 per pound cheaper. Every T-bone has both small filet mignon on one side of the bone and a New York strip on the other.</p> <h2>18. Safer and Cheaper Ground Meat</h2> <p>The next time you buy ground meat, ask the butcher to grind your hamburger. Here is why: You're guaranteeing that the final product comes from a single animal and minimizing the chances of E. coli cross contamination. Prepackaged ground meat in foam containers or frozen boxes comes from several animals. Also, don't buy pre-formed hamburger patties, they are more expensive than ground meat per pound and only take about 10 seconds to make.</p> <h2>19. Find Alternatives to Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese</h2> <p>Sprinkling a bit of Parmigiano-Reggiano makes anything go BAM! But for over $20 per pound, Parmigiano-Reggiano it is one expensive treat. Instead, learn to appreciate other cheeses with similar flavor and lower price tag. Some of these cheeses are Pecorino Romano and SarVecchio, which often are half the price of Parmigiano-Reggiano.</p> <h2>20. Skip Boxed Rice Mixes</h2> <p>The promise of an easy dinner is quite tempting, but boxed rice side dishes and &quot;sidekicks&quot; do more harm than good to your wallet. If you read the ingredient list, it boils down to rice, salt, and spice, only priced 5 to 10 more times than usual. If you're a fan of rice mixes, you're better off buying the ingredients separately. (See also: <a href="">25 New Ways to Spice Up Rice</a>)</p> <h2>21. Prepare Your Own Iced Tea</h2> <p>My wife is a big fan of iced tea, and she saves tons of money by making her own. Instead of buying those expensive powder mixes, she uses regular tea bags and keeps a large container in the refrigerator. Plus, she can keep track of how much sugar is in her iced tea at all times.</p> <h2>22. Sign Up for Supermarket Rewards</h2> <p>Like many supermarkets, Safeway has its own club card to access lower prices. If you shop at Safeway often, it is a good idea to download its <a href="">smartphone app</a> (available for Android, Apple and Kindle devices). The app can notify you when they have free item offers. Within a two-week period, I redeemed no-cost offers for a 14.5 oz. pasta sauce jar, a 32 oz. soy milk carton, a 17 oz. sparkling lemonade, and a 10 oz. package of flour tortillas.</p> <p>The <a href="">ExtraCare Rewards program from CVS</a> is quite good if you shop there often. Every quarter you get a voucher for 2% of total purchases during the period, and every time you spend $50 on beauty products (&quot;beauty&quot; products include regular items, such as soap, body lotion, and shampoo), a $5 voucher.</p> <p><em>What is your secret supermarket trick? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="22 Supermarket Tricks You Haven&#039;t Heard Yet" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Damian Davila</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping grocery shopping grocery tricks retail tricks saving supermarkets Thu, 12 Jun 2014 11:00:23 +0000 Damian Davila 1142511 at The Best 5 Credit Cards for Groceries <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="grocery credit card" title="grocery credit card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="150" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Last year my Chase credit card, with which I had earned 5% back on groceries and gas since 2007, suddenly changed. They switched to some sort of rotating-category-that-earns-more-points system that I didn't particularly care for. Every few months, I have to opt in all over again to take advantage of whatever category they're giving the most points for that month. Even though I do my best to <a href="" title="Perform a Credit Card Rewards Annual Review">keep up with credit card rewards</a>, I don't take credit card reward hacking to the extreme. I'd prefer not to have to carry around 10 cards in my wallet.</p> <p>Nevertheless, I do prefer to get the most points in categories that I actually spend a lot of money on. After our mortgage, the highest percentage of our monthly expenses comes in the form of groceries. We prefer organic and local food, which can be pricey. So, I set out to determine which credit cards actually give the highest percentage back on groceries. (See also: <a href="" title="Best 5 Travel Reward Credit Cards">Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h3>Blue Cash Preferred&reg; Card from American Express</h3> <p><a title="Blue Cash Preferred&reg; Card from American Express" alt="Blue Cash Preferred&reg; Card from American Express" rel="nofollow" href=";fot=1110&amp;foc=2&amp;foc2=536598" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="" alt="" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" /></a>The <a target="_blank" href=";fot=1110&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Blue Cash Preferred&reg; Card</a> offers a whopping 6% cash back at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. It does have an <strong>annual fee</strong> of $75, but if you have a big grocery budget, the rewards would be more than enough to cover this yearly cost.</p> <p><strong>Sign up offer</strong>: Get $150 back after you spend $1,000 on purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months. You will receive $150 back in the form of a statement credit. Also, get 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. After that, your APR will be a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 21.99%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.</p> <ul> <li>Get $150 back after you spend $1,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive $150 back in the form of a statement credit.</li> <li>Hassle-free cash back: no enrollment required, the same great reward categories year-round.</li> <li>Earn Cash Back: 6% US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 3% US gas stations &amp; select US dept stores, 1% on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.</li> <li>Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.</li> <li>A credit card that gives you cash back with a 0% Intro APR Offer on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.</li> <li>After that, your APR will be a variable rate, currently 12.99%-21.99% based on your creditworthiness and other factors.</li> <li>Terms and restrictions apply.</li> </ul> <p><a target="_blank" href=";fot=1110&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow"><strong>Click here to apply for the Blue Cash Preferred&reg; Card today!</strong></a></p> <h3>Blue Cash Everyday&reg; Card from American Express</h3> <p><a title="Blue Cash Everyday&reg; Card from American Express" alt="Blue Cash Everyday&reg; Card from American Express" rel="nofollow" href=";fot=1110&amp;foc=1" target="_blank"><img border="0" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" src="" alt="" /></a>If the idea of paying an annual fee for a credit card is unappealing, try the no-annual-fee <a rel="nofollow" href=";fot=1110&amp;foc=1" target="_blank">Blue Cash Everyday&reg;</a>, which gets you 3% cash back at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%). Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.<strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>Sign up offer</strong>: Get $100 back after you spend $1,000 on purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months. You will receive $100 back in the form of a statement credit.</p> <ul> <li>Get $100 back after you spend $1,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive $100 back in the form of a statement credit.</li> <li>Hassle-free cash back: no enrollment required, the same great reward categories year-round.</li> <li>Earn Cash Back: 3% US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 2% at US gas stations &amp; select US dept stores, 1% on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.</li> <li>Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.</li> <li>No Annual Fee. A Credit Card that gives you cash back with a 0% Intro APR Offer on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.</li> <li>After that, your APR will be a variable rate, currently 12.99%-21.99% based on your creditworthiness and other factors.</li> <li>Terms and restrictions apply.</li> </ul> <p><a rel="nofollow" href=";fot=1110&amp;foc=1" target="_blank"><strong>Click here to apply for the Blue Cash Everyday&reg; Card today!</strong></a></p> <h3>Target REDcard&reg;</h3> <p><img width="154" height="98" src="" alt="Target" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" />If you shop at a SuperTarget for groceries, the Target RedCard gives you 5% off at everything you purchase at the register. This isn't just a grocery rewards credit card; the cardholder will receive the same discount on all Target purchases (including at where you get free shipping). Unfortunately, this card has no affiliation with any credit card payment network such as Visa or MasterCard, so you can&rsquo;t use it outside of Target stores.</p> <ul> <li>5% off everything at Target</li> <li>Free shipping at</li> <li>$0 annual fee</li> <li>1% of your REDcard purchases get donated to your choice of eligible K-12 schools</li> </ul> <h3>Barclaycard&reg; Rewards MasterCard&reg;</h3> <p><a rel="nofollow" href=";fot=1110&amp;foc=1" target="_blank"><img width="154" height="98" src="" alt="Barclaycard Rewards Mastercard" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" /></a> The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard&reg; is a simple, straightforward rewards credit card that gets you 2x points on groceries, gas, and utilities.</p> <ul> <li>Earn 2 points per $1 on gas, grocery, and utility purchases</li> <li>1 point per $1 everywhere else</li> <li>No annual fee</li> <li>Use your points like cash to pay for any purchase you've made</li> <li>No redemption fees, no limit on the points you can earn and no complicated set up</li> </ul> <p><strong><a rel="nofollow" href=";fot=1110&amp;foc=1" target="_blank">Click here for more details on the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard</a></strong></p> <h3>BankAmericard Cash Rewards</h3> <ul> <li><strong>Sign up offer:&nbsp;</strong>$100 cash rewards bonus for making $500 in purchases in the first 90 days</li> <li>2% cash back at grocery stores</li> <li>3% cash back on gas</li> <li>1% cash back on everything else</li> <li>$0 annual fee</li> <li>Get 10% bonus if you redeem rewards directly into your Bank of America checking or savings account (instead of a statement credit)</li> </ul> <p>There is a $1500 per quarter limit on the 2% and 3% grocery stores and gas rewards ($1500 combined purchases between the two). However, if you are already a Bank of America card holder, the extra 10% bonus is attractive. Cardholders can receive their cash-back rewards as a direct deposit in any <a href="">checking or savings account</a>, as a statement credit, or even as a payment towards a mortgage held by Bank of America.</p> <h3>U.S. Bank Cash+&trade; Visa Signature&reg; Card</h3> <ul> <li>Choose and change your 5% and 2% cash back categories every quarter</li> <li>5% cash back on your first $2,000 each quarter (combined) on two categories of your choice</li> <li>2% cash back on your choice of one category</li> <li>Earn $25 Cash+&nbsp;Bonus when you redeem $100 or more in a single redemption (limit 1 per year)</li> </ul> <p>This card offers flexibility in your &quot;bonus&quot; categories which other cards don't offer, so it's a great card for those who can't find a card that offers bonus categories that are useful.&nbsp;</p> <h3>The Best Credit Card Offer for You</h3> <p>If you like <a title="Credit Card Guide" href="">credit card rewards programs</a>, but have recently been unhappy with changes to your card, it may be time to consider a new one. The best way to choose a cash-back rewards card is to simply look at what your biggest category of spending is each month, and find a card that gives you the most cash back on that category. For me, this category was groceries.</p> <p><em>What's your biggest category of spending each month? Do you earn extra credit card points for those cards?</em></p> <!--?php _wisebread_print_box(7); ?--><!--?php _wisebread_print_box(7); ?--><a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The Best 5 Credit Cards for Groceries" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Elizabeth Lang</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Credit Cards Food and Drink Shopping cash back credit card rewards groceries supermarkets Fri, 19 Apr 2013 10:00:00 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 784541 at 5 Sneaky Ways Supermarkets Get You to Spend More <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-sneaky-ways-supermarkets-get-you-to-spend-more" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="supermarket" title="supermarket" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you ever wander through the grocery store and end up spending more than you were budgeting for? Don't beat yourself up over it &mdash; supermarkets actually have several different strategies to trick customers into blowing bucks. Be on the alert and watch out for the sneaky psychology tactics these stores will try to use on you.</p> <p><a href="">RELATED:&nbsp;12 Tricks to Make Groceries Last Longer and Save Cash</a></p> <h3>10 For $10</h3> <p>10 for $10 sounds like a great deal. However, you'll get the same savings even if you only buy one item, according to the New York Times. A <a href="" target="_blank">grocery store survey</a> recently found that people bought way more items when they see 10 for $10 deals vs. five for $5 and one for $1 sales. Even if you aren't buying 10 items, your mind will trick you into thinking that the item is such a great deal that you end up buying more of it.</p> <h3>Growing Carts</h3> <p>No, you're not shrinking; it's the grocery carts that are growing. The larger the cart, the more likely you'll end up spending more, so try to stick to a hand basket instead.</p> <h3>Pre-Cut Vegetables and Fruits</h3> <p>Pre-cut veggies look so attractive, with their colorful packaging and its promise of less work (no need to wash or chop!). However, they aren't exactly a good deal. Consumer Reports found that pre-cut veggies and fruits can be a lot more expensive than the whole items. The team noted that a $1.50 six-ounce bag of shredded carrots <a href="" target="_blank">costs about five times more </a>than a similar amount of whole carrots.</p> <p>Not to mention, these pre-cut veggies and fruits go bad faster than their whole counterparts.</p> <h3>Items at the Checkout Counter</h3> <p>Ever wonder why all those magazines and yummy candy are crammed in the front of checkout counters? It's one of the supermarket's tricks to get you to succumb to last-minute purchases while you're waiting in line.</p> <h3>Where Is Everything?</h3> <p>You think you have the layout of your local supermarket down pat when you find out they changed shelves again! Darn it. The stores are actually doing it on purpose, because if you don't know where the items are, you'll end up spending more time in the store. More time to browse means more chances to tempt you into buying more items.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Want to know how grocery stores are parting you from your hard-earned cash? Learn about these supermarket psychology tricks. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="" style="border:none;"><img src="" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href=""><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="">7 Smart Extreme Couponing Tips</a></li> <li><a href="">12 Items You&nbsp;Should Not Buy in&nbsp;Bulk</a></li> <li><a href="">6 Ways to&nbsp;Stay Organized When&nbsp;Grocery&nbsp;Shopping</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Shopping psychology Shopping Tricks supermarkets Mon, 09 Jul 2012 10:24:13 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 939956 at Supermarket Shopping for Savers: 6 Ways to Avoid Their Tricky Traps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/supermarket-shopping-for-savers-6-ways-to-avoid-their-tricky-traps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="market displays" title="market displays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText">Going to the supermarket and sticking to a list is an exercise in discipline and requires fortitude and resilience of epic proportions. Employing tips like <em>&ldquo;don&rsquo;t shop when you&rsquo;re hungry&rdquo;</em>, <em>&ldquo;look for the no-name brand&rdquo;</em>, and <em>&ldquo;avoid the checkout counter displays&rdquo;</em> are simply damage control for an experience that (if you are like me) categorically breaks the budget.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">But most of us still need to shop, and supermarkets often offer the best prices and selection. In some cases, the supermarket is all we have. <strong>Here are six tips on how to get in and get out without going over your budget:</strong></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="MsoPlainText">Put Blinders On</h2> <p class="MsoPlainText">Staple foods (like eggs and milk) are often located at the back of the store. And for good reason: the only way to get there is to walk through aisles upon aisles of temptation. If all you need is a quart of milk, then do not allow yourself to get sidetracked by an &ldquo;amazing deal&rdquo; (see below) on something you don&rsquo;t really need.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="MsoPlainText">Be Wary of Amazing Deals</h2> <p class="MsoPlainText">Many people (myself included) look for sales, and will often formulate the week&rsquo;s menu accordingly. However the supermarket marketing gurus are on to us: when your eyes scan the shelves looking for the sale stickers, take a peek at the original price before you decide that it&rsquo;s a steal; you may find that the amazing deal is a discount of a whole whopping 8 cents. Now I&rsquo;m all for a deal, but 8 cents is not enough incentive to buy that can of corn for a dish I may not have otherwise used the corn for.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="MsoPlainText">That Special Display is Just for Show</h2> <p class="MsoPlainText">The gondolas (displays at the end of each aisle, and racks of product hung where shelves join) and other special displays - be they seasonal promotions or just a mountain of cases of pop in the middle of the floor - are also tricky traps. You may automatically assume that they are featuring sale items, since they are prominently displayed and have a neon sign highlighting the price. Again, buyer beware: check the original price and compare it to other similar products. Often the items displayed on gondolas are actually more expensive, be they on sale or not. Only after some due diligence should you decide if that pretty pyramid of product is really meant to compliment your shopping cart.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="MsoPlainText">&ldquo;Complimentation&rdquo; &ndash; the Ultimate Distraction</h2> <p class="MsoPlainText">Coffee or tea is on your list. And before you know it, a package of yummy-looking biscuits that are temptingly displayed next to the coffee and tea is also in your cart. Then you head for the pasta aisle, and walk out with an over-priced pesto sauce that simply looked too good to resist. Be wary of items which compliment each other that are positioned near one another in the supermarket. If you aren&rsquo;t the sort to rigidly stick to a list, complimentary items will jump off the shelves and into your cart before you know what happened.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="MsoPlainText">Watch the Checkout Like a Hawk</h2> <p class="MsoPlainText">You may not remember the exact prices for everything that is in your cart, but you likely have a good idea of what you will be charged, especially if you picked up a few sale items and are proud of it. But upon reaching the checkout, you could well discover that those items you thought were on sale are not scanning through as such &ndash; either because the actual sale item was next to or below the one you picked up (a very sly maneuver on the part of grocery stores), or because the scanner codes were &ldquo;accidentally&rdquo; never adjusted.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">If there is a huge line up behind you and you don&rsquo;t want to cause a stir with the check-out clerk (who will likely have to call for assistance and stare belligerently at you while you both wait for somebody to run around the store doing price checks), then simply march your items and receipt up to customer service and politely point out the discrepancy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="MsoPlainText">Try a Cupboard Special</h2> <p class="MsoPlainText">After reading this, are you angry at supermarkets for their little ploys and marketing decoys? Great! Skip your next scheduled trip to the supermarket! See what you can scrounge up from the dark corners of your cupboards or frost-bitten freezer, and get creative. Some of my best meals have been dubbed &ldquo;cupboard specials&rdquo;, making use of what I have on hand when supplies start to dwindle.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Does anybody have some <a href="" title="Supermarket Savings Guide">supermarket saving tips</a> of their own? Let&rsquo;s beat sneaky stores at their own game!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Supermarket Shopping for Savers: 6 Ways to Avoid Their Tricky Traps" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Nora Dunn</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Life Hacks Shopping budget grocery shopping grocery stores impulse shopping shopping lists supermarkets Mon, 29 Sep 2008 22:10:17 +0000 Nora Dunn 2470 at a 3-course meal...from garbage. <p> <img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/498229_parking_entrance_copy.jpg" alt="Dumpster" title="Dumpster" width="225" height="300" /></p> <p>Why buy groceries, when you can get your weekly shop for free? Many people do it, but there is a catch. Instead of going in to your supermarket through the front door, you have to go to a different department. The dumpster. </p> <p>It&#39;s estimated that the US alone throws away roughly $100 billion in food every year. And most of it is perfectly edible. It&#39;s a crying shame, and it&#39;s the reason Freeganism is becoming more and more popular in the US and western Europe.</p> <p>In the more indepth follow-up to this article, I&#39;ll cover the many factors involved in Freeganism and what it means to live life the Freegan way. But to whet your appetite, here&#39;s some quick footage from CBC following a few people who take food from the dumpster and make great food from it. What a society we live in when people are starving on one street corner and they&#39;re throwing food away on the next.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object><a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="a 3-course meal...from garbage." rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink food leftovers free food free meals freeganism garbage supermarkets waste Sat, 31 Mar 2007 17:59:25 +0000 Paul Michael 430 at