grocery stores http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8260/all en-US How Inconvenience Helped Me Save Money http://www.wisebread.com/how-inconvenience-helped-me-save-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-inconvenience-helped-me-save-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5706996047_3a98262839_z.jpg" alt="rural grocer" title="rural grocer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="164" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I live in a rural area where a family grocery store, two pizza shops, a Chinese restaurant, a Dollar Store, and one gas station/convenience store are our only retail establishments. We have lived in this area for many years, and it definitely took some time to get used to not having anything we could possibly need in consumer goods right at our fingertips.</p> <p>If we ran out of milk, there was nothing we could do about it after 9 p.m. Things got much worse about a year ago when the only grocery store we had within a 25 mile radius shut down with almost no warning. Long story short, the family-owned grocery store had been operating for months with rarely stocked shelves and often-expired merchandise. We as a community dealt with it because it was all we had, and when the doors finally closed, we felt it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thirteen-convenience-foods-i-think-are-worth-the-money">13 Convenience Foods I Think Are Worth the Money</a>)</p> <h3>Convenience Creates More Spending</h3> <p>In the eight or nine months since the grocery store closed for good, my family has changed a lot. We couldn&rsquo;t just run out and grab what we needed unless the Dollar Store carried it. If you wanted a loaf of bread, you had to get there when it opened or you&rsquo;d be out of luck for another day. Either that or you&rsquo;d have to drive 25 miles to Walmart for what you needed. In the interest of saving gas, we learned to live without.</p> <p>The inconvenience of not having a grocery store made it necessary to do many things we may not have otherwise tried. Here is a brief overview of what we learned living without a grocery store and how it ultimately saved us a lot of money.</p> <h3>We Planned Ahead</h3> <p>A <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/behold-the-secrets-of-the-grocery-store">trip to the grocery store</a> was no longer for one or two things. We had to have a month&rsquo;s worth of groceries figured out so we didn&rsquo;t have to run out for anything besides milk and bread. If we forgot anything, it would be another few weeks until we went shopping again, so even our 10 year old learned to think ahead.</p> <h3>We Learned to Do Without</h3> <p>We had to change our way of thinking about groceries. If we didn&rsquo;t have it, we learned to live without it. We actually became pretty good at figuring out ways to use what we had. In the past, we just went out and bought what we needed. Again, our 10 year old jumped on the bandwagon and thought more about how to make do with what was already in the cabinets.</p> <h3>We Ventured Outside the Box</h3> <p>We live in a rural area and have access to many farm stands throughout the summer and a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-at-the-butchers">butcher shop</a> right down the street. However, we never patronized these stands until we could no longer get vegetables and fruits from the grocery store. Since then, we've sought out the local farmers market and visited every Friday night. We've learned to cook different meals based on seasonal produce. We&rsquo;ve improved our cooking skills and actually prefer eating dinner at home rather than blowing our budget on one family meal. We save <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-more-tips-for-eating-in-restaurants-and-sticking-to-a-budget">restaurant nights</a> for special events like birthdays.</p> <h3>We Shopped Smarter</h3> <p>While I have always been a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-awesome-reasons-to-shop-at-aldi">fan of the food store Aldi</a>, it wasn&rsquo;t until we had to shop for a month&rsquo;s worth of groceries at one time that I really started to see the benefits of the shop. I could get a month&rsquo;s worth of stuff for roughly half of what I would pay at Walmart and even less than what I would have to pay at other grocery stores in the area. I did have to drive a bit of a distance to get the lower grocery bills, but by doing it just once a month, we saved money.</p> <h3>We Stuck With the Changes</h3> <p>A few weeks ago, a larger chain grocery store opened its doors in our area. Luckily, the chain that took over is providing the community with very competitive prices, fully stocked shelves, and gas-savings rewards we didn&rsquo;t have before. It was almost laughable at how excited the locals were about the reopening of a grocery store during the ribbon cutting ceremony and the grand opening festivities.</p> <p>Now that we are back to living two blocks away from convenience, our family continues to live as we have been for the last year. While it is nice to know we have the option to head over to the store when we are without, we have also come to realize how much better it is having more money in the bank. Our change of habit was forced upon us when the first store closed, but it was ultimately a financial blessing in disguise.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-inconvenience-helped-me-save-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-15-foods-that-are-worth-buying-organic">The Only 15 Foods That Are Worth Buying Organic</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-other-grocery-stores-should-steal-from-trader-joes">5 Things Other Grocery Stores Should Steal from Trader Joe&#039;s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-buy-organic-and-still-be-frugal">8 Ways to Buy Organic and Still Be Frugal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-apple-dangerous-how-to-eat-fewer-pesticides-and-save-money">Is Your Apple Dangerous? How to Eat Fewer Pesticides (and Save Money)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-clean-eating-slow-cooker-recipes">8 Great Clean Eating Slow Cooker Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink dollar stores food shopping grocery stores rural living Tue, 06 Nov 2012 10:36:47 +0000 Tisha Tolar 955163 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things Other Grocery Stores Should Steal from Trader Joe's http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-other-grocery-stores-should-steal-from-trader-joes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-other-grocery-stores-should-steal-from-trader-joes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4216588945_6a720453c4_zc.jpg" alt="Trader Joes" title="Trader Joes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Often pieces like this have a disclaimer at the end: <em>I do not own shares in...</em>, <em>I am not employed by...</em>; you get the idea. I have no vested interest in <a href="http://www.traderjoes.com/index.asp">Trader Joe's</a> other than that I'd like to see them expand so that I can find one wherever I go in the states.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you don't shop at Trader Joe's, give it a shot. If you do, you should know what I'm talking about. If you're a competitor of Trader Joe's (every other grocery store chain out there), then listen up. You've got some learning and some work to do, or your customers are going to &quot;trade&quot; you for the competition. Here are five things to copy:</p> <h3>1. Prices That Can't Be Beat</h3> <p>I shop at Trader Joe's and Meijer. I only shop at Meijer (a Midwestern, Wal-Mart-style, we-sell-everything type store) for the stuff that Trader Joe's can't carry in its tiny locations. Trader Joe's mostly has Trader Joe's generic label brands. However, you'll find a few other brands that you can also find elsewhere, including at Meijer and Kroger. And for these brands, I've often found identical items to be 25-30% cheaper at Trader Joe's. And TJ's&nbsp;generic items are significantly cheaper than generics at other stores. How do they do it? I don't know. I definitely <a href="http://20somethingfinance.com/saving-money-on-food-groceries-without-sacrifice/">save money on groceries</a> at TJ's. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/organic-groceries-on-a-budget">Organic Groceries on a Budget</a>)</p> <h3>2. Unique, Quality Products</h3> <p>I have never felt like I've bought something of poor quality at Trader Joe's. Occasionally the store's produce is not the freshest (I still do a lot of my produce shopping at Whole Foods), but everything else seems to be at peak quality. Cheap and high-quality at the same time? Unheard of. There are so many new foods that I've tried at Trader Joe's that I simply can't find elsewhere and would have never tried otherwise.</p> <h3>3. Healthy Foods</h3> <p>Much of Trader Joe's selection is organic and comparatively healthy compared to what you'll find in other grocery stores. Yes, the store does have ice cream, sodas, and chips &mdash; but we all have to give in to our guilty pleasures now and then. You can find antibiotic and growth-hormone-free meat and milk, and ingredient lists on items often lack high-fructose corn syrup, food dyes, and other unworldly foreign crap. I still look at the ingredient lists, but I'm fairly confident that if I grabbed something on the run and didn't look until I got home, I would not be displeased with the ingredients.</p> <p>In any other major grocery store chain (excluding Whole Foods), nine times out of ten, whatever I grab is going to be loaded with unhealthy ingredients. It's nice not to have to worry about that for a change. <a href="http://20somethingfinance.com/saving-on-groceries-organic-free-range-vegetarian/">Healthy food</a> is one of Trader Joe's cornerstones.</p> <h3>4. Convenience</h3> <p>I alluded to this a little bit, but TJ's stores are comparatively tiny. No, they don't carry motor oil, toys, or 50 types of facial tissues. But you know what? I'm just fine with that! After a busy week at work, the last thing I want to do is have to choose between 30 brands of laundry detergent. I also don't want to have to walk a quarter-mile to the back of the store if I forgot something when I get to the checkout. My grocery trips to TJ's last under 20 minutes a piece. At Kroger or Meijer's, they used to last an hour or more.</p> <p>It's also hard to get lost. I know where everything is, and I rarely have to ask.</p> <h3>5. Enthusiastic Staff</h3> <p>The staff at Trader Joe's seem to like working there (or at least they fake it pretty well). You can tell that the staff has the same kind of enthusiasm for the product as the customers do. The only other retail chain that I can say that about is <a href="http://20somethingfinance.com/rei-review-why-the-lifetime-rei-membership-was-worth-the-money/">REI</a>.</p> <h3>The Downsides of Trader Joe's?</h3> <p>In addition to the produce that isn't always the freshest, you need to hit TJ's at the right time (usually early in the morning), or the inventory on baked goods and produce is typically ravaged. I also wish that I could <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-buying-groceries-online-is-great">order stuff online</a>. Other than that, I have no legitimate complaints.</p> <p>I applaud you, Trader Joe's, for making my grocery shopping experience pleasant.</p> <p><em>What about Trader Joe's or your most frequented grocery store do you love and hate?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ge-miller">G.E. Miller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-other-grocery-stores-should-steal-from-trader-joes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-rules-you-must-follow-when-shopping-at-costco">5 Frugal Rules You Must Follow When Shopping at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trader-joes-vs-costco-whats-a-better-place-to-shop">Trader Joes vs. Costco: What&#039;s a Better Place to Shop?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-your-groceries-european-style">Buy Your Groceries European-Style</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-with-the-most-bang-for-your-buck">10 Foods With the Most Bang for Your Buck</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-food-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Frugal Food Changes You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping cheap groceries grocery stores healthy eating trader joes Tue, 08 Feb 2011 13:36:10 +0000 G.E. Miller 488285 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Shopping Jedi Mind Tricks and How to Spot Them http://www.wisebread.com/7-shopping-jedi-mind-tricks-and-how-to-spot-them <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-shopping-jedi-mind-tricks-and-how-to-spot-them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/jedi.jpg" alt="Jedi" title="Jedi" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="184" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Retailers are students of human behavior. It's an experiment on a grand scale and as consumers, we're the guinea pigs. For years, adept retailers have been tweaking all sorts of methods to help us part with our money. With the advent of the Internet, data analytics, and complex algorithms to tailor offerings to your profile, retailers have become complete marketing gurus, sometimes knowing our shopping behavior better than we know it ourselves. We all need to consume goods and services, and when we can score a great deal on something we needed anyway, that's a big win for the budget. But the moment you set foot in a store (online or physically), you are subjecting yourself to subtle retailer Jedi Mind Tricks &mdash; and you may not even know it.&nbsp; Here are a few tricks retailers routinely employ in order to increase their bottom line.</p> <h2>Loss Leader</h2> <p>Using a loss leader is a common tactic where a product is sold at a loss or substantial discount in order to generate sales elsewhere. Grocery stores commonly employ this tactic with goods that are perishable so you can't stockpile them or exploit their system. They may also limit the purchase to a small number of units per customer. While it's admirable to plan your weekly meals around these discounted food classifications, people are often lured into other higher-margin parts of the store by the initial lure of the loss leader, and they spend more money than they planned.</p> <h2>Location, Location, Location</h2> <p>Once they reel you in with a loss leader, a common tactic is to house popular items you need far away from the entrance or bury them at the center of an aisle so you have to walk past many other alluring items to get there. Once you're in that aisle, stores often place higher-margin items at eye level and less-profitable wares lower &mdash; they make you work for it. Additionally, you can't help but notice all the seemingly cheap (but high-margin) items at the checkout counter. A whiny child or a candy craving often gives way to these unplanned candy purchases.</p> <h2>The Upsell</h2> <p>Upselling is a somewhat related technique employed by salespeople where you are initially lured into a store or discussion for a particular item and end up buying something much more profitable.&nbsp; Some common examples include the &quot;supersize&quot; option at the drive-through or selling warranties on common appliances and electronics. These warranties are highly profitable to stores and often, employees are compensated handsomely for selling them. With that end of the equation in mind, it's no surprise that warranties are almost always a bad deal for consumers.</p> <h2>Hard Sell</h2> <p>The hard sell is frustrating to experience, yet effective against unprepared or timid consumers. An example would be a very aggressive sales pitch that includes an ultimatum. For instance, one major retailer tells first-time walk-ins that they have to sign up for an expensive membership fee on the spot to join their discount chain or else they're not allowed to enter a store again for several years. As outrageous as this sounds, my best friend fell for this and spent several thousand dollars up front, &nbsp;saving very little over the following few years due to exhorbitant shipping fees and other add-ons that rendered the &quot;benefits&quot; of the membership rather moot. The reason this hard sell was employed was that if he was afforded the time and resources to research the opportunity further, he would have found it wasn't such a great deal. Multi-level marketers (MLMs) often employ hard-sell techniques as well, imploring you to join their &quot;network&quot; quickly before everybody else jumps on board and ends up on the top of the pyramid. Sometimes, the fear of missing out on an incredible &quot;passive income&quot; opportunity is too great to bear. Meanwhile, the vast majority of all MLM participants actually lose money and don't stay with the programs once they realize they've been had.</p> <h2>Going Out of Business Sale</h2> <p>I used to see the same &quot;Going Out of Business&quot; signs up for a furniture store in town for months on end. I started to wonder about whether they were really going out of business. On a couple occasions, my wife said, &quot;Hey, maybe we can get some furniture for the kids at a great discount,&quot; but I reminded her that the guy in the chicken suit holding the sign has been out there for months. It appeared to just be a ploy to get people into the store. Some states are now enacting laws limiting the amount of time a store can advertise that they're going out of business. Depending on where you live, you may fall prey to this gimmick only to find the same owner happily advertising another liquidation sale a couple years later.</p> <h2>Discount Gimmicks</h2> <p>Stores will often offer something like $10 off a $50 purchase or take it a step further and offer a $25 gift card for a $100 purchase with the caveat that the gift card can't be used until a future visit.&nbsp; If it's a high-end clothing store where that $25 can barely get you an accessory like a belt or some socks, you'll end up spending another $25 over the gift card amount just to get what you really wanted like pants or a shirt, and this is on top of the extra money you'd spent the last time to reach the $100. Another one I love is when a store offers something at 2 for $5. You can buy the one that you actually need for $2.50, but for whatever reason, this labeling entices consumers to buy 2 for twice the price. It doesn't make sense to me, but it's effective.</p> <h2>Black Friday Switcheroo</h2> <p>Black Friday is just around the corner. It's very common to see thousands of shoppers lined up for hours outside an electronics store trying to get their hands on that $500 flat-screen only to find that the store only stocked four of them. After standing on line for an hour in the cold and seeing that there are other seemingly attractive discounts, the impulse to buy these other items is often overwhelming. Somehow, this monstrosity has become an American tradition. My wife makes the trek each year with her girlfriends. They claim to enjoy it. I don't get the allure of subjecting oneself to the madness for questionable deals, but the stores seem to have it pretty well figured out.</p> <p>The message here isn't that all retailers are evil and they shouldn't be trying to increase their sales. They should &mdash; as you would too as a business owner. However, knowing what you're up against and spotting a Jedi Mind Trick in the works goes a long way in ensuring you're not tricked into buying something you didn't need or paying more for something than you should.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/darwins-money">Darwins Money</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-shopping-jedi-mind-tricks-and-how-to-spot-them">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-other-grocery-stores-should-steal-from-trader-joes">5 Things Other Grocery Stores Should Steal from Trader Joe&#039;s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/supermarket-shopping-for-savers-6-ways-to-avoid-their-tricky-traps">Supermarket Shopping for Savers: 6 Ways to Avoid Their Tricky Traps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sneaky-ways-supermarkets-get-you-to-spend-more">5 Sneaky Ways Supermarkets Get You to Spend More</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/behold-the-secrets-of-the-grocery-store">Behold: The Secrets of the Grocery Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/black-friday-deals-a-sneak-peek">Black Friday Deals: A Sneak Peek</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping black friday sales grocery stores Jedi Shopping Tricks Wed, 10 Nov 2010 12:00:15 +0000 Darwins Money 289638 at http://www.wisebread.com Behold: The Secrets of the Grocery Store http://www.wisebread.com/behold-the-secrets-of-the-grocery-store <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/behold-the-secrets-of-the-grocery-store" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/holiday grocery.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="153" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p> <meta content="text/html; charset=utf-8" http-equiv="CONTENT-TYPE" /><br /> <title></title><br /> <meta content="OpenOffice.org 3.0 (Win32)" name="GENERATOR" /></p> <style type="text/css"> <!-- @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } --><!-- @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } --> </style></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">A trip to the grocery store may be a hit or a miss, depending on your perspective. Some people love going to the store each week and others detest it with a passion. But there are some things you might not know about your grocery store that can change the results of your trip.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><em><strong>Here are a few of your grocer's dirty little secrets you might not have known:</strong></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><strong>Pick A Better Day</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Hate the long lines at the check out counter? Start heading out to the grocery store before 8 am or after 9 pm, when only 4 percent of shoppers are likely to be cruisin' the aisles. If those hours do not suit you or your local store isn't open during the off-hours, stock up on Wednesdays, which is the least crowded day of the week at the grocery store.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><strong>Buying Overload</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Ever wonder why when you &ldquo;just run in for milk&rdquo; you end up with a cart full of $100 worth of stuff you didn't need? That's because your grocer knows that putting the milk in the back corner of the store means you (the customer) must walk through at least one full aisle to get there. So, by going for a simple trek to get some moo juice, you'll see a ton of products you might not be shopping for but still will pique your interest, leading you to buy impulsively.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><strong>How Special is The Special?</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Some specials are designed just to make you buy and spend more so be cautious. When it says &ldquo;Oh what a deal!! 10 items for $10 means you will likely end up buying and spending more than you need. Face it, some specials really aren't that great. Weigh the pros and cons.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><strong>Look High, Go Low</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">If you want the best prices, scan both the top of the shelves and the very bottoms. The top-named brands pay big money to get their products situated at eye-level. Smaller manufacturers can not afford such placement but offer better pricing. So stretch high and bend low to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/supermarket-savings" title="Supermarket Savings Guide">save big bucks</a>.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><strong>Missing Merchandise?</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Can't find the baby formula, cough syrup, batteries, or razor blades? Ask the customer service desk for assistance as these items are usually locked up in the front of the store to prevent theft. These are some of the key items that are most often stolen and resold on the black market. The more theft from a store, the more money the customer has to pay in cost.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><strong>Go Employee-Owned</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Shop at employee-owned grocery stores. You'll likely get better deals and tip-top customer service since it is the employees who have an interest, and a stake, in the store's success.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><strong>The Big, Bad Marketing Machine</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Remember that brand manufacturers and grocery managers are true-blooded marketers. No one is safe from their tactics, even the kids. This is why all the cool, expensive toys, cereals, and junk food featuring Hannah Montana are all featured at kids' eye-levels. Give the kids a shopping list to distract them if you aren't ready to deal with 1,200 &ldquo;Mommy,/Daddy, can I have...&rdquo; during your shopping trip.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/behold-the-secrets-of-the-grocery-store">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-use-cash-for-these-11-things">Never Use Cash for These 11 Things</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-grocery-budgeting-a-game-the-price-is-right-style">Make Grocery Budgeting A Game, The Price Is Right Style</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/for-the-best-deals-of-the-year-shop-labor-day-and-skip-black-friday">For the Best Deals of the Year, Shop Labor Day and Skip Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stampede-death-walmart-black-friday">How many human lives is a flat panel TV worth?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping budgeting grocery stores sales shopping Tue, 28 Apr 2009 01:58:41 +0000 Tisha Tolar 3092 at http://www.wisebread.com Supermarket Shopping for Savers: 6 Ways to Avoid Their Tricky Traps http://www.wisebread.com/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="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/supafry.jpg" 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="http://www.wisebread.com/supermarket-savings" title="Supermarket Savings Guide">supermarket saving tips</a> of their own? Let&rsquo;s beat sneaky stores at their own game!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/supermarket-shopping-for-savers-6-ways-to-avoid-their-tricky-traps">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-supermarket-tricks-you-havent-heard-yet">22 Supermarket Tricks You Haven&#039;t Heard Yet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-ive-learned-from-grocery-shopping-on-a-budget">10 Things I&#039;ve Learned From Grocery Shopping on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wrap-gifts-with-leftovers">How to wrap gifts with leftovers.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best 5 Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> 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 http://www.wisebread.com "I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!" http://www.wisebread.com/im-as-mad-as-hell-and-im-not-going-to-take-this-anymore <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/im-as-mad-as-hell-and-im-not-going-to-take-this-anymore" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/831836_rage_1.jpg" alt="mad" title="mad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="225" height="300" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>That quote from Howard Beale (character in Network, 1976 movie) sums me up right about now. And it&#39;s probably just the straw that broke the camel&#39;s back, because it&#39;s not really a big deal on it&#39;s own. But over the past few months, several of the grocery stores I visit have started seriously inflating the prices of various foods before putting them on sale. And I&#39;m sick of it. </p> <p>Most recently the culprit was my local Safeway. I like a can of soda now and then and I usually stock up when I see a deal, like 30% off or BOGO. Well, I popped into Safeway and was greeted with a huge display of 12-pack sodas from both Coke and Pepsi, with the massive sign above them reading &quot;Buy 2, get 1 free.&quot; I know a deal when I see one, so I loaded 3 of the 12-packs into my cart and went to check out. </p> <p>The check out guy rang them up and then I saw the total...it was a few pennies shy of $12. &quot;Hang on,&quot; I said in my most stern British accent (sometimes it helps) &quot;these sodas are buy 2, get 1 free. That should be about $8.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Nope, the before sale price for each 12-pack is $5.69&quot; he said with an &quot;I couldn&#39;t care less&quot; smile. &quot;Oh, really?&quot; I said and paid the bill. Then, when I got home, I looked at my receipt from the last time I went shopping at Safeway some 5 days earlier. The price for a 12-pack was $3.99. So, in less than a week they had shot up by around $1.70. That didn&#39;t see right, but maybe there was a huge soda shortage or something. I called Alberstons and King Soopers, their 12 packs were still $3.99. I felt annoyed. Really annoyed. Livid, in fact.</p> <p>Safeway was basically doing something that I personally believe to be completely underhanded. They are massively inflating the before sale price in the hopes of making you think you&#39;re getting a stellar deal. &quot;Wow, I just saved a bunch of cash&quot; you&#39;re thinking. But in actuality you&#39;ve saved almost nothing and bought more product than you would have done if the sale wasn&#39;t there.</p> <p>A day later, I looked around several grocery stores at the BOGO deals and sale goods. It was happening everywhere. Cans of tuna where up in price but on sale. The same went for detergent, bread, even contact lens solution. And it just made me boil over. Most consumers don&#39;t really pay attention to the prices, they just look for the deals. In this case, the deals (including those nasty 10 for $10 bulk-buy rip-offs) are not deals at all. The stores have simply done a little dollar-cost averaging and played with the numbers so that deals equate to the same price before the sale. </p> <p>Well, I don&#39;t know about you but I&#39;m sick of it. And I&#39;m sure many of you are, too. So I propose we all do something about it, starting with me. I have a camera-phone and I&#39;ll be carrying it with me everywhere. When I see a deal, I&#39;ll take snapshot. If the &quot;before price&quot; looks suspicious, I&#39;ll compare it to the price of the product when it comes off sale. And over the next few months, I&#39;ll keep a detailed log. I&#39;m out to prove once and for all that we&#39;re being manipulated like pawns in chess by the billion-dollar grocery chains.</p> <p> Now, who&#39;s with me? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/im-as-mad-as-hell-and-im-not-going-to-take-this-anymore">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hobby-lobby-who-exactly-are-you-trying-to-fool">Hobby Lobby, Who Exactly Are You Trying To Fool?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/behold-the-secrets-of-the-grocery-store">Behold: The Secrets of the Grocery Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6500-repair-bill-to-remove-a-stone-from-a-moon-roof">$6500 repair bill to remove a stone from a moon roof</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/exposed-magazine-subscription-rates-complete-bs">Exposed: Magazine subscription rates complete BS.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-buy-scamming-customers-with-intranet-updated">Best Buy scamming customers with Intranet - UPDATED!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Albertsons bogo deception grocery stores inflated prices network Safeway sales Tue, 04 Dec 2007 05:29:25 +0000 Paul Michael 1460 at http://www.wisebread.com