Save at the grocery store

6 ways to save at the grocery store

Ever think that grocery stores are employing tricky sales tactics? There are in fact a few tricks that your local grocer may be trying to get you to spend more. Here’s how to beat them at their own game and save:

1. Duck and buy: If you’re hungry and in a hurry you may grab the first item you see; but it may cost you more! Retailers pay big-time to have the optimal shelf space at eye level. Duck down and check the lower shelves where you’ll often find cheaper items.

2. Beware of the incredible shrinking package: It may seem like you inhaled that bag of chips faster than you thought. More likely, there are less chips than in the last bag you purchased.  You’ll notice that food companies have a habit of including less of an item but keeping the package the same size (with the help of a little air). Chips, cereal and cookies are good examples of this. Not only are you getting less, it’s also a waste of packaging. Check the listed weight to compare or buy in bulk.

3. Same for the two-for-one: The sign may say 2 for $7, so you may think you need to buy two of an item to get the discounted price. However, usually buying one of that item will get you the equivalent per item discount. Check the small print on the sale sign. It must tell you if you’ll pay more for purchasing a single item.

4. Size doesn’t matter: With so many different shapes and sizes of packages, it’s hard to know which are the best deal. Ultimately it’s the unit cost that will help you determine the best value. For example, check out the cost per kg or cost per 100 grams, to get an accurate cost comparison.

5. Go deep: Grab from the back. You’ll usually find the freshest items at the back of the shelf as retailers like to get rid of items before they expire. Grab the newest product from the back and you’ll save money by having products with a longer shelf life.

6. Compare your items: A great app that will help you compare which grocery store has the best price on a particular item in your area is FLIPP,” while Checkout 51 enables you to get money back based on certain items that you purchase.

Remember to always double check the prices being rung through on your purchases. Under the Scanner Price Accuracy Code, if the scanned price is greater than the advertised price, you may receive the item for free if it’s under $10, or have a $10 credit applied to items over this amount. Check the Retail Council of Canada’s list of participating retailers to see who’s subscribing to the code.

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