Look for items that are on end caps
End caps are those displays you see at the end or beginning of aisles. The items you find there are usually on sale because the supermarket was able to buy them at a good price from its supplier and is passing the savings onto you.
Watch for seasonal vegetables and fruits
When it’s harvest time for these items they usually offer the best value. If you shop carefully, you might find great prices on pears and peaches one week, then string beans and Brussels sprouts the next.
Let unit pricing be your guide
Be sure to check out the unit pricing on comparable items. This can help you decide which is the best buy. Just be sure that you’re comparing like items. For example, loose tea might be measured by the ounce while tea bags will be measured by quantity.
Look for house brands
These are generally the lowest priced products and often are the cheapest you can find in a category. In most cases, the quality will be no different than brand name items. For example, we buy store brand zero calorie sweetener that’s about two dollars less a package than its brand-name counterpart and there’s just no difference.
Check store circulars before you shop
Many grocery retailers will try to get you into their stores by putting highly recognizable items such as ketchup, lettuce, dishwasher detergent or canned tomatoes on sale. You should be able to find these items in their weekly circulars.
Cut down on portion sizes
When you buy fish, chicken or meat, cut down on the sizes of their portions. That way, you can then buy products that are healthier and hormone-and antibiotic-free. After all, quality does prompt quantity just about any day.
Buy beauty and health aides elsewhere
These items are sold as a convenience to you and are usually offered at full margin unless they are on sale. Instead of buying them at your favorite supermarket, buy them at a warehouse store such as Costco or at your local drugstore.
Check expiration dates
Don’t buy any items that will expire quickly. They’re no bargain unless you’re going to use them right away.
Don’t think of your shopping list as a straitjacket. Think of it more as an outline. If you had chicken breasts on your list but find that thighs are cheaper, buy them instead. In other words, don’t be a slave to your list.
Watch out for those big featured presentations
If you see the store making a big presentation of some items such as a pyramid of cans or a freezer full of pizza you see the minute you enter the store, it’s probably because the retailer intends to put it on sale and wants to get as much business at full price as it can before the event.
Avoid impulse purchases like the plague
Supermarkets are extraordinarily adroit at tempting you to buy items on impulse. Avoid these as much as you can as they are what typically drive up your grocery bill. That death by chocolate ice cream may look really scrumptious but avoid the temptation.