Friday, May 27, 2011

Know Your Grocery Store

                                              article #2 in Stretching Your Dollar

In order to maximize your savings at your local grocery store,
you must know that store like the back of your hand!

Here are a few tips in get you in the 'know' zone:

1)  Find all the clearance spots!

Every store usually has a certain area where they move items that have been
put on clearance.

My Kroger has an area in the bread isle where they place all the mark-down bread,
buns, bagels, english muffins, etc.
They also roll out a cart with the bakery mark-downs, like cakes, pies, donuts, etc.
I always check these areas before choosing my bread/bakery needs.
I make a purchase from this area every week, often finding bread from .25/.50.
It's really nice to find the bakery pies that were originally $8 for $2-3.

They also fill up grocery carts with scratch & dent items.
These sit by the milk coolers at the back of the store.
I love to find canned goods sometimes priced as low as .15!
Lastly, they have a table near the HBA that is for reduced items.

By checking these specifically designated areas, I've stretched my dollar countless times ...
finding unexpected bargains.

2)  Be familiar with the tags!

Learning to read tags is very important.
James taught me how to check unit prices on products several years ago.
There are tags either above or below grocery store items that have the “unit” price listed.  Always check this against the same item that is being advertised as on “sale”. 
A great majority of the time, the 'sale' is not the best deal.

By knowing what is a sale tag vs. a clearance tag vs. a close out tag, you can often find unadvertised deals for extra savings.
My Kroger almost always has plenty of dairy products at a reduced price.
I know what stickers to look for to get an additional savings.
{I've gotten 1/2 gallons of chocolate milk for .25 before!}

3)  Know your store's policies on everything!

While using internet couponing/savings sites is very helpful in finding sales
& coordinating coupons for additional savings, you must keep in mind that policies
may vary from store to store.
The policies at my Kroger can be entirely different from another Kroger
just on the other side of town.

Here are a few things to find out:
Coupon policies  -- do they double & up to what amount {if so, how many will double}
                               -- do they accept printables
                               -- how many 'exact' coupons do they accept per day
                               -- do they stack coupons
                               -- do they accept e-coupons or cellphone coupons & do those stack
                               -- do they accept competitors coupons

BOGO policies  -- do they require you to buy 2, or can you buy one at 50% off

Raincheck policies  -- do they expire

Store courtesy/discount card  -- how to use this for maximum savings

Price matching  -- does your store allow this & on what items

Sale cycle  -- learn this about your store {generally a 6-10 week cycle}

Keep tuning in as we learn to stretch our dollars!

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