Saturday, July 29, 2017

What is Strategic Shopping and why you should be doing it!

Want to go grocery shopping? Yup, me neither. You go, get your essentials without a list, and $200 later you come home with everything but what you went in to get in the first place. We have all been there. So.. there has got to be a better way right? Yes, and companies know it, that’s why there are all these little tricks to help you save your money at THE STORE!

To beat the marketing game as consumers we need to play along and take small victories when they come. This game is called Strategic Shopping, it’s a real thing, grocery stores and supermarkets (WalMart in particular) knows it really well.  Here are some tips to help you save money next time you're at the grocery store

Know your Store’s add and buy what’s on sale. Lots of times Hy-Vee and other grocery stores have a weekly sales ad. Hy-Vee in the Des Moines area the add drops on Tuesday, I like to grocery shop on Monday and/or Thursday. To be more particular, Hy-Vee has the best items on sale at the beginning of the month, and then at the end, the middle part of the month they usually are not filled with great rock bottom prices. Keep an eye on those “hot deals” sometimes the only reason why they are a “hot deal” is because they have a bunch of that product that they need to sale, it’s not really a discount.

Shop with a list but be flexible, I am a total advocate for sticking to a list, but often times I go grocery shopping and deviate from my list slightly, let me give you a great example: I see this pork loin on sale for half the cost it normally is (in Iowa we can get pork at a good price,) it’s not on my list but that’s a better deal than the pork chops I was going to get. So I get the pork loin and cut them into chops, better yet I make the meat department cut up the loin for me so I don’t have too. Sometimes a general item of 2lbs of white meat than 2 lbs of boneless chicken breasts can save you loads of money. So always be on the lookout for deals that are
worth buying, and that you can substitute.

Look High look low… all too often the manufacturers will pay the grocery store for prime real estate for their product placement, usually at eye level. Cereal is a great example, all the popular more expensive items are in plain sight, where the same item but in store brand is at the bottom. (often times the store brand is made by the same manufacturer.) So I ask myself am I really willing to pay X brand name for prime real estate when I could get the same product for at least 10% cheaper?

Same product, different locations I love tortillas for easy dinner solutions, which one do I buy?There are only like 40 different kinds, the answer is NOT THE ONES THAT ARE REFRIGERATED. You are paying for the cost of them to refrigerate them… go with the ones that are just on the shelf, the same thing with bagels. While we are on locations, know where your deals are kept, for us Hy-Vee Prairie Trail always has baskets at the front with discounted items, sometimes it’s laundry detergent at a rock bottom price, but I have been able to get a bunch of staples like brand name cereal, and artisan noodles at a rock bottom price.

Same product but Different packaging is always a great game changer, I am always wondering why they had to change the packaging up, My mommy saving senses are in active mode: sometimes it’s a way for you to get less and pay more like a standard cake mix, they lower the price 10 cents, but you get half the cake mix! Yes, really manufacturers will do that and call it a new item. I get annoyed by this often.I get a different brand and off I go.

Another great example was when I was looking for Multigrain Tortilla Chips, guess what? All tortilla chips are multi grain because they use corn, corn is a grain. So don’t pay extra for those “healthy” multigrain chips, when I saw that the ingredients were the same, same size, “healthy marketed bag” was $2.00 more! OUCH!!!! Pay attention to the details, and what you are really buying.

Just doing these small things have saved me on average $20 every grocery store visit, Or in a better light, that is how I can spend $20 extra at Memory Bound, or on other art supplies! Hah it's always fun when I feel like can save $20 and spend it on my art addiction!

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