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8 Grocery Store Shopping Tips

Most people are aware of the fact that grocery stores aren’t selling us food as much as they are marketing it to us at the urging of their suppliers, but there’s actually a great deal more to it than that – and if you know before you go you can save time and money. So, how do you beat the supermarkets at their own game? Consider these quick tips and you could come out further ahead on your grocery budget than you thought possible. <strong>Tip #1: Make a list.</strong> Okay, so maybe the list isn’t the most important thing – but sticking to it is. There’s no way for you to know every single thing you’re going to need, and marketers bet on that weakness by organizing complementary items together, but you can soften the blow by having a plan before you get in the aisles. <strong>Tip #2: Shop <em>after</em> you eat.</strong> Seriously. It might sound silly, but you’re less likely to make a compulsive purchase driven by appetite if you shop for food after you’ve already eaten. When you’re hungry, things you would normally never buy start to sound appealing, and that can lead to overspending. <strong>Tip #3: Don’t take your kids.</strong> This is a pretty obvious one, simply from a perspective of convenience, but grocery stores are like Venus flytraps for kids. They intentionally put sweet, bright-colored products (usually emblazoned with cartoons) on low shelves so kids can snatch them up and turn to you with those big dewdrop eyes, begging: “Pleeeeease, Mom! Pleeeeease! It’s got bunnies and rainbows on it!” <strong>Tip #4: Know the layout.</strong> Groceries arrange their goods in a specific pattern that forces you to traverse the entire store to get the staples everyone needs on a weekly basis. That’s why they put the milk on one end and the bread on the other. If you know this ahead of time and you have your list (Tip #1!) you can get in and get out before they can put their hooks into you. <strong>Tip #5: Use apps, coupons, specials and flyers.</strong> Food discounts are different than other retail discounts because a little strategy can end up in a pretty big payday. Check whether your grocery of choice has an app and always pick up the flyer on the way in to get the lay of the land. Groceries deal in perishable goods and these are the ways they tell you what’s moving. But, it’s not the only way … <strong>Tip #6: Know stocking schedules and pull dates.</strong> It’s as easy as asking. Find out when your store’s stock rotation days and pull dates are for the items you buy the most. That way you can time your shopping to coincide when these items should be priced for quick sale. <a title="ATG Stores Homepage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/default.aspx" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> hopes these tips help you save money during your next trip to the grocery.
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