You may come to the grocery store equipped with coupons and examine the labels on all your favorite products, but perhaps you aren’t looking hard enough. Two for one deals, sizes of products, and sales may actually be costing you more money, rather than helping you save. Here are some tips that may help you get into the habit of reading the fine print next time you’re at the grocery store with your budget grocery list:
- Bigger isn’t necessarily better: Larger sizes usually look like the better deal, right? Wrong. Look at the fine print on the shelf label and determine what exactly the cost per unit is. Sometimes, smaller sizes are the best deals if they are on sale. If you want more, just buy two of the smaller sizes.
- Weigh it out: If you are paying by the piece with goods like apples or broccoli, select the largest piece. Pre-packaged items, like potatoes, may say they are all 10 lbs., for example, however some weigh more than others.
- Beware of manager’s specials: When you see the words “Manager’s Special,” always make sure that the item is really a good deal. The sign may make you think that you’re getting a good deal when in reality you’re paying for a regular priced item.
- 10 for $10 deals: 10 for $10 bargains may look like a great deal, but do you really need 10 of whatever you’re buying? Make sure that, when you’re buying in bulk, you really will use all of the items in your shopping cart. Unless the ad specifies differently, you can usually buy as little as you need but still get the discount.
- Reconsider great deals: Keeping in mind our 10 for $10 tip, a “great deal” is only really a great deal if it’s going to eventually disappear from your fridge. Stocking up on produce or dairy that will never be eaten is extremely wasteful.
- Make sure you bring your coupons in tow when you’re headed to the grocery store, but keep in mind that not all coupons are created equal. Some coupons offer deals on packaged foods that are nutritionally poor with large amounts of processed ingredients. Skipping out on the dud coupons and buying healthier foods instead could be the best financial decision in the long haul.
Next time you’re at the grocery store, read the fine print, do the math, weigh it out, and make sure you know exactly what you’re buying. You may be surprised at how much you can save by simply following these tips.