how to be a savvy grocery shopper

Tips to be a savvy grocery shopper

  • Create a grocery list based on sales
  • Compare prices and shop at the single best store for your list that week. You can quickly and easily compare prices using the free uGrocery app.
  • Shop the sales and plan your meals around the sales
  • Stock up when items are at their lowest in the sales cycle. Even if you don’t need the item at the moment, if it’s something that you regularly purchase, pick it up because you want to have the item in your pantry instead of picking it up five to six weeks from now when you need it and it’s not on sale
  • Stick to the list and don’t be tempted to buy impulse items at the store.

Additional ways to save:

  • Use digital coupons from the grocery store apps and find online printable coupons that match sales to maximize your savings.
  • Never shop on an empty stomach, you will buy more

Stock-up prices on grocery essentials:

  • 93% Lean Ground Beef – $3.99/lb.
  • Chicken Breasts – Under $1.67/lb.
  • Chicken Drumsticks, Thighs and Leg Quarters – $.89/lb.
  • USDA Choice Chuck Roasts – $2.99/lb.
  • Detergent – $.09 per load
  • Pork Ribs (bone-in) – $1.67/lb.
  • Cereal – $1.50 per box or less ($.12/oz.)
  • Assorted Pork Chops (bone-in) – $1.67/lb.
  • Butter 1 lb. – $1.99 or less

Most meats freeze really well, so when meat is at these low prices, pick up extra for the freezer so you can quickly defrost the day you plan to use it.  Butter also freezes really well.  Butter goes on sale for $1.99 or less 3-4 times a year.  Buy several pounds of butter to freeze and have on hand throughout the year.

Marketing Strategies Grocery Retailers Use to Get you to the Store and to Buy More:

Grocery retailers are experts are getting you in the door and getting you to buy more while you are there. Below you will find ten marketing strategies that they implement to get you to buy more.

Sale Promotions

  • Weekly ad loss leaders – the first page of the ad has the best meat, seafood, produce and soda deals in an attempt to get you to shop that store that week.
  • 10 for $10 promotions – doesn’t mean you have to buy 10 items, each item is on sale for $1.00
  • Digital coupons promoted making you think that you could save even more, but you have to take the time to load the offer before checkout

Store Layout

  • milk, dairy, eggs at the back of the store – so on quick trips you have to walk past thousands of products for weekly essentials
  • candy and magazines at checkout promote impulse buys
  • Produce in the front stimulates the senses and makes you want to purchase


  • Invite the shopper in, get you to pause to take a look, yet items may not be on sale at all, or if on sale, may not be the cheapest product available.
  • Typically seasonally focused (garden, grilling, super bowl, holidays)

Grab and Go Prepared Foods

  • Focus here is on convenience, not on price, so you will overpay for these items


  • Brands often pay for premium placement on the end-caps to promote new products or ad items, not always
  • Some end-caps may have great deals, while others are not on sale at all


  • Stores are using the yellow tags to draw people in when items are not on sale at all and the yellow tags are promoting base prices

Coffee Bar/Deli areas

  • encourage customers to spend more time in a store so you will spend more $

Sampling stations

  • designed to get you to try a new product, get a coupon, buy something that wasn’t on your list

Shelf layout

  • The industry jargon is “eye-level is buy-level”. Often brands pay for premium priced items placed at eye level.  Not necessarily the cheapest.
  • Tip – look at lower shelves for cheaper options
  • Kids snacks and cereals are placed at kids eye level – so if you want to avoid going home with the sugar cereal and fruit snacks, leave the kids at home


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