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25 Supermarket Tips for You to Check Out!

25 Supermarket Tips for You to Check Out!

Have you ever found yourself walking out a supermarket with a lot of purchases and a larger bill then you originally intended? Ever wonder why sometimes the foods you have purchased do not taste fresh?

Check out the below tips before you go to the supermarket next time!

1. Filling Your Shopping Cart? No No NO!

shopping cart 2

    Did your eyes deceive you, or did your shopping cart just look bigger? The carts are actually getting bigger so that it can trick your mind to purchase just a little more to fill it up. Be mindful not to fill up your shopping cart. Try to use a basket or just carry what you need to purchase – straight to the cash register!

    2. Gotta Get A Cake? Order ahead!

    birthday cake

      Ever need to purchase a cake in a hurry? Try not to purchase on the day you need it, as the only cakes available are older and lack texture and taste. If you order ahead a few days earlier (or even on the phone), you can request them to make a fresh cake for the day you pick up.

      If you must purchase in a hurry, look at the dates of all the cakes and select the furthest date out from the ‘it is good until’. I promise you, the date with the furthest date out will be the freshest one there.

      3. Like to Hang Out at the Supermarket? Don’t Stay Too Long!

      clock

        Some people enjoy going to the supermarket and looking around at the variety of products available. However, they are available there for one reason – for YOU to purchase! As you stay longer at the store, you are bound to see something you want to try or something that provokes a past memory or desire, prompting you to make the purchase. You might say, ‘it’s on sale so why not purchase now’? Or think, ‘I sure would like to have some of those chips, or cookies, or drink again’. All of these excuses get you to purchase more as you stay longer at the supermarket.

        4. If It Is In the Circular Ad, It Must Be On Sale. – WRONG!

        sale tag

          The items in the circular ads are all nice and bright, nicely arranged, and made to capture your attention. Although many would think all the items on the circulars are on sale, that is incorrect. Many items that are advertised are at its usual full price, just placed in the circular to get your attention.

          5. Buying Fresh Bread? Take Off the Paper Bag!

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          bread

            Fresh bread looks fancier in a paper bag, but unfortunately it goes stale faster. If it goes stale faster, guess who will be making another round to the supermarket? You! What can be done? Slice it up and put it in a container or use a plastic bag to wrap it.

            6. Don’t Mind the Expiry Date on Food Items? Ask for A Discount!

            discount

              Have you ever seen products in the meat or bakery expiring the next 1 or 2 days and back away from purchasing? If you are going to eat it right away or don’t mind consuming something about to expire, ask for a discount. This will help the supermarket get rid of the item, and you get to save some money in the process! If the supermarket refuses, you lose nothing!

              7. Shop on Weekdays? Potential to Shop Less!

              weekday

                When the store is more crowded, some people may tend to psychologically shop more to ‘go along with the crowd’. It is similar to seeing a lot of people crowding around something, and you instinctively follow to see what is attracting so many people’s attention. Avoid shopping on weekends like the plague!

                8. Making a List to Go By? Don’t Stray Away From the List!

                check list

                  Want to be more practical? Make a list of items you need to purchase and stick to the list. Checking the list off as you go is helpful. If you would like to have a little fun, set a small challenge to finish your shopping in a certain amount of time.

                  9. ‘My, Those are Pretty Flowers and Pretty Cookies! Oh Yeah, It’s THAT Holiday!’ Stay Focused!

                  flowers

                    The floral and bakery sections are placed near the front entrance to attract shopper’s attention to purchase something. Perhaps it is to remind you that it is Valentine’s Day or some other commercial-driven holiday of the 365 days in our calendar year. Stay focused on what you need to get unless you really have the intention to get something from those sections.

                    10. It’s Sure Is A Long Way to Get Those Eggs and Milk! Get Your Priorities Straight!

                    eggs

                      The dairy and egg sections are generally in the back or sides of the supermarket. These essentials force you to walk back to these sections, hoping you will pass other aisles that may have products that just may also capture your attention to buy.

                      As these products are also refrigerated, it is also not likely you will shop around long after getting them. If these are the only things you need, make sure you get these items first.

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                      11. My, Those Look Like Fresh Fish On Ice! Check Out the Frozen Section for the Same Fish.

                      fish

                        Most fish are cleaned and frozen aboard the catching vessel. The fish in the supermarket may simply just be thawed, sliced, and placed for you to think it’s fresh fish when it’s the same as the fish fillets in the frozen aisle. Check the frozen aisles for the same tasting fish.

                        12. Want to Try Some Free Samples While Hungry? Go Shopping When You Are Full!

                        samples

                          Free samples don’t hurt, right? Anyway, it’s offered to you for free and anything free is good, right? Well, samples are there to get you to purchase the actual product. If you taste something you really like, you are more tempted to purchase it. But it is better to not taste, then taste and lose a few bucks! How can you help make sure that happens? Make sure you are full before visiting the supermarket. You are less likely to taste (and purchase) any foods when you are not hungry.

                          13. Got Kids? It’s Hard to Say No to Them, Right?

                          shelves

                            Generally products that target kids are placed on lower shelves so that it catches the attention of your kids. Once your kids begs you to buy, it’s difficult to look into their big, soft eyes and deny their request. If possible, try to shop when your kids are busy at school.

                            More expensive brand names are also more at eye level or easier to notice than cheaper, no-brand products. Be sure to look around before finalizing on something that is just easier to get.

                            14. Regularly Purchasing Something? Keep Your Receipts.

                            receipt

                              If you are regularly purchasing something and consuming it regularly, it may help you save some money. You can keep track of the prices of items you purchased before at the same place or other places. You can compare whether a product is on sale or whether one store sells it cheaper than others.

                              15. End of the Aisles Are Bargains? Not Necessarily!

                              sale

                                The products placed on the end of the aisles may not necessarily be bargains. They are certainly there to capture your attention, but the prices may not always be a bargain.Try to compare prices before you shop in order to see whether it is indeed a bargain deal.

                                16. Waiting in Line to Check Out? Try Using the Time to Think ‘Do I Really Need That Item‘?

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                                shopping cart 1

                                  The longer you stand in line, the possibility of you dropping products off is higher. As you wait in line, don’t think about what else you need to buy, think about what you don’t really need.

                                  The sales associate will likely be peeved at you for dropping things off on nearby shelves at the checkout sections making it look messy and unorganized and of course messing the inventory up. Everyone is guilty in at least doing this once in their lives. Perhaps it is better if we decide not to purchase something to give it back to the cashier so at least they are aware that they have inventory that’s not in the correct location.

                                  17. Name Brands or Generic? Go the Generic Route!

                                  klauandlauf-22186-m

                                    Like medicine, go for the generic brands for the food products as well. They taste the same as the brand names and cost much cheaper! It does not hurt to at least try once to see whether generic is acceptable or not as per your standards.

                                    18. The Candy is Calling Out For You! So is the Gum! Impulse Buy? Don’t Fall For It!

                                    gummies

                                      Bored and waiting in line, maybe some chocolate, candy, gummy bears, or a new type of gum is drawing your attention? All of these are impulse buys designed to torment you as you wait in line to purchase the things you actually need. Use the self-check out line instead!

                                      19. Can Coupons Save You Money? Not Necessarily.

                                      sale-tag-1072725-m

                                        Most coupons are only valid if you purchase more volume. How annoying are the coupons that say buy three boxes and get 50 cents off of the whole purchase? Now, is it really worth it? Other coupons are made to entice you to purchase a product. Some consumers would say coupons are all a waste of time.

                                        20. Need Produce? Buy Fruits and Vegetables When They’re In Season.

                                        produce 1

                                          Fresh fruits and vegetables are cheaper when in season due to bulk availability. Do some research to see when certain fruits and vegetables are in season and try purchasing them during those times (or eat dishes related to specific veggie or fruits). You may be able to save some money in the process.

                                          21. It’s ‘Natural’ So It Must Be Organic? Do Not Assume It’s Organic!

                                          organic

                                            Products with labels that say ‘natural’ may not be entirely organic. It is best to check the ingredients list before assuming it is organic. In addition, even if you go to the organic brand store, not everything inside is organic. If it does not say organic and says conventionally grown, then it is not organic. Research is key. Do not go in and purchase blindly assuming you are purchasing fully organic products.

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                                            22. Those Prepared Foods Look So Good. Do They Use Fresh Ingredients?

                                            pizza

                                              Sometimes supermarkets like to reuse produce that doesn’t sell in time to cook or make prepared foods for customers. Although the dishes look tasty, it may not as fresh as you think when you do eat it. Some pizzas are from the same frozen pizzas in the frozen aisle!

                                              23. The Cheese and Deli Section Seems More Unique and Fresh. Is it really?

                                              cheese

                                                Try checking out the pre-packaged section to see whether they have the same type of cheese available. It is likely more cheaper than the cheese you ask to be sliced. Pre-packaged foods generally taste the same as the products in the cheese section. Cheese from the cheese section may also be more exposed and likely to have multiple people touching it.

                                                24. Worried About What’s In Your Ground Meat? Ask the Butcher to Grind A Fresh Piece.

                                                OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

                                                  If you buy a fresh piece of roast and ask the butcher to cut it up for you, then you don’t have to worry about what’s in your meat. Contamination is also lower as it is meat from one cow. (In my personal opinion, it is best not to eat red meat at all!)

                                                  25. Who Cleans the Produce After Someone Touches It? How About Shopping Carts? The Answer is You!

                                                  cleaning

                                                    In a supermarket, lots of people likely have touched your fruits and vegetables before you even got your hands on them. It’s a public place with lots of people passing through, which means lots of germs pass through as well. Some products get dropped on the floor, kicked around, and then put back up on the shelves for sale. Be sure to wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly before you consume them.

                                                    Having started this list with a shopping cart tip, lets end it with another shopping cart tip. The shopping carts are never cleaned by anyone. It may look decent and clean, but it’s been handled by lots of people and touched by lots of babies, kids, and possibly sick adults. If sanitizing wipes are available, at least clean the handles.

                                                    Featured photo credit: Stokpic.com via stokpic.com

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                                                    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                                                    The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever)

                                                    The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever)

                                                    Debt can feel crushing, like a weight that is always weighing you down. Looking at those numbers, it can feel as if you’ll never get out from under it. However, if you really want to learn how to get out of debt, it is possible with a great deal of focus and self-control.

                                                    Getting out of debt isn’t impossible. Like any big goal, all that it takes is an action plan to identify where you are and creating a plan to zero out your debt.

                                                    Identifying All of Your Debts

                                                    The first part of paying off your debt is getting a complete picture of what you owe. When you have everything written out in front of you, it makes it much easier to create an action plan. Depending on how much you owe, it might also help you realize it’s not as bad you might have originally thought.

                                                    Here’s how you can get started identifying your debts:

                                                    1. Own Your Debt

                                                    Before you start identifying all of your debts, take a moment to process that you have debt but want to get out of it.

                                                    Forgive yourself for any past mistakes, missed payments, or overspending. It might be painful to accept how much debt you have at first, but you must own it.

                                                    2. Make a Debt Tracker

                                                    It’s astonishing how few people ever created a tracker to understand their total debts. Most likely, it comes from not wanting to accept the guilt of having debt, but, if avoided, it can make it nearly impossible to get out of debt.

                                                    Open up a new Google or Microsoft Excel sheet and list out all of your debts. Start with the name of the creditor, interest rates, total balance, loan term length (if any), and the minimum amount due each payment. This will include student loans, credit cards, and any other type of debt owed.

                                                    3. Get Your Debt Number

                                                    Once you’ve made your debt tracker and taken the other steps, identify your total payoff number. This is crucial, as you will have a starting point and a clear goal that you are trying to achieve.

                                                    Prioritizing Your Debts

                                                    All debt is not created equal. It’s imperative to understand that there are different types of debt.

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                                                    1. Understand Bad and Good Debts

                                                    Bad debts are usually paying for things you want instead of always need. While there might be some emergencies that max out your credit cards, often times it’s excessive spending[1].

                                                    There are three main types of bad debt:

                                                    • Credit Card Debt: The average American household owes over $16,000 in credit card debt!
                                                    • Auto Loan Debt: According to CNBC , the average auto loan in the US is $30,032!
                                                    • Consumer Loan Debt: Consumer loan debt isn’t as common as credit card and auto loan debt, but it’s still considered bad as interest rates are usually between 10-28%.

                                                    Good debt is identified as investments in your future. Here are three common types of good debt:

                                                    • Student Loan Debt
                                                    • Mortgage Loan
                                                    • Business Loans

                                                    2. Decide Which Debt to Pay off First

                                                    Once you know each type of debt and their interest rates, you can begin to pay off debt quickly.

                                                    Focus on paying off bad debt first, regardless of if it is a credit card or auto loan. Start by paying off the loan with the highest interest rate first.

                                                    If you have several credit cards with different interest rates, you want to focus on the one with a higher APR. You will actually save more money by eliminating the card with the highest interest rate.

                                                    3. Don’t Pay the Minimum Amount

                                                    Paying the minimum amount digs you into a hole as interest rates will offset your payment. Even a small amount more than the minimum can help you pay off debt much faster.

                                                    Removing Obstacles to Pay off Debt Quickly

                                                    Creating a debt tracker and prioritizing a plan is simple, but avoiding temptation can be difficult.

                                                    1. Set a Reminder to Track Your Debt

                                                    “If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.” -Peter Drucker

                                                    It’s so important to track your debt to ensure that you get it paid off quickly. Similar to working out and measuring your results, you need to track your debt constantly. Start with a weekly reminder, where you sign on and log your updated number. Did you increase, decrease, or stay the same?

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                                                    Regularly tracking your student loan balance can be incredibly motivating, as well. You will get a huge confidence boost each time you see your total debt amount decreases.

                                                    Set weekly and monthly goals so you can have short term wins and keep the momentum going.

                                                    2. Hide Your Credit Cards

                                                    If your biggest debt is credit cards, you need to eliminate temptation and remove them from your wallet.

                                                    Some people have gone to extreme measures by freezing their credit cards. Why? This would create an ice block around your card, which would require you to chip away at it slowly. This will give you time to think if it’s the best idea to buy that thing you’re about to buy.

                                                    3. Automate Everything

                                                    Willpower can be a huge downfall to paying off your debt. By automating your bills each month, you will ensure that willpower isn’t involved.

                                                    4. Plan Ahead

                                                    Getting out of debt will require some sacrifices, but with enough planning, you can make it work.

                                                    For example, if you know that you have a friend’s birthday or family dinner coming up, plan ahead for the costs. Whether you need to cut back on spending the week before, pick up a side job, or meet them after dinner, do what is needed.

                                                    5. Live Cheaply

                                                    The only way to get out of debt is to make some sacrifices on your spending habits. Find ways to save money each month so you can apply that amount to your outstanding debts. Here are some ways to save money each month:

                                                    • Live with roommates
                                                    • Cook dinners and prepare lunches for work instead of eating out
                                                    • Cut cable and choose Netflix or Amazon Prime
                                                    • Take public transit or bike to work

                                                    Finding the Lowest Interest Rates

                                                    The higher your interest rates, the harder (and longer) it will take you to pay off any debt.

                                                    If possible, you want to find ways to lower your interest rates to help get out of debt quickly. Here’s how you can get started:

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                                                    1. Maintain a High Credit Score

                                                    Your credit score will have a large impact on your ability to refinance your loans and receive a lower interest rate. If you have a low credit score, it’s unlikely you will be able to refinance your loans. Use these credit tips to increase and maintain an excellent score:

                                                    • Never miss a payment
                                                    • Don’t exceed 30% of your credit limit
                                                    • Don’t sign up for more than one card at once
                                                    • Limit hard inquires, like auto-loans and new credit cards
                                                    • Monitor frequently with free credit-tracking software

                                                    2. Find Balance Transfer Offers

                                                    Start by opening a free account on credit.com. Credit.com offers you the chance to open a free account and see what type of balance transfer offers you can receive. Some of your existing credit cards might already have 0% or lower APR balance transfer offers available.

                                                    Contact each of your credit card providers to ask about lowering your rate for a one-time balance transfer offer[2].

                                                    If you do take advantage of this option, make sure that you use a balance transfer and not a cash advance. Cash advances have a ton of high interest fees (15-25%, depending on your credit card) and will only compound your debt problem.

                                                    How to Get Rid of Debt Forever

                                                    Setting up a plan, removing temptations, and getting the lowest interest rates is the first step to get out of debt.

                                                    1. Keep Monitoring and Adjusting

                                                    Once you have a plan, don’t get comfortable. Track your debt payoff plan and make the necessary adjustments when needed.

                                                    Monitor your credit scores with a free site like CreditKarma. The higher your credit score climbs, the more likely you will be to secure a new, lower-interest loan.

                                                    2. Earn More Money

                                                    There are only so many ways to save money. Instead of clipping another coupon or making sacrifices for your morning coffee, find ways to earn more money!

                                                    Think about it…it is much easier to find ways to earn an extra $1,000 per month than find $1,000 to cut from your budget.

                                                    Here are some examples of ways to earn more money:

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                                                    Talk to Your Boss

                                                    Have a conversation with your boss about current salary and/or commission rates. If you’re not satisfied or want a change, don’t be afraid to look around at other positions. Some of them might even have a student loan debt reimbursement plan!

                                                    Start a Side Hustle

                                                    This could be coaching students on the weekends, driving for Uber, or taking paid online surveys. There are tons of ways to make money outside your 9-5. Now that you have a clear plan to pay off your debts, you’ll be more motivated than ever to figure out creative new ways to earn money.

                                                    Build an Online Business

                                                    There are so many websites and blogs that earn money from ads, affiliates, and other online products. Find your niche and get started.

                                                    3. Celebrate Your Wins

                                                    As you progress in your debt payoff journey, don’t forget to celebrate your wins. You need to always reward yourself for the hard work and discipline that is required to get out of debt.

                                                    While you shouldn’t celebrate so big that it increases debt, make sure to factor in little rewards to keep you motivated.

                                                    4. Set New Financial Goals

                                                    Eventually, with a plan and these steps, you can rid yourself of your debt. Once you do, make sure to celebrate your monumental achievement, but don’t stop there.

                                                    Now, you can focus on acquiring wealth and increasing your net worth. Set new financial goals so you have a new target to aim toward. Here’s how to set financial goals and actually meet them.

                                                    These could be anything now that you are debt free! Think about where you want to travel, buying your first home, or saving for your future retirement. Just like before, make sure that your goals are specific, measurable, and achievable.

                                                    Conclusion

                                                    Congrats, you can now set a plan in motion to finally pay off your debt quickly (and hopefully forever)!

                                                    Remember, if you want to get out of debt quickly, it’s not always easy. Just like any big goal, there will be sacrifices, challenges, and problems to overcome.

                                                    More Tips on Getting out of Debt

                                                    Featured photo credit: Pepi Stojanovski via unsplash.com

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