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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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                                                    Published on September 17, 2018

                                                    How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

                                                    How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

                                                    Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

                                                    With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

                                                    So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

                                                    1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

                                                    It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

                                                    You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

                                                    So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

                                                    2. When you want something big, wait

                                                    Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

                                                    It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

                                                    We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

                                                    A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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                                                    So, you get the itch.

                                                    You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

                                                    Here’s where you have to take a step back.

                                                    Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

                                                    Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

                                                    It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

                                                    The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

                                                    3. Live smaller than you can afford

                                                    You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

                                                    You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

                                                    That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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                                                    Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

                                                    Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

                                                    The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

                                                    But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

                                                    4. Practice smart grocery shopping

                                                    Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

                                                    But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

                                                    Create a grocery budget

                                                    Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

                                                    Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

                                                    I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

                                                    Make a list… and never deviate

                                                    Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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                                                    You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

                                                    These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

                                                    Eat before going grocery shopping

                                                    It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

                                                    If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

                                                    After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

                                                    Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

                                                    However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

                                                    This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

                                                    5. Cancel your gym membership

                                                    Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

                                                    The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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                                                    Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

                                                    I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

                                                    Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

                                                    Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

                                                    For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

                                                    Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

                                                    There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

                                                    It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

                                                    I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

                                                    Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

                                                    The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

                                                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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