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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 January 2, 2019

                                                    How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

                                                    How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

                                                    Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

                                                    Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

                                                    Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

                                                    This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

                                                    Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

                                                    What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

                                                    Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

                                                    When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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                                                    How It Leads to Financial Improvement

                                                    It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

                                                    Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

                                                    Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

                                                    It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

                                                    Types of Personal Finance Software

                                                    When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

                                                    Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

                                                    For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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                                                    Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

                                                    When to Use Personal Finance Software

                                                    So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

                                                    Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

                                                    1. You Have Multiple Accounts

                                                    There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

                                                    If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

                                                    Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

                                                    2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

                                                    Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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                                                    There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

                                                    With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

                                                    3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

                                                    Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

                                                    Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

                                                    Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

                                                    4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

                                                    Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

                                                    You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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                                                    How to Get Started

                                                    From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

                                                    Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

                                                    It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

                                                    When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

                                                    Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

                                                    Final Thoughts

                                                    Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

                                                    In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

                                                    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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