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Ways to Outsmart Your Supermarket

Sticking to a grocery budget is something that many people struggle with on a regular basis.   When in the store, it's easy to impulsively buying things they don't need.  Shoppers may be drawn to get those items that are "new & improved" or are a great deal (if you buy 10 of them).   Don't fall for the supermarket tricks and go in prepared with some basic shopping tips. 

Don't feel the need to fill your shopping cart.

Shopping carts have grown larger in recent years because tests consistently show people feel compelled to fill their cart.   Don't fall for it!  Make a conscious effort to not fill an enormous cart, or grab a basket instead of a cart whenever possible.

Start shopping in the middle of the store.

You typically find the produce section in the front of the store, where the bright colors inspire good moods and make you buy more. Stay on your game and stick to your budget by starting more in the middle, surrounded by the less vibrant boxed and canned food.

Don't be afraid to ditch items at the last minute.

Over 60 percent of shoppers change their minds about an item while waiting in line. To combat this, stores have made check out lines narrower, allowing less room to place unwanted items. Knowing that and being considerate and courteous, hand unwanted items to the clerk and simply say you changed your mind.  

Buy cheese from the dairy case instead of the deli counter.

Stores often sell their deli cheeses in plain packaging in the dairy case at a lower cost

Ask store employees about complimentary add-ons.

The butcher will tenderize meat for you, the baker will slice a loaf of bread, and the florist will usually give you free greenery to go with your loose flowers, so just ask....

Ask about discounts on bakery or meat items that are about to expire.

Employees may agree to mark down items that will expire the next day (note that expiration to sell by and consume by are not the same!)

Do a little math before buying in bulk.

Buying items by the piece in the produce section may be cheaper than buying in bulk. Check out the prices and do a little math to figure out if you are getting a good deal or not.

Save money on seafood by thawing it yourself.

Seafood labeled "previously frozen" at the seafood counter is often the same as in the frozen food aisle, but thawed and marked up about 40 percent. If you have the time to thaw it yourself, buy your seafood frozen instead. Another bonus: it will be fresher!

Buy a larger cut of meat and have the butcher trim it for you.

Consider buying one big roast and have the butcher remove the bone for soup, run half of it through the grinder for hamburger, and cut the rest into a pot roast. That can save you about 30 percent compared with buying everything cut.

Be smart in the supermarket and save!

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