Grocery Store Hacks You Need In Your Life
(Video: Rachael Ray Show via YouTube)
Going to the grocery store can be a nightmare. For me it starts in the parking lot. And some folks hate it so much, they have jumped on board the SHIPT, home delivery, or curbside/pickup and go bandwagon. But those thing come at a cost. Subscription fees. Delivery fees. And for me, I don't trust someone to pick the item I would pick for myself. So I gotta go to the grocery store. I would totally scrutinize the whole order and be like, you couldn't have found better tomatoes than the ones you sent me? Why did you pick THIS pack of hamburger meat? I have issues. And no amount of convenience would make online grocery shopping and convenience work for me. Unless I am sick and can't leave the house. And I'm superman so that ain't happening.
So for those of us that do our own shopping and fight the good fight in the parking lot (why can't you just park like a normal person Karen), here are some grocery shopping hacks that could save you some serious time, cash, and frustration when you do decide to DIY at the grocery store.
Walk through aisles you don't use.
Every store has an aisle or two that has no temptations for you (pet food, paper goods, baby supplies, cosmetics, and so forth). Make that aisle your passageway to the departments you need at the back of the store. Why tempt yourself by using the candy aisle?
Buy chicken whole.
Never buy chicken parts (breasts, wings) when you can buy the whole thing and make more meals from it, for pennies on the pound. Forget about fancy butchering: using strong kitchen shears, cut the chicken up the breast bone, up the back bone, and then cut those halves in half again. Cut off wings and legs, and you have the kind of pieces that you'd pay big bucks for. Plus, use those bones to make stock for soups and other recipes.
Turn cottage cheese upside down.
It will last twice as long than when stored right side up.
Shop farmers' markets late in the day.
Sellers don't want to bring unsold produce back home, so they often sell their inventory at reduced prices before the market closes. You may find sweet savings of up to 80 percent.
Shop the perimeter of the store.
Food essentials (produce, meats, dairy, and bread) are usually located around the store's perimeter. Middle aisles have the more costly prepared and processed foods. The more you steer clear of the inner aisles, the healthier and cheaper your groceries will be.
Go online to save
More and more websites are offering coupons you can print out. Before you go shopping, log on to the Internet and, in your favorite search engine, put in the name of a product on your shopping list, plus the word "coupon." Just be careful—some sites want lots of personal information in exchange for access to coupons or discounts. And I would stick to websites for grocery stores and product manufacturers. Some of those COUPON sites are very sketchy.
Layer, layer, layer.
Use a manufacturer's coupon with items already on sale at the grocery store. Some people call this "layering," others call it "stacking"—but it's really a simple way of saving. Say a $1.99 package of taco shells is on sale for $1.49. If you have a 50-cents-off coupon and the store doubles coupons, you'll pay only 49 cents for it.
Watch the register.
You've probably seen those investigative shows that uncover just how many errors supermarket scanners make — the numbers are staggering. Knowing this, keep a watchful eye on the cashier's display as the cashier scans each product.
Make sure that discounts for sales and coupons are applied. Make sure that the clerk keys in the proper codes for perishables without price tags (so you're not paying for exotic mushrooms when you're buying green peppers). Then, be sure to keep your receipt.
Befriend your butcher
You know that tougher meats are less expensive than tender meats. But did you know that many butchers will run these cheaper cuts through the tenderizer if you ask? Your tough cut will turn into a tender bite at no cost.
Shop at Discount Grocery Stores
I love me some Aldi's baby.
(Video: Mashed via YouTube)
While the food quality is slightly different between them, it is not that different.
Yes the expensive stores have some specialty goods and more local goods, and probably more organic foods if that's what you're looking for. However, the cheaper places have pretty much the same foods as the expensive ones without the cost of keeping up an upscale facade.
Do yourself a favor and shop at your local discount grocery store to save some money on groceries. (Atypical Life)