It starts when you walk in the door. You are bombarded with smells . It's not by accident, we buy with our senses unless we are mindful of what they are doing. Doesn't work for me because o don't have a sense of smell. LOL.
Expensive products are at eye level. Snack food is often right up front. It's no accident that the candy bars and magazines are at the check stands where you have to be tempted while you wait in line. Or that the expensive cheaply made toys are on the same isle as the cereal.
The so called loss leaders are to bring you into the store where they hope you will do all your shopping and they will make more money on the not so cheap stuff.
Manufacturers pay a slotting fee for having their products at eye level. You can just guess who's paying that slotting fee.
It's not by accident that the small dollar store has a entire isle filled with junk food.
Beat them at their own game.
- Plan your trip. Study the ads and have a good idea what you are going to buy. Pretty much stick to your plan. The only deviation is an unadvertised special that is going to keep you on track. Last week I walked in to Winco and found steak for 2.97 a pound. I made two meals with it adding frozen stir fry veggies for 1.37.
- Shop TWO stores and buy the true sale items that are appropriate for your family.
- Two stores give you the best of two worlds. Buy the best veggies on season and don't over buy. Of you buy organic, plan on buying just enough for a few days. They tend to go bad faster than regular produce. NO FOOD WILL DO YOUR FAMILY ANY GOOD OF YOU FEED IT TO THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL.
- Buy dairy when it's in sale and watch pull dates. Try for as much as you will need until the next sale. We have two Kroger stores and a Costco. Set limits on the price you will pay. I can about bet that Fred Meyer will have dollar milk one week of the month, and QFC will have 1.25 milk a few weeks hence. If all else fails, Costco will have larger portions cheap as well.
- Produce is a weekly thing. I always have carrots and celery.
- Buy meat on sale at the RBP in bulk, rotate meats , buying enough of that meat to cover a pre-selected number of meals. Cook it when you get home and portion control it of appropriate. Other wise, portion control it and freeze. You can get a months worth of meals for a family of four in a standard fridge freezer. I debone chicken breast and freeze raw. I slice and cube a 1/4 of a half port loin and leave half or so for a roast. I make meatballs , taco meat and crumbles from ground beef or turkey that has been defatted. Sausage , cook and defatted.
- Portion controlled meat avoids over eating and waste. This saves money because you buy the meat at the lowest possible price and it saves time because you are cleaning the kitchen and defattimg once.
- Keep a back up supply of things like catsup, mustard, Mayo etc. buy picnic supplies around summer holidays . They will be the cheapest price of the year. Ditto baking supplies about October and early November.
- Buy any staple in bulk that makes sense for your family. I keep ten pounds or so of dry beans. Beans can go bad and never get soft. Rice I can buy on bulk bags at Costco because it doesn't go bad.
- Retailers don't like what they call cherry pickers. 🍒. Don't just buy sale items. If you take care to buy the main things you use on a regular basis, the pennies you pay more for don't make a horrible difference. I, not worried about how much I lay for that two jars of sauerkraut I buy a year, but I am worried about the ten pounds of hamburger I am buying.
- Bottom line, retailers are there to separate you from your money. You are there to feed your family for what you can afford to spend. You HAVE to won the game and still feed your family good nutritious food