Fill your cart with the basics first—vegetables, fruit, protein and milk. These foods are nearly always found along the outside walls of the store.
Arrange your list according to the store layout.
This will save time and prevent backtracking. If you need something in the center aisles, dash in for specific items, then return to the outside walls.
Pay for food, not convenience.
You save money when you buy the basic ingredients in your recipes/meals—apples, ground beef, milk, carrots, rather than pre-prepared items.
Don’t even go there.
Stay out of the empty calorie aisles (potato chips, crackers, candy, soda, deli), usually found in the center of the store.
Buy—or at least try—the store or generic brand.
Sometimes the only difference between store brand and name brand is the label; sometimes it’s more. The only way to know if you’ll like a product is to try it.
Look up, look down.
Food companies pay to display their products at eye level. Look on higher and lower shelves for less expensive products.
Pay attention at the checkout.
Make sure you got the sale price, the checker punched in the right code on your produce and that you leave with everything you paid for.
Know the regular prices of items you generally buy.
This way you will recognize when an advertised special is really a bargain.
Ask for a rain check.
If a specially priced item is sold out, ask for a rain check. It allows you to purchase the item at the sale price at a later date.
Check your receipt.
Make sure your prices and coupons are scanned correctly. Sale items, especially, are often entered incorrectly into the computer.