Saturday, January 12, 2013

BAJL Day 12: Go Pro In the Grocery Store

              I began working in grocery stores at the age of 15 and continued until age 23 for a total of 8 years of experience in that industry. As a result I learned a few tricks about how to grocery shop. It may not be the manliest of household chores but I enjoy grocery shopping. I enjoy the peace and quiet in the store (I usually go very early in the morning or very late at night), planning meals based off of what is on sale, and searching for those great deals. A couple of grocery chains now offer their own app to create a shopping list and provide you with even more saving options. Because of this I usually shop at Vons aka Safeway aka Pavillions. Below are some tips that anyone can use to save money.
  1. Do not shop end caps (the displays on the front and backs of grocery aisles) - grocery store chains have studied human behavior while shopping to maximize their own profit. They know that people are in a hurry most of the time, so if the customer sees something that they want/need on an end cap display they will just grab it and move on down their list. End cap displays do not always mean the best deals so make sure to check the aisle first.
  2. Focus your search on the bottom and top shelves- grocery stores usually put the cheaper/generic versions of items on the top or bottom shelf. This is due again to exhaustive research done by the store. They know that customers will most likely buy what is at eye level so they put the most expensive brands of products there.
  3. Take your time- a hurried shopper is a gold mine in they eyes of the grocery industry. The majority of their tactics are aimed at those who are too busy to notice. If you are rushed in the grocery store you WILL fall victim to these tactics. It usually takes me over an hour to shop, but trust me the extra time will be well worth it when your wallet isn't so light afterwards.
  4. Go shopping early in the morning- aside from the serenity of the quiet and uncrowded store, the overnight crew will have just restocked the shelves making it easier for you to find the products you need and not having to settle for the more expensive options.
  5. Make a list before hand- I use an app on my phone to do this and it even breaks down the list by aisle so on each aisle I can open up that part of my list. How convenient right? The Vons app can be found at The app can also be accessed on your home computer for those of you without smart phones. If you shop at Vons I highly recommend it.
           Follow these tips and you can soon be a pro like me. On average I save between 35% and 40% off my total grocery bill. This is without clipping coupons and only about 30 minutes of preparation. It is worth the time, I promise you that. Do you have any tips for grocery shopping? If so, leave them in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. So is making your list of what to plan for meals based on the ad specials where you save the most money?