Tag Archives: grocery shopping

The Wrong Way to Shop?

stock-footage-five-shopping-bags-with-letters-bags-form-the-word-sale-d-animationWalking into my local, famous big-box grocery store on a Saturday afternoon is like walking into an Old West cattle stampede combined with the Normandy invasion multiplied by eleventy-billion. Your first clue about the fun you’re about to have is that the shopping carts are all gone.

And that’s no knock against the store – these are just our shopping habits! Turns out…

The amount of money Americans spend in stores, restaurants, gas stations and online depends heavily on the day of the week. Americans tend to spend the most — an average of $76 a day — on Saturdays, followed by Fridays ($73). MarketWatch.com

If your schedule only allows you to hit the store on the weekend, then you just have to cope. But if you have some flexibility, then you may do well to shop for different items on different days. Such as:

  • Movies on Monday
  • Dining out on Tuesday
  • Groceries on Wednesday
  • Clothing on Thursday

Check out this article for further details. How about you? Have you mastered a savings-by-the-day pattern? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Inside the Grocery Game

Reader’s Digest, by way of The Consumerist, has published quite the expose about the grocery biz. It has some good tips on savings, as well as the way stores get you to spend more time and, of course, more money.

We’ve always known the supermarket is a veritable jungle, set with snares and traps designed to lure even the most observant shopper into buying whatever that heavenly smelling thing is, or lulling us into a contented stupor so we linger longer in the aisles. Consumerist

Feeling the fruit: Produce workers say that people pick up the fruit and put it back a LOT. Be warned!

The carts never get cleaned: You don’t even want to think about the gross stuff that makes contact with that cart. At least Walmart offers disinfectant wipes when you pick out your cart

Ten for $10 trickery: Take an 89-cent can of something, mark it 10 for $10, and watch them fly off the shelf. My Publix does this a lot, Well, the secret’s out, suckers!

Bigger carts, bigger sales: Apparently new, larger carts (or Buggies as we say in SC) are responsible for 20% more purchases.

You probably only know the price of four items: I know even fewer than that, and I do all of the shopping!

Feel the heat! Kroger uses heat sensors to track where shoppers are in the store, so when they sense a rush coming on, they can open more registers.

As usual, just the highlights. Many more to be found at the original pieces, Here and Here. What do you think? Any surprises here? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

Express Lane to Frustration!

Seriously, don't get your hopes up.
Seriously, don’t get your hopes up.

There’s a study at LifeHacker.com that says using the 10-items-or-less express lane really doesn’t save you any time. I can tell you that, at (my) Walmart, I have found this to be true. Their express limit is 20 items. I once rolled up with 24 items, all apologetic and whatnot. The girl told me that they are not allowed to refuse anyone, even if you rolled up with two carts full like some X-TREEM Coupon weirdo. If you can deal with the hateful stares, loud sighs and epic eye-rolls of the shoppers behind you, then go for it!

The time-sucking culprits are called Line Stoppers…people who bring weird, special circumstances with them. You get them all at Wally’s…the guy trying to cash a payroll check. The college kid using three different gift cards, but only taking certain amounts from each. The woman with 30 items making three separate transactions for herself, mom and grandma.

They left out my favorite, though: Extremely Old Dude! This happened to me a couple of days ago at a Publix Market. I get in the express lane behind an E.O.D. He kept mumbling things that sounded like questions, forcing the cashier to stop and ask him to repeat himself. He did and, though she now understood the English words coming out of his mouth, she was stumped. Call a manager? Call a manager. Time to pay, so he writes a check. That is, once she was finished ringing him up and gave the total, only then did he pull out his checkbook and begin to write. “P…U…B…L…I…X…” Then he wanted $50 cash back. She gave him two 20’s and a ten. No, he really wanted all fives. Transaction finished… but time for one more joke. In all, not an “Express” experience!

Anyway, read the article and tell us, do you think you save time in the express lane?

Store-brand Stigma? Not Anymore

One of the great lines about the savings – and the stigma – of buying store-brand products comes from the old Rosanne sitcom.

Rosie is leading a home-ec field trip to the grocery store.  She tells the girls about saving with store brands as she reaches for some Brand-X corn flakes.  Her daughter is mortified. “But we don’t buy that…we use the good stuff!” Says Rosanne: “We use the BOX of good stuff. I fill it with this. It’s only SECOND best for MY family!”

Rosie and Dan scraped to get by during the good times. Well, times have changed. Now, it seems like many of us are scraping. Many of us will buy brand X, as long as it actually does save us some dough.

It’s generally accepted that store brands cost less than national brands, but how much less? A survey conducted for an association of store brand labels says switching to store brands could save the average consumer as much as 36 percent off their grocery bill. Consumer Affairs

The article describes a 4-week study where they bought 30 summertime items: hot dogs, condiments, charcoal, freezer pops, sunscreen, etc. One side bought brand names, one side bought brand X. They did all the careful science-y statistical stuff to make it fair. And they saw that a month’s worth of the good stuff cost $110.00, while the off brands cost $70.00.  The big winner? Buns!

So, yeah, there are savings to be had, as long as the quality is there. That will definitely vary by product and by brand.

What about you? Do you have brand X fever? Across the board? Some things yes, some things no? Never ever ever? Let us know! Read the rest of the article here, and have a great weekend!

(photo: healthkicker.com)

Saving on Groceries!

Last week, we fished around for some blog ideas from our MindField family. One idea seemed particularly popular: rising food prices.

A big factor in rising food prices is rising gas prices. With diesel fuel at $4.00 a gallon, it just takes more resources to get your food from the field to the table. What can we do about that? In the short term, not much.

So, what can you do to save some money and STILL eat well, without switching to Vienna sausage and Kost Kutter Kanned Kreamed Korn? WebMD has listed 10 tips. Here, as we say, are the bullets:

  1. Buy produce in season. Ever grow a tomato plant? You wait and wait, and then BANG! You have more tomatoes than you can give away. Same deal here. In season, they are priced to move.
  2. Use sales and coupons. You know how you (and by You, I mean Me) mock that lady in the store with her thick binder of coupons? Stop doing that.
  3. Brown-bag it. Ever go to Panera or Atlanta Bread for lunch and, no matter what you order, you spend $9.00? Stinks, right?
  4. Think frozen, canned, or dried. You may not know it, but most of these items are processed at the peak of their freshness and nutritional value.
  5. Save on protein foods. To quote Modern Family, “I AM spontaneous…‘eggs for dinner’ was MY idea!”
  6. Waste not, want not. Did you know that Americans produce over 30 million tons of food waste every year? We are awesome that way!
  7. Go generic. Remember what I said about Kost Kutter Kanned Kreamed Korn? Forget it.
  8. Buy prepackaged only if you need it. That pre-washed Bag o’Salad is convenient, but you’re paying for that convenience.
  9. Buy and cook in bulk. Sam’s? Costco? If you have a big family, it might be worth the $100/year to join.
  10. Plant a garden. And plan on shooting squirrels. I hate how they take one bite of a tomato, ruining it, and then remember that they don’t like tomatoes!

There’s a lot more information at the original article, so check it out! What about you? Any suggestions?

(photo: dreamstime.com)