How To Shop Like a Pro at Grocery Stores

Grocery stores are among the most profitable retailers in America. But profits can quickly evaporate if you don’t know these “secret” tactics used by grocery store managers to get you to buy more groceries.

Are you looking for the best way to save money & time on groceries? If so, this is the place for you! Our team of experts has put together a list of grocery secrets you won’t find in any other publication.  But… we do! In this article, we are going to reveal some of the amazing secrets you won’t learn in any other book or class.

grocery shopping secrets

Is Pre-Measurement Not Always Right?

The first thing we are going to recommend is bringing luggage scale into your local grocery, .where a lot of the mistakes happen and how you’re overpaying.

If you guys ever see those multi-pound bags of potatoes, onions, apples, the bags where the items are already pre-measured and pre-tagged, and they’re not weighed again. When they are rung up at the cash to check out and complete your purchase, this is where a luggage scale comes in. Weigh your bags.

You’d be amazed at how many of those eight-pound bags of potatoes or onions are not even close to the indicated weight. It’s not because people are trying to trick you, but these are often bagged in a rush and often at the detriment of the customers. There’s possibly some type of profit margin built-in.

So use a handy scale which is also really good to prove your point if you are in front of a cash register before you pay. But either way, just make sure you weigh before you pay.


Find Freshman Products

Always stick to the exterior of the perimeter of your grocery store, whether it’s Walmart, Target, Giant, Publix, or other major grocery store chains that include whole foods. Most of these stores are organized with how long it takes to restock the freshest areas of the store. Stores have done these really weird mathematical equations where they pay their employees by the hour, and they look at how long it takes to restock the most frequently restocked shelves, fridges, and freezers.

So when you enter a grocery store, the freshest and most cost-effective options are unpackaged foods. That means produce, dairy aisle, bakery, and the butcher counters if you had to hit them in order of importance.


Read PLU Codes

The PLU codes are tied to the products. In particular, when you are shopping for organic produce, take a good look at the PLU codes. They’re found on the sticker. A four-digit code generally indicates that the produce was grown traditionally, not organically.

If you see that five-digit PLU code and it begins with the number nine, it almost always means it was grown organically. So always look at the PLU codes before buying them.

Don’t Buy Food Items From Cultural Or Ethnic Sections Of Your Grocery Store

If you do regularly shop the cultural or ethnic sections of your grocery store, well, these are great ways to discover new food items. These are generally one of the worst areas of the store to buy anything tied to food prep., but you could easily find at an Asian grocery store or any other ethnic grocery store of your choice depending on what’s available in your community, and you will save substantial amounts of money very quickly.

Avoid Paper Products From Store Brands

The average store shopper will generally avoid paper products from the major brands assuming they’re gonna get a better deal from the store brands. And this is actually a bad move. Many of the major grocery retailers have exclusive partnerships with brands like Kleenex, Puffs, Cottonelle, Sharman, whatever it is you are looking for.

The store-brand alternative is often of inferior quality and not much of a better deal. So buy the items you like when it comes to paper products. So go with the brands that you love.


Best Time To Busy Fresh Products

Stores would love for you to shop just before your meals, so you buy double what you need. But the reason we are telling you to shop in the very early morning or at the very end of the day, for highly trafficked grocery stores, the produce is generally restocked overnight. That brings the freshest produce into your hand’s first thing in the morning. And then again, toward the end of the day, right at the dinner hour, when everyone else is eating, you make your way to your grocery store if your schedule allows.


Don’t Fall 8 For $8 Or 10 For $10 Options

Don’t fall for any of those 8 for $8 options, 10 for $10 options. You know what It means. 10 items where you get them for $10 at a dollar each. If you look very closely at how they’re priced and how they will be rung up by the cashier or even at a self-checkout option, you can usually score that $1 per item price for however many you buy; you do not need to buy all 10 or all eight to lock-in that so-called discount. So don’t take that deal unless you really need it.


Try To Use Cashback Offers

Consider using a cashback app like Checkout 51. Grocery stores want you to believe that the whole world starts and ends with their cashback rewards programs. But if you’re not just sticking with their in-house programs, an app like Checkout 51 will reward you for all of the purchases you make from major brands like Nestle, Kellogg’s, Johnson and Johnson, and more. All you need to do is watch out for the various offerings of your grocery store. And as you shop, you stay cognizant of where you can get your cashback. You upload your receipt, and then you will legitimately be rewarded. Sometimes it’s just a few dollars per grocery shopping trip. Sometimes you can make as much as 20 bucks depending on how much you buy by simply uploading your grocery receipt to Checkout 51.


Buy In Bulk Is Not Always A Good Idea

Do not buy in bulk from your grocery store. Grocery stores are not designed for bulk buying, and there is an exception. But the best incentives tied to bulk buying are passed along in relationships that brands have with warehouse clubs like Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ’s. And if you don’t have a membership anywhere and you can tolerate a trip to your Walmart to buy in bulk, please do so. An exception is when you see things advertised by the case. So soups, canned food, canned fruit, things like that. Whole foods will give you a 10% discount if you buy things by the case, and other grocery stores will give you a 5% discount on most of your orders. But again, for bulk buying things, specifically paper products, toilet paper, there’s no advantage passed along to you guys stocking up.


Pay Close Attention To Your Freezer Sections

A lot of us are hoping to avoid going out of the house and making unnecessary grocery store trips that we don’t need to. Your grocery store’s freezer section is no longer about pizza puffs and microwavable dinners and ice cream. The fresh fruit and vegetables that can get you through your week for when you run out of fresh produce can sometimes cut down on your frequency to the grocery store.


Find The Offers

Stores expose many of the best offers in their digital flyers. Trader Joe’s and Publix, Giant, and other grocery stores will put their best coupons and offerings into the Sunday newspapers. But if you are not a newspaper reader, stores like Aldi and Whole Foods will actually pass their best savings to you along in the form of a newsletter or the digital flyers that you can find and easily access from their websites.

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We have covered about How to save money and time during grocery shopping, What to look for when you are “shopping” for what you need, and How to avoid buying things you do not need. If you do it right, we assume this article helps you to make a better shopper.

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