Avoiding Common Pitfalls in the Grocery Store

With food prices on the rise, more and more individuals and families are looking for ways to save on their monthly grocery bill. By understanding a few tricks of the trade that are often employed by their local grocer, people will be able to save money on every trip to the store and build a comfortable cushion in their food budget.

Firstly, it is important that people understand why food costs are on the rise. The primary cause for the current upsurge in food costs can be attributed mainly to last year’s wide spread drought.

Blame The Drought

The lack of water in general that was made limitedly accessible for use by agricultural workers has had a rippling effect in almost every aspect of food production since. The drought of last year has directly led to a lower supply of available food stuffs which has in turn driven up the cost of food products for retailer and subsequently for every day consumers.

Without water, farmers cannot produce as much wheat and other grains. This causes a direct increase to the cost of grain based foods like bread and pasta as well as limit the feed for livestock.

With limited feed for livestock, farmers and ranchers have to limit the number of their herds which boosts the costs of beef, pork, poultry, and other meats. In addition, because of the limited feed due to the drought, dairy farmers receive less production from their underfed dairy cows, which in turn drives up the price on all dairy products.

You Can Save Despite the Drought

The drought of last year has had a great effect on the rising costs of food, but even if this was not the case, there are still those who care enough about saving money and sticking to their budget to want to find out how to save even more at the grocery store. An individual or a family can begin to save more at the grocery store by understanding a few techniques used by a majority of grocery stores to sell products to consumers.

By understanding when they are simply being sold to, a consumer will be able to see that they are spending money on wants, not needs, as well as be able to see when they are spending more on products that they could be getting for cheaper. A prime example of this, and the first hint that grocery shoppers should take into consideration the next time they go to the store, is that not all “specials” are that special.

This is especially true of end cap specials. End cap specials are those items in the grocery store that are displayed and presented at the end of the aisles in the store.

Often, these end cap specials are nicely decorated and made to be attractive to consumers in order to entice the consumer into buy the item. However, because they end cap displays are so effective at moving merchandise, often the sales offered for end cap products will be some of the most expensive markups in the entire store.

The exact same food items can be found for cheaper if a consumer will avoid falling victim to the pleasant presentation of end cap displays and instead delve deeper into the aisles of the store to find reasonably priced food stuffs. Along with avoiding the high markups of end cap “deals”, a grocery store shopper can save money at the store if they will avoid succumbing to the impulse buy at the check stand.

Just as with the end cap specials, the items placed in the checkout line of most grocery stores are markup greatly in price. These two “deals” of end cap specials and check stand items are frequently the two most common places in the store with the highest profit margins on its products.

Go Generic and Save

As long as a consumer is avoiding things, one may wish to consider avoiding name brand items as well. Name brand food items are typically two to three times more expensive than generic or store brand items of identical quality.

While many consumers already know that buying name brand food items can run up the grocery bill in a hurry, these same shoppers may not know that grocery stores strategically place these name brand items at eye level around the store so that consumers will be more likely to buy them. Instead of allowing the convenience of the eye level brand name product to sway a person into buy them, one can look up or down to find similar food products for much cheaper.

By following these simple tips, you should be able to save hundreds if not thousands of dollars each year on your grocery bill. If you have any grocery tips of your own, leave them in the comments section below!

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