Secrets to Saving at the Supermarket

Here's how to spend less on groceries during your next trip to the store.

So you don’t like to clip coupons or keep a close eye on grocery store sales, because it takes too much time. That’s your choice. Just keep in mind that you’re likely missing out on huge savings -- and spending more money than you actually have to every time you visit the supermarket.

Shoppers who are crunched for time will be happy to know that there are several ways to take advantage of grocery store sales and special discounts with or without coupons. Here are three of them:

First, learn how to recognize the best deals. Just because an item is on sale doesn’t mean it’s a good buy. A buy-one-get-one-50% off promotion sounds great, but in reality it’s only 25% off of each item. A target for sale items should be a discount of at least 50%. A tipoff to a good deal is when there’s a limit on the number of items you’re allowed to purchase. Often that means the item is being sold at or below cost to entice shoppers into stores.

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Next, don’t limit your search to one department for finding sales on a particular item. For example, you can typically find bread in four places at the supermarket: the bakery, the bread aisle, the frozen section and the refrigerated section. If you can’t find a desired item on sale in one department, check another.

For more smart shopping tips take a look at all 10 secrets to saving on groceries. Plus, if you're a fan of coupons, check out these great coupon apps.

Andrea Browne Taylor
Contributing Editor

Browne Taylor joined Kiplinger in 2011 and was a channel editor for covering living and family finance topics. She previously worked at the Washington Post as a Web producer in the Style section and prior to that covered the Jobs, Cars and Real Estate sections. She earned a BA in journalism from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She is Director of Member Services, at the National Association of Home Builders.