There are two kinds of shoppers in today’s world:
There are the shoppers who will just casually go to any supermarket, buying whatever they want to eat for the day or week. These shoppers don’t look closely at the price; they usually get what seems to be the best brand with the most advertisements.
Then there are more meticulous shoppers, who spend a few times a week preparing, gathering, and organizing ways of saving the most money they can on their grocery bill. They’re usually members of their preferred store, or set of stores. They’ll look at the stores’ fliers, have an array of coupons with them and only buy things that are on sale. This motivates them to buy and eat things they might not normally buy and eat for themselves or their families.
57-year-old Den V is the second kind of shopper.
“Don’t just go to a store. I want this steak, and this fish,” said V, who is from Ronkonkoma, New York.
Over the years V has created a formula to help him save the most money possible while shopping each week. When he goes to a supermarket during the week – such as Shoprite – he organizes his coupons based on the layout of the store. He goes from aisle to aisle looking for items on shelves that are on sale (mainly store brand), coupons that haven’t expired, and for the store’s limit on coupons. Most supermarkets on Long Island allow shoppers up to four items of the same brand. If he has a coupon for an item in the store that he doesn’t buy, he leaves the coupon for the next customer. His goal at the end of the day is to always save at least the same amount that he pays.
Here are some tips that V has for those of us trying to save some money while shopping:
#1 Sign Up
V’s first tip is to sign up and become a member of multiple supermarkets, such as Shoprite, Stop & Shop, Pathmark, etc. This way you can buy things on sale, receive emails about store sales, and store coupons.
#2 Obtain Coupons
You can print out manufacturer coupons from websites such as Coupons.com and Couponmom.com. If you’re subscribed to a newspaper, coupons come every Sunday, from places such as Smart Source, Redplum.com, etc. If you’re not subscribed, you can search through your friends’ or neighbors’ recycled paper.
As with any endeavor, preparation is important. V explained that you should find out all of the stores’ policies on coupons, and that you should get a store map. With a map you can organize coupons based on the locations of the items in the store.
“Cut out the ones you always use,” V said.
You should try to go once a week, preferably on a weekday, V said, since the weekends are always crowded. And when you go, you should plan on visiting a few supermarkets in a day to save time and gas.
#4 Stock Up
When going shopping, always stock up on non-perishable foods that are on sale up to the store’s limit, such as four of each variety in Shoprite.
#5 Phones App (Optional)
If you have a smart phone you can now get an application that gives you the sale items and discounts by scanning the barcodes in the stores. One such App is called Grocery Pal.
Customers who shop like V won’t have to see large bills at the end of the month.
“A person who buys the same food a week won’t save money,” V explained.