Episode 120 How to Shop Grocery Sale Ads
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There are three kinds of people when it comes to shopping grocery sales.
- Doesn’t pay attention to the sales. If something is on sale it is just a bonus.
- Shops several stores each week and aims to get the lowest price on everything they purchase.
- Somewhere in the middle. Pays attention to the sales, but does not worry if they don’t get the best price on every item.
I am the third type of sale shopper. Growing up my mother was much closer to the second type of shopper. I learned a lot about maximizing grocery sales from her.
You want to create your own personal grocery sales strategy. You want to consider your season of life and your budget. There are times in my life where the final prices were most important and times when I couldn’t shop at several stores each week and convenience was more important.
Start by getting to know the stores you frequent. I follow the sales of three stores. Get to know their sales cycles and the everyday prices of the items you frequently purchase. Episode 115 talks about base ingredients.
- Stores like Walmart and ALDI have an everyday low-price strategy
- Stores like Sprouts have great sale prices but many of their other items are more expensive.
- Stores like Kroger are middle of the road. They will not have the most or least expensive items.
- One store’s “sale” price may be more expensive than another store’s every day price.
The easiest way to simply sale shopping is to focus on the price of meat and produce. Because I buy most of my staples during deep dive quarterly shopping (episode 99) I am mostly purchasing meat and produce weekly.
Meat and produce are often “loss leaders” in grocery ads. This means the store sells the item at or below cost to get you in the store and purchase other more profitable items.
To maximize your savings, you need to be flexible in your meal planning.
- Plan your meals around the protein and produce that is on sale.
- Buy in-season produce for the highest quality and best price.
Some items only come on sale once or twice a year. You may want to stock up.
At Thanksgiving time, you will see these items on sale:
- Turkey Breast
- Stuffing Mix
At back-to-school time you will see these items on sale:
- Granola Bars
- Dry Cereal
A few red flags to watch for:
You cannot “spend yourself rich.” If you don’t need or use the item don’t buy it just because it is a great deal.
Watch out for buy 5 get $5.00 off or buy 10 get $10 off deals.
- If you don’t need 5 of the item it is not a deal.
- Sometimes you can mix and match items. Look for non-food items to fill out the number requirement like dish soap.
Watch out for buy one, get one free sales.
- Sometimes the items will ring at 50% off. You only need to buy one.
- Sometimes the “free” item is a lesser value.
- Read the fine print to maximize savings.
In the end, shopping sales can be very personal. For some people it is worth the time and effort to go to several stores to get the best price. For others, it is more important to focus on a few key items and plan your meals around sale meat and produce.
Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.
For a full transcript click here.