A dime here, a dollar there…, and soon enough, you’ve saved enough for something you love. A yacht, maybe? Ok, that’s a bit of a stretch. Realistically, though, when you need to save money, grocery outlets are a great place to start.

At such stores, you can find discounts on everything from produce to meat, and sometimes dairy products and baked goods. More importantly, there are strategies to maximize your savings when shopping at these outlets. Alternatively, you can visit Save a Lot to own a grocery outlet if you want to get in on the action by venturing into business. Otherwise, here are ten tips to help you get the most bang for your buck:

  1. Compare Prices

Make online price comparisons before you go to the store. This way, you’ll know what items are on sale and can plan your shopping trip accordingly. You’ll also know where to get the products you need at the best prices. If you want a smarter approach to spending your hard-earned cash, comparison shopping is the ideal way to go about it.

Don’t be afraid to compare prices between different stores or brands. Just because one store typically has lower prices doesn’t mean that’s always the case. By doing your homework, you can snag good deals on your favorites.

  1. Bring Your Grocery bags

Some stores charge for plastic bags, so bring your reusable bags to save money. Besides, reusable grocery bags allow you to play a part in conserving resources, albeit a small one. Plus, plastic bags are known to pollute the environment and…you get the drift.

  1. Avoid Buying Pre-packaged Items.

Typically, pre-packaged goods cost more than if you were to buy the same unpacked product. If we factor in the materials used to pack the items, including labor, it’s easy to see why you’re likely to pay more for pre-packaged items.  

  1. Stick to a List. 

You’ve probably heard this one before, but it’s worth repeating. When you go to the grocery store without a list, you’re more likely to buy items you don’t need without much forethought. By sticking to a list, you can avoid overspending on items you’ll ultimately end up wasting or not using.

  1. Use Coupons

This one is a no-brainer. By using coupons, you can save a significant amount of money on your grocery bill. Grocery stores frequently offer coupons to their new or existing customers to increase sales and retain buyers.

Also, such outlets typically accept manufacturer’s coupons, so be sure to bring any with you when you go shopping. But, remember to check expiration dates, though, as some coupons may no longer be valid. While at it, ensure the discounted products a shop is off-loading aren’t close to their sell-by date.

  1. Buy in Bulk. 

If you can, consider buying products in bulk, which can be especially helpful if you find a good deal on an item you know you’ll use a lot of or need frequently. Buying in bulk may also help you get a lower per-unit price on items. Plus, you don’t have to make multiple trips to the store to get your favorite items.

  1. Join a Store Loyalty Program. 

If your local grocery offers a loyalty or rewards program, it can be worth signing up for it. This way, you can get coupons and discounts specific to where you’re shopping.

You may get discounts on certain items or earn points you can use to offset your future purchases. Such programs could also entitle you to free shipping, exclusive deals, and special offers on particular days (such as your birthday).

  1. Shop During Off-peak Hours. 

Shopping during off-peak hours lets you avoid crowds, implying you have a more relaxed shopping experience. Plus, you’ll save on gas if you’re driving against traffic. Besides, shopping during peak hours could lead you to make rushed decisions, including buying products without comparing or checking prices.

  1. Opt for Generic Brands

I find it amusing that some of us ask for the main brand when they’re out shopping. Interestingly, generic brands taste the same and cost less. Win-win situation! And oh, it’s an open secret that grocery shops keep more expensive items at eye level. Look down (for items on the lower shelves), and you’ll discover lower-priced alternatives to name-brand products.

  1. Shop on a Full Tummy 

It’s clear where shopping on an empty stomach leads- a cart full of unhealthy, comfort food that is always more expensive. Such expenses can easily put a dent in your wallet. You’re also more likely to spend money that you would have otherwise allocated to other items. Plus, it’s also tough to shop when hungry; our brains tend to zone out!

When shopping at a grocery outlet, adopt a smart approach that includes some (if not all) of these tips. That way, you can avoid spending more than you need to on food and other household items. And if you’re thinking of owning a grocery outlet, please check out what Save a Lot has to offer.

By Manali