You can cook at home for a fraction of the price of dining out. I just came from a warehouse grocery store (my favorite) where I purchased six pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts for less than 12 dollars. This will be enough for at least 12 meals.
If I were to go to a sit-down chain restaurant and order a chicken plate, it would be around 10 dollars after tax and tip, and that’s not even with a soft drink included. That’s only one meal, as opposed to 10! That makes home preparation about 10 percent of the cost of going out to eat.
Okay, so you got me: I have to prepare the chicken and clean up. Isn’t it worth the time and effort to save 90 percent? Perhaps that’s why I’ve never paid a penny in credit card interest. Only once we get our spending under control, can take care of our finances. Since food is a major expense, that’s where we start.
Now that I’ve convinced you to go to the grocery store instead of a restaurant, let’s look at the things you need to be aware of so you won’t fall into the trap of buying things you don’t need.
Eye-Level Items Are Easiest to Reach
The stores know this, so they put name-brand items at eye-level. Name-brand items are the most expensive; store brands come out of the same factories and they can sell at 50 percent of the price of the name brands. I’m an Oreo purist, so that’s where I draw the line: I do not buy fake Oreo’s.
Selected Varieties on Sale
Confusion is where they get you here. Speaking of Oreo’s, they come in many, many varieties. Double-stuff, fudge dipped, the list goes on. I’m not really sure of all of the varieties because I’m an original Oreo purist. I only buy the original ones. However, the store may put one of the varieties on sale and you might think they’re all on sale. Make sure you check before you buy.
Misleading Price Tags
You know those banners that say “5 for $5.00” and you think you have to buy five. Well, you don’t. In many cases, you can buy only one for one dollar.
The Old End-Cap Game
The end-cap is at the beginning and the end of all the aisles. The stores will have eye-catching displays for things they’re trying to get rid of. They may have overbought and these items may go stale shortly. Beware that these are usually the highest profit items for the grocery store.
The Glacial Speed At Check Out
Check out seems forever, and the store managers know it. That’s why the store will stock high-profit items such as candy bars, chewing gum and the tabloids right there for your convenience while you wait. Avoid the lure of these items. Who cares what Brad Pitt did on his trip to Monaco?
Prevention is the Best Solution
Being armed with the facts is the best prevention. Here are a couple of other tips: make sure you don’t go to the grocery store when you’re hungry; you’ll buy more sweets. Also, always go with a list, and stick to it; don’t buy anything not on your list.
Do you have any grocery store tips you’d like to share?