Save Money, Time, and Frustration at the Grocery Store


We all like to eat, right? But I guess that many people wouldn’t nominate going to the grocery store as one of their favorite pastimes. What should be a simple errand often turns into an exercise in frustration.

You can’t control some things, as when a customer insists on paying for a pack of cigarettes with loose change, or when the cashier announces that her register froze up and won’t let her do anything. (Believe me, that does happen!) Be proactive before you even go in the store, and you can save yourself time, frustration, and money too. Take the following into account and have a more peaceful, less stressful shopping trip.

1. If at all possible, time your trip so you aren’t shopping at lunchtime, suppertime, or the day of a nationally televised sports event. You are almost guaranteed to run into long lines at those times. The store I frequent offers a “Senior Citizens Discount Day” every Tuesday. One of the local retirement communities buses residents to the store twice every Tuesday. The people coming in from that community need their groceries bagged differently. Register lines get long; other customers complain. Try to be aware of such possibilities at any stores you shop at regularly.

2. Read the fine print on all ad circulars. A product, for example, a certain brand of coffee, may be advertised at a special price, but not all forms of that coffee may be at that price. The ad may say, “Selected varieties only”. Be aware of what the ad says!

Following these little tips can save you aggravation while you’re trying to save money: When cutting coupons, make sure you don’t cut the expiration date off. If the expiration date is cut off, the cashier cannot accept the coupon, so make sure the date is readable.

squishy-vegetable-coupon3. When using coupons, make sure you’re getting the product the coupon specifies—the correct size, form, etc. Again, read the fine print. Check the store’s Internet coupon policy before heading for the cash register. Despite what many magazines say, not all stores accept coupons printed off the Internet.

4. Bring all the patience you can muster with you. There will be days when you’ve gone in at what you thought would be a “slow time” and every register open will have lines. Having patience will help keep stress and blood pressure levels down. Remembering that the world won’t end even if the bread gets squashed helps too!

P. Booher

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