Having been a store manager myself, and from talking to other store managers, I’ve learned what those experts view as the best “unkept” secrets to shop and save. When you save money on groceries, each savings may not be a significant amount, but they add up to money you could better spend elsewhere in your budget. Stores know your needs and have added on bonuses, earnings and rewards in an attempt to beat out their competition and keep you loyal. Their attempts can enable you to spend less on your groceries if you just “seek and save”.
“Unkept” secret #1 – Just ask!
I have found that lots of customers wonder about things, but so many never ask. Management has the time and knowledge to answer pretty much any questions you have from the most mundane (do you have any specials this week on fish?) to the most intriguing (can you mark down this package of meat that expires tomorrow?). If you ask, you oftentimes will receive. Do not be shy, just polite and sincere, and get to know whom to ask.
“Unkept” secret #2 – Use store websites & apps
Check the store’s website or app for special coupons, discounts, and promotions. You’ll find printable coupons not necessarily in the published circular each week as well as digital coupons that can be loaded to your card. There’s also FAQ’s such as info about stacking coupons, store versus manufacturers coupons, price matching, and store policies. You can even find out information on contests and community events.
“Unkept” secret #3 – Use your loyalty card every time
You would not believe how many shoppers fail to utilize discount/loyalty cards because it’s “too much trouble”, “a nuisance”, or an “invasion of privacy”. They’re kidding, right? Invasions of our privacy are so invasive these days that your grocery habits are probably one of the smaller concerns. But save me more and I’ll definitely use the card! You can get savings, rewards paid on purchases, special discounts, cash back, and digital coupons. And don’t use the excuse that you’re only picking up a few items so you don’t need to bother. Leaving that loyalty card at home (or even right in the car) is costing you.
“Unkept” secret #4 – Clearance
This is my favorite section in every store! Where is it located, when is it reduced, how often, what time of day, are there separate sections for produce, bakery, meat, health & beauty – find out so you can seek and save.
“Unkept” secret #5 – Get on the list
Put yourself on the store’s e-mail list. Be alerted to everything from special promotions, updates on loyalty rewards, promotional rates, and other info to help your shopping experience.
“Unkept” secret #6 – Know store policy
If they make a mistake on pricing or ringing up the sale, is the item free? Do they issue credit for using re-usable canvas shopping bags? Do they double, or even triple, coupons? Are there levels to the rewards cards for extra savings? Do they sell and discount gift cards? Knowing the policies help you save money, and don’t be afraid to speak up if they don’t follow their own rules.
Don’t be fooled by the simple nature of these so-called “unkept” secrets. They stores are practically screaming at you, “Shop here and save!”. Just seek a tiny bit…it’s going to help you save money on groceries and who knows, those pennies saved may add up to something bigger and better.
What “unkept” secrets do you use to save money on groceries?