Shopping Tips

Title Tip
Go Generic Better yet, try the store brand. Generic and store brand products are cheaper than their name-brand equivalents and are usually of similar quality. But do you know why you're reluctant to try generics? The power of marketing. Most generics have unappealing packaging. If they cost less and taste the same, who cares?
Use Those Coupons Coupons can save you money, but you have to know how to use them. Clip coupons only the things you need, staple foods and ingredients, not for processed junk food. Learn to use special coupons. Once each month, one local store sends us a $10 off a $50 purchase coupon. We know it's coming, so we plan our trips around it.
Shop Alone In Why We Buy, the author notes that people tend to buy more when shopping in groups than when shopping alone. But men are especially suggestible to the entreaties of children as well as eye-catching displays. Helen complains that we always spend more on food when we shop together. She's right. If possible, shop alone.
Shop on a Full Stomach Studies show that folks who shop when they're hungry buy more. This is certainly true for me: If I go to the store for milk on a Sunday morning without eating breakfast, I'm likely to come home with donuts and orange juice and Lucky Charms, too.
Check Your Receipt Make sure your prices are scanned correctly. Make sure your coupons are scanned correctly. Sale items, especially, have a tendency to be in the computer wrong, and yet few people ever challenge the price at the register. You don't need to hold up the line: simply watch the price of each item as it's scanned. If you suspect an error, step to the side and check the receipt as the clerk begins the next order. If there's a problem, politely point it out. It's your money. Ask for it.

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