I previously wrote about saving on groceries by meal planning. But if you aren’t basing your menu off of available sales and coupons then you are basically giving money away. By being a savvy shopper, you can minimize your grocery bill while still eating the foods you enjoy. The key to save on groceries is knowing what deals to take advantage of, and which to let pass by.
How To Save On Groceries
Cartbuster events are also known as mix-and-match sales. Several different brands will be available for sale and any combination of them can be used.
As food conglomerates have gotten larger, they have been able to create cross-brand sales that leave a substantial portion of the store on sale. Kraft is especially big on cartbuster events. Typically, these sales work by requiring a certain number of items to be purchased to get the sale price. A common cartbuster sale will require you to buy 10 items to save $5, or 50 cents each.
The downside is that you have to buy 10, or else everything is full price. Food companies use this tactic to get you to buy more, or to buy their brand over another. It pays to know your prices. If you switch brands on an item to get a 10th item, make sure that you are saving more with the sale than you are paying extra with the higher priced item.
10 for 10 Sales
You know what I call this one? I call it a sale. When people see “10 for $10,” they usually assume that they must buy 10 items, like in a cartbuster sale. But check the fine print. Usually, there is no requirement fora certain number of items to be purchased. Northeast chain Shop-Rite also calls this a Can-Can sale, because canned goods are the most common sale item for this type of sale.
These sales can have different dollar values as well. Maybe 10 for $5 or 10 for $15. 2 for $3 is another common one. While 10 for 10 sales don’t require that you buy identical items, usually they are similar, like canned vegetables, or soup.
Supermarket Sales Cycles
It’s well known by now among bargain shoppers that supermarkets work on 3 month cycle. When Hamburger Helper goes on sale, it will be on sale for a week and then back to full price for the next 12. Then it will go on sale again. So for those items, it makes sense to try to buy 3 months worth at once. Or arrange your menu “seasonally” so that you go heavy on the items that are on sale during that period and buy light on items that won’t be on sale again for a while.
There are two different strategies you can take with coupons with respect to sales cycles. On the one hand, you can save your coupons until the item goes on sale again. This will give you even bigger savings. Use this option for items that you buy in-cycle and can avoid or at least limit buying when it is not on sale.
The other strategy is to use the coupons in between sales. If you have an item that you can’t stock up on and can’t limit or skip when it runs out, using coupons in between sales will give you steady savings throughout the year.
Do you take advantage of cartbuster sales? What is your favorite way to save on groceries?