FOOD THAT CHANGES THE WAY YOU TALK!
What's Your Grocery Shopping Personality?
According to the 2010 American Pantry Study*, which surveyed more than 2,000 shoppers—a mix of women (62%) and men (38%) of different ages, regions and income levels—92% of shoppers have changed the way they buy groceries in the past two years, and 84% are looking closely to figure out ways to save.
Shoppers, it seems, have become more resourceful than ever. To that end, the survey identified the four types of grocery shoppers in today's cost-cutting world. Pick which type you are, then read on for tips from money-saving grocery bloggers so you can take full advantage of your shopping personality.
1. Super Savers… save as much as they can, any way they can.
If you're this kind of shopper, you're deliberate and devoted, priding yourself on knowing every shopping strategy out there. You pretty much live and breathe scooping up deals, shopping at a variety of stores to get the best savings and using coupons whenever you can. You derive a great deal of pride and pleasure from your success.
Maximize Your Savings
Tara Kuczykowski, founder of DealSeekingMom.com, a couponing site, suggests:
Make a plan.You love to save, but sometimes you're so taken with sales that you stockpile a load of different products. Yet you still don't have anything to make for dinner. Plan meals before you shop to make sure you have what you need.
Don't get sucked in by sale prices.They're not always as great as they seem, so carry a calculator and do some quick math to see how the sale price compares with the regular price. To get a real steal, wait until the price is at least 50% below the regular price or it's a buy-one-get- one-free—that's a true deal.
Start freezing.Buy items you can use to stock your freezer with healthy home-cooked meals. Double your favorite freezer-friendly recipes as you prepare your regular meals, and prepare one up to the final step. Pop it in the freezer and you've got dinner for a busy evening.
Have a storage system.That way you can easily see what you have on hand to determine whether you need to buy more or wait for the next sale to roll around. Put items with the earliest expiration date in the front of your pantry so they can be used first, and use bags or baskets to keep like items together. If you buy a lot of frozen foods, have a freezer inventory list so you don't forget about those bags of frozen chicken breasts buried in the back.Photo: James Baigrie/Getty Images
2. Planners… are organized and prepared.
If you're a planner, you're not into coupons or even sales because you've given up prepared foods to concentrate on from-scratch meals. For you, the time it takes to prepare meals is time well spent; time spent clipping coupons is not. You reap huge savings by planning ahead and buying in bulk—even though you're the segment of shoppers least likely to have children at home. You like to buy large package sizes, frequent warehouse clubs and freeze meals into separate portions.
Maximize Your Savings
Teri Gault, founder of TheGroceryGame.com, a site that follows sales at grocery retailers around the country, suggests:
Strategize.You may not want to chase all over town to find sales on what you need, but you can pick up a circular as you enter the store and pay attention to what's listed. If you see something that you use, buy it and buy the limit.
Think 12 weeks.Take advantage of your penchant for planning by learning the system. There are about 15 major categories in a supermarket (frozen foods, dairy products, deli products, etc.); these categories rotate going on sale every 12 weeks. Though every grocery chain operates differently, most put two or three categories on sale in a given week, each sale lasting about one to three weeks. When you see something on sale, ask yourself if you'll need it in the next 12 weeks. If so, buy it now so you won't pay full price later.
Load coupons electronically.You can still reap savings from coupons by loading them electronically (no clipping required!) to your grocery store club card. Visit CellFire.com, where you can upload coupons and use them at the checkout. Or go to your supermarket website to see if they offer the option.
Reach for the right size.When there are small, medium and large sizes, often the medium is cheaper than the large in cost per ounce or per unit. If no unit price is listed on the shelf, here's how to figure it out: Divide the dollar amount of a product by the number of ounces it is. Do this for all three and you'll be able to compare.Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
3. Sacrificers… cut back as much as they can.
If you're a Sacrificer, the economy has compelled you to change your habits the most—and you're not happy about it. Having most likely taken a big income hit in the past two years that has dropped your income, you now have to focus on true needs vs. wants. Every item you pick up has to be carefully considered.
Maximize Your Savings
Jane DeLaney, founder of e-Mealz.com, a money-saving meal planning service, suggests:
Don't deprive yourself.You like name brands, but feel like you shouldn't buy them since they're often more expensive than generics. Pick two or three name-brand products you cannot live without, and search for coupons for those items. (One excellent site: TheCouponClippers.com.) For everything else, use store brands or items on sale—whichever is cheaper. The one exception: If a name-brand product is on saleandyou can also use a coupon, the resulting price is often cheaper than the store brand.
Make one trip a week.Multiple trips to the store are budget killers, so write a detailed list (that way you'll buy only what you need, not random impulse items) and shop only once.
Pick the right store.Store loyalty can cost you! Nicer stores are more expensive across the board, so head to a store that may not pride itself on variety, customer service or shopping experience. If you're willing to shop where the prices are lowest and deal with longer lines or other annoyances, you could save between 25% and 50% on the products you need.
Pat yourself on the back.Maybe it hasn't been fun, but your willingness to make the needed sacrifices for your family is to be congratulated. Just keep going and don't give up—saving at the grocery store means extra money in your pocket for something else.Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
4. Spectators… act like it's business as usual.
You're the most loyal to national brands and have been the least impacted by the recession, so you haven't changed your shopping behavior a great deal. If you're a Spectator, you're resourceful when you want to be, using shopping tools such as coupons, rebates and sales. You're the youngest, most educated segment and have the highest income.
Maximize Your Savings
Erin Chase, founder of recipe and couponing site 5DollarDinners.com, suggests:
Get real.Every working person is one meeting with the boss away from a pay cut, increased workload or worse: a job loss. Spending less now will help you shore up for the future. Take a look at your grocery spending and try to reduce your monthly average by 20% to 25%. Take out that much cash and challenge yourself to spend only that amount at the grocery store.
Do the math.You probably throw items into your cart without even looking at how much they cost. Simply knowing the prices will help you spend less. The next time you go shopping, take note of the prices—it'll be an eye-opening experience.
Start small.Don't overwhelm yourself with lots of strategies or you'll give up. Instead, start by doing one money-saving thing. Chase's favorite: Buy and use only produce that's on sale. If it's spaghetti squash or broccoli rabe, buy it, then look for a recipe that uses it.
Skip convenience foods.Convenience foods cost as much as two to three times more than buying the ingredients and making a dish from scratch. So start cooking. Granola is a simple no-fuss homemade breakfast that's less expensive to make than to buy. Same goes for hummus and other dips.Photo: Tetra Images/Getty Images
*The American Pantry Study was conducted in June 2010 by Deloitte in conjunction with the Harrison Group.
Video: Jeanne Robertson "Don't send a man to the grocery store!"
8 Foods Youre Ordering That Seem Meatless—But Actually Aren’t
The Best Gluten-Free Treats
Why Can I Only Orgasm with My Vibrator
The fast-selling Marks Spencer dress Carol Vorderman and Jane Moore love
6 Princess Diana Denim Outfit Formulas That Look Cooler Than Ever
Kelly Rowland Just Got Really Real About What Happens to Your Vagina After Giving Birth
Aubergine Parmigiana’ with Roasted Tomato Recipe
How to give a modern room a cool, retro spin
Nicole Miller FallWinter 2015-2019 Collection – New York Fashion Week
Anti-Inflammatory Medications for Injury Relief