Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Generic Story

Notice how some brands like Kelloggs have been getting cheaper? Since the recession people have started eating more and more store brand items because they are cheaper and usually pretty much the same product. Since living on my own I have started buying some generic products, I almost felt rebellious at first because I grew up in a household where all we had were national brand products and my dad was convinced that store brand products were not worth buying. I think most of the time store brands put out a comparable product especially when buying the basics-oats, sugar, milk-hard to mess those up. I have noticed that sometimes its best to trust national brands-fiber one bars and dressings I can personally attest for.

Now I may be telling you stuff you already know but I have some recession proof ideas to save you money at the grocery store.

1. Look through the store ads. I don't get them in the mail so I always make sure to look through the two grocery stores weekly ads online to check if they have sales on the things I need.

2. Don't be afraid of coupons. Think of a $1 off coupon as a $1 in your pocket. If you get the Sunday paper theres a big packet in there, look on a national brands website they will have some especially if theres a new product. Look through the store! look at the coupon dispensers attached to the shelves and sometimes there will be coupons taped on the products, rip them off and put them near your credit card so you dont forget them at checkout!

3. Look at the unit price! Items will have a price per ounce next to the item price. This is the easiest way to see if that HUGE can of salsa is really worth taking up half your fridge for the next two weeks.

4. 10 for $10 does not mean you have to buy ten. I always thought this was common knowledge until I started grocery shopping with my roomates. So before you buy ten cans of chickpeas when you only wanted two know that you can buy as little as one or as many as 10 (or whatever the stores limit is). Buy one, get one - you do have to buy two items though.

5. Not satisfied with a product? Call the comment/ questions line. One time I bought a box of fiber one bars and one was open and hard as a rock! I called up and got a free box and a $1 off for my next purchase of them! One of the guys I used to work with called Frito-Lay just to say he liked the product and they sent him a coupon for a free bag of chips. These companies want to hear customer feedback and its a lot cheaper to send a person a coupon than to create survey and send it out. So hate a product? call! Love a product? call!

6. Write down all the food in your house. Do you really to go grocery shopping? Chances are no. This is the hardest one to follow for me since the grocery store=adult disney world. When I write down everything I have in the fridge it is a lot easier for me to think of recipe ideas and makes getting rid of forgotten food more exciting!

7. Check your receipts. I can't tell you how many times I've been doubled charged for an item because the cashier was scanning my things in a zombie-like state. It can be a pain to get the money back but depending on the item it could be worth it.

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