Supermarket Superstars: How to Shop Smarter

Published On July 31, 2011

The supermarket. It’s one place that just about all of us will need to visit on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. In this article, we’ll look at ways to shop smarter, from sticking to a shopping list to using green bags .

Make a list!

Stick to it and don’t be impulsive. The aisles of a supermarket present a cornucopia of inexpensive goodies which, once your trolley is full, become very expensive indeed. Think about what you use and what you don’t; this might take a few weeks or even months to figure out, but if you stick to what you know is going to be useful you won’t end up with pantries, fridges and cabinets full of unused groceries well past their use-by date. In the end, though, it’s all about saving money in the long run.

Buy no-name brands

Another great way to save money in the supermarket is to ignore the flashy packaging and appeal of big-name brands and focus most of your purchases on the cheaper no-name or home brands. Occasionally, you may have a brand which you really enjoy, so it’s okay to buy brand names every now and then. However, if you’re not sure which to choose, it’s best to go with the no-name brands to save money. Look for specials, too — every grocery usually has a special among its range of options which can save you dollars at the checkout.

Use reusable bags

Plastic bags are slowly being phased out of supermarkets around the world; South Australia, for example, has banned plastic bags in supermarkets completely. The reason for this is important — plastic is bad for the environment. It’s not biodegradable, so it doesn’t completely break down when it’s disposed of, and is subsequently ingested by wildlife who suffer poisoning as a result. Purchase some reusable green bags or hold onto the promotional bags you get at business events and use these to carry your groceries on shopping day.

Clip those coupons

Pay close attention to any newspapers, magazines, mailouts and brochures you read, as often these will contain coupons which you can use for discounts at the supermarket. You can also find these on general coupons websites (a short search for ‘shopping coupons’ should yield an abundance of results!) and also the dedicated websites of various supermarkets. Have a look at the receipts you get at the end of every shop as well, as these often contain offers on the back which can be used next time you head to the supermarket.

Be thoughtful!

Remember, supermarkets are busy places filled with people who lead busy lives. Use a bit of common sense and supermarket etiquette. Be aware of the people around you in narrow aisles and make sure you keep your trolley out of the way so they can get through. When it’s time to hit the checkouts, pay attention to the ’12 Items or Less’ express rule — don’t be that person who heads to the express checkouts with 19 items. When placing your items on the checkout, separate warm and cold products, as well as bathroom and kitchen products, pet food etc. The service assistant will be under instruction to separate these, and doing some of the work for them will save everyone a lot of time and get that line moving quicker.