Simple Savings: at the grocery store

(Columbia) Aug. 13, 2003 - The average consumer spends almost $100 a week at the grocery store, but savvy shoppers can save a lot of money. Leslie Ware recently tested Consumer Reports' shopping wisdom with Audrey Farolino, "Audrey and I went to the supermarket together, and we bought the same kinds of items in the same quantity, but I shopped without a care for price, and Audrey used all her shopping smarts."

Audrey says they started in the vegetable aisle, "In the produce section I was really surprised to find how much convenience can cost you." Audrey bought two bunches of broccoli and a bag of carrots. Leslie went for bags of precut vegetables. Audrey's savings: more than $13.

Another way Audrey saved was by choosing off-brand cookies and store-brand peanut butter versus national brands. She saved almost $6.

Other money savers: be aware that the products at eye level are often pricier. Don't assume displays at the ends of the aisle are all bargains; the products may not even be on sale.

And, Audrey says, don't be tempted to grab one last thing at the checkout, "You fell into one of the classic traps. You, at the checkout counter, you couldn't resist these little small bags of Doritos. Whereas I got as much as you got, in fact actually a little more, I think, and paid less than half the price."

When their shopping spree was done, Audrey and Leslie compared bills. Leslie spent nearly $135 , but Audrey spent just under $56, a smart shopper savings of $79.

Avoiding organic products is also not necessarily another sure way to save. When comparing prices Audrey and Leslie found some organic items were available at the same price as non-organic products.

by Judi Gatson

posted 6:00pm by Chris Rees

All Consumer Reports Material Copyright @ 2003 Consumers Union of U. S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED