Working at the customer service desk at a grocery store gives me plenty of opportunity to watch people as they shop and I have seen it all, from the lady with the stack of coupons to the family that just throws stuff in their cart like the world is coming to an end.
It got me to thinking today, how do you all shop?
As for me, I have to start with a meal plan, see what I have/don't have for that plan, make out my list, get it and my coupons clipped onto my clipboard, grab my calculator, grocery bins and re-usable bags and head out.
I find that we, as a family, save money when I shop this way. Not only do I stay within my food budget but it seems we get more food for our buck when I am not tempted to throw a few of this and a little of that. The gas station that I fill the car up at offers you a rebate in the form of a coupon to the store each time you get gas and I make sure to use those when I get my groceries. Another perk, for me, is the fact that I now have a discount card for the store which gives me 10% off the total of most anything in the store. For things like electronics or clothing it simply covers the taxes but, when I buy food, I am basically getting 10% taken off the cost of the food (which is very, very nice).
I have only just got this card as I have just, at the beginning of this month, been there 6 months and I decided that the money I save through the card, coupons or those special gas "coupons" was not just going to be saved and forgotten. I decided to keep track of that money saved and put that amount into a savings account for us.
I don't have a lot in that account since it just crossed my mind to do that once I got the card 2 weeks ago but, I have all ready saved $14.57.
One other thing I have learned from working at Customer Service is ALWAYS check your receipt!!! ALWAYS!!! People make mistakes. Computers err. Prices can be wrong. Check the prices and check your receipt. I don't know if the same holds true for the USA but here in Canada we have a scanning code policy. If the price on the shelf is lower and not what you paid, you (a) get the item for free, if under $10 or (b) get $10 taken off the price of the item.
I think most places have to give it to you automatically BUT, when you take your issue to Customer Service or talk to the cashier do not allow them to just adjust the price accordingly AND, if they don't mention the scanning code to you, YOU MENTION IT TO THEM. Mistakes happen more than you think. It pays to pay attention to your receipts and to the shelf prices.
So, how do you shop? What are your best tricks or tips for saving time and/or money?