Is Your Grocery Store Loyalty Costing You Money?
If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with several nearby grocery stores there’s a good chance that one of them is your absolute favorite. Maybe you enjoy the friendly staff there, you think they have a nice layout and attractice displays, or perhaps they’re just a little bit closer to your home than the others. While these are great reasons to give them your loyalty, that same loyalty could mean you’re spending more than you have to.
Before continuing to pledge allegience to just one grocer, consider these three questions to help determine if a money-saving change could be in order:
Do they have the best prices?
Shopping experience is important at grocery stores but saving money requires great prices. As we all know even a few cents saved on items you buy regularly can really add up over the course of a year. Because of this you might want to consider what it is that you’re paying for when you visit your local market. Is it convinence? Service? A nice decor?
The truth is you might be paying a heavy premium in inflated prices for amenities you don’t even really need. Furthermore, if it’s been a while since you’ve visited other markets, you might not even be aware of how much extra you’re paying. Perhaps the best thing to do is at least mix things up by visiting some other grocers in your area and comparing prices.
How much time and/or gas would it take to visit multiple stores?
One of things you might notice as you do start to widen your grocery search is that one item might be cheaper at Store A while another is lower at Store B. If these are items you buy often, be sure to note these discrepancies. Then consider whether or not it might make sense for you to split your grocery list among multiple stores. In addition to the everyday savings you might find on select items, this technique is especially useful when comparing special sales.
There is always the chance that the amount of extra time this would take you and the added distance you might have to travel could render this plan a no-go. However it is at least worth thinking about and then weighing your options.
Does the store offer mobile coupons?
Regular, clipable coupons can be great for saving on items you buy frequently or maybe even trying out some new ones. But did you know that many stores now allow you to download coupons online and redeem them using your smartphone or linked store loyalty card? Be sure to Google your local grocer or check your phone’s app store to see if you could take advantage of such savings. If not it could be worth looking into another nearby store that does offer mobile coupons, allowing you to save even more.
For many of us grocery shopping makes up a pretty big part of our annual budget. As a result there’s always motivation to ensure that you’re getting the best prices possible. Unfortunately shopping at only one store can sometimes mean that you’re unnecessarily spending more than you should. There may not be any need to abandon your grocery store loyalty just yet, but keeping an open mind, doing your research, and considering your options can go a long way to helping stretch your food budget and save you money.