Cutting costs when you grocery shop

Tips from New York City Department of Consumer Affairs
April 4, 2008 3:28:26 PM PDT
With the economy slowing down and thousands of jobs being eliminated, more people are doing what they can to cut costs.And there are some simple things you can do when going to the grocery store that can help save you money.

Eyewitness News reporter Carolina Leid has more.

Your intention is to run in and out of the grocery store with just a gallon milk. And then, all of a sudden, it's $200 later and you have a cart full of groceries you probably didn't even need.

So, we pulled the "Top 5 Supermarket Saving Tips" from the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, and fellow shoppers chimed in.

What do you do to save money on groceries?

Ashley Valla is a coupon believer.

Number one -- think coupons.

Store coupons and manufacturer coupons can save you a lot of money. You'll find them in newspapers, in store aisles and online.

But don't clip coupons you really don't need.

"Especially if you look up recipes online," Valla asid. "You don't buy extra stuff that you usually would. Because I know I get distracted by shiny boxes and stuff. If you look up the recipes first, you get the right amount of food and buy the right stuff."

Which leads us to number two -- Make sure you're armed with a shopping list.

You'll be less likely to make impulse buys and more likely to stick to what you need.

"Compare the prices and compare also the shops," Simone Mairitsch recommends. "Everyone has special offers. So, if I need tuna, I go there where tuna is less priced."

That's close to number three -- Compare store brand or private-label products.

Often times the store brands live up to the quality, ingredients and taste of their name brand counterparts.

But always compare. A coupon may make the name brand product cheaper. So look closely.

"Normally, what I do is I go to a bigger grocery store," Amin Hossain said. "If you know Costco, they have very good products cheaper than the supermarket."

Number four -- Store cards.

Hossain has one and says that shopping in bulk can save you a lot of money, but you have to shop like him. He says he only buys what his family needs.

It's easy to forget that the most expensive food you buy is the food you don't actually eat.

So, number five -- try to avoid throwing away food, because you're throwing away money.

Click here for more of New York City Department of Consumer Affairs' tips on how to cut costs when you grocery shop.