Consumer Reports: Super supermarket savings

April 4, 2012 6:10:07 AM PDT
It's not just Donald Trump who's screaming, "You're fired!"

A just-released survey of Consumer Reports subscribers found one in three shoppers has dumped their supermarket. The main complaint, prices. Even if you don't switch supermarkets, Consumer Reports says switching strategies can slice your grocery bill in half!

Are you a harried shopper who buys whatever catches your eye? Does your grocery bill send you into a state of shock? Consumer Reports shopped for 30 everyday items and says the type of shopper you are makes a big difference.

Consumer Reports bought 30 everyday items playing the role of three different types of shoppers. First as the "impulsive shopper" who never shops for bargains. Next as the "savvy shopper" who scours flyers and uses savings cards and coupons. Then as the "store-brand fan" who buys only store brands.

Consumer Reports found that you could save hundreds, even thousands of dollars a year if you shop smarter.

For example, orange juice. The impulsive shopper paid $1.89 a quart. The savvy shopper got it for $1.36, and the store-brand fan paid even less, $1.25.

Another example, tomato sauce. The impulsive shopper paid $7.99, while the savvy shopper and the store-brand fan each got it for $1.67!

And the savings on cream cheese. The impulsive shopper paid $3.29, while the savvy shopper spent $2.32 and the store-brand fan got it for 99 cents!

All in all, Consumer Reports cut the impulsive shopper's $241 grocery bill to $87 as a store-brand fan.

Consumer Reports says that if you want to buy national brands, you can still save money by stocking up when they are on sale.

Consumer Reports also compared prices at Costco and found that you can save almost as much at a warehouse club as by buying store brands. But bigger packages don't work for a small family. And keep in mind that bigger packages don't always mean the best value. You still need to check prices carefully.

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