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Savvy Shopping Habits

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by Patti Geil, MS, RD, CDE, FADA, and Alissa Heizler, RD, CDE

We all know who they are: those savvy shoppers who cruise into the grocery store and somehow get their shopping done quickly, without doubling back for forgotten items or gasping at the checkout register because they’ve spent more than they intended. How do they do it? And more important, how can you be more like them?

Here, divulged for the first time, are four habits of savvy shoppers that can change your grocery shopping experience for life!

  • Savvy shoppers shop alone. Extra people mean extra impulse items in the shopping cart and a higher bill at the checkout counter. Grocers place sugary snacks and cereals at the eye level of children sitting in the cart to encourage impulse buys.
  • Savvy shoppers shop after eating. Everything looks good when you’re hungry. Avoid letting your stomach do the thinking by having a small snack before you shop, or delaying your shopping until after a meal.
  • Savvy shoppers shop from a list. If you shop without a list, you are more apt to make impulse buys. Picking up an extra two or three items each shopping trip can add up to $5 to $10 a week or between $250–$500 per year!
  • Savvy shoppers use unit prices. To compare the prices of different brands and package sizes, check out the unit price, which is often found on a small tag just below the item on the display shelf. The unit price tells you how much an item costs per pound, ounce, or other unit of weight or volume. Often, larger packages will cost less per unit than smaller packages of the same item.



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