Financial Challenge – Day 19

Find a grocery store that matches competitor's advertised prices

As we continue our Financial Challenges to save money, we still have a number of areas where we can accomplish painless saving – getting the things that we’d normaly purchase, but at a better price. Today we are going to focus on grocery shopping.

While many people know that gathering coupons and shopping at different stores for the best prices can save a lot of money, there is actually a simple way that you can do all your shopping at a single store and get the best prices from all around your area. The key is finding a grocery store that will honor competitor’s advertised prices.

While many stores will do this to keep customers from going to the competition, most will not openly advertise that they do. You can ask the sales clerk and if the sales clerk can’t give you an answer, you can ask the store manager. If you can find a store that will accept competitor’s advertised prices, in most cases you’ll have to bring the competitor’s weekly sales advertisement to provide proof. These will come in your Sunday and /or mid-week newspapers, sometimes in the mail and you can also check out all the weekly advertised grocery prices online. You most likely won’t be able to switch similar items (to qualify it must almost always be the exact same item), although stores will often match prices on competitor’s store brand for their store brand.

In addition to getting the best price on all the items you purchase, you will also save yourself time and gas. Since you will only have a single store to shop at, you won’t have to drive all over town to get the best prices saving the cost of gas between locations and the time of going from place to place.

save money and time grocery shopping

While this Financial Challenge can’t be done at this minute, in the time you have set aside for today you can get prepared to ask the next time you go to your local grocery store:

1. Start at the most convenient store near you and ask the store clerk or manager if the store will accept competitor’s advertised prices.

2. If they do, ask exactly what you need to provide to receive the competitor’s price when shopping. If the policy is one that is at the manager’s discretion and not the cashier’s, ask him to write a note so he or she doesn’t need to be called to the register each time you check-out.

3. If the first store won’t match competitor’s prices, move on to the next most convenient store until you find one that does.

4. Set up a system where you check all the weekly price circulars either online (and print them out) or when your newspaper comes so that you always have the circulars with you to take advantage of the savings.

5. Once you have located a store that will accept competitor’s advertised prices, you have instantly turned several trips into a single one while saving yourself a significant amount of both time and money – and still getting the exact same items you would have purchased anyway.

There are a couple of ways you can calculate the savings to place toward paying down your debt or into your simple investing plan. You can take the price difference between the grocery store where you purchase the item and the one where it is the least expensive. You can also calculate how much you save from not having to drive to several different stores and use that set amount each time you go grocery shopping. The most important thing is to make sure to place the savings toward your chosen plan rather than leaving it mixed in with your everyday spending money.

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4 Responses to Financial Challenge – Day 19

  1. Jan says:

    I am already working on this challenge. i know the only store in my area that will match almost all ad sales. I have made my list and plan to shop this weekend. since we all have to eat I see this a a challenge every single person on this list should be able to do….JAN in NC

  2. Pat says:

    I already do this and have for many years. Walmart is the only store in my area that will match prices so I do most of my shopping there but there are some things I can’t get there.

  3. flash says:

    I’ve recently started doing this by emailing the store chain’s main site, not only for competitive pricing, but whether or not they accept internet coupons, policies, etc. I’ve been very surprised, and by going straight to the source, so to speak, I get an email answer I can print out and take with me.

  4. anna says:

    I never got sale ads until we moved in December, and got a special offer on the Sunday Paper. I thought I was doing SO GOOD shopping where the deals were… until I realized that I bought things ON TOP OF the things that were on sale… well, because I needed them. The problem was that those things cost MORE than they did back when I wasn’t watching ads and simply shopping at Save-A-Lot. And I wasn’t making headway, because I made up the difference in spending more to save myself a trip to Save-A-Lot and just getting the ‘milk’ or whatever not-on-sale.

    The key to savings is to find a Save-A-Lot (or Aldis or whatever it is in your town) and do your shopping there. SUPPLEMENT the sale items. I shop once-a-month at Save-A-Lot (on one payday) and supplement with the sale items on the week inbetween.

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