How to Choose the Best Places to Shop for Groceries

It can be daunting; there are wholesalers, cash and carry, hypermarkets, superstores, outdoor and indoor markets, convenience stores, discount superstores and online stores. Expect to see the best-known brands in most of these, but between these smart displays of household names there are brands you may never have heard of and they are just as good. The more you look, the more you will find and the more options, the greater the chance to save money.

How to Choose the Best Places to Shop for Groceries How to Choose the Best Places to Shop for Groceries

Superstores

For most people, the superstore is the major place for the monthly and weekly shops. There is a bewildering range of products available. There are luxury brands, regular day-to-day brands, and discount brands, like the store’s own label products. Many of them are now offering ‘real value’ brands. Some of them can easily compete with the wholesalers and with the discounters’ prices, but shop selectively and do not get sucked in. Use the choice they offer to your advantage:

  • Top brand names: Buy brands if you have coupons or they are on special offer.
  • Other brands: Buy lesser-known brands if they offer better value.
  • Own brand: Buy unbranded or the supermarket’s own brands if they are staples.
  • ‘Basic’ lines: Do buy ‘real value’ brands as they can save you a lot – but do not buy them in bulk until you have tried them and checked out their quality.

Wholesalers

Some wholesalers do not welcome consumers. But most of them are not foolish enough to turn away a sale. You may need to buy a case of canned tomatoes or a dozen bottles of olive oil. If you are going to be using them anyway and the price is right why not buy them in bulk? Getting them home is an issue but consider that you may not have to buy any more for a year. A great way to shop and save at wholesalers is to buy a case and split it with friends or family. That way, the savings are shared and they can make the bulk purchase next time to share with you.

Discount Stores

Discount stores are full of products that you have either never heard of or are well-known brands that are overstocked. They want you to buy in bulk. They reward you for buying in bulk. The choices might not be as great as a regular store, but that is not the point. This is where to buy your staples once a month. It is also a great way to practically downshift. If you have been buying branded goods, why not downshift to a cheaper brand? We look at practical downshifting when we see how to get the best prices.

Markets

Indoor and outdoor fresh-produce markets offer an exciting but enticingly different way of shopping. Most neighbourhoods have markets, either weekday ones or at the weekend. One of the best times to hit these markets is towards the end of trading. The stallholders will not be looking forward to boxing up their displays and carrying them to their trucks and vans. They may be happy to do a deal. This is a discount paradise and a great way to buy your healthy fresh fruit and vegetables. Market stalls will also have discounted brand names and other brands you may never have heard of with canned, bottled or other items with long ‘use by’ dates. These are overstocks too, and can often be real bargains.

Convenience Stores

Your local convenience store cannot possibly compete with the discounters, either on price or on range available. But this does not mean that they will not have bargains. Do not use convenience stores for your regular weekly shops, but be prepared to step inside and see if they have special offers and promotions that even the big stores cannot match. Do not forget the other major advantage – they are not called convenience stores for nothing; getting to them may not cost you anything, so the odd penny or cent here and there may not matter.


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