In part one of this series I wrote about knowing what you have in your pantry, fridge and freezer. Today for part two I am going to focus on using flyers to reduce your grocery bill. I know that sometimes that mess of papers can be a pain in the butt but buying what is on sale can really impact your budget.
The first thing to understand about flyers is that the front and back pages are often known as ‘loss leaders’. Stores put their very best deals on those pages in order to draw customers in. Sometimes, the items on those pages are actually being sold at prices that cause the stores to lose money. Hence, the name ‘loss leader’. If you only have a few minutes be sure to check out these pages for the stores best deals of the week.
As you go through the flyers you want to note which day the ads are for. Most stores start their sales on Fridays however, there are some that run Wednesdays through Thursday while others are Saturdays through Fridays. Next, you want to keep track of what is on sale. There are multiple ways to do this. Either note mentally what is on sale at which store or if you don’t have a great memory write it down. You can do this in a note on your phone, on a grocery or meal planning app or on good old-fashioned paper. I am a paper person so I stock up on notebooks each September when they are dirt cheap and use them to keep track. I note items that are a good price, ones I have coupons for and items that we are running low on or planning to buy soon.
The stars are just reminders to myself of what are the best deals or what must go on our grocery list for that week.
Stores use sale cycles for their items so once you start keeping track of what is on sale you will notice trends. Many items are based on 12-week cycles but other ones can be as long as 3 months or even 6 months. Knowing this can help you to determine how many of an item you will need to buy to have enough until the next time it is on sale. (More about this to follow in the future)
If you are not interested in going through paper flyers most stores post their flyers on their websites. Or you can use apps such a Flipp.
So this information is great but driving from store to store to get the best price is not only time-consuming but costly too. That’s where part two of using flyers comes into play; price matching.
Price matching is where the store you are shopping at will match the price of a competitor. Policies vary by store; some have restrictions on which stores they will price match while others have policies on the number of items you can price match. Some, even limit price matching to certain days! You will also want to know if you need to bring the flyer with you or if they will accept having a look at it on your phone instead. Have a look at the store’s website for this information and clarify with the store if need be.
If you start using flyers and price matching you will definitely see a reduction in your grocery bill.
Tell me the truth, do you go through the flyers before grocery shopping?