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Six Money-Saving Tips for the Grocery Store

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I used to work at a grocery store, so here are some insider tips on getting more bang for your buck the next time you shop.

1.) Go shopping in the morning or early afternoon on the weekdays. Most managers of departments within a grocery store work during that time. Often, they are the only ones that can give authorization to reduce close-dated items. They also go through their items and mark things down. By the evening, most of the marked-down items are gone so try to go early.

2.) If you see something close to being outdated, ask for a deal. Some outdated products do go back to the distributor. But, some items just get thrown out (depends on the brand). If you find something in the store that is close to being outdated, ask about getting a reduced price. The worst they could say is no.

3.) If you like deli meats, ask the deli manager if you could purchase the ends. If you are unfamliar with the term “ends,” it refers to the very ends of the meat that cannot be sliced any further. Some deli’s use the basic turkey and ham ends for salads, but the other flavors sometimes just get thrown out. Ask the deli manager if they would be willing to sell the ends to you. The ends are great for cubing for salads or casseroles.

4.) If you are looking to spend less while shopping, look at the bottom shelves. There have been studies done that show that consumers are more likely to purchase items that are at eye level. Stores are likely to put more expensive product at eye level while the cheaper products are closer to the floor.

5.) If you need cases of a product, ask for a discount. Let’s say you need two cases of tomato sauce for a family reunion. You don’t have a nearby bulk food store to go to. Ask your neighborhood grocery store if they will give you a discount for buying so much. Even if it is 10%, it’s still saving you money.

6.) Get to know the workers on a first name basis. As a former worker, I can tell you that I was more likely to go out of my way to try to help someone that was nice to me. If a loyal customer asked for something and we didn’t have it at the moment (e.g. day-old donuts) I would tell them that I would set one aside for them the next day.

Post included in the 21st Festival of Frugality at Wandering Indian Monk.
Tags: grocery+shopping, frugal

Should I Save Up an Emergency Fund?

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I have been reading over and over about the benefits of saving up an emergency fund. And, a well-known author I’ve just recently looked into suggests saving up $1,000 even before you start agressively paying down debt.

I had $1,000 extra that I used to pay down credit card #2. Now I read that I should have kept it for an emergency fund?

I do not have an emergency fund and have never had one. I am living paycheck to paycheck (although there is a little more leeway now) and any emergencies that have arisen have been financed by my credit cards. When our fridge needed to be replaced, it went on the credit card. When we needed a new door, it went on the credit card. Sure, the debt was increasing, but there was no leeway back then to even think of having an emergency fund.

I just think it is more logical (for me) to forgo the emergency fund and pay down the credit cards. An emergency is just that – an emergency. You never know when, or if, it can happen. Why should I let $1,000 sit on my credit card at 16.9% interest when I have $1,000 sitting around doing nothing except waiting for an emergency?

One day, I will have an emergency fund, but I just cannot justify in my mind why I should have one at this point in my life. My financial situation just doesn’t warrant it, and I think what it boils down to is that we all have to do what is right for our financial situation. Just because everyone is doing it or there is a high-profile person promoting it – doesn’t mean that it is right for you.

Technorati Tags: emergency+fund, credit+card