Money Wise--Shopping with Sense - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/24/03

Money Wise--Shopping with Sense

It's very easy to go over your budget at the grocery store. You get in line to pay for your groceries, and then you see that total. Well, there are a lot of things you can to do avoid those painful prices. It's a weekly routine: handing over money in exchange for groceries. How much are people spending on a weekly basis? We asked shoppers at a Publix in Savannah.

"Around 150 to 200 dollars," shopper Anne Mueller said.

"I spend maybe 100," said Lata Patel.

"We could spend easily $200," shopper Louise Martin told us.

That's proof it's not cheap to grocery shop, but if you're armed with a little info in the aisles, shopper Claire Barsic says, you're sure to save.

"I don't know how they make any money off me, cause I'm always looking for bargains," she told us. She's got shopping down to a science.

"I see what's on sale and then I get out my coupons and I save tons of money that way," Barsic said. "In fact,  that's the only way I like to shop."

For example, one coupon is for 40 cents off for a bag of candy. And since most stores double coupons, she's going to get the item for almost half price. When she does this with items on sale, the savings are even better. Something else Barsic does is not buying according to size.

"Sometimes you think you're buying a bigger quantity of something and you think you're getting a better deal, but that's not always the case," Barsic said.

There's a big jar of jelly for $2.99 and a smaller jar for $1.45. If you think the bigger jar is the better deal, look more closely. The unit price, in much smaller print, reveals the bigger jar is 6.23 cents per ounce, but the smaller jar is 4.53 cents per ounce, making the smaller jar a bigger bargain.

Another way to save is to stay away from convenience items. We found a 20-ounce bag of pre-cut carrots for $1.79. But if you buy regular carrots and slice them yourself , you get double the amount for 30 cents less.

And one of the most obvious ways to save is to buy store brand products. The packaging may not be as pretty, but spending less is almost always more appealing, especially when it comes your budget.

"Why would you get one thing when you could by two for the same price? It's just funner that way," Claire Barsic  said.

Other ways to keep from spending so much: make a list before you go, so you're not buying random items. Eat before you go. If you're hungry, everything will look much more appetizing, which could cause you to buy more.

If you have money questions you'd like answered in Money Wise, email moneywise@wtoc.com.

Reported by: Dmitra Denmark, ddenmark@wtoc.com

Powered by Frankly