Thursday, August 9, 2012

Myth: It takes too much time (and gas) to go from store to store to find the best food buys.


Many of us are changing how we shop for groceries and how we find bargains. Last year, Americans bought only 51% of groceries at traditional supermarkets, down from 66% just 11 years earlier, according to the Wall Street Journal. Big box stores like Target and Walmart (the nation's largest grocer) have become sources of groceries and fresh foods. Club stores like Sam's Club and Costco are also in the mix to find food bargains. Farmers markets are booming, too. How can we find the best bargains?

Consider using the Internet to find the lowest cost for the foods you need after you have planned your week’s menu of meals.

►Big box stores and club stores have online information that provide pricing and availability information. Search online to find food bargains.

Using mobile phone to track prices and budget
►Try free mobile coupon apps and see which ones work best for you. Not all apps provide coupons for stores in your area. Use mobile coupon apps to find the best deal at the nearest store to save gas.

►Try free mobile apps that allow you to track your shopping, make shopping lists, etc.

►Try free mobile apps that are bar code scanners so that you can find local best buys. (some scanners come with the mobile apps described above).

Don't forget that there is a downside to hunting for coupons and bargains, which includes buying things that you don't really need or want just because they are on sale. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” Avoid impulse buying. Not all coupons or sales are a plus if you wind up buying additional foods you don’t need.

Visit to find additional information on saving money at the grocery store.

Contributor: Ellen Schuster, M.S., R.D., Associate State Specialist, University of Missouri Extension,, 573-882-1933

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