Ten Items or Fewer: How to Shop for Groceries

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1. Come prepared. Scope out your fridge, pantry, and cabinets before you go. I recommend writing a list, but that’s not for everybody. If your store has a preferred shopper card, make sure to bring it.

2. Don’t go to the grocery store hungry. When you’re hungry, you’ll be inclined to buy either impulse items that are loaded with fat and sugar or things that you won’t eat later.

3. Make sure you go through every aisle. Sometimes items are stocked in odd places like Maraschino cherries in the liquor aisle.

4. If you want to lose weight, stick to the perimeter of the store. Fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, and yogurt are located along the edges of the store.

5. Always compare prices by unit. For example. if one box of crackers, Box A, costs $3.oo and 10 ounces and Box B is $2.80 and 8 ounces, compare the prices per ounce. Box A is $0.30 per oz. while B is $0.35 per oz. Therefore A is actually a better buy.

6. Put one foot on the bottom bar of the cart and the other foot about 8 inches behind. Push off from your back foot and bring it up on the bar. You should roll forward pretty quickly for a couple feet. This doesn’t serve any purpose; I just find it fun.

7. You can save money by buying in bulk but don’t go crazy. When buying in bulk make sure it’s something that won’t spoil and that you will use. Buy paper towels and tissues in bulk. Mayonnaise and fish, not so much.

8. If your store has a self-checkout line, only use it if you have 12 items or fewer (yes, “fewer,” not “less”). Make sure you don’t end up in line behind the newbie who has never used the self-checkout before. As soon as you see someone doesn’t look like they know their way around a bar-code scanner, switch lanes.

9. When checking out, make sure that you’ve emptied your cart completely. It’s a good idea to look over your receipt to make sure you’ve purchased everything you intended to buy.

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