6 Jaw-Dropping Tips to Help You Save Money at the Grocery Store

by Rachael Ray Show Staff 9:00 AM, December 4, 2014


Aired December 4, 2014

Could supermarkets be tricking you into spending more money than necessary?

From Food Network's Melissa d'Arabian is uncovering eye-opening secrets that could save you a ton of money on your next trip to the store. Get her go-to tips, below.

1.) Always Choose the Smallest Cart

Studies have shown that all grocery stores need to do to get you to spend more money is give you a bigger cart.

Instead of falling into that trap, d'Arabian says to "always pick the smallest cart that is available to you."

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"If you can't pick the smallest cart size, you can take the cart and fill it up with some inexpensive staples on your list," she continues. "Then, visually, you have left space for extras."

2.) Chew Gum

While the baked goods aisle at the front of the store may look tempting, it could wind up draining your wallet before you get to the items you actually need to buy.

So, how you can you avoid the allure of those sweet, delicious cookies? D'Arabian says the solution lies in a simple piece of gum.

"Before you shop, pop in a little piece of mint gum," she says. "That will cut down the bakery effect. It'll get you spending less money in the grocery store overall."

3.) Cheap Isn't Always Cheap

Just because an item is cheap, does not necessarily mean that it has the best value.

Take canned beans, for example. D'Arabian says that buying a bag of dried beans instead will make five cans' worth, thus saving you a lot of money.

"Do not look at the ticketed price on the item," Rachael Ray adds. "Look at the unit price. The unit of measure price is the only true gage of which is the best value."

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D'Arabian agreed.

It's a myth that the larger packages are always cheaper."

4.) Use Math When Shopping in the Produce Aisle

D'Arabian says the solution to shopping in the produce aisle lies in a little bit of simple math.

"Lots of produce is offered to you either loose or packaged," she says. "For mushrooms, for instance, they're usually in an 8-oz package. Take the cost of a package and multiple by two and that is the price per-pound. Compare that to the loose per-pound price."

5.) "Organic" Doesn't Always Mean "More Expensive"

D'Arabian says believing that organic is always more expensive and unaffordable is a myth.

"The producers of organic and regular produce aren't necessarily on the same cycle," she says. "What that means is, if organic carrots are on sale, they may well be cheaper than their regular counterparts."

To save money, D'Arabian says to go to the organic produce section first. "Look for the sales, load up there, then backfill with the other produce."

6.) Keep Active in the Check-Out Aisle

Any shopper will tell you that the check-out aisle is one of the most tempting -- and profitable -- sections of the grocery store.

But instead of adding last-minute items to your cart, d'Arabian says to focus on what you already have.

"While you're at the conveyor belt, unload your groceries and organize them by category," she says.

That way, you won't get distracted by the items in the check-out aisle. Plus, it'll make putting your groceries away that much easier.