Guaranteed Ways to Win at Casino Shopping

You too can find fun and fortune by avoiding grocery merchandising tricks! Here are 18 Shopping Rules that save you money!

The First Rule Is: STAY OUT OF GROCERY STORES.

Of course, you think you have to go to the store to buy food, but remember: the more times you go to the store, the more money you will spend. Organize your shopping to limit the number of trips to the store. Never go to the store for "just one thing." Buying food directly from farmers, and growing some of your own food, are 2 additional ways to avoid or limit your trips into grocery stores.

Plan. Plan. Plan. Never go to the store without a list. If you are buying groceries for a week or for a month, plan every meal including your snacks. Add up the list of ingredients and make a shopping list from that plan. Buy only those items on your list. Beware of impulse buys.

Scout the Territory. Check the advertisements for specials. Cherry pick the best deals. You may have to go to two or three stores, but oh well, think of the money you are saving as compensation for your time.

Eat Before You Shop. Never go to a grocery store hungry. Shop after a meal or a big snack.

Don't Take The Kids. Kids who watch television are programmed to say, "Mummy, buy this" during shopping. Yielding to whining is a good way to go broke. The items advertised on TV are almost always the most expensive items. As an alternative, teach your kids to ignore television advertising. All kids need to learn discipline and responsibility and this is one way to teach them these important values. Show your kids how planning meals and snacks, and then shopping smart, is part of what it takes to succeed in life.

Keep Track Of What You Buy. Using a calculator and/or pencil and paper, keep a running total of everything in your basket so you know what you've bought and how much you have left to spend.

Avoid The Name Brand Game. And its first cousin, the Coupon Game. Buy the store brands, unless a price comparison brings the big brands into competition.

You Deserve First Class Meals, So Avoid Prepared Foods. "Cook from scratch." Make your own sauces and gravies, snacks and meals from basic ingredients. You pay a premium price when you buy prepared foods that are inferior in taste and nutrition to those you can prepare yourself for your family.

Watch Out For The Snack Food Games. The lesson is: You can have two or three times the snacks at one fourth the price. Make your own snack foods. Get the kids involved! It's more fun, more better tasting, more healthy, more nutritious, more money left for other things. There is no snack -- from potato chips to sugar-coated popcorn, and on past pizza, burritos, and bean dip - - that you cannot do a more better job with yourself.

Meat-Smart Shopping. An inexpensive roast -- slow cooked in water, seasoned with onions, celery, carrots and pepper -- is every bit as tasty and as tender as the big bucks roast and the high priced steak. A better way to buy meat is to find local farmers and buy meats through them. You usually have to do a quantity purchase, so this may not be practical for everyone, but families could get together and split a whole beef or a whole hog, and get a much better quality product than the typical supermarket beef. If you have to buy supermarket meats, our advice is to eat less meat due to the many grave concerns about the production practices involved with supermarket meats. Regarding supermarket chicken, our best advice is "don't buy it under any circumstances", even though it is often really cheap. If you could follow a supermarket chicken from egg to market, you would understand why we say this.

Cheese Hints. Sliced or shredded cheese is rarely a good buy. Sliced cheese packaged in individual cellophane packages is a worst buy. The cellophane isn't for convenience, the product is so low in quality it won't hang together unless individually wrapped. For sandwiches, a cheese slicer saves you money. Remember, a lot of the products sold as "cheese" in a supermarket really aren't cheese, they are manufactured cheese-flavored foods.

Don't Shop In A Hurry. Good shopping takes time. You'll want to compare prices, check out more than one store, etc.

Watch Out For Non-Grocery Items. Do you really need to buy these products at the grocery store? Are they perhaps cheaper at a dollar store or discount center? And consider using alternatives to expensive packaged cleaning products, such as (a) bleach to clean toilets and porcelain sinks; (b) baking soda to clean the refrigerator, ammonia for floors, walls, ovens. Warning: never mix chlorine bleach or cleanser with anything other than laundry soap as it can produce dangerous fumes when combined with some other products.

BAKE YOUR OWN! Avoid the high priced bread section at supermarkets, make your own breads, pies, cakes, cookies, and other such goodies. Teach the kids to help. Tastes better, costs less! If you must buy bread, go to the local bakery outlet/bread store and purchase your bread items there.

It's OK To Save A Few Cents. Save a few cents on every item, and it adds up. Since money is scarce, you can use that "free" money for other necessary items.

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Robert Waldrop