Grocery store sale items are a shopper’s best friend and where you can significantly cut your grocery shopping costs. It’s important to know, however, that all sale items are not created equally although the grocery store would like you to believe so. In fact, there can be a huge difference in the amount you save depending on how a product is put on sale and it’s vital that you not be fooled into thinking that everything that has the words “sale” or “bargain” above it is really that. Here are the type of sales and bargains that grocery stores typically carry and what they represent to you:

Loss Leaders: These are the super discounted items that stores sell at below their cost in order to attract you into the store and are your number one friend when you do your weekly grocery shopping. While the store will lose a bit of money on the particular loss leader item, grocery stores know that most people won’t purchase only that one loss leader item. Once in the store, people are likely to do all their shopping there and grocery stores make up for the loss of that particular item with all the other items you purchase.

Loss leader items are typically discounted at more than 25% of the products normal price, and often much more. 50% off in the form of buy one, get one free are also common in these promotions. If you are able to combine a loss leader with a coupon, you can often save more than 75% off the original price and sometimes get the product for free.

Sale Items: These are products that most people think of when the word “sale” is talked about. Typically these items will be discounted at 10% or more of their normal retail price. When sale items are combined with coupons, discounts in the 50% off area can usually be achieved.

Phantom Sale Items: These are items that the store marks as a sale item, but there is no to little savings in reality. In these cases, the store hopes that you look only at the advertising and not the real price of the product. These can often be found in end of isle displays mixed among true sale items making it even more confusing for you as a shopper. Having a grocery price book will go a long way in helping you avoid getting taken by the phantom sales.

The important thing to remember when grocery shopping is to focus on the price of the product and not all the fancy advertising and slogans promoting the product. Take the time to check the other brands and see if there is a better deal. Also, remember that if you weren’t planning to buy the item and you don’t really need it, then it really isn’t a bargain for you no matter what the price. Only consider purchasing those items that you regularly use and you have a need for.

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