So let us begin with some basic tips:
- Never shop hungry - While it is good to stock up, being hungry may tend to influence you to buy beyond your basic needs.
- Know the layout of your store - Having a game plan is just as important as having a list. Plotting your stops in the store gives you a more direct path which, in result, creates an efficient trip which may allow some extra parousing if wanted.
- Dry Goods First - While not knowing how long you plan to shop, common sense tells you to buy your dry goods first since they do not need any type of refrigeration. This ties in to your gameplan and knowledge of layout of your store.
- Don't be shy - Ask for advice from the department employees. Good stores have knowledgeable associates in each department. They can help you make the choice that is right for you. Also, do not be afraid to ask for a specific item. If you do not like the choices available, ask if there are any other choices in the back, or if they can prepare, cut, or slice another one. This should apply to all departments.
- Check your dates - Check "sell by" and "best by" dates. If stores properly rotate their items, especially perishable ones, you may find longer dates in the back if there are different dates. Canned goods may have lot numbers but other items like eggs use either Julian dating or "use by" dates. If you do not know how to read Julian Dating, click HERE.
- Avoid defrost - Always purchase your frozen items right before you are ready to check out. A good rule of thumb is give yourself 30 minutes from placing the frozen item in your cart to placing it in your freezer at home. For those who are required to travel far, carrying a cooler is helpful. Employees should be able to supply some ice with your purchases to help hold temperature.
- Check your receipt - No one is perfect so mistakes can happen. Knowing how to read your receipt is important as well.