The Forgotten Money Saving Tip

30 May

After my trip to Giant yesterday and finding yet another mistake on my receipt, I thought I’d share this simple tip to saving money at the grocery store. I just started doing this within the last year when we moved to The Hill and I started shopping at a new store. Who knows how many times I gave my money away to my grocery store without even knowing it.

Here it goes…

Check your receipt! OK, it’s not quite that simple, it’s more like know your prices and check your receipt.

In the time that I’ve been checking my receipt I’ve found a mistake almost every single trip for almost a year. Sometimes the mistake is as little as a few dollars (but we all know every dollar counts), but there have been a couple times that it’s been as high as $25. Over the course of a year, that’s a huge amount of money. I’ve seen everything from the register ringing an item at the wrong price, to a cashier ringing the wrong number of items to the cashier not taking off ANY of my coupons…GASP!

So how do I try to minimize my ┬áloss at the grocery store? I make a list and try not stray from the list. I’ll sit down with my coupon folder and the sale circular and make my list based on what is on sale taking special note of the prices. When I’m in the store shopping I look at each tag and make a mental note of the price before I put the item in the cart. If you have a big list or don’t think you’ll remember you can write prices down or enter them in your app if you use one of those wonderful grocery apps on your smart phone. I used to sit in my car and check my receipt before I left the parking lot, but now I don’t even leave the store. I’ve been finding so many mistakes that I now walk to the door and pull to the side to check my receipt. It’s easier when I have to walk to the costumer service counter for my refund. My store starts sales on Sunday, which also happens to be my weekly shopping day. Sometimes, like yesterday, if I’m too early they’re still changing tags and things might not look like they’re on sale or things might have a sale tag that are no longer on sale. To help ease my confusion, I grab a sale circular on my way in the door and use it as I do my shopping. I still have my list, but I use the circular as an aid incase something isn’t tagged yet and I want to make sure it’s on sale. If you use coupons, which you should be, know what coupons you have. I’ve seen more than once a lazy cashier who can’t get a coupon to go though so they just skip it without a word. If you have a BOGO coupon, know the price of the free item so you make sure they give you the right discount. I had a cashier enter $1 for my free item when it should have been $8…Tisk Tisk!

If you go to a store like mine that has gas points you also need to know the program rules. Every week my store offers extra points if you purchase participating items. There have been times that I purchased what I needed to but didn’t get my rewards. $.20 a gallon adds up and I want my free gas.

Don’t think for a second that some stores don’t overcharge on purpose, hoping no one will notice, banking that more people will throw their receipts in the trash than actually look at them. It’s sad, but true. So how are you going to make sure they’re not making that extra money off of you? Know your prices, use your circular, know what coupons you have, and most importantly check your receipt. Don’t be embarrassed or intimidated going up to the customer service counter to have them correct the mistake. Calmly explain the situation and have your receipt ready to show the mistake.

I’ve saved hundreds of dollars by bringing these mistakes to the store’s attention. I’m hopeful that I’ve also saved someone who didn’t check their receipt from being overcharged. Just using coupons might not be enough anymore.

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