TODAY

TODAY   |  March 06, 2013

8 tips to improve your grocery shopping

Shopping at the grocery store can be overwhelming and frustrating, but Siobhan O’Connor of Prevention magazine is here to help. She offers eight tips that will help relieve the stress and ensure you won’t leave with a bunch of unnecessary items.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> tricks to save you time and money. wandering around the store, filling your cart with impulse buys, editor of "prevention" magazine has some ideas. nice to see you.

>> good to be here.

>> i didn't realize there was this gamemanship between me and the store.

>> we have tips.

>> it starts when you walk into the store.

>> take that cart. push carts always out of the question.

>> you want a basket generally?

>> we don't think we're done shopping until the cart is full. if you go with a big cart you're buying all kinds of things you don't necessarily need.

>> also think about who you bring with you to the store.

>> it's hard for moms and dads, we realize that. if you can, leave them at home. not only will they try to get you to buy all their favorite snacks and treats, but it will distract you and you could miss the deals right in front of you.

>> people go eye level , buy familiar brands.

>> marketers pay big bucks to get products at eye level . those are tib typically marked up significantly than others. it can be harder to find the healthiest foods. those often will not be at eye level .

>> how should i attack this shelf then?

>> look closely at everything that you're finding, smaller brands, healthier, organic foods will be lower on the shelves.

>> will that save me cash, though? some are expensive as well.

>> they can, but you weigh the benefits. beware of bulk. you don't need ten jars of tomato sauce. we need one. often the discount that applies to ten applies to one as well.

>> okay. i have to ask you about this music thing. i had no idea. they're actually manipulating your mind with music?

>> they absolutely are. often times you'll hear spanish music when salsa is on sale, slow music at low peak times. rushed music at peak times. we actually advise you to bring your own music to stay in your own zone.

>> do you have shopping music?

>> i do.

>> what do you shop to?

>> we recommend like popular things, upbeat so you don't stay in the store too long. you don't want to lull yourself there either.

>> if they're playing speed metal they're trying to get you in and out of the store. watch out for that. health payloads.

>> when you're shopping at a health food store you're much less inclined to look at the labels. you assume everything in there is good for you. anywhere you're shopping, you need to be reading nutritional labels. high sugar, high fat, high sodium foods in every single store, even health food stores.

>> you also say beware of markdowns. if they're marking something down it means they have to make up for it somewhere else .

>> exactly. often times grocery stores will rope you in by making staples such as butter, eggs, tissue very inexpensive. but then they'll mark up everything else in the store by as much as 10%. you're paying a premium for everything else going in your basket.

>> impulse buys. everyone is guilty of these.

>> yes.

>> what kind of things do you have to stay away from?

>> plastic. leave your plastic at home.

>> shop with cash.

>> study after study after study shows it's much more difficult to part with a large bill like 100 than it is to just hand over a piece of plastic.

>> what about those things around the register that they try to get you to leave the store with?

>> same with the eye level , marketing ploys to get you to buy.

>> this is really good stuff. i'm going to go home and make my shopping playlist. who knew? chivan o'connor, thank