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This Grocery Shopping Trend Is Saving Consumers Big Money

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As grocery prices continue to rise, everyone has two choices: complain or use new shopping strategies that can help lower costs.

For those who choose the latter approach, clipping coupons and switching to generics are common ways to lower grocery bills. But today, millions of Americans are shifting to another strategy to save.

Rather than doing all their grocery shopping at one retailer, savvy consumers are now shopping more strategically and buying their goods from multiple grocers.

These shoppers look for the best bargains at a grocer — often by perusing the store’s weekly circular — and buy only those items. Then, they repeat the process at other grocery stores in their neighborhood.

When they are finished purchasing all the items on their grocery list from multiple stores, the bargain-hunting shoppers often rack up enough savings to slash their grocery bills.

The Wall Street Journal cited statistics from data firm Numerator showing that between March 2023 and February 2024, consumers bought groceries from an average of 20.7 different retailers. That’s a jump of 23% compared with purchases made between March 2019 and February 2020.

Consulting firm AlixPartners has also found that today’s grocery shoppers are making 8% more trips to the store than they did in 2023, but buying fewer products at each stop, the WSJ reports.

The WSJ dubbed the trend of visiting multiple grocers “treasure-hunt grocery shopping.”

A 2023 survey by the Food Industry Association also found that many households are looking for “deals across multiple channels” in an attempt to tamp down their grocery costs in this era of soaring inflation.

Each shopper can decide how much time and energy to devote to finding deals. Some simply shop at two or three grocery chains over the course of a week. Others add warehouse retailers such as Costco and Sam’s Club into the mix, as well as Target and Walmart.

Those especially determined to find bargains also might place online orders with Amazon Prime and Instacart.

Of course, all that surfing the web and running around requires extra time, and you are likely to burn up more fuel. In addition, shopping at Costco and Sam’s Club and using Amazon Prime all require upfront fees. These costs must be considered before determining if the strategy makes sense.

But for many people, the savings more than compensate.

If you are looking for more ways to fight back against the tide of rising grocery costs, check out “18 Strategies for Trimming Your Grocery Budget.”

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