Watch your step
Parking lots can be dangerous places, so park close to the store in a well-lit spot with an unobstructed view. Hide valuables or take them with you. Beware of careless drivers, too: Almost 15 percent of accidents involving pedestrians happen in parking lots.
Beat the crowds
Shoppers jam the place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and on weekend afternoonsunless you live near lots of retirees, wholl stroll the place at noon. The least crowded time to shop: Monday through Wednesdayor at 2 a.m.
Pick packaged first
Load up with paper items and nonperishable food, including beverages. Your food wont spoil while you shop, and you wont be sticking that 12-pack of bottled water on top of your grapes at the end of your shopping circuit.
Head to the back
Stick to the store perimeter to find the fresh stuff. Youll also skirt those tempting cookie and potato chip aisles.
The ethnic section will have rice, pastas, spices, and sauces for half the price of similar items in other spots: Youre paying for food, not marketing.
Ditch the displays
That space at the end of each aisle insinuates a sale, but thats true only 40 percent of the time. If a sign doesnt shout markdown, youre not saving.
Bypass the bakery
You already know what a doughnut tastes like. So, ask the bakery manager when he puts out free samples and avoid shopping at those tempting times.
Finish with frozen
Unless you favor mushy peas and soupy sorbet, pick up frozen foods last. That will also cut the risk of partially thawed food and uninvited bacteria at the dinner table.
Check yourself out
The regular checkout lanes stick you beside the treats your kidsand your inner kidwant to grab. Save cash (you) and crying (the kids) by avoiding all that.
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