Good Morning Buenos Aires

14 Steps to Big Savings in the Grocery Store!

The recession is in full swing and those of us in Buenos Aires are painfully aware of what runaway inflation feels like.  With that in mind, I thought I would offer to share a few methods I have found really helpful in saving me money.  I don’t know about you, but groceries have become my greatest monthly expense and saving a peso here and there can really add up to big savings at the end of the month.

1) Bring a grocery list but be willing to compromise.  Being flexible in what you plan to purchase really helps.  That way you can shop the current sales and get the very best bargains instead of being a slave to a grocery list.

2) Know what items are in season.  This one simple step can save you a fortune here as prices do fluctuate greatly as items come into season. For instance, strawberries were averaging nearly 20 pesos a kilo a couple of months back but are sitting at around 4-5 pesos a kilo in my neighborhood now.

3) Being aware of special shopping days can save you a tremendous amount of money as well.  Several of the larger grocery stores offer special discounted prices on various items different days of the weeks and sometimes they offer specials if shopping between certain hours.

4) Getting to know your neighborhood shops makes a great difference too.  I live within a few blogs of half a dozen produce markets and 5 grocery stores.  There is one produce market that has a very limited variety of items, however their prices are about 1/3 that of the other places close to me.

5) Be aware that in the USA, typically the best deals are to be found in the larger national chains as they have the advantage of purchasing items by the trainload and then distributing them from their own warehouse system.  The same happens here, however – many of the very small grocery stores offer greater discounts, particularly on stock items (canned goods, paper goods, dried goods, beverages). BE AWARE though, they typically have the very worst prices anywhere on fruits, vegetables and meats.

6) If your bank is local you can receive great savings using your debit card certain days of the week at major grocery stores.  Banking is expensive here and one of the ways banks attract customers is by creating partnerships with grocery stores and other large chains.  Be sure to ask your bank for a current list of companies they are partnering with along with the discount savings days.

7) Don’t be afraid of store brands.   Many stores offer high quality alternative to high priced national brands under their own trademark and often times it is the exact same product in different packaging.

8 ) Buy the Sunday paper.   The Sunday papers are full of weekly store circulars detailing all their specials for the week.

9) Keep an eye on the weekly store circular.  Many of the larger grocery chains and even some smaller privately owned groceries have sales fliers at the front door and/or signs on the windows showing their current price specials.

10) Clip (and use!) coupons for name brand items.  Just like at home, Argentina has many great coupons available for some really substantial savings.  Be sure to look at the wad of paper the checkout person gives you along with your change.  Many times there are valuable coupons mixed in with your receipt.

11) Check the store’s website for special discount days.   For instance Coto just ran a huge holiday sale on November 22nd and is offering another one on November 28th, TODAY!

12) Stock up when things are on sale.  For instance Carrefour runs great discounts where you purchase one item and get the next one for half price.  Coto always seems to run great specials on wine if you are willing to purchase 2 or 3 bottles at a time.

13) Visit multiple stores to get the very best deals.  One of the things I learned early on in Buenos Aires is that there is no one store that is good for all my purchases.   Take the time to learn the best place for fish, for meats, for produce, for wine and beer….

14) Avoid purchasing non-grocery items.  Instead buy your items at stores specializing in them which often times offer the very same items at amazing discounts.

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Posted by on Nov 27 2010. Filed under Cuisine, Featured Stories, Food, Headliners, Local Tips & Guides. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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