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Supermarket shopping quiz

Test your supermarket shopping savvy

Are you supremely savvy when it comes to supermarket shopping? Just sorta smart? Or maybe you're a babe in buy-land. Find out with our quiz.

  1. How often do you bring your coupons to the supermarket with you?

    How often is never?
  2. Generally speaking, costly items with the highest profit margins for stores are generally placed on shelves that are:

    At shoppers' eye level.
    High above, to make shoppers feel like they're ''reaching for the stars.''
    Knee level -- when you stoop, they conquer.
  3. The most basic and nutritious foods are often placed in areas:

    Around the perimeter of the store.
    Near the checkout counter.
    Adjacent to the medicines, to remind shoppers what they may need, if they don't eat right. Guilt: It's not just for moms.
  4. Generic brands are invariably cheaper than house or big, well-known national brands. Right?

    Fer shure. Like, that's the whole point of them. It's not like the ''attractive'' wrappers are gonna sell 'em.
    Brands for folks over 65 are supposed to be cheaper? Why, that makes no sense.
    Generic brands are indeed often the most economical -- but not invariably.
  5. You want to get the most bang for your buck, tuna-wise, so you automatically opt for the 12-ounce can instead of the two six-ouncers -- right?

    Well, if neither is on sale -- sure.
    Not so fast there -- first you want to do a little unit-pricing comparison.
  6. If a single date is stamped on a product, it:

    Is the buy-by date.
    Is the use-by date.
    Can be either of the above.
    Is the last date you can take legal action, if you claim food poisoning.
  7. ''Super-duper special: Five boxes of Fiery Fernando's Cayenne-Coated Crud Cakes for $5'' reads the display sign, in its entirety. How many boxes do you have to buy to get the special buck-a-box price?

    Five -- says so right on the sign.
    Any amount you wish -- providing the management is playing fair.
  8. Now, you're on to your meat purchase. Your best bet is to figure the cost per:

  9. You should be wary of deeply dented cans in general, but especially if said dents or distortions occur around:

    Areas overlaid by silver foil.
    The cans' seams.
    Inauthentic-looking pictures of smiling grandmas from the Old Country.
  10. Now that a lot of such stores carry alcoholic options, is it good economic sense to stock up on the stuff while you're there -- or is it probably better to buy at the Booze Barn next-door?

    Stock up on the supermarket spirits.
    Get your likker quicker -- and cheaper -- at the store dedicated to it.
  11. Or maybe you're having a Maalox moment. Do you generally get some at the supermarket -- or at the nearby drug emporium?

    Make tracks for the drug den.
    Snap up the supermarket's offering.
  12. Cyclically speaking, when are sales most likely -- and stellar -- on baking supplies?

    When you don't need the durn stuff and they want to push at -- like during the dog days of August.
    Around Christmastime.
    Around the first of the month -- studies show that paying rent leads to depression and an upsurge in baking.
  13. Endcaps -- those eye-catching displays at the end of supermarket aisles -- generally showcase what sorts of items?

    The best buys in the store -- or at least sale merchandise.
    Stuff the store wants to move that may or may not be sale-priced.
    Depends. It could be a good deal or a bad one. You'll have to compare.
  14. Food marketers know a lot about you. For example, they know they're most likely to catch your eye with packaging that is:

    Green, like money.
    Soft and sensual.
    Red or yellow.
  15. Can you bargain for a better price in a supermarket -- we mean, with success, of course.

    Get outta here.
    More likely with a small, independent store, but it's possible.
    Yes, in some foreign bazaars -- but not in these United States.
  16. Getting a preferred-shopper, frequent-shopper or club card (depending on what your supermarket calls it) that confers discounts on selected merchandise is generally:

    Not worth the tradeoff, considering the personal info you must give.
    Advantageous -- despite, and sometimes even because of, information you give, which can allow the store to serve you better and give you certain benefits.
    Not worth it for you, in any event, because you can't be bothered with carrying all these dopey cards around.
  17. Web Bucks are:

    Little lace-up oxfords for ducks' feet -- a gimmicky promotional giveaway at larger suburban chain supermarkets.
    A form of supermarket shopping-rebate, offered through -- no fair peeking at the site to see if we made that up or not!
    The offerings of a Web-based service that offers to exchange the old, crummy, smelly bills some supermarkets try to palm off as change for nice, clean, crisp new ones -- sorry, it's a paid, member-only site; if you don't already know the address, we can't print it here.
  18. Stores' price scanners make mistakes. You've noticed? Sorry, no points for that -- even the sight-impaired have noticed. But let's test your powers of observation. Which category is most likely to elicit a scanner error?

    Pet food. It's species-ism!
    Baby food. Anti-family values!
    Sale merchandise. Some dodo didn't make the adjustment, so the scanner reads the higher regular price instead.

-- Updated: April 9, 2003

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