Bottom shelf bargains at the supermarket

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Don’t bend over backward to find bargains at the supermarket. If you really want big savings, you need to lean forward and explore the bottom shelf. I’m Clark Palmer with your personal finance minute.

The size of grocery bills is incentive enough to explore the bottom-shelf alternative. An article in Consumer Reports ShopSmart magazine noted that, in 2010, the average family of four spent $10,692 per year on groceries.

The bottom shelf might include items that are being discontinued by the store. That means lower prices. You might also find bulk grains and larger boxes of cereal.

But be careful. Not everything on the bottom shelf is cheaper. Some items actually have premium prices. These are products with special appeal to limited but loyal shoppers who are willing to reach and pay extra for it. Health foods and ethnic delicacies are frequent examples.

And don’t ignore the higher shelves, they offer similar deals, according to a 2009 study by Consumer Reports.

Also, remember that it makes no sense to buy in bulk if you’re not going to use all of an item.

For more frugal spending tips, visit I’m Clark Palmer.