I use to see all these great shopping strategies on friends blogs, and feel like I was at a big disadvantage because we lived in such a tiny town, that we didn’t have any places to bargain shop.
And by tiny, I mean, that a Mom and Pop grocery store, and Dollar General are literally the only places we have to shop, not counting the strip of boutique gifts shops on the downtown tourist area.
Sound familiar? Then you might want to take advantage of some of these tips, because I don’t feel disadvantaged anymore. Truly. unless we’re talking about clothes shopping that is. But It doesn’t matter where we live on that count; I just stink at buying clothes. 😛
Anyhoo. Where were we?
How to Save money At Small Town Stores
Get to know the stores you do have
And I mean, get to know them really well. Learn the ins and outs. You’ll probably be surprised by how many ways there are to save even at small stores.
- Get their sales flyers, and keep track of the door buster sales.
- Look up their website, and search for their deals.
- Sign up for any loyalty rewards programs.
When we first moved here, I had no idea how many ways there are to save at Dollar General (you can read about them here).
Get familiar with sales cycles
Of course, it’s a no brainer that most stores put holiday items onside the day after the holiday (the Dollar General up the road currently has an entire isle of Halloween candy marked down 50%. Not. Cool.), but a lot of grocery items also tend to go through a monthly price cycle, so if you keep your eye sharp, and plan ahead a little, you can avoid the high point and hopefully hit the very bottom of the cycle every time.
Take Advantage of Random Price Drops
I admit that not all sales fit into my neat and organized cycle theory. Sometimes they’re just random! Because of this, it can be useful to do a store walk through, even if you’ve just run in for a single item. I’ve learned to always take a gander at the meat cooler whenever I go into our store, because not all sales are advertised, and you never know when there’s going to be a fantastic deal on meat!
Keep Your Eye Peeled For Orange Stickers
Okay, maybe they’re not orange in your store, but you probably know what I’m talking about. whenever a store, especially a small store has an item that’s within a day or two of its expiration date, they’ll mark it down to half or less of the normal price.
I find this most often with milk and cheese, which I freeze, and yogurt, which I accidentally found out often stays good for quite a few days past it’s expiration date (not that I recommend doing that!).
There are small stores that I literally go into when I’m in the area, for the sole purpose of walking through the dairy case to see what I can get super cheap, and it’s totally worth it!
I have to say that when we moved here, I honestly thought that I would never do any shopping in this tiny town outside of a real emergency, but by using these tools, I’ve found that I don’t need to go to a larger town nearly as often as I thought I would!
What about you? What are your best small town shopping tips?