ABC7 On Your Side: Shop smarter

LOS ANGELES Michael Lalla is a concerned shopper. At the grocery store, his eye is often drawn to the items on the end cap of an aisle.

"I noticed too, sometimes if it's on an end cap and it's not on sale, it looks more inviting," said Lalla.

At item could look like it's on sale even though it's not. Smart shoppers know how to use coupons and club cards, yet market analyst Phil Lempert says where you shop in the store will also save money, and it might not be the end of the aisle.

"You want to read those signs very carefully," explains Lempert. "Just because it has a big sign and it has a cheap number on it, doesn't mean it's on sale."

Check sales closely. At one store Eyewitness news visited, chips were actually on sale three for $10, yet the sign read two for $5. That's because the sign was mistakenly palce there -- it was actually meant for a different brand of chips. So scrutinize specials, as mistakes can happen.

The back of the store holds some great deals, where day-old baked goods and discontinued items are greatly marked down. But check expiration dates and steer clear of dented cans for food safety.

And while fresh produce in season is a healthy way to go, frozen is a better deal. Take blueberries, for example. Instead of paying $5 for a half-a-pint of blueberries, head to the frozen food case, where you might get 16 ounces for just $3.

Another freezer find is frozen fish, which is often cheaper and fresher than the counter.

"It's going to cost you anywhere from 30 to 50 percent less, and keep in mind in the case of seafood, this product was frozen only once, versus a lot of seafood that was frozen on the boat, then defrosted, then put back on ice in the store," said Lempert.

Did you know cheese can cost more in different parts of the store? The lowest price will be in the dairy section, with fancy packaging and prices at the deli or cheese table.

Also keep in mind at the deli, buying ready-to-eat means you're paying someone to make it convenient for you.

And remember, along with human error, there's also computer error. So you want to watch the scanner, so that in turn will help the cashier stay on his or her toes. You also want to have a circular with you in the event there is a dispute on price.

More supermarket savings:

It's getting tougher to make ends meet these days, and ABC7 On Your Side is a campaign to help you save money. Watch Eyewitness News for money-saving tips and freebies to help stretch your dollar. Click here for more money-saving tips from ABC7 On Your Side


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