Written by Jessica Kirwan-Shaw
At the Co-op…Shop More, Spend Less!
Many of us are motivated to get the best price for our groceries, and to walk out of the grocery store with a total on our receipt that makes us smile, not cringe. Shopping locally, organically, and consciously at the Doylestown Food Co-op CAN happen while also keeping your shopping costs down! Below are some tips for getting more out of your shopping experience while spending less.
1. Buy only what you need, choosing less prepackaged bags and containers commonly found in larger grocery stores. Often these bags and packages contain more than what you need or can use within a reasonable amount of time, leading to waste. The co-op offers loose produce and bulk items, which enables you to purchase only what you know you can use.
2. Shop sales, member specials, and markdowns! There are always items onspecial or marked down at the co-op. Taking advantage of these low prices on a weekly basis can not only save you money, but sometimes introduce you to a new product or ingredient that you really love. When products you already love go on special, it is financially smart to stock up. Perfectly good bread, milk and produce is often marked down because it is very ripe or past it’s “Best by” date. This can be a great savings. Also, take advantage of organic and local frozen goods, which won’t spoil and allow you to stock up.
3. Enjoy the financial benefits of small store shopping…Stopping into a small food store like the co-op, rather than navigating the crowded and over-stimulating aisles of bigger stores, leads to less extraneous purchases. Smaller stores have less marketing traps and end-cap temptations, allowing you to focus on buying what you need, instead of filling a large cart with items you had never intended to purchase in the first place! You will also spend less time in a small store, and time is money!
4. Rest assured that you are not spending your dollars on ingredients that you can’t pronounce or understand. Too often our carts are filled with products containing ingredients that are unnecessary or unwanted! Even something as simple as bread can contain over 20 ingredients! Larger grocery stores put labels like “organic” and “natural” on packages, contributing to the overall confusion of a large store shopping experience, but often these products are still highly processed and contain preservatives, additives, and other unwanted ingredients. The co-op carefully selects products that can be trusted, so that your dollars are purchasing ingredients worth paying for.
5. Finally, each time you spend your grocery dollars at a co-op, you are buying more than just groceries. You are spending your money on a local, community venture aiming to support local economy, local farming, purer food, and community building. You are also doing yourself the favor of getting to know familiar co-op faces, shopping simply and consciously, and promoting your and your family’s health. Shopping in a large grocery chain store can feel overwhelming; shopping in the co-op feels…good. Now, that is a bang for your buck!