New Book Helps Consumers Beat The Food Budget Blues

The typical American consumer spends 30% to 40% too much for groceries, according to the author of a new book on discount grocery shopping.
By: We Deliver Vegas, LLC
July 5, 2009 - PRLog -- Nashville, Tennessee – Consumers are over-paying for groceries by 30% or more, and a few simple steps could help them reduce their family budgets, according to Randall Putala, author of a new book, “Better Groceries for Less Cash”.
The author says that American consumers need to wake up to the fact that they are paying much more for their groceries than they have to.  In his own words, he tells an unusual yet very familiar story that many families can relate to.

“Even my priest was shocked at my confession: I was a grocery store addict. I was spending $200 per week on groceries, and the family budget was spinning out of control. It got so bad, my family held an intervention.  

“I soon realized that everyone saw the truth but me: I was overpaying for groceries, and I was overbuying the amount of food we really needed. I couldn’t help buying the newest / biggest / fanciest foods, because I thought it would buy my family’s love.  But all it did was drag our budget into the ‘red zone’.  We were sinking fast, and something had to change.

“That is why I rolled up my sleeve and dug deep into the ‘secrets’ of the grocery industry.  And boy, was I shocked!  I discovered that the geniuses on Madison Avenue have teamed up with the huge food companies to bring the average consumer to their knees.  We’re sitting ducks out here, and we’re easily spending 30% or 40% more on food than we really should be! “

According to the author, the grocery industry has many ways to trick shoppers into overpaying for our food:

•   Frozen Dinner Mixes.  “You can buy the same ingredients for less than half the cost and then bag your own frozen mixes.  You can have ready-to-go meals for a month!”
•   Buying Only Name Brands.  “Did you know that most food factories produce the same product 24/7, and just change out the boxes when they reach “quota”? You can get the SAME QUALITY in many cases with the store brands”.
•   Coupon Phobia. “Many people think that coupons are only for poor people.  But if you take advantage of “BOGO”s (buy one / get one free) and promotional cycles, you can save up to 75% on an advertised product.  It’s true – and it really does work! Coupons are for SMART people.”

Another example cited by the author is shelf positioning.  He claims that food companies pay top-dollar to buy the eye-level position on the grocery shelves, and that the bargains are often found on the top & bottom shelves.  “I also learned that stores must sell items by their expiration date, even though these items could last for another year or longer on the shelf.  When you buy close-outs, the only thing you’re cutting back on is the price,” he said.  

The author also says that most people are not even aware that they are overpaying for their groceries.  “When people buy a high-ticket item like a car, they plan for months, they download fact sheets and reports, they’ll fight for free upgrades, and they’ll even drive 50 miles out of their way to save 1%.  But these same people will not take 5 minutes to plan their grocery shopping, which could save them 30% or more.  And groceries are a purchase they make every week, not once every 5 years!  If it weren’t so sad, it would be laughable,” he said.

The author claims that his family’s intervention worked, and that he now saves several thousand dollars per year on groceries.  “I learned how to plan my grocery store visits,” he said. “Now I take 15 minutes to plan my shopping trip before I enter the store. Now, I clip coupons of all values, and I match them to the store’s sale flyer.  And now, I’m not only saving $50 or more per week, I get mad if I only save 25% or 30% off my total order. That’s because most weeks, I save 40% or more. I literally save $75 or more off my order, and I’ve got the receipts to prove it,” he said.

The author does admit that hitting the 50% off mark takes a little more time and effort, but he says that it can be done.  “I buy food for a real family of 5, and there are items that you have to buy that are not always on sale and that you cannot find a coupon for. But if you plan for the majority of your order, you can easily hit the 40% mark,” the author said.    

The book is titled “Better Groceries for Less Cash: 101 Tested & Proven Ways to Save on Food” and it can be ordered through all major online & retail bookstores.  A free chapter can be downloaded at

According to the author, “If I can help just one struggling family out, I will feel that my time has been well spent. Stay cheap like me,” he said.  And in these challenging financial times, that is good advice for any family.

RANDALL PUTALA is a career advertising executive that has worked for some of
America’s largest agencies including BBDO, FKB Group PLC, and Allied Graphic Arts.
His clients have included many of the nation’s largest manufacturers, retailers and
financial institutions. Putala is also the founding director of World Hunger Team, a
non-profit 501(c)3 foundation dedicated to solving the world hunger crisis.

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We Deliver Vegas, LLC is a promotional and sales company serving a wide range of industries. The company publishes consumer help guides, as well as providing delivery of consumer products to visitors in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Tags:Grocery Shopping, Store, Coupons, Discounts
Industry:Family, Shopping, Retail
Location:Nashville - Tennessee - United States
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