Buying the food and other items you need to keep your family healthy and happy is a pretty big chore. I do  most of the shopping for our family. The reason I do that is because I am available to shop in the afternoon when the stores aren't too crowded and I like to pick out what I am going to eat.

Like you, I try to save money where I can. I am not a coupon clipper. In fact I abhor coupon clippers when they are in front of me at the checkout line. I am all about you saving your money but I am not about you wasting my time. I think they should have a coupon-only checkout line.

There are other ways to save at the grocery store too. The most difficult but effective way to save is by understanding simple grocery store economics. Here is the question that can determine whether or not you understand the basics of a good deal.

Would you rather buy something where you get 50% MORE for the regular price?  Or the regular quantity at 50% OFF?

This question was posed by the Journal of Marketing in a study they did of shoppers and their understanding of what I like to call "grocery store math". I failed. If you chose "get 50% more at the regular price", you failed too.

Let me explain in an example to which I can relate.

Let's say we are buying mirliton. The deal at your local store is 10 mirlitons for $5. That means you're paying .50 cents per mirlitons if there is no special deal.

If you chose the 50% more at the regular price option you are getting 15 mirliton for $5. That is .30 cents per mirliton.

If you chose the regular quantity at a 50% savings you'll get 10 mirlitons for $2.50 or .25 cents per mirliton.

Why did most of us choose the "get more" option? We are conditioned by grocery stores to look for the words "more" and "bonus" and "free" when making our choices. These trigger words encourage us to buy. Unfortunately, they encourage us to buy at a price that is not the best deal for us.