It’s Okay to Skip Costco

dw_shoppingTurns out Mom was right: One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to (drum roll) … make a list!

NO. Yes.

In a study published earlier this year by Consumer Reports, researcher Tod Marks (aka "Tightwad Tod") shopped for 30 household items—e.g. coffee, paper towels, vegetable oil—under different conditions. The pressing questions:

  1. Are warehouse club products really cheaper than store brands?
  2. Do flyers and coupons offer significant savings compared to impulsively buying whatever?
  3. Could there be a reality show in this?

Did someone say reality show?
No one's going to watch "Survivor" set in a Stop & Shop, but the winning strategies might surprise you. Tod's bill for shopping on impulse was the priciest: $288 for the 30 items. Buying supermarket store brands was the cheapest, at $154 (even cheaper than the warehouse club, $156).

And while the Mom method of making a list, reading the store flyers and looking for sale items wasn't the cheapest avenue, at $166 it still offers mega savings. No need to settle for generic cereal or brave the crowds at Costco.

Watch the video: