Delonghi Perfecto Indoor Grill Review 2019

Using an electric grill helps you save time while allowing you to eat healthily afterward. However, finding the right electric grill is like finding a needle in the haystack for there are myriads of electric grills on the market today. Hence, to help consumers find the best electric grill, we have endeavored to make this Delonghi Perfecto Indoor Grill Review.

In this review, we’ve spent several hours using the Delonghi Perfecto Indoor Grill to figure out its pros and cons. We’ve also considered expert reviews on this grill as well as the feedback left behind by those who have already availed of this grill.

General Features of Delonghi Perfecto Indoor Grill

In this unbiased review of this Delonghi Perfecto Indoor Grill, we are going to use several parameters in assessing the merits of using this grill. These parameters include the following: design and durability, capabilities and ease of use, ease of cleaning, affordability, and warranty to evaluate the pros and cons of this grill:

Design and Durability

The Delonghi Perfecto Indoor Grill comes with a good design that allows you to use it indoor and even outdoor away from home using a generator. Compared to other electric grills like the T-fal GC70 OptiGrill Electric Grill, this one is on the heavier side at 11.2 lbs. It is large enough being 21.8-inch long by 14.4-inch wide with a depth of 5.5 inches. So, it is larger compared to other electric grills and it has a larger cooking surface than other electric grills with its 12 by 6 inches cooking surface. 

You can plug it into a 120V outlet. It also comes with a detachable and adjustable thermostat. It also features a nonstick grill plate and a removable nonstick drip tray. It also comes with a tempered-glass lid and other safety features. Additionally, it features an embedded heating element that evenly distributes heat across the cooking surface. This heating element comes in an M-shaped design for better heating results. Overall, its design is satisfactorily great.

When it comes to durability, the item appears to be durable enough. Many users of this grill are satisfied with its durability. However, some users think that its nonstick coating tends to flake if cleaned with dishwashers.

Capabilities and Ease of Use

When it comes to its capabilities, it is definitely capable of evenly grilling your food. This happens because of the awesome heating elements that its manufacturer equipped this grill. It can surely cook fish, chicken, and thin steaks. However, when it comes to cooking thick food like thick pork and steaks, you will find its heat output less powerful. It can, however, cook for your whole family.  

When it comes to ease of use, you will surely find the use of this grill very easy and convenient. You simply need to plug it cord into the nearest electrical outlet and plug the detachable thermostat into the system, and voila, you can start cooking.

Ease of Cleaning

The Delonghi Perfecto Indoor Grill is quite easy to clean. The BG24 comes with a porcelain-enamel coating that allows you to easily wipe the grease and debris from the surface. You can use a sponge to clean the cooking surface. Moreover, you can remove the nonstick drip pan to clean it. It is said that the non-stick drip pan is dishwasher safe.

Affordability

Compared to other electric grills on the market today, the Delonghi Perfecto Indoor Grill is not expensive. In fact, it is one of the electric grills that is less than fifty dollars.

Warranty

The Delonghi Perfecto Indoor Grill comes with a one-year warranty.

Pros:

  • It is quite easy to clean.
  • It is easy to operate.
  • It is affordable and inexpensive.

Cons

  • It has limited heating power to cook thick meat.
  • Its nonstick coating is not dishwasher safe.

Conclusion:

Finding the best indoor grill is not that easy, considering the myriads of electric grill models and brands on the market today. Thus, in this Delonghi Perfecto Indoor Grill Review, we tried to collate all pertinent information regarding the merits of buying this grill. We find this grill of good design, given its larger cooking surface as well as its see-through lid cover. When it comes to durability, the only questionable aspect of this grill is whether its nonstick surface is dishwasher safe. Some users complain that it is not. Moreover, its limited heating capacity for thick meat is also one of its downsides. Nevertheless, given its inexpensive price, this grill is surely a good buy if you want to enjoy cooking indoor.

How to Use a Charcoal Grill Without a Chimney: Read and Find Out!

The best charcoal grill is a must-have for anyone who is into outdoor cooking. Whether it is in the patio and when you are out tailgating, a charcoal grill opens a world of possibilities when it comes to mouthwatering feasts you can prepare.

To make the most out of your charcoal grill, you must learn how to use it properly. Among others, one of the most important things you need to know is how to fire it up.

The quickest way of lighting a fire is through the use of a chimney starter. However, the charcoal chimney method may not always work, especially when there is no chimney starter.

That said, keep on reading this short article and we’ll talk about how to use a charcoal grill and smoker without a chimney starter.

How to Use a Charcoal Grill Without a Chimney

1.    Start by Cleaning the Grill

Before anything else, clean the grill, even if it is your first time using it right out of the box. This will lessen the chances that there will be foul odor or smell because of the chemicals from the brand-new grill.

Also, this gets rid of dirt and debris from the previous grilling. If not cleaned, the efficiency of the grill will suffer.

2.    Put Paper in the Grill

Now that the grill is clean and ready, load the grill with paper. Rolled-up paper is one of the best materials that can help you light up the grill without using a chimney starter. Old cardboard will also work. Place the paper on the bottom part of the grill.

3.    Douse with Lighter Fluid

When the paper is already arranged at the bottom of the grill, douse it with lighter fluid. The fluid will help to create flames and for the paper to stay on fire.

When it is wet with fluid, put charcoal briquettes on the top. Stack the briquettes properly and douse it with lighter fluid as well.

Be careful when pouring the fluid and avoid the sides of the grill as it can catch fire once you light up the briquettes.

4.    Light Up the Grill

At this point, almost everything is ready, and you can now fire it up. Use a long-stemmed lighter to initiate fire on the charcoal briquettes. Spread the charcoal evenly as it is set in flames. This is crucial for the even distribution of heat throughout the grill.

5.    Building and Keeping the Fire

Lighting the charcoal grill is just the first step of the process. You also need to work on building the fire and keeping it burning. Otherwise, you will end up frustrating.

The heat will also be uneven, which can affect the outcomes of grilling. One of the most important is to keep the coals packed. However, do not crowd them in a single portion of the grill as it affects the distribution of heat.

It is also important that you regularly add more coals in the grill to keep the fire burning. If you are grilling for an extended period, add two to three handfuls of charcoal every half hour.

To sustain the fire, another important thing to do is to open the vents of the grill. The more air the fire gets, the hotter it becomes. Oxygen is important for the fire to burn.

If you want to cook food slowly in low fire, adjust the opening of the vent accordingly.

Another thing that you can do is to add hardwood. There are countless options available, including mesquite, hickory, maple, and applewood.

Along with charcoal, they can keep the fire burning for an extended period, which means that you don’t have to light it up in the middle of grilling.

As a bonus, the hardwood also effectively adds a mouthwatering flavor to whatever it is you are grilling.

Conclusion

Knowing how to use a charcoal grill without a chimney starter is important to light up the fire when the chimney method isn’t available. As noted above, it is simple and uses only paper, briquettes, lighter fluid, and a lighter. It won’t take long before the grill is ready and you can prepare a delicious grilled treat!

Traeger Grills TFS60LZC Select Elite Pellet Grill and Smoker Review 2019

As you search for the best pellet grill and smoker in the market, Traeger is one name that you will frequently encounter. The company was able to build a solid reputation because of the exceptional quality of their products. In this short Traeger Grills TFS60LZC Select Elite Pellet Grill and Smoker Review, we’ll quickly look at one of their best offerings to date. We’ll talk about its notable features, as well as a few of its pros and cons.

Main Product Features

The mere fact that this is from Traeger Grills means that you can expect it to pack an abundance of exceptional features that will make it worth every dollar.

589 Square Inches of Cooking Space

This is a mid-sized grill with enough space for most users. With its size, the grilling area can accommodate up to 4 rib racks, 4 whole chickens, or 20 burger patties at a time.

Digital Elite Controller

This is a common feature that you will find in high-quality grills. With the advanced controller of the grill, you can easily set the desired temperature while being assured of its accuracy. You can adjust it as you wish to regulate the level of heat inside the grill.

3-Piece Porcelain Grill Grate

The quality of the grate is also notable. The porcelain that is used is great in terms of durability. More than the longevity, many people also loved it because it is easy to clean. It has a nonstick surface, so you won’t find grease stuck on the metals.

Stainless Steel Side Shelves

This provides space for preparation and warming. The good thing is that you can fold the shelves if you have limited space. The shelves are made of high-quality stainless steel.

The Good

Need more compelling reasons to pick this pellet grill and smoker over its competitors? Below are some of the benefits that you might find convincing.

User-Friendly

Because of its size and the abundance of notable features, you might think that the grill is complicated. Luckily, that’s not the case. It is built with your needs in mind, so the manufacturer makes sure that they make things as simple as possible. From the assembly to the maintenance, everything will be easy.

Versatile

Like most of the high-quality grills that you will find in the market, this is also versatile. Meaning, you can use it beyond grilling. If you want to smoke meat, roast veggies, or bake some treats, you can also use the grill.

Durable Construction

Another thing that you will love in this product is the fact that it uses impressive materials that will withstand the test of time. Most of the components can resist rust and corrosion. Although, we suggest that you keep it covered outdoors to prevent damages.

Comes with Plenty of Storage Space

Another thing that you will love in this product is how it comes with a generous built-in storage space. This provides easy access to the grilling tools and accessories you will need. There is a cabinet that holds things together.

The Bad

For an unbiased evaluation of this grill and smoker, let’s also look at some of the negatives that might give you qualms in choosing this product.

Bulky

One of the things that you should know about this grill and smoker is that it is large. Because it is bulky, stay away if you have limited outdoor space to spare. This is only for those who have the luxury of space in the patio and for those who often grill for large groups.

Expensive

This is not for buyers who are looking for a budget-friendly grill and smoker. You might instantly end up being frustrated after knowing its price. Nonetheless, this should not be too much of an issue. The features and the performance of the product make the price justifiable.

Conclusion

This Traeger Grills TFS60LZC Select Elite Pellet Grill and Smoker Review highlights how this product is big not only in terms of size but also when it comes to its performance. It has a mid-sized cooking surface, high-quality cooking grates, plenty of storage space, and durable construction. Nonetheless, there are also some problems, including its price and bulky body.

Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker Review

Value for money – this is the best thing that you can expect from the Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker. After all, it is from one of the most trusted brands in the market for smokers. As we will highlight in this Masterbuilt electric smoker review, this model packs a bunch of innovative features, including smart controls and a generous cooking area. Want to know more? Read the rest of this short review and we got you covered!

Main Product Features

To start with, let’s look at the top features that will make this a great choice for those looking for a top-rated electric smoker.

730 square Inches Cooking Space

With plenty of cooking space, you will be able to smoke more at a time. This is great if you are cooking for a big group. Even whole turkey and large slabs of meat can easily fit in the smoker.

Four Chrome-Plated Racks

Inside the smoker, you will see four chrome-plated racks. The construction is incredible, so you can expect the racks to be durable. Even better, you can remove the racks to accommodate larger cuts of meat.

Side Wood Chip Loading System

You can expect great flavor with this smoker, although, this still depends on the wood that you will use.

The good thing is that you will load the wood chips on the side. This means that you can keep on adding more without opening the front door, making it possible to trap smoke and heat.

The Good

If you are still looking for more reasons to be convinced to choose Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker, here are some of the benefits you need to know.

Durable Construction

Masterbuilt is a brand that is known for offering products with premium quality. It is no longer surprising that this electric smoker uses top-notch materials that can withstand the test of time.

The outer body is made of powder-coated steel. The cooking racks, on the other hand, are chrome-plated steel.

User-Friendly

This smoker is free of complications. Even if you are a novice, you will love this product because it is user-friendly. First, you put the meat inside and then you load the wood chips. Set the temperature and you can leave it on its own.

Energy-Efficient

In the long run, you will be able to save money because of the energy efficiency of this digital smoker. The heating element is powerful without using too much energy.

It also has great insulation, which traps heat inside to keep the temperature consistently hot, unlike others that are easily prone to fluctuations.

Comes with a Digital Control Panel

This is also one of the reasons why it is effortless to use. The digital control panel is a nice feature because it allows you to set precise temperature.

The Bad

However, this electric smoker isn’t perfect. There are some issues you might encounter, including those we’ll briefly mention below.

Short Cord

This might seem like a small issue, but this bothers a lot of people. The short cord means that you will have to use it near the main source of power. You need to keep it next to the socket.

Lacks a Transparent Front Window

One of the biggest issues with this electric smoker is how it lacks a clear front window.

It would have been better if it has a glass front panel, which will make it easy to monitor the progress of smoking. Because it has no window, you might need to open the door every now and then.

Conclusion

In sum, Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker is packed with exceptional features at a price that budget-conscious buyers will love. It has an excellent heating system, which is also efficient. The smoker is built using high-quality and durable materials, so you can use it even through the years. There are some complaints, however, with regards to how the cord is quite short and there is no transparent window for ease of monitoring.

 

The Cost of Routine – How Getting Stuck in a Rut Costs You Money

062309rutAs humans we are creatures of habit.  We settle into predictable routines repeated day in and day out.

A person may read the same newspaper each morning, stop by the same coffee shop, socialize with the same handful of co-workers, and visit their favorite food truck for lunch every day. At home the same news channel are watched,  the same types of meals eaten, and the same type of music listened to.

Routine creates comfort and surrounds us with what’s familiar.  Yet our normal routines, our regular patterns of behavior can cost us dearly.  This is no more apparent than when it comes to shopping. Here routine behavior can be costly.

Over years, even decades, our routine patterns of shopping behavior have been ingrained so that they become second nature. 

We’ve been shopping the same way for so long that it becomes almost impossible to change our ways.  In the process, our entrenched shopping routines – shopping ruts,  frequently blind us to cheaper alternatives.

Yet every so often something comes along that forces us to change our routine behavior.  For some its a reduction in financial resources. For others its a health scare that necessitates more healthy eating.

Yet, when we do venture out of our comfort zones and try new things a funny thing happens – we inevitably find new ways to save money!  

For me the jolt to my normal shopping routine came in the form of an nationwide economic meltdown just as I was making a crucial career change.  As a result I was forced to tighten my financial belt and make serious changes in how I spent money.

Here are just a few of the ways in which my routine, my shopper’s rut cost me hard earned money.

For nearly eight years I’ve known about Aldi supermarkets. Yet week after week, year after year I’d bypass Aldi stores and shop at my favorite local supermarket.

Yet it took an economic downturn to force me out of my comfort zone and check one of these supermarkets out.  To my surprise, what I found was a clean store with great low prices.

Aldi’s claims that the typical consumer will save  20%  to 37%  off of regular supermarket prices.  I routinely save $20 a week simply by shopping at Aldi’s.

But what if I’d stepped out of my comfort zone eight years ago when I first heard of Aldi’s? I could have saved $20 a week for nearly 12 years, making me $8320 richer today!

Bakery outlets are another change in my routine for which I am now grateful. I was first introduced to the concept of bakery outlets by my grandfather when I was a small kid.

Yet once I was an adult my weekly shopping routine never entailed shopping at one. It was only in the past year that I was forced out of my shopping rut and experienced the enormous benefits of shopping at a bakery outlet.

Not only can you get bread and other baked goods at a 50% to 75% discount over supermarkets but the products are frequently just as fresh as those found in your supermarket.

I can easily save $25 a month by making a monthly visit to my local bakery outlet. My normal shopping routine was costing me $25 a month, or nearly $3000 over the last decade!

It was these changes as well as several dozen others that got me thinking of how my routine way of grocery shopping blinded me to cheaper and often better alternatives.

So how do we break those shopping patterns that have been so deeply entrenched through weekly repetition?

You could wait for external factors to force a change in your shopping behavior or you could take the plunge yourself and just decide one day to do something different.

As the Nike commercial fondly advertises:  “Just Do It”

Either way you’re bound to save money.

Here are some examples of simple ways to break your normal shopping routine:

  • Try a local bakery outlet. Find an Entenmann or Wonder/Hostess bakery outlet near you.
  • See if your supermarket has a store brand guarantee that allows you to return store brand products if you don’t like them. Then try a few of these products risk free.
  • Check out a local Aldi’s supermarket. Find a location near you.
  • Purchase a Sunday newspaper and clip a few coupons for things your family normally purchases.
  • Instead of just picking up the name brand item that you’ve been buying for years, try the item that’s on sale. If you are true to Tropicana Orange Juice but its not on sale, try the brand (say Minute Maid) that is on sale.

Anything that gets you thinking or acting different when it comes to your same old shopping routine is a step in the right direction.

Have you changed your shopping behavior to save money? If so what did you do? How’d you do it? We’d love to hear. Leave a comment below.

Insider Restaurant Secrets That Save You Money

While everyone knows that its cheaper to cook and eat at home, sometimes you just want to enjoy the convenience or experience of dining out.

Even when dining out, however, you can still find ways to save money. Below we reveal insider secrets to saving while dining out.

Insider Restaurant Secrets That Save You Money

Watch Out for Those Menus. When ordering from the menu don’t be deceived by the extra emphasis placed on certain menu items. Restaurants often emphasize menu items that bring the restaurant the greatest profit. They may place a box around such a high profit item, feature it with larger type, or place it near the top of the menu.

Another technique involves using more descriptive language to describe higher margin items. Studies have illustrated that we tend to expect food with more lavish descriptions to taste better.  Which sounds better: “Delicious 10 ounce filet mignon” or “Succulent, large filet mignon grilled by our renowned chefs to the brink of mouth watering perfection.”  Same steak but which one would you be willing to pay more for?

Try a Lunch or Early Bird Menu. Restaurants have significant overhead costs. They must keep their tables full in order to remain profitable.  As a result, many offer great lunch and early evening deals when fewer people are eating out.  This is a fantastic way to get a great dining experience on the cheap. Portions are generally smaller but the prices can be significantly cheaper.  You’ll get the same delicious food and atmosphere but pay less money.

Check the Bathroom. Restaurants provide a great dining experience by paying attention to details, whether in regards to how well the food is prepared, how well the dishes are cleaned, or how the dining table is arranged. One way to gauge your restaurant before you eat is to check the bathroom. A meticulously maintained bathroom suggests you’ll have a great experience while a dirty, smelly, or downright nasty bathroom may cause you to take pause. If they can’t keep the bathroom clean, how clean is the kitchen where your food is being prepared?

According to food blogger Michael Bauer,  “When a restaurant minds the bathroom, it makes me believe the staff has been trained to have an equally serious and healthy attitude about food safety. ”

Visit During the Restaurant Sweet Spot – Tuesday Through Thursday. Fridays and Saturdays may not be the best time to visit your favorite restaurant. The fact that many people dine out on the weekends is the exact reason you may not want to. Restaurants packed to capacity may be prone to poor service  and it may take longer for you to get your food.

Sundays and Mondays may not be so good either. With higher fuel costs many restaurants are receiving fewer weekly deliveries from their distributors. Restaurants commonly receive food and supplies on Friday which last throughout the weekend. Eat Sunday afternoon and you’re likely to eat food delivered on Friday. Eating on Monday is even worse as you’re getting served the last of the food stuffs that were delivered on Friday.

For these reasons, the most optimal eating experience can be enjoyed by eating Tuesday through Thursday. You’re served food that is delivered closer to the time its prepared and the restaurants are usually less crowded. Additionally, many restaurants offer mid-week specials to attract more diners.

Beware, That Daily Special May Not be so Special. Understand what you’re buying when you select that daily special. With food prices rising, chefs attempt to use every last bit of the ingredients they have. Left-overs can be used to create a “daily special”. Be especially careful if the daily special is a soup, or contains a sauce served over rice or pasta. Soups and sauces are common repositories for left-over meat and other foods. That crab chowder, for example, may contain the left-over crab from the day before.

Ask If That’s Real Maryland Crab. To save money in hard economic times many restaurants are substituting more expensive foods with less expensive substitutes.  This happens commonly with seafood. Some restaurants, for example, substitute Maryland crabs with crab species from other areas of the Atlantic ocean or, worse yet, import crabs from other countries.   When the menu lists “Maryland-like” crab be very suspicious.

Always Examine Your Bill. Many restaurants have standard gratuity fees that they tack onto the end of the bill. Usually mandatory gratuity fees are applied for large groups, but restaurants may have policies that apply a mandatory tip for groups as small as four or six people. Check your bill before you pay to make sure that you don’t pay a gratuity twice.

Update: We’d like to thank Consumer Boomer for including this article in the recent Money Hacks Blog Carnival.

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Are You Overlooking These Fast Food Deals?

Next time you’re about to toss that fast food receipt in the trash, take a second look. You might be throwing away a valuable deal.

In a recent post I described how supermarkets print coupons on the back of their receipts. These so called Catalina coupons offer valuable grocery savings.

Are You Overlooking These Fast Food Deals

Now it seems that fast food restaurants are getting into the game by providing offers on the back of their receipts as well. The great thing is that you don’t have to buy any newspapers or clip coupons to enjoy them. The deals are essentially handed right to you.

Now the value of the deals vary. I’ve received savings ranging from a single dollar to six dollars. As an example, here are some of the offers I’ve come across recently.

My recent Boston Market receipt featured a buy one lunch meal, get one lunch meal free. This is about a $6-$7 savings. Not bad and again no coupon clipping needed!

A Burger King receipt I received contained a toll free number. Call the toll free number, complete a quick phone survey about your visit and receive a free Whooper sandwich with the purchase of fries and a drink.

I made the call and a few minutes later, after finishing the survey, I received a code which I wrote on the receipt to use as a “coupon” for my free Whopper.

A Dunkin’ Donuts receipt offered a free donut with the purchase of a medium beverage. To get my free donut I simply visited the Dunkin Donut website and filled out a customer survey about my visit.

As with the Burger King offer I received a code at the end of the survey which I wrote on the receipt serving as my “coupon” for the free donut. It took me about three minutes to complete the online survey.

The next time you eat out, take a second to look at the receipt. It just might contain a valuable money saving coupon.

7 Ways to Save Money When Eating Out With The Kids

We all know that’s its much cheaper to cook and eat at home, but sometimes with hectic schedules, it feels good to eat out and let someone else do the cooking.

7 Ways to Save Money When Eating Out With The Kids

We list 7 ways to eat out with your kids without breaking the bank.

Eat at places that offer free refills on drinks. Beverages at restaurants can quickly add up, especially for a family. Many restaurants offer free refills. This allows you to buy smaller sized drinks which can be refilled, saving you money. Alternatively, simply ask for water instead of soda and save nearly $1-$2 per person.

Skip the kids menu, split an adult meal. At some restaurants, the kids meals can be relatively expensive for the amount of food that you actually get. In such cases it may be more cost efficient to order one adult entree to split between two children, or have each adult share their meal with a child.

Go to places where tips are not expected. You can find restaurants that provide a nice, casual dining experience without waiters, so no tip is expected. This saves you an instant 15-20%. The national Chipolte’s Mexican restaurant chain is one such restaurant where you can save by not having to leave a tip.

Fill up on the free bread, salad, and chips
. Restaurants often offer free bread, salad, or salsa chips while you wait for your main meal. These items are relatively cheap for the restaurant to prepare and can be quite tasty.

They’re also a great way to fill up without having to order expensive appetizers.  Many restaurants will even gladly offer you extra bread or salad for free or for a nominal fee.

Go on nights when kids eat free.
 Many restaurants offer special nights where kids eat free. Usually the free child’s entree is restricted to the kids menu and the child must be eating with a paying adult. This is terrific way to save money.

Just double check how many kids can eat free per paying adult and during which hours of the day the deal applies. The website coupondivas has a great list of restaurants offering kids eat free nights, as does the website mykidseatfree.com

Join birthday clubs. Some restaurants have birthday clubs which provide children with a free meal on their birthday. All you have to do is sign up ahead of time. Check out MommySavers.com (list is halfway down the website page) to find a great list of restaurants offering birthday meal savings .

Eat dessert some place else. Why pay $4-$5 a piece for expensive restaurant desserts when you can make a quick stop at the grocery store on the way home and pick up a gallon of ice cream for a fraction of the price. Alternatively, a stop by McDonald’s can net you hot fudge sundaes from the value meal for only $1 a piece!

Save Money by Building a More Effective Shopping List

shopping listShopping with a grocery list is one of the most effective ways to slash your grocery bill. Not only does a list help you avoid costly impulse purchases but it also prevents expensive repeat trips to the supermarket.

Unfortunately, most shopping lists are flawed, making them much less effective as money saving devices.

Below I list three common grocery list flaws and how you can correct them to save more money.

Flaw 1: We make our list right before we go shopping.

This is the most common mistake in making an effective shopping list. You jot down a list right before you step foot in the store. Unfortunately, this almost always results in items being left off the list, necessitating the return trip to the supermarket you’re trying to avoid in the first place.

You can easily create a more effective list simply by posting a pad of paper (with an attached pen) or a wipe board directly to your fridge door. This way you can easily write down items as you run out of them ensuring that you don’t forget anything.

Flaw 2: Not everyone is involved in making the shopping list.

The person responsible for the shopping may leave off things other family members need. A husband may forget that his wife has run out of her favorite coffee beans. A mother may not realize that the kids have run out of their favorite after school snack.

Again, posting a pad of paper or wipe board on the refrigerator door provides everyone in the family with the opportunity to contribute to the grocery list.

Flaw 3: We think in terms of consumables, not in terms of needed ingredients.

Its easy to notice when we’ve run out of milk or the kid’s favorite cereals. These are things that we consume without much preparation and are thus easily noticeable.

Less noticeable are the individual ingredients we frequently need to make many of our meals. These include items like sugar, salt, olive oil, margarine, seasoning salt, herbs, and spices – the very items that frequently send us back on repeat trips to the grocery store, sometimes right in the middle of cooking!

One way to prevent this oversight is to take a moment to think about the meals you might prepare for the week. Then check to make sure you have all the necessary ingredients.

Some people take it a step further and completely plan all of their meals for the upcoming week. This allows them the additional benefit of planning their meals around the items that are on sale that week.

By creating a more effective grocery list you can avoid expensive impulse purchases and costly repeat trips to the supermarket. Do you have tips for creating a better shopping list? If so we’d like to hear from you. Leave a comment below.

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How Your Local Friendly Supermarket Profits From Your Inconvenience

How Your Local Friendly Supermarket Profits From Your InconvenienceA recent post by Myscha Theriault at the personal finance blog Wisebread.com got me thinking about our “friendly” local grocery stores.

In the article she discusses things that frustrate us all about our local supermarket. Particularly how supermarkets will:

Dramatically increase the price on a favorite item.

Change the location of an item in the supermarket so it becomes difficult to find.

Stop carrying some of your favorite items for seemingly no reason at all.

I can totally relate to this article because I’ve had the very same gripes on several of my shopping trips.

The simple fact is that supermarkets really have no interest in making our lives more convenient.

Yeah they say they do. They advertise their friendly atmosphere, vast product selection, and super low prices. But the real truth of the matter is that your friendly supermarket is a big business whose sole existence for being is to make a profit, not to make our lives any easier.

In fact, your convenience gets in the way of their profits. Making things more convenient for the shopper directly interferes with them making more money.

Let me explain.

If your grocery store was truly concerned with making things more convenient for you they would place the basic staple items you need closer to the entrance.

This convenience would allow us to quickly grab what we needed and go.  But how many times have you gone into the store for a quick trip to buy some butter or bag of sugar and come out with a cart full of groceries?

Supermarkets purposefully place the essential staples not at the front of the store, but far in the back. As a result, we pass through row upon row of edible temptations. In fact, nearly 40% to 50% of all of our purchases inside the store are impulse purchases!

If your supermarket made it convenient for you by placing all of the staples at the front of the store, they would lose all the profit they collect as you make your way to the back to purchase your essential items.

If your grocery store was truly concerned with making things more convenient for you they would place the items we use together near each other. 

Why are the hot dogs on one end of the store and hot dog buns on the other end, the salad greens in one place while the the salad dressing sits in another?

Well it again relates to the issue above. By making us travel across the store to get the buns for our hot dogs we’re more inclined to make impulse purchases, spend more money, and increase the store’s profits.

If your grocery store was truly concerned with making things more convenient for you they would keep sales items in stock. 

Lets consider the super cheap “loss leaders” that supermarkets use to lure us into the store. The simple fact is that if you don’t get to the store during the first two days of the sale the sale items are frequently out of stock.  But to make it convenient for us by keeping store shelves fully stocked of sale items would cost the supermarket profits.

Many of these super cheap sales items are sold at a loss to the supermarket (ie the term “loss leader”). Their only purpose is to lure you into the store. Once a customer is in the store there is not much of an incentive to stock a product the store loses money on.

If your grocery store was truly concerned with making things more convenient for you they would keep check out lines short. 

Long check-out lines. Why does it seem that grocery stores have some magical formula where the number of check-out lanes left open is directly proportional to the number of people in the store so that even at 11pm we are kept waiting in a check-out line?

Simply put, long check-out lines create a captive audience more likely to purchase that candy bar, bag of chips, or magazine sitting right in front of us. In fact, per square foot, the check-out area is one of the most profitable locations in the entire store!

If your grocery store was truly concerned with making things more convenient for you they would keep sale prices simple

As I mentioned in my last post, supermarkets make sale pricing unnecessarily complicated – 3 for $7, buy 2 get 1 free, 4 for $7. Determining the individual price of a sale item is like taking a 5th grade math test.

Grocery stores have discovered that we simply spend more when prices are advertised this way. With a 3 for $7 sale, for instance, its often easier for us to just place 3 items in our shopping basket than divide 7 by 3 to determine the individual price of a sales item.

They don’t want you to easily figure out the sale prices of  individual items … you might realize you’re not getting a great deal after all.

The take home lesson: Supermarkets are in the business of making money.  Making things more convenient for us costs them potential profits. And let me be clear there is nothing wrong with a business wanting to make money. We live in a capitalist society.

The key is for us to realize this so that we keep more money in our pockets. By understanding supermarket tricks and tactics we simply save more.

Update: We’d like to thank Counting My Pennies for including this article in the Carnival of Pecuniary Delights personal finance blog carnival.