Newington (WTNH) - When you check out at the grocery store, have you really checkedout all the savings you could? If you walk around Stew Leonard's inNewington with state Consumer Protection Commissioner JerryFarrell, you learn a lot about the best ways to make your dollarscount.
For instance, in the produce section, local is better. This timeof year, apples grown in Wallingford are less than a dollar apound. Fruit from far away has a far higher price.
"We have our strawberry season in Connecticut in May and June,"Commissioner Farrell said. "It's not that these [packagedstrawberries] aren't a great product, but they're not going to bequite as fresh and as available as this apple is."
When you buy fruit and vegetables, take the time to cut them upyourself instead of paying more than double for someone else to doit.
"You know, when you want to cut back on some dollars, you know(precut salad) is $3.99 versus the store bought (lettuce) which youthen chop up yourself for $1.69."
Farrell says keep your eye on prices for name brands, likeTropicana OJ at 2 for $10 dollars compared to the store brand juiceat two for $5.
"Truth be told, the store brand is almost always going to becheaper and of the same quality as the name brand."
As you walk around the grocery store with your shopping list,sometimes you want to buy things that aren't on it
"But if you want to keep your wallet in shape and maybe yourdiet in shape, you don't want to veer off of that list and betempted by things that are great but they weren't on your list andyou don't necessarily need them," Farrell said.
When you find what is on your list, the best way to get the bestvalue is to compare brands, but often they come in different sizes.That's when you look at the unit price.
"It will tell you hey, 16 cents per fluid once versus 25 centsper fluid once."
Here's a tip that's actually a state law: If something rings upincorrectly at the cash register, you actually are entitled to getthat item for free. If it rings up wrong, you get it for free, upto $20 and if it's the right kind of item.
"There's a law known as the consumer commodity law, that if it'sa consumable item - think of a tube of toothpaste, versus anon-consumable item such as a broom," Farrell said.
If it is the kind of thing that gets consumed and it rings upwrong, you get it free. Of course, no store is going to point itout to you.
"To take advantage of that law, you have to pay attention tothings as they are ringing up to make sure that they're correct,"Farrell said.
If you have any questions about prices while you're shopping, alot of stores have those price scanners right there in the aisles.Also, if your store is having a sale, but they ran out of the stuffon sale, get a rain check. It's the law. They have to give youone.
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