6 supermarket shopping secrets from Wisconsin’s biggest chains

Credit: Wisconsin Grocers Association

By Christina Lorey

January 4, 2024

DID YOU KNOW? The average US household spends $438/month on groceries. That comes out to more than $5,000/year!

But with a little insider knowledge and advanced planning, you can cut down on your bill without sacrificing quantity or quality. The team at Reader’s Digest compiled a list of the biggest shopping secrets from the country’s 20 biggest grocery chains. We whittled their findings down to the ones available here in Wisconsin:

Tip #1: Tuesdays are the best day to shop for groceries at Target.

Most department stores work off a markdown schedule in certain departments each day of the week, and Tuesday is when Target’s Market (the grocery part of the store) is best for savings.

RELATED: 15 Foods to Buy, and 10 to Avoid, at the Dollar Store

Tip #2: Take advantage of Trader Joe’s return policy.

Hate the newest flavor of Joe Joes? Just return them! Trader Joe’s will happily give you a refund for anything you don’t enjoy. Just bring your receipt and what’s left of the product to the customer service desk, and they’ll take care of everything for you.

Tip #3: Shop Aldi’s bargain bins.

Unlike some bargain bins, Aldi’s aren’t a rip off, and the selection is always changing. Click here for this week’s best finds.

Tip #4: Sign up for Hy-Vee PERKS.

Hy-Vee’s PERKS program (formerly known as the Fuel Saver) lives up to its name, giving you discounts on gas when you buy certain products, such as select snacks, beverages, and grocery items.

Tip #5: Start in the back of Costco for the best deals.

A little walking goes a long way at Costco, as the biggest deals are usually hidden in the very back of the warehouse. Also make sure to walk through “center court” (the savings aisles in the center of the store) and avoid the front (aka “action ally”) at all costs.

Tip #6: Download Whole Foods’ app for exclusive savings.

You might think Whole Foods is expensive, but the chain’s free app is loaded with coupons and current deals, giving you a leg up on what to grab in the grocery store.

MORE: 6 Simple Swaps That Can Save You 10-40% at the Grocery Store


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.



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