We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share their best supermarket hack. Here are the tips you're going to want to remember:
1. "Literally every item in a grocery store that's in the front expires faster (it's not just the milk). It's called F.I.F.O. (first in, first out). The older products are put in the front so they're the first ones out."
2. "Stores not only stock the oldest milks in the front, but also in the two middle columns."
3. "If you squeeze a soft drink bottle/can and it's hard, that means it's fresh. If it gives way, it's losing its carbonation."
4. "The ripest and best tasting watermelons are the ones that feel hollow when you tap them."
5. "When buying bagged lettuce, look for bags without too much air in them. The older the lettuce, the more gas it releases, hence the puffed up bags."
6. "The bread clips are colored to correlate to their sell-by dates."
7. "Unless things are wickedly marked down, store brand versions of your favorite foods are ALWAYS cheaper."
8. "A lot of store brand and name brand products are EXACTLY the same. My friend used to work at Kellogg's and a lot of the time the only difference between the store brand and name brand was the box."
9. "If you like deli cheeses and meats but don't care too much about the size and shape, ask the deli staff if they have any 'ends' to sell."
10. "Always check the price per weight/unit. My grocery store prints it on the price label."
11. "Most stores will give you free samples from the bakery and deli. Sample the meat, cheese, bread, cookies — whatever — before you buy."
12. "If you see a new product on the shelf and don’t want to buy it without trying it — ASK!"
13. "Most grocery stores will allow you to return (and get refunded for) lunch meat you aren't happy with. My mom has been a grocery store deli clerk for 30+ years."
14. "Anything that’s been packaged in store can be re-packaged in store."
15. "The spices are in alphabetical order. I was 32 years old when I found this out and no one should go that long without knowing that fact. You’re welcome."
16. "Why bother paying for bags that flop around and spill groceries in your trunk? Ask a produce clerk for a cardboard box — it's so much easier to box up your groceries and carry into your house."
17. "The spices in the ethnic food sections are cheaper than in the regular spice section. And sometimes larger quantities to!"
18. "The belt you put your groceries on when you check out at the register is filthy."
19. "The most expensive items are on the middle shelves, at about eye level. They keep all the cheaper brands on lower shelves."
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Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.