Grocery shopping in Dubai may not sound as glamorous as splurging on clothes, shoes, bags, and jewellery. But it can still be fun and exciting, especially if you’re always looking for ways to find the best deals and save money at the same time.
Whether you have recently moved to Dubai with your family or have been here for quite some time, here are some smart tips and hacks that will help you become a savvy grocery shopper in no time:
Make a shopping list
Before you go out to your favourite supermarket, take the time to create a shopping list. Aside from jotting down the usual items you buy, check your pantry, fridge, and other places where you store food and other essentials to know which other things you have to buy this week.
This is something that you have to do if you go grocery shopping only once a week. With a proper list, you will be sure to get (only) everything you need from the supermarket. Having a list means you can avoid the long drive or commute to the supermarket because you forgot an important ingredient you regularly use.
In addition, making a grocery shopping list will help you to stick to your budget. Sticking to your grocery shopping list means you need to avoid splurging on items you don’t need such as an extra tub of ice cream or additional bags of chips.
Use the Internet
The Internet is now one of the best allies you can have to be a savvy grocery shopper. You can look up great deals or see what’s on sale on the websites of local supermarkets online. You can also do some comparison shopping while you’re online to find out which store or brand will allow you to save more money during your grocery run.
Leading supermarkets today carry a wider range of choices, thanks to advancements in the foodservice industry. They can now get wholesale stocks from a reputable online store that carries great brands from all over the world. This is something that you can also seriously consider if you buy several food products in bulk. Aside from having the items delivered straight to your home, you can score some great deals, too.
Shopping online will also help you avoid temptations that usually present themselves at the supermarket counter till. All you need to do is have a list of needs, click and buy.
Do your shopping on a weekend
Generally, weekends in Dubai means sales and deals. Most supermarkets here offer bigger and more sales and promos during weekends to attract more customers.
Although there will be more people at the supermarkets during weekends, you will be rewarded with great savings and deals even if you have to jostle with the crowd and wait in line for a long time.
Of course, you can avoid the crowd and long lines by heading to the supermarket early in day. You will even have the first pick of all new items put on display.
Buy in bulk
Whether you’re buying your groceries online or at a supermarket, if you have enough storage space, purchase the items you regularly use in bulk.
The keyword here, of course, is “regularly.” If you buy items you don’t need in bulk, you may end up losing more money as these items will just reach their “best by” or expiration dates before you get to consume them.
However, by buying the items you do need in bulk, you can save more money especially if you buy smaller quantities of these products on a weekly basis.
Flour, salt, sugar, vinegar and honey are some of the food items you can buy in bulk. When stored properly, they can keep their quality and freshness for a long time.
Other items that are best for bulk buying are toilet paper, nappies, detergent, and other cleaning products. To know for certain if you are saving substantially with bulk prices, always bring your trusty calculator or just use your smartphone app.
Always use loyalty cards
Nearly all supermarkets in Dubai have a loyalty card system.
Make sure you bring yours when you go shopping to get points which you can use as cash or score deals or freebies.
If you have a credit card that is linked with the supermarket you frequently go to, use this card whenever possible. By doing so, you will also earn more points and avail of more deals and perks as well.
Don’t forget to visit local markets
Lastly, although hypermarkets and supermarkets have a wider selection of fresh protein, fruits, and vegetables, venture out once in a while and go to the local markets.
Local markets, including farmers markets, offer fresh fruits and vegetables at reasonable prices daily which are best for whipping up healthy daily meals for the whole family. Smaller fish and meat shops also have fresh offerings every day so you can also find great options there as well.
Shopping at the local markets gives you the opportunity to haggle with the vendors, too. As such, you can save more money or get more freebies.
By being a savvy grocery shopper, you will be sure to have all the ingredients you need for the meals you have to prepare, and all the items you require for everyday use. This way, you save yourself both time, effort and money.
Jad Asaad is the Marketing Manager at Horeca Trade LLC with more than eight years of experience in digital, online and offline marketing. He started his career in Beirut working in a creative agency and then moved to Dubai to further expand his career. He created and implemented award-winning high-impact digital and offline marketing campaigns that consistently generated revenue streams and improved performance in targeted segments.