Things To Know About Supermarket Shopping in the U.S.
Cash Back - When you use your debit card to pay, you may be asked if you want “cash back”. You can avoid ATM fees by saying yes, and saying the amount you want and it will be added to your total charges.
CoinStar Machines are located by the main entrance of large supermarkets. You can bring a big jar of your uncounted coins and dump them in a CoinStar machine which will count your coins. You can put this towards a store credit ($0.919 for each $1), a gift card, or a donation to a charity.
Bottle Refund Machines are located by the entrance of large supermarkets. Bring your drink containers (cans, bottles) to get your deposit refund.
Printed or virtual coupons (barcodes sent to your mobile device) are a way of retail life here in the U.S. Be aware and take advantage of this common practice for additional savings. You can find coupons regularly in the inserts found in Sunday newspapers as well as online (directly from a retailer’s webpage or from general coupon sites).
Reward Cards - The larger grocery stores (and drug stores like CVS and Walgreens) have reward programs (cards) which give you better deals on certain products. Sign up for a reward card at the customer service desk and scan the card each time you check-out.
Self Check-Out - Scan, bag, and pay for your groceries by yourself. Your ID will be checked if you purchase alcohol or tobacco products to make sure you are of legal age (tobacco, age 18; alcohol, age 21).
Shopping bags are paper or plastic, usually at no extra charge, but some places are now charging $0.05 per bag. Best to bring your own bags.
Within Walking or Biking Distance of Old Campus
In New Haven, there are many local grocers, specialty markets, and regular farmer’s markets. Many of these will have an in-store deli or ready-to-eat food.
In Greater New Haven
If you venture a little further away by car or bus to Hamden, North Haven, or along the shoreline, you will find many larger supermarkets and food retailers.