A Grocery Store Glossary to Save You Money


Photo Credit: Consumerist.com (CC 2.0)

People who spend time shopping in the local supermarket get to know its staff and, perhaps, even the lingo they use. Paying attention to some terms is a good idea as they can help save consumers money. The following glossary of grocery store terms may help you defray some of the costs of your groceries. Be sure to learn them so you can cut down on your costs!


Some merchandise at the supermarket may be eligible for a rebate. Typically consumers can earn some money back by mailing in their proof of purchase.

Proof of Purchase

The proof of purchase is evidence, usually a label on the package, that customers can send to manufactures if the item is eligible for special promotion or rebate.


Many brands will offer special promotional prices on new items. For instance, a brand new cookie might be sold at an introductory cost for a week or two before the company bumps the price back up to its non-promotional cost.


Many supermarkets will send a weekly mailer that outlines the upcoming specials and promotions that consumers should look for when they visit the store. Stocking up on useful sale items can be a great way to save money on groceries annually.

Rain Check

Many grocery stores put out sale papers listing items that are on sale. These are generally the week’s specials. If they happen to sell out by the time you get to the store, you can ask for a rain check. This way when the item is back in stock you can still obtain it for the sale price.


These may be traditional paper coupons or digital coupons. These may be presented with items for a cost-savings. Websites like sumocoupon.com contain coupons for many stores and can help with considerable cost savings. You can also keep up with their latest offers on social media feeds.

Reduced Product

Many grocery stores have reduced product bins or shelves where they place items that are nearing their expiration date or their packaging may be dented in some way. Often these items are perfectly fine but the grocery store needs to move them out quickly so they reduce their price. Be sure to check out this area when you visit the supermarket as you never know what you’ll find for a bargain!


Giveaways might be those promotions that tell customers to ‘buy one and get one free.’ If it’s something you tend to buy often, this is a great way to save money. If you don’t really need or think you’ll use the item, don’t buy it.

Expiration Date

Some stores are better than others when it comes to clearing the shelves of expired merchandise. Shoppers should always check these dates when making a purchase. Choose a long expiration date whenever you can so that you don’t wind up wasting the item if you don’t use it up before it expires.

By keeping these terms in mind when you shop, you can save extra money on your grocery bills. Knowing these ins and outs can lead to substantial savings. Try stashing all your grocery store savings in a rainy day fund and see how much you manage to save simply by using items like coupons and shopping the sales in a year’s time.


Russell Matthews is a stay-at-home dad of two daughters. When not doing the laundry or attending princess tea parties, he enjoys writing about tackling everyday household experiences with knowledge and wisdom.

Lindsey at Sense
Lindsey at Sense moderator

Hi ladies! Thanks so much for commenting! I'm sorry I missed you earlier - I started school last week and haven't been very attentive to my blog. Cheers!


Great glossary!  My wife is great with saving in the grocery store.  Thanks for sharing this!  It's a great resource.


I absolutely love Rain Checks. The last time I got one was for lobster that had sold out :)


These are some great tips and tricks. Thanks for sharing! Maybe I can further reduce my grocery budget by using some of these... :)


In the UK, our supermarkets have something called "Gondola End" - basically the end of an aisle where the promotional groceries are. We also have a little reduced section too - it gets very busy around there some days. I guess everyone is looking for a bargain these days!