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Cutting The Cost of Groceries

Guest Author - Sandy Moyer

To save money when food shopping -
  • Plan grocery shopping trips ahead of time and check supermarket ads with a list of groceries you need. If one store has some of the items on your list on sale and another store has some of the others on sale, you can save $$ by shopping at both, especially if they are located near each other or if you would pass the grocery store with good specials on route to the store where you normally shop. If a store has an exceptionally good sale price on something that you use frequently, but it's not on your list, buy it if you have room to store it.

  • When shopping, look for rebate offers for items on your grocery list. Remember to save your receipt since most mail-in rebates require a copy of it plus a upc or other proof of purchase.

  • Try store brands and generic versions, especially when trying to stay within a budget if your grocery list contains alot of items not on sale.

  • Check the "day old" items in bakery departments. If your planning to use a pack of hamburger rolls the same day, for instance, you can save as much as 50% in most stores. YouŽll also notice very little, if any difference, in items like chocolate chip cookies.

  • Produce departments also sometimes drastically reduce packaged items well over 50%, often because one or two pieces are beginning to show signs of overipening. Overipe bananas make better cakes and banana bread. If youŽre planning to make something like cucumber salad, and you find a greatly reduced package of 6 cucumbers for 75 cents with only one overipe one and the regular price of cucumbers that week is 3 for $1, buy the bargain pack, and just discard the overripe one. Keep this in mind when shopping for something like apples for a pie youŽre planning to make right away.

  • Buy produce in season. Sometimes, though not always, youŽll find cheaper prices for locally grown produce at farmers markets and roadside stands.

  • WeŽve all heard this one before and surely know from past experience - Never shop for groceries when youŽre hungry!


    Sometimes you can save money by substituting a cheaper ingredient in a recipe -

    • ThereŽs little or no difference in taste when using imitation vanilla flavoring instead of pure vanilla extract.

    • Most bread machine recipes will turn out fine with all purpose flour instead of bread flour, which is more expensive.

    • Make your own bread crumbs using left-over bread, in a food processor or a blender instead of buying in a can. Make your own graham cracker crumbs for pie crusts instead of buying ready-made crusts.

    • In recipes calling for buttermilk, substitute 1 T. of vinegar with enough regular milk to equal 1 cup.

    • Instead of buying deli lunch meats, make your own sandwich meat -

      When you buy a chicken or beef roast buy a larger one than your need for a meal. Sliced chicken or turkey breast and sliced roast beef make delicious sandwiches. For ease in slicing, wrap leftovers in plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate before slicing. YouŽll be able to cut thinner, more uniform slices.

      ... Next time youŽre making meatloaf, make two instead. Chill and slice the second one for sandwiches.

    • Buy fresh fruit and vegetables in season and freeze or can them. See this page of links for Home Canning and Freezing Directions & Recipes.

        Vegetables
        Most vegetables are better frozen than canned.

        Two exceptions are tomatoes and beets. Tomatoes can be canned as sauce, stewed tomatoes, salsa, etc. I make pickled red beets, then can them.

        Fruit -
        Berries freeze very well and are are great for making sauces, pies and for other fruit desserts all year round.

        Peaches, apricots and nectarines are good either way.

        Apples - Canned applesauce is so much better than store-bought and so easy to make. I also use some of the applesauce for apple butter.

        Cherries are better canned and are also are great for making sauces, pies and for other fruit desserts all year round.

        Pears are better when canned than frozen.

        Making your own jams & jellies with fresh fruit can save money. If youŽve never tried it, itŽs easier than you might think.

    • Homemade salad dressings, barbecue sauces, dips and dipping sauces are usually cheaper than prepared ones, if you have the time to make them.


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    Content copyright © 2013 by Sandy Moyer. All rights reserved.
    This content was written by Sandy Moyer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Allyson Elizabeth DŽAngelo for details.

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