The kitchen can be a black hole when it comes to money, so let me remind you of several things to consider (or remember, since you know all of these tips already). First, buy in bulk when possible. Obviously, households of one or two might find they waste food if they buy too much, so use common sense. If you can, cook from scratch: you pay for marketing and convenience when you buy ready-made meals. For example, a bowl of cereal costs approx. 80 cents and a serving of pancakes, 20 cents. A whole chicken averages $7.60, while the same weight in parts costs $10.55. It pays to cook
Also, use coupons and try to match them with items on sale for additional savings. If you have a cash back credit card accepted by your store, by all means, use it. When in the store, remember...
IN THE STORE ;
• STICK TO YOUR LIST. Don’t buy on impulse.
• BUY HEALTHY FOODS. For the same price as chips and cookies, you may want to buy apples, bananas, carrots, potatoes, peppers, and other healthier foods that fill you up and may even allow you to eat less.
• LOOK FOR AND TRY store brands. Note that the most costly brands are often placed
at eye-level. Store brands may be cheaper, may be just as good, and are often placed on higher or lower grocery shelves.
• COMPARE prices among different brands. There may be a sale on different items of
same value and quality. Look for sales that offer buy one get one or two free.
• LOOK for the unit price to compare similar foods. It tells you the cost per ounce,
pound, or pint, so you’ll know which brand or size is the best buy. Most stores show
the unit price on a shelf sticker just below the product.
• WATCH produce prices and look for reduced items priced to sell as some vegetables
and fruits can be cooked even though their outside appearance is slightly bruised.
• CHECK expiration dates on food and other products. Purchase goods that will provide
you the best or longest shelf life.
• BUY a whole chicken, for example, and cut it into pieces at home or ask the butcher to
cut it instead of buying pre-cut chicken that may be more expensive.
• BUY milk (fat-free or low-fat) in large containers (gallon or 1/2 gallon), as they generally cost less than quarts. Milk sold at "24-hour" convenience stores usually costs more than that sold at supermarkets (Non-fat dry milk is the least expensive way to go).
• BUY in-season fresh fruits and vegetables.
• DON’T get duped by marketing -- stores tend to use everything from sounds to
product placement to make you spend your hard-earned money.
• STOCK UP on sale items you can use in a timely fashion, store or freeze. For example, often cans of soda and paper towels can be purchased more economically in bulk and stored for extended periods. Buy in bulk for quality and value, but serve healthy, smaller portions.
• BRING your own bags or reuse store bags from a previous purchase.It is also good for the environment.
• USE a credit card for your groceries on which you receive benefit points or cash back IF you will pay off your bill in full every month.
ASK FOR RAINCHECKS if the store doesn’t have a sale item that you need.