Several years ago I taught a class on wise grocery shopping. It has some great info that is still pertinent today. It is nothing new but is always a good reminder. Groceries is a big chunk of a our families budget. Be wise and get the most for your money.
I know there are sites all about couponing etc., find a system that works for you. Decide just how much time and energy you have to give. Wise shopping habits should become a way of life.
Cooking, meal planning and smart shopping all go hand in hand. Most of us do not have an unlimited grocery budget. So it is necessary that we be smart shoppers. Listed below are a few ideas that might help you get more for your money! These are just ideas—don’t try them all today; gradual change is always the best. Different ideas work at different times in you life. Decide what your priorities are and implement the ideas that fit your lifestyle.
Use what you buy and buy what you use! Do not store what you will not use.
Know what you have in your storage room, freezer, and fridge. Some freezer labels and a black marker are a must. I like to make Pasta Sauce, it makes a large batch. I put it in 2 cup containers and label it with the date and contents. Be sure to use these treasures before they become hidden. I think the quality is best if used within 2 months
Buy large quantities of items you use frequently when they are on sale ex. I’ve never paid more than $.79 for a can of olives; when I see them on sale I pick up several cans. Make sure you rotate food.
Study the weekly sales—you don’t need to run to several stores if you don’t want to. Plan your weekly menus around sale items. Ex. last week Kohler's had beef roasts on sale for $1.69 per lb. (I taught this class several years ago, I wish I could get beef rump roasts for $1.69! I think I paid about $2.50 last time I purchased roasts on sale) I purchased several roasts. No, I won’t have roast beef every night! But I won’t have to buy them until they are on sale again. This week there are several Mexican food items on sale; it’s Cinco de Mayo, so I will stock up on green chilies, elPato sauce, salsa etc. This would be a great time to make some Mexican Meat Mix, another dish that makes a lot and freezes well.
Macey's is having a spring case lot sale so this might be a good time to check my canned goods and see what I might need a case of.
Have a group of friends that network—let each other know when you see a good buy. I often get calls from friends letting me know where good deals are. If you find a great bargain let a friend know; she will return the favor!
Set up a checking account for groceries, a set amount of money goes in it each month or week. It is used exclusively for grocery purchases. If you don’t use it all each month it accumulates and it is there when you see a great sale.
Try generic and store brands; they are often much cheaper and high quality. I bought a can of Walmart's diced tomatoes and a can of Hunt's diced tomatoes. I did a blind test with my daughter, we couldn't tell the difference. So I will buy Walmart's diced tomatoes and pocket the savings! Have several kinds of canned tomatoes on hand. Italian seasoned tomatoes make a delicious Tomato Basil Soup. Whole tomatoes make a quick and yummy Pizza Sauce. Try a can before you buy a case.
Make your own bread, pastry, desserts and treats. They taste better, are higher quality and are cheaper. Twinkies sit on store shelves for weeks; that tells you something about the amount of preservatives in them! Eat less treats and junk food!
Tomorrow I will tell you how I feel about Costco--the store that costs $250 per basket, or so it seems.