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No matter how tight your budget gets or how much money you aren’t bringing home after taxes, you can count on one thing, you and your family will always need food. There are many ways to save on food shopping. The following are 11 money saving tips when you make your trek to the grocery store.

  1. Buy what is known in the grocery industry as ‘loss leaders.’ Loss leaders are overstocked items the store needs to get rid of to make room for the new stock coming in daily. Not enough room on the shelves for all of it can mean big savings for you.
  2. Call your local food store and find out when they typically have sales. You can go too [Link Removed] to find many stores across the United States and when they have sales. Take advantage of the 'buy one get, one free' or even better ten for $10.00 deals. Recently I observed a sale on nearly all boxes of cereal twenty for $20 or $1 a box at Albertsons. Most of these sales don't even require you to buy all five or ten boxes; you can buy one box for one dollar, or two.
  3. Take advantage of rain checks when there are sales. If the store runs out of the items you want that are on sale, ask the store for a raincheck. Most stores will issue a rain check that is usually good for 90 days. If you drive by that same store every day, you can stop every day and get a rain check every day they are out of stock, if you are ambitious enough.  
  4. Look for rebates, fill out the forms immediately when you get home so you don't forget. This is money in the mail and paying yourself back.  
  5. Make sure to get great fruits and veggies just about every time. Throwing away your fresh produce is throwing away your money. Here are a few tips to help you avoid throwing away your produce and get the most tasty produce you can.

Lettuce

Always check inside the bunch, if it’s loose leaf, to see if there is anything that looks old or is wilting. For iceberg lettuce, pick it up and gently squeeze. If it’s firm and heavy, you are getting more for your money.

Fruits

Most fruits with edible skin, will taste like they smell. If it doesn’t smell like a sweet peach or nectarine, it most likely won’t taste like one either. To help ripen fruits like this faster, put them into a brown paper bag overnight.

Fruit that is cold won’t have as much scent so it’s harder to tell, but may still have a faint odor and will taste like the odor when eaten.  

To get a crunchy juicy apple every time, it’s all about the ping. Look at the apple and make sure it doesn’t have any flaws on the outside and is the general color you are looking for.  

Hold it to your ear and gently take your forefinger and ping the apple as if you were flicking something off it. Don’t flick too hard because don’t want to bruise it. If the sound is thuddy, dull or hollow, you have a dud. It will be dry, grainy and YUCK! If you hear a high pitch sound that rings, you have a crisp juicy apple that is sure to please.

Cherries

Cherries should be firm, not soft or they will be mushy and won’t have optimum flavor.  They are too ripe and probably old if they are too soft.

Corn

Corn should have small kernels or it may be tough.

Grapes

Grapes should have no rippling in the skin and be firm, but not hard.  Smaller ones tend to be sweeter, larger tend to be overgrown, tough and watery.  

These are just a few examples of how to pick your produce.

And here are some more tips:

  1. Buy in bulk. Look at the per ounce on the price tag on the shelf in small writing. Sometimes the per ounce is less expensive than the on sale price. Buying in bulk can really help you save as well, but check prices against places like Sam’s Club and Costco as it may be less expensive there.
  2. Look at unit prices to make sure you are receiving the best deal. Buying bigger doesn't always mean it's the least expensive and visa versa.  
  3. Don’t compromise on what you love the taste of, for what you don’t adore, because it’s cheaper. If you do, you will end up not eating it and throwing it away and throwing your money in the trash can again.
  4. Buy the holiday candy you crave on sale and put it in your freezer. Don’t get too much though, because the freezer doesn’t mean forever (freezer burn tastes awful).
    During a holiday season one year, my sister and I went around to all of the stores in town (keep in mind that her family are chocoholics) to purchase M&M, Reese’s (all single candy items), Mars, Snickers, and many more that were on sale at a single chain store for ten cents each. Yes, that’s right, $0.10! These were full size bars that normally retail for $0.89 and it wasn’t after Halloween, it was before!
  5. Buy no-name brand snacks at wholesaler stores such as the hostess shop, etc. When you buy the less expensive brands such as “Little Debbie“, and then freeze the ones that are suitable for freezers, you are saving quite a bit of money.
  6. Look down and up, not in the middle when you are in the grocery store. Many stores will put their most expensive items at eye level, because they know that products at eye level sell better. Eye level in stores is considered about from your waist to your shoulders. Less expensive brands will be on the upper or lower shelves. So search for those bargains, by simply looking up, or down!

The most important tip I can offer is the old adage, ‘waste not, want not.’ I am guilty of this, as are many of us, but having been at the other end of poverty, I try to avoid throwing my money in the garbage when it comes to food.

Jaci Rae is known as The Queen of More Green. For more advice and money saving tips, please go too: [Link Removed]  where you will also find free gifts from Procter and Gamble.


Raeofhope, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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