25 Ways to Save on Groceries - Check out with a fatter wallet, by W. Eric Martin (Woman's Day 9/1/02)
Great article with lots of helpful advice, let's look at the main points...
1. Shop Alone - I know contradicting to the shop with a buddy from the 1st article. I really think this is personal preference, I know I spend less $ and time when I am on my own.
2. Avoid individual snack packages - sure sound advice, but nutty bars don't count do they???
3. Buy spices in small doses - depends on the spice. I usually buy my spices at our local Big Lots or the spice store at the Market my Mom works at. My cinnamon is a Big package, bought that at Sam's Club along with the chopped onion flakes. But things like dill, thyme, sage that I don't use constantly I do buy in the smallest, cheapest packaging available.
4. Give generics a try - since 50% of my shopping is done at Aldi I already do this one! I am also okay with store brands, even for things like OTC medications, our medicine cabinet looks like an advertisement for Equate.
5. Weigh your choice - basically if you are buying prepackaged produce weigh it to make sure you are getting the most for your money.
6. Compare cost-per-pound or cost-per-unit - Do this every time I'm in the store. I rarely buy anything with out checking.
7. Meat your meat maker. We now buy most of our meat from the company my hubby works for, so I know I get better quality stuff than what is available at the mass marketers. But before we'd always scout the racks for discounted meats. We'd stock up & put it in the freezer.
8. Check out the chicks - roasters, fryers, it's all a label! I usually buy whatever is cheapest per pound.
9. Become a gourmet - learn some flavorful dishes that use inexpensive ingredients stir-fry, Italian pastas, udon noodles. I stir-fry tons, we love rice, I also love Mexican flavors so we use a lot of tortillas.
10. Start your own herb garden - sure grown your own it's cheaper!
11. Invest in a freezer - or 2! I don't know what I'd do with out my freezers!
12. Make that a really large freezer - suggests contacting a meet processing plant to stock up on meats. We did this one year splitting a cow purchased at the county fair. We ended up with 1/3 of a half of a side of beef! It didn't cost us much over all, I think our per pound price was under $2 and we got a lot of steaks for that.
13. Shop with leftovers in mind. Turkey is prime for this, I always buy the largest bird imaginable. When the rare leftovers occur I put them in freezer bags & pull it out later for casseroles, salads, & soups.
14. Forget your reliance on the supermarket - Drugstores & Pharmacies often have non perishables at reasonable prices, watch your ads.
15. Plan Ahead. - The article goes in the direction of "if your family doesn't eat the whole thing then take out what they won't eat & freeze it, and don't put dressing on the salad as a whole" I take this as plan a menu, or at least a pantry plan to be able to make your core dishes
16. Learn when to leave leftovers behind - don't try & squeeze leftovers out of EVERY meal, leftover fish isn't the greatest & that pizza crust (unless cold & for breakfast) will never taste as good the next day.
17. Count on discount stores - Aldi, Big Lots, Dollar General, all places I frequent for food stuffs, toiletries, & basic household items.
18. Visit price clubs with a friend - basically so you can split purchases, this has rarely ever worked for me!
19. Buy the newspaper on Wednesday - or what ever day your grocery store sales come out. I try to buy on Sunday to get the coupons.
20. Say sayonara to soda - we rarely ever buy soda. I try to buy it if it's on sale, just to have on hand & prevent the convenience store stop.
21. Cut corners on coupon clipping - I use the Internet for this, free samples often come with coupons, web sites sometimes have offers for coupons.
22. Save bread by shopping at thrift bakeries - I do not care for bread frozen long term so driving all the way to a thrift store is out for me (nearest one is 40 minutes away). I do check the day old racks at the stores I shop at (last find was a dozen donuts for $1.99).
23. Stock up on fruits & veggies in season - We bought 2 flats of strawberries, now I have a bunch of frozen berries for the winter months. Plus the garden we are growing is starting to pump out the produce tomatoes, beans, peppers, zucchini, mint, we have lots!
24. Consider a slow cooker - Couldn't live without one so I have 3!
25. Hunt for salvage stores - never seen one in my area, I do send my husband into their store room to check for open cases of stuff, maybe you could contact your local restaurant suppliers.
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