Save Money On Groceries, Save The World …Er, Wallet

Our sibling publication ShopSmart has a great article this month on ways to save money at the grocery store. It’s available as a PDF download, but here are some of the highlights.

Instead of buying [produce] by the pound, try picking up a bag.
We know you like to pick out each potato and apple, but buying some items by the pound costs several times the price of buying them by the bag.

For some items, like fruit, it’s often best to pick out individual pieces, but potatoes, onions, and some fruits, buying pre-bagged saves money.

Instead of bottled salad dressing, try making your own.
Shake or whisk together one part balsamic or wine vinegar to three parts oil with a little prepared mustard, salt, pepper, and you’ll get something far superior to the Italian dressings selling for $2.99 a bottle. The trade-off is that homemade will keep in the refrigerator for just a week or so.

Instead of prewashed and cut greens, try a head of lettuce.
Bagged greens cost more than a head of lettuce you prep yourself. Make this swap weekly for big annual savings. (Annual savings: $73)

Instead of buying oils, nuts, and other perishables in bulk, try small packages on sale.
Unless you use these things up relatively fast, you might end up wasting a lot of food. So don’t go nuts at the warehouse store! cooking oils go rancid faster if not refrigerated, nuts go bad unless refrigerated or frozen, and the flavor of spices fades fast.

Instead of pasta sauce, try buying canned tomatoes and making your own.
They’re half the price and are a ready foundation for sauces, soups, and much more. Make your own pasta topper in minutes by saute?eing garlic in olive oil, then adding canned tomatoes, dried oregano, and a little tomato paste. Hot pepper flakes are optional.

I stockpile cans of crushed tomatoes when they’re on sale and/or I have coupons, and then use them for pasta sauces and soup bases all the time.

The article also offers tips for reducing food waste, meal planning, and other grocery tips. Om nom nom. What are your grocery tips? Me, I’m heading to the farmer’s markets this weekend so I can save money on in-season produce and cage-free eggs.

Save More at the Supermarket (PDF file) [ShopSmart]

(Photo: Dr. Hemmert)

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