They aren’t reflected in the inflation statistics, but if you’ve been to the grocery store lately, you know that package sizes have shrunk, and prices hav
Local food banks report that they are serving more local residents. If you are on a fixed or low income, are there ways to save that you may not already have thought about?
Stephanie Nelson, founder of CouponMom.com says yes.
One way to take advantage of promotions is to do your research ahead of time. Your grocery store’s web site will likely have the weekly ad and special pro
motions listed, which will allow you to plan your meals for the week according to the sales, rather than randomly.
If you are
using coupons, carefully read the wording. If the coupon is for $1 off any size of the named product, the smaller size (or even a trial size) might be the better bargain.
DYI (do it yourself) can save you a lot. Nelson says that, if a family of four eats two chicken dinners per week, buying chicken whole and cutting it up yourself saves $200 per year.
Buying meats at a wholesale club can save up to 30 percent over purchasing at the supermarket, and removing meat from your menu just once per week could net an additional $260 per year. Dried beans are very inexpensive and can provide a great source of protein for that weekly meatless meal.
Bagged salads are very costly, according to Coupon Mom, despite their convenience. She says that if you purchase a salad spinner/keeper (about $15 on Amazon), buy head lettuce and wash/spin it yourself, you can save. The cost is less, and the keeper insures an added benefit of freshness without preservatives.
Pre-packaged, or processed fruits and vegetables are nearly always more expensive. As just one example, if you buy a one pound bag of carrots and peel and cut them up yourself, versus the pre-peeled “baby” carrots, you save about 55 percent. Buy a head of iceberg lettuce instead of bagged lettuce and you save about 87 percent!
Vegetables left over? Don’t throw them out. Store them in the freezer until you have enough to make a soup with! Speaking of leftovers, check the produce drawer of the fridge before you go shopping, and think about using what’s there by including those items in your meal plan for the week.
If you didn’t eat all the bananas you purchased, freeze them to use in banana bread. If you like nuts in your banana bread,check the price in the baking aisle versus the produce department. Baking aisle prices may be lower for some varieties of nuts.
Want grated cheese on your pasta? Grated cheese can cost twice as much, or more, than block cheese. Grating cheese yourself takes only a few moments, saves money, and eliminates the cellulose filler that is often used in prepared varieties.
For more cool hints on
how to save at the grocery store, you may want your own copy of “The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half” but there are also great hints and printable
coupons at http://www.couponmom.com.
Anne Springer is the public relations director of SeniorCare Inc., Cape Ann’s local area agency on aging. To reach SeniorCare, call 978-281-1750.