Wednesday, May 30, 2012

9 Ways You're Overspending at the Grocery Store

How many of us look at the grocery receipt on our way out of the store thinking "S*#^, this is definitely more than I wanted to spend"? . . . I bet quite a few.

Since food is pretty much an item you have to purchase (no one likes to go hungry) there are many ways you can avoid overspending on groceries.

Here's 9 ways to save some $$.

1. Pre-packaged Salad -  It really is convenient to have your lettuce already cleaned and trimmed in plastic tubes but it also costs nearly three times the price.  Save a few bucks a month and purchase a head of lettuce, wash and trim right away and you'll have it ready to use.  Do this right after the groceries are unloaded.

2. Caned Beans - Yes, beans in a can are already cooked and easier (less maintenance) to prepare for meals than dried bagged beans.  If you have the time just put beans on the stove 20-30 minutes prior to prepping your other food items and they'll be done before you know it.  I do recommend soaking beans for at least 12-24 hours before cooking.

3. Bottled Water - Did you know drinking four 16 oz. bottled water a day (recommended amount) equates to $120 dollars a month? Are you crazy?? This is something you can get straight from your faucet for FREE.  Obviously Bottled water is a billion dollar industry.

4.  Fancy Spice Mixes - Many spice mixes and marinade rubs you can make on your own.  You probably have most if not all of the seasonings already on hand.  Next time you're thinking of making this purchase read the ingredients on the back, write them down and create your own spice mix.

5.  Microwave Popcorn - Sometimes you can pay almost double the price just for the convenience of having individual microwavable bags but most of us don't have the luxury of popping our own.  If you do, then in fact, I suggest doing just that.  Add your own butter, salt and other fixings.  Not only will it be a lot healthier but you'll save some moolah!

6. Exotic Spices - Taking the time to make a trip to an international market can save you a ton (almost 10 times in savings) on spices and specialty ingredients.  It may be out of the way but if you like to experiment with your cooking then why not check out other food items while you're there.  Who knows what you'll find.

7. Out of season produce - It's the basic law of supply and demand.  When crops are in season you'll be rewarded financially by purchasing what's in season now.  There's many factors that go into having a crop shipped in from 3000 miles away.  For example, those crops must be harvested early and refrigerated so they don't rot when transported.  Doing this disrupts the flavor immensely.  Does that sound appetizing?

8. Fresh Herbs - Save by starting your own herb garden.  You can often buy the entire plant for less than you can a few sprigs at the grocery store.  Even if you don't have enough room for a garden here's hoping you can fit at least a few pots somewhere in your home.

9. Pre-cut fruit - This is something you can easily do yourself.  Yes, it may take a little bit more extra time to do but I would think it would be worth the savings.  Unless, at that particular moment, you need something quick to go, then I'm for it.  Better than junk food!

Even though replacing some of these items with others (for example, dried beans vs canned beans) won't break the bank, every little bit will add up.  Also, it's always a good idea to wait until these items go on sale.

Happy Shopping!


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