As the final installment of our three-part series to help you pinch pennies at the grocery store, here’s another tip from four money-saving bloggers. See their first tips here and here.
Sarah Barrand: A Thrifty Mom
Amanda Carlisle: A Few Shortcuts
Tara Kuczykowski: Deal Seeking Mom
Jessica Williams: Utah Deal Diva
PLAN YOUR MEALS CAREFULLY: WHEN & HOW ARE YOU GOING TO USE THE PRODUCE?
Before you throw some produce into your shopping basket, consider when you’ll use it and how you’re going to incorporate it into your upcoming meals so it doesn’t go to waste. “Make sure that the money you spend on fruits and vegetables doesn't end up in the trash,” Sarah says. “Often we only need part of something, like half a can or half a bag of vegetables. The other half often ends up in the trash.”
Jessica tells shoppers to look at items that are very ripe. “Fruits and vegetables that are overripe are often discounted to encourage a quick sale and taste great when blended into a drink!” Tara has a similar philosophy; she encourages budget-conscious moms to consider purchasing marked-down produce that's nearing its prime. “If you can use it quickly or find a way to preserve it, you can save some extra cash,” she says. She loves to purchase marked-down bananas, peel and freeze them and then use them at her leisure in smoothies. Jessica often buys fresh salad mixes that are discounted because they’ve come within 2-4 days of the “sell-by” date. “They're fantastic if you're shopping for dinner that night!”
When Sarah plans her family’s menu, she thinks about multiple meals that she can cook that week, utilizing the same ingredient. “Buy the ingredient once and use it towards two meals,” she says. “For example, if you are making Hawaiian ham roll ups that only use half a can of pineapples, plan to use the other half in a fruit salad the next day. You just created your own 50% off sale by using one item in two meals, stretching your dollar further.”
What are the best ways you’ve found to save money at the grocery store? Visit these women’s blogs for more budget shopping tips!