Keep this guide handy to score big savings in every department…
Biggest Money Savers:
Break up the bunch. You pay by the pound for most fruit and vegetables, so don’t feel required to purchase the prepackaged amount. Likewise, if a store is advertising three of something (kiwifruit, lemons) for 99 cents, know that you don’t have to buy three to get the deal. Buy only as many as you need.
Upsize. It takes only seconds to spoon a serving of yogurt into a reusable container, so it’s hard to justify forking over more cash for single-serve containers. Also, the flavored alternative is often loaded with added sugar. Mix in your own sliced fresh fruit, which tastes so much better.
Take a number. Before grabbing prepackaged lunch meat from the cooler, check out the deli display case. You may have to wait in line, but it’s worth your time. The deli counter also offers greater selection, including more low-sodium picks, and you buy only what you need-no more tossing expired sandwich fixings.
- Packaged Goods
Go generic. When it comes to one-ingredient items such as canned beans, rice. oatmeal and dried spices, there’s virtually no difference in taste between generic and brand-name options. But don’t be afraid to experiment with generic versions of multiple-ingredient foods such as cereal and pasta sauce.
- Freezer Items
Frozen isn’t always frugal. Compare prices per ounce (whether for Arctic char or zucchini) to see if frozen or fresh is cheapest. A store sale on fresh seafood can trump the frozen price. Likewise, in-season produce usually costs less than its icy counterpart.
Biggest Money Wasters:
- Microwave Popcorn
Super Saver Solution: Drop 2 tbsp kernels into a paper lunch bag (makes 2 to 3 cups popped), fold over the top and microwave two to three minutes, or until the popping stops.
- Nonstick Cooking Spray
Super Saver Solution: Create your own nonstick spray by filling a stainless steel or glass spray bottle with bargain canola or olive oil.
- Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
Super Saver Solution: A little Dijon helps bind oil and vinegar and adds a tangy zip to homemade dressing. In a jar, combine 1 tbsp mustard with 2 tbsp vinegar, 1 tbsp oil, 1/3 tbsp chicken or vegetable broth (optional) and a pinch each salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover, shake, and voilà! Tasty dressing for two.
- Cookies, Chips, Soda…
Super Saver Solution: Limit yourself to one temptation per trip.
read article on Yahoo! Shine by Beth Janes for Self Magazine – Financially Fit: How to Find the Best (and Worst) Deals in the Grocery Store