You can save a lot of wandering up and down the aisles by organizing your shopping list according to the way the store is organized. Arrange your route so that you pick out fresh vegetables and fruits last; they won’t be crushed by other items in the grocery cart.
Check newspaper ads for specials around which you can plan a meal. Not all of the items advertised as specials are good buys; when possible, it’s a good idea to comparison shop among the ads.
Limit your food shopping to one trip per week if possible. The less time spent in the market, the less money you’ll spend. And don’t make that one trip a week just before a meal, when you’re feeling hungry. Everything you see will look good, and you’ll end up buying unnecessary items.
If you need only a single item, get that item and head for the check-out counter.
Buy only what you can use or freeze immediately. If there’s more food in a package than you want, ask to have the package opened, divided, and reweighed.
Look for less-known brands; they are often cheaper that the nationally advertised ones.
Look behind newly marked, higher-priced items at the front of a shelf. You may find a few of them still marked at the old price.
Do not buy damaged cans; their contents may be spoiled. When you choose packaged goods, be sure that any seal has not been opened or tampered with.
Never buy frozen food covered with frost. It has probably been defrosted and then refrozen.
Check the dates on perishable foods carefully and note that the fresher ones usually are toward the back of the case.
Don’t throw away a spoiled product that you have just bought. Return it to the store for a refund.
Although converted rice is more expensive than polished white rice, the former contains more nutrients. Brown rice, which hasn’t been processed, is even more nutritious but it takes longer to cook.
Don’t waste money on packages of seasoned rice. Cook plain rice and add your own choice of herbs and spices.
Save on cheese for grating and for use in recipes by asking for the low-priced ends at the delicatessen counter.
Did you know that large, medium, and small eggs vary in price according to how plentiful they are? Generally, if there is no more than a 7-cent price spread per dozen eggs between one size and the next smaller size in the same grade, you’ll get more for your money by buying the larger size.
To save money, buy plain cottage cheese and plain, unflavored yogurt and add fresh cut-up fruit or vegetables at home.
When purchasing fish, make sure that the eyes are as clear and as bright as those of a live fish. Also, if the gills don’t smell fresh, decomposition is well on its way.
Try cheaper kinds of fish fillets, such as pollock, ocean perch, or whiting. They are often good substitutes for the more expensive fillet of sole.
When buying frozen fish in plastic wrap, look for the ice glaze that should cover the fish. If it’s dented or cracked, the glaze is no longer protecting the fish from losing moisture-and quality.
Bologna, salami, and other cold cuts purchased in bulk and sliced at home are less expensive than packaged meats.
If you need just a little ham for a recipe, ask for inexpensive ham ends at the delicatessen counter.
Canned hams that require refrigeration are more flavorful than canned hams labeled “needs no refrigeration.”
The most tender pork chops are those with pink rather than red meat. Chops with red meat are from older, tougher hogs.
For best value in a porterhouse steak, buy the one with the largest tenderloin part and the smallest tail.
To select the most tender sirloin steak, look for the cut that most closely resembles the shape of a porterhouse steak.
Which chickens are better-yellow- or white-skinned? It doesn’t matter as long as the bird is labeled Grade A and is young.