Money at the Grocery Store
We are all feeling the pinch when it comes
to rising food and fuel costs. One way
you can save time as well as money is to
shop less frequently. Less trips means less
gas and less of a chance of impulse buys of
things you really don’t need. You will also
save some time by shopping less frequently.
A good shopping list is your number one
tool to help stretch food dollars and save
money at the grocery store. You must plan
ahead to have a good list, and plan to stick
to the list.
Be sure to plan ahead. Add items to your
list as they run low, so you won't have to
make extra trips to the store. Extra trips
can ruin your food budget due to all the
temptations in the store.
Eat before you
go food shopping. Never go grocery shopping
when you are hungry. If you are hungry in
the grocery store, you are likely to buy
more than you planned. Hungry shoppers buy
too much and usually make poor food choices.
If possible, shop alone. If you must take
children with you or even another adult, be
sure that they have eaten before you go
shopping. Also, make them your shopping
partners by allowing them to make some
selections within preset limits. This can
also be a good time to teach children to
read food labels I order to make healthy
Always read the grocery ads. Many times just
what you need will be on sale, or a
substitute item is on sale. If you can buy
and use the extra before it spoils, this
would be a good time to stock up.
Use unit prices. The unit price is the price
for one "measure" of the item. For example
it may be the price per pound or the price
per ounce. Many stores will have the unit
price labels on the shelf just below the
item. Make careful comparisons. You will
find that sometimes, the larger container
will have the best price per unit, and
sometimes the smaller container will have
the best price.
Compare store brands or no-name brands with
the well – known national brands. The store
brands are almost always cheaper than the
Use coupons if it really helps save money
for something that you need to buy. Even
with a coupon, sometimes the national brand
is still more expensive than the store
brand. Be sure to stop by The Bladen
Journal to check out their coupons and drop
off your extras.
When comparing some food items, you need to
compare the cost per serving or the cost per
meal. For example, some meats have a lot of
bones. So even though it may be the lowest
cost per pound, it is not the best buy
because so much of it cannot be eaten.
Use the food label especially the nutrition
facts panel. The food label makes it easier
to compare different foods and make
healthier food choices.
Always consider food safety when shopping
for food. Buy the refrigerated and frozen
items last so that they can keep at a safe
temperature until you reach home. If the
weather is very hot or if you cannot go home
immediately, take a cooler with ice in your
car, so foods can be kept at a safe
To avoid cross contamination, place any meat
that may drip away from other foods. Some
grocery stores have plastic bags available
in the meat section for this purpose.
Watch out for those items that are known as
impulse items. Stick to your shopping list
and limit or avoid those extras like sodas,
alcohol, sweets, and chips. Such items are
usually high in cost, high in calories, and
low in nutritional value.
Florida Cooperative Extension
4 boneless skinless chicken
3 teaspoons olive or canola
½ small onion, chopped
cup canned unsweetened pineapple tidbits,
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 small tomato, chopped
tablespoon minced fresh parsley
large nonstick skillet, cook chicken in 1
teaspoon oil for 5 – 10 minutes or until no
longer pink. Remove and keep warm. In the
same skillet, sauté onion in remaining oil
until tender. Add the pineapple, soy sauce,
ketchup and brown sugar. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5
Add the tomato. Simmer 5
minutes longer. Return chicken to the
skillet. Sprinkle with parsley. Cook for 2 –
3 minutes, or until heated through. Serve
over rice, if desired. Yield: 4 servings.