My kitchen costs seem to seesaw throughout the year. That's why I'm now focusing on getting the best deals every time I'm at the store. Here are seven great ways to save that I have discovered.
- Switch to dried beans. Canned beans are handy and require little forethought, but are much more expensive than their dry counterparts. Dried beans usually are about $1 more for a 2-pound bag. However, dry beans increase two to three times in size after soaking, giving you a lot more beans for your dollar.
- Use coupons wisely. Use coupons only if you normally would buy an item. If you end up using coupons to buy things you normally would not buy, you're not saving any money.
- Buy in bulk. One of the best ways to lock in deals is to buy large quantities of staples. The tricky part is preserving them. If you've got freezer room, use it. Besides, a full freezer requires less energy to keep cold.
- Make staples from scratch. For example, bread is one of the easiest staples to make at home from scratch, especially if you have a bread machine.
- Make a 'leftover' list. Keep a list of leftovers in the fridge that notes when they were first prepared, and how many servings are left to eat. That way, you will avoid throwing out spoiled food.
- Plan meals carefully. Before going to the grocery store, keep in mind what each recipe requires, and how you will avoid excess spoilage. For example, soup stock in boxes contains about 4 cups. If you have a recipe that uses 2 cups of stock, you will have 2 extra cups in that container that has been opened and at the risk of spoilage if you don't use it soon.
- Pay attention to the per-unit cost. One of the easiest ways to save is to do a quick glance at the tag of the item and see how much it costs per unit. This works because many containers look the same size, but actually are not. Just pick up the product with the cheaper cost.
What are some of your favorite tips for saving money at the grocery store?