For most folks, making a trip to the grocery store or local specialty market doesn’t rank near the top of fun-to-do activities.  Yet everyone will agree that it is a necessity we all must undertake.  When you make that trip, however, how wisely do you use the dollars you spend?  Here are some worthwhile tips that will help assure you won’t drain your wallet.

Before you leave home:

  • Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry
  • Gather up newspaper coupons or download them from your favorite websites
  • Check cabinets, refrigerator and freezer inventory.  Then prepare a grocery list of items needed.

At the store:

  • Stick to your grocery list.  Hard as it may be, do your best to bypass those tempting (and often unnecessary) items
  • Allow enough time for shopping so you can compare prices and quality
  • Consider buying in bulk or family-size packages for those frequently-used items
  • Purchase fresh produce that’s in season;  they are normally less expensive and of higher quality
  • Keep in mind that while prepared meats (like rotisserie chicken) and side dishes (such as pasta salads, mixed greens, etc.) are quicker to serve at meal time, they are often considerably more expensive
  • Don’t overlook inexpensive cuts of meat.  They’re great for making stews and home-made soups in your slow cooker and for casseroles.

 When you return home:

  • Divide large packages of meats and produce into smaller quantities to freeze for later use.
  • Finally, if you haven’t already done so, we recommend organizing your pantry and refrigerator/freezer so older products get used first.  Remember the old adage, “First in, first out.”