Some topics just do not excite me anymore, like budget eating. The strategies are the same year after year and it is not exciting and new. It takes restraint and planning (of course this is why the strategies are successful).
However, this year I learned a new trick (thanks to a Kroger employee). There is a little room over by the pharmacy where they put discounted items (deeply discounted). Ask your store employees if they have a section of the store like this where damaged goods, seasonal foods and closeouts go.
To give you an example, here is what I got this week in the “little room."
-Marshmallows: 25 cents for one bag (we roasted them last night over the fire). Family fun for 25 cents ... that is a bargain!
-Pecans: 1 pound for $2.50! These went into my freezer immediately for safe keeping and so I can use them a little at a time.
-Sunscreen: 60 cents
-Ghirardelli chocolate chips: 75 cents (normally these are over $3 a bag).
Now you do not know what you will find in the “little room” but do check it out first.
After this, you are set to employ the basic budget shopping strategies you have heard before. Here is a brief review just to get you geared back up for eating healthy and saving money!
-Choose seasonal vegetables and fruits (seasonal produce is not only less expensive but it is higher in nutritional value as well, that is a double bonus).
-Shop the sale paper (this is my favorite trick). Make your weekly menu based on the sales.
-Stock up on non-perishables when they are on sale. Whole grain cereals, pastas and rice go on sale every week and sometimes you can find a matching coupon (another double bonus).
-Another favorite is to get extra meat when on sale and freeze it for use later.
-Don’t forget the freezer section of your store. Again when frozen vegetables go on sale, stock up
-Be sure to check unit pricing. The larger package is NOT always the best deal. If it is, then go for it and feel free to re-package it once you get home.
-Purchasing produce is a balancing act -- you must have it in your home or you won’t get it in your diet; however, it is too expensive to let go to waste in the refrigerator. Buy a mix of fresh, frozen and canned produce and work the fresh into your menu first. You will reduce waste and get your fruit and vegetables in as well.
Until next time: eat well, live well!