Cindy’s Shopping Tips!
Heading to the grocery store! Here are some of my shopping tips…..
Make a list
When I was a single mother with 2 active children planning was very important. We had our “family” meetings each Sunday and decided what our meals were for the week. I took the menu selections and created a list. Since I knew my grocery store inside and out I was able to create my list starting from the produce to the dairy department. I stuck to the list! My only deviation was if there were products we use often on sale then I would bulk up and perhaps change a menu item around a little.
Shop on a full stomach
Studies show that folks who shop when they’re hungry buy more. This is certainly true for me: The best time to go shopping is after you eat breakfast. Bring your list and a full stomach!
Keep the family at home
Shopping alone with your list will prevent your spouse or children notice fun display that they just “have to have” from the eye catching displays.
Make one large trip NOT several small ones
Each time you enter the grocery store is another chance to spend. By reducing the frequency of your trips, you’re not only avoiding temptation, but you’re also saving money and fuel.
Keep it to a handful
If you’re dashing into the supermarket to pick up milk and bread, don’t use a basket. Baskets induce people to buy more. Keep it to what you can carry in your hand and put in one bag!
Shop outside the box
Health-conscious shoppers know where to find the good stuff! Shop the perimeter of the first. This is where you find the baked goods, dairy products, fresh meats, and fruits and vegetables are generally placed along the outside edge of the supermarket, while the processed stuff can be found up and down the aisles. But shopping the edges isn’t just healthier — it’s cheaper too. Stock up on the fresh food first, and then venture to the middle of the store. Again to items that are on the list…
For best deals compare unit price
Before you pick anything off the shelf, look at the unit price. This is the price per unit of measure – for example, price per ounce. This will give you the best bargain on that shelf. Also, look at the packaging. Just because the package may look bigger it may not be so look up and down to compare the same items.
Don’t look in the middle
Beware of brand loyalties! They pay a fee to have their product in the eye catching area of the shelf (in the center) or the end caps. Spend a few minutes and look on the top and bottom shelves. You may just find the same quality product for a lower price.
If you are looking for bread that you may be using for stuffing, baking, croutons or grilling then go to the area where you can find day old bread for at least 50% off.
If you are looking for a nice piece of Parmigiano Regianno be extra smart about it and make sure you buy a piece with a big chunk of rind. This is used often in my kitchen, it never goes to waste. It flavors a pot of soup, sauce and more!
Don’t feel you need to buy the name brands for spices. Look for a local or store brand. It is the same quality and less money. If you don’t like the packaging purchase refillable containers.
I have tried many types of canned beans and can’t taste the difference. Look for the best price!”
Stock/Broth in a Box
If you can’t make your own then stock up when they go on sale.
Pancetta is sold at the deli counter and I usually buy a slab, about a 1/4 to 1/3 of a pound. Not every store has it handy so when I am at the deli I buy a little extra and freeze so I always have some handy. Pancetta is used in many Italian dishes and perfect when accompanied to roasted brussel sprouts or even a pizza topping.
I struggle with produce because it seems that the day after you bring it home it may not be as fresh. I try to plan my produce around farmers market or what meals I am preparing for the week or a family gathering. If you find a great deal on that delicious vegetable then change your dinner around to enjoy it for the great price.
Us Italians love our garlic. You never want to run out of garlic so buy in bulk. My tip to you is check out your garlic before you put it in the card. You don’t want scars or spots. Pick healthy firm garlic!
Last but not least tips!
When shopping look for store or generic brands. Most items are usually similar in quality.
Use coupons when you can really save money with them.
Buy from bulk bins for baking ingredients, cereal and even spices
Most of all – check your receipt!
Tips from Cindy Anschutz www.cindystable.com
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