Choosing where to grocery shop out of all the possible supermarkets and stores can a very personal decision. You need to balance many considerations such as price, quality, freshness, selection, and convenience. Whether you’re looking for a place to cherry pick the sales, find some special ingredients, or you’re ready to ditch your trusty old supermarket for something different, here are 9 alternatives to consider and 1 you should avoid.Continue reading“9 Alternatives to Traditional Supermarkets and 1 You Should Avoid”
Who doesn’t love a plate of pasta covered in a beautiful homemade spaghetti sauce? Buying sauce in the jar at the supermarket typically means a lot of added salt and often added sugar as well. And homemade just tastes better. This past week, Laurie over at The Frugal Farmer posted How to Make and Can Spaghetti Sauce which gave step-by-step instructions on preparing a delicious-sounding homemade sauce from fresh tomatoes and preserving it in jars. She makes it sound easy but if you’re anything like me, you might be a little intimidated by a 3-day cooking process and dealing with canning supplies. For those of us who want to take baby steps, I thought I’d share with you this recipe for meat sauce using canned tomato products and dried herbs, plus the convenience of freezing portions.
Where’s the meat in the meat sauce?
Most meat sauces in a jar at the supermarket are really just “meat-flavored”. This basically means that the meat and the sauce shook hands and went their separate ways. But with this sauce recipe (originally from my wife’s Aunt Julie), the meat and the sauce have a passionate love affair. If there’s too much meat, you can reduce the amount to suit your family or your budget. Plus, there are other ways to alter the recipe to your taste, and I’ve made a few notes below to that effect.
A lot of people suggest buying from the local fish market, but you can get fresh seafood at the supermarket more conveniently and for less. We all know that eating fish is a part of healthy diet. It’s easy to prepare and readily available at your local supermarket. But it’s important to know what to look to get the best taste and insure your money is well spent. How should it smell? Should it be shiny or matte? What should you look for if the fish is already wrapped and not on ice? Because it can be confusing, almost half of all Americans seldom eat fish at home! Here are my tips for buying fresh:
My mom always told me to steer clear of the dollar stores, and that was back when there weren’t many of them and they were not really a player in the grocery business. Wow, has that changed in the 21st century! In the past several years alone, the number of shoppers in these stores has grown by 500%. Dollar stores have added plenty of food items from milk to eggs, cereals to brand-named package goods, and the chains have grown to be household names in every neighborhood.
More shoppers mean manufacturers are now selling directly to dollar stores, including companies like General Mills and trendy start-up companies like Hampton Creek. They’re even becoming suppliers to the stores’ own “private label” (store brand) products.Continue reading“Supermarket Savings: Should You Shop the Dollar Stores?”
Shopping for healthy choices can be a real challenge. The supermarket’s goal is to get you to spend more and the selections of glamour packaging and promotion often makes finding healthy choices difficult on a budget. Factor in your time and energy to inspect labels and contents and you will see that it can lead to “easy” choices which may be poor ones. In the long run, it costs more money if your health is impacted and your spending on medical care increases.
A few months ago, my wife and I began making changes to our diet to improve our health without making a dent in our budget. Buying fewer processed foods, more whole grains, leaner proteins and more fresh produce has helped us to lose weight and feel better. Do you have the right ingredients for a healthy diet on a healthy budget?Continue reading“Supermarket Savings: Tips for Healthy Choices on a Budget”
Buying fruit in season, even more so than vegetables, allows you to save money based on the increased supply as well as obtain better taste. The selection of fruit in the supermarket has changed over the past few years and in most cases this has lead to a better variety, selection and freshness factor. The fruit is available from places around the world and now caters to the diverse nature of our population featuring items that weren’t available locally just a short time ago. Local produce is featured in season at your supermarket, and that insures top freshness and lower prices if you take advantage. Here are some hints that can save you money and make your fruit selections top notch.
Selecting the right produce is a challenging shopping endeavor that can mean great value and health for you and your family. Buying your fruits and vegetables in season is an important way to save money, eliminate waste, and obtain the best flavor. The keys are knowing when are the best times to buy a particular item and what qualities to look for.
In this day and age, most fruits and vegetables are available all year long now that produce is available from various parts of the world. However, there are peak seasons that insure the best quality and value. Here are a few tips that can insure your satisfaction:
About 24 months ago, the first manufacturers began to reduce the size of a half gallon of ice cream from its historical 64 oz. package to just 56 oz., without reducing the price, and barely anyone even noticed it! With retail pricing being kept at the same level, it didn’t seem like much of a hardship for anyone to have to pay for less ice cream, and manufacturers saw this opportunity to fight cost overruns and maintain or even increase their profit margin. This minor change in size can actually produce an additional 12.5% profit (and expense for you and your family). The prices of some brands and packages have continued to climb, and many are now selling their “half gallons” as 48 or even 45 oz. packages. Another loss for consumers of 11-14% from even the 56 oz. shrinkage.