Frugal Shopping Strategies

Shoppers are always looking for ways to make the best decisions, find the best deals, and save as much money as possible. To help you cut down on costs when buying your groceries, take a look at some of these tips from our guest poster, Kate Sorensen.  Molly

3 Frugal Grocery Shopping Strategies–Pay Less, Enjoy More

1. Make Good Decisions When Buying Meat
Meat is one of the more expensive products commonly purchased at grocery stores, and also one of the least healthy. Oprah.com offers tips on how to reduce the money spent on meat. Its first suggestion is to simply eat less meat, as it often can contain a lot of unhealthy saturated animal fat. Chef Sara Moulton recommends to “treat [meat] more like a flavoring and less like the center-of-the-plate item.” On the same token, Moulton proposes going vegetarian once a week, suggesting using tasty legumes as the base of the meal. When you do buy meats, she claims that the less-processed the meats, the better. “So, buy chicken thighs on the bone instead of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Skin, which is really fat, and bones contribute flavor and can be removed after you cook the chicken.”

2. Make Soup More Often
Soup is a delicious meal that is always affordable. Moulton advises to “base your soup on legumes and vegetables, and if you want a creamer soup, use an immersion blender to thicken it.” Often, the bits of other meals we throw away are not garbage at all; Shelby Gilje of the Seattle Times writes on her realization that she had been throwing away food she could have been using in soups. “I learned that serious cooks recommend saving meat bones and less-than-prime vegetables for soup stock. It’s nutritious and good for the budget, too.” Other commonly thrown away items she cites are turkey carcasses, salmon bones, and various limp vegetables. Gilje explains that you can throw your ingredients in a stock pot and let them simmer while you do other tasks, then store the soup in the freezer when it’s done. When you’re ready to eat it, all it takes is a reheating and an addition of herbs and other toppings.

3. Don’t Buy Certain Products Organic
Sure, eating organic foods in most cases is worth the extra cost as it protects you from dangerous pesticides, but there are certain products where conventional buying is just as safe. Brierley Wright from Eating Well, in her article Trying to save money? 15 foods you don’t need to buy organic, lists 15 fruits and vegetables least likely to contain pesticides. The list includes onions, avocado, watermelon, kiwi, and more. Purchasing these items conventionally runs a low risk of danger at a much cheaper price than organic purchases.

Shopping and cooking smart will go a long way in cutting down the cost of eating. Follow these tips and expect to save a lot of money grocery shopping; expand on them to fit your habits and save even more.

Kate Sorensen is a working mother of two small children who lives outside of Des Moines, Iowa. She has a background in marketing and public relations and enjoys sharing great deals and how to save money. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter under Coupon Cravings or at www.couponcravings.com.

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2 thoughts on “Frugal Shopping Strategies

  1. WHAT ABOUT DOG TREATS YOU CAN MAKE DOG FOOD WITH CHICKEN BONES AND VEGES ,PUT IN SOME VINEGAR AND COOK UNTIL BONES GET SOFT AND DOGS CAN EAT THE WHOLE THING.
    Molly says: Thank you for sharing the helpful tip!

  2. I ALWAYS save leftovers and use them in my homemade dog food! I also take any freezer burnt meat and use that for dog food as well. (Much as I hate to admit it sometimes I forgot about an item that is in the deep freezer and by the time I find it it’s just not suitable for human food, but the dogs don’t mind in the least.) Certain bones are great treats for the dogs – keeps them active & engaged while helping keep those teeth clean!!!

    Thanks “heritage51″ for the tip on using vinegar to help soften bones….I always fear giving them chicken bones because they are so brittle and can cause choking, but now I know it can be done which mean even less waste and more yummy meals/treat for the doggies!!!!

    Molly says: I’m sure all our “furry friends” thank you for this wonderful information! :)

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