Food Frugality is making a comeback in a big way, due to the poor economy. Everyone is looking for ways to make do with less, and save money. "Less is More" is the slogan of today.
Some Lifestyle Solutions that promote frugality in the market are:
- Shop sales
- Buy Food in Bulk
- Shop weekly loss leader items - sale items that lure you in with the hope you will buy everything there
- Rotate shopping at different stores each week and buy the items that are cheapest at that store.
- Coupons are wonderful, but tend to be for processed foods. Use the double coupons or the dollars off the total store coupons.
- Network with other frugal friends and keep each other informed
Fruits and Vegetables
- Buy seasonal and shop sales. Seasonal items will go on sale to prevent spoiling.
- Make the rounds weekly of your local stores to pick up sale fruits and veggies. Don’t be lazy. Costco can be beat!
- For unseasonal fruits and veggies, frozen choices are awesome. They are quickly frozen which seals in the nutrients. Berries are always a good deal frozen too.
- Check out local farmers markets in spring and summer for great deals also! Shop sales!
Meat and Seafood
- Compare prices and understand how each store operates. Albertsons and Safeway often offer meats on sale for buy one get one free. I look for other sales that will compare to 50% off. Albertsons offers fresh deals at times that are better than their prepackaged meats.
- Safeway lowers prices of their daily meat at the end of the day and you can find great deals. Shop late!
- Fred Meyer re-prices meats that are at the end of their sale date, so look for a sticker over a sticker.
- Overall, in my area, I believe that Albertsons consistently wins the meat war.
- Trader Joe’s wins for me also, because they have a nice balance between price and quality, with many meats that do not have chemicals, hormones or nitrates.
- There are only a few canned staples on my list: canned beans, crushed tomatoes, canned pineapple, canned mandarin oranges, canned chilies, and tuna, jarred pasta sauce.
- Comparison shop and buy on bulk sales.
- Cheapest tomatoes are Costco 6#12oz. I divide, conquer, and freeze them for great savings!
- Shop sales and freeze. Look for discount bread bakeries where you can get bread for less. There is a discount market that sells the 45 calorie bread we eat for 50% off, and often times more!
- Shop store brands. In my area, Fred Meyer offers plain fat-free soy milk that is almost $1 less than other stores and it is often on sale. Stock up on sales. Costco offers Fage 0% plain Greek yogurt that is a deal. Know what you use!
- Junk foods are very expensive per pound, so if you want to save money, cut them out.
- Figure out the price per pound for your favorite junk foods. Many time people say they can’t afford the price of fresh vegetables and fruits, but are willing to pay $2.99 for a small bag of specialty potato chips.
I am an expert in the art of being frugal, but not cheap, and yes there is a difference! The best healthy diet habit that you can practice is to get a notebook and create a page for each type of food that you eat. It works best to put them in alphabetical order.
For each food record:
- Cost at each store in your area on sale
- Compare the prices and develop a list for items you buy at each store in your area.
- Shop at a different store each week and buy enough of the item to last a month.
You will be amazed at the differences in prices between the same foods at different stores in your area. When you start to develop an awareness of food prices, you become aware that you can be greatly taken advantage of on some items in each store! Stores count on you practicing one stop shopping! Don’t do it! It’s fun to be frugal!