In our modern world, everything seems to be getting more expensive. We all need to pay more attention to where our money is best spent when stocking up the house. Unlike even 10 years ago, now we have many different sources for our fresh food and other household items.
First, check your neighborhood grocery ads as you set your weekly plan. Of course, this will be a huge help in setting your meals for the week. Chicken on sale? Make a salad (containing sale items from produce) with grilled chicken and fresh bread. You can also make chicken enchiladas, creamed chicken on English muffins, or a quick soup with vegetables and boxed organic broth. Make a list of non-perishables like broth, pasta, and canned tomatoes. Then stock up when they are on sale. Try store brands! Often they are almost identical to name brands and are sold at a discount. Many stores also have house brand organic products. Try your local ALDI; it’s an all-organic store now.
We belong to Costco, a membership store. You do pay a yearly membership fee, but the savings more than pay for it. You will of course save money on bulk items; like a 12-pack of paper towels, 35 rolls of toilet paper, bottled water, and paper plates. There are also many other places to save! If you are looking for organics, Costco is the place. There are many fresh and non-perishable items; from milk and cheese to olive oil, coffee, and cereal. Prices are good but you are required to buy a rather large package, so make sure you will be able to use it all (especially with fresh items). It’s still a good idea to shop around for the best prices. Often Amazon has products for a better price and the shipping is free and fast with Amazon Prime. Amazon also has specialty items, like truffle oil or hard-to-find nuts. Walmart also offers many staples with free pickup at the store.
Now let’s talk about paying. Many people think it’s best to pay with cash or debit, but this is not always the best way to go. Use a credit card with cash back for grocery items. Many cards offer cash back up to 5% for purchases like groceries and gas. Most do have a minimum amount that needs to be charged every six months, but you can always purchase grocery gift cards if you are short of the minimum. Costco gas prices are often 30 cents less than nearby stations and offer a cash back credit card. You must have the discipline to pay this off every month.
So with all the options we have, it is easier than ever to save a few dollars on food and staple items we use every week. Be a savvy shopper and take some time each week to find the best bargains. You will not only save money, but your diet will also improve as you find quality organic foods.
KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO