You’ve no doubt noticed that your recent grocery bills have taken a bigger bite out of your wallet. Prices are creeping up all over the store, but Consumer Reports has some tips to help you save money in the supermarket.
Let’s start in the store. A well-thought-out list will help keep you from impulse buys.
Try replacing some of the meat in your diet. Dried beans, peas, and lentils are far cheaper than animal proteins, and they’re packed with nutrients. Legumes are a great base for dips, bowls or salads, hearty stews, and veggie burgers.
Beans are a source of fiber, a nutrient most adult Americans don’t get enough of. And getting protein from beans, rather than red or processed meat, can protect against certain cancers and other chronic diseases.
Eggs are another nutritious and still relatively inexpensive staple. Use them in breakfast burritos, lunchtime omelets, or a savory dinner pancake, and benefit from their vitamin and protein power.
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Consumer Reports has found that store brands are often comparable in taste and nutrition to name brands. And store-brand foods and beverages can cost 20 to 25 percent less than name brands of a similar product.
If you don’t already, check the unit price. It’s the “per ounce” or “per pound” number next to the full price.
A store loyalty card not only gives you easy access to coupons and specials. Ralphs, Vons, and others let you earn gas rewards, and Amazon Prime members get special discounts at Whole Foods.
Consumer Reports also reminds us that your freezer is a money saver. A family of four can save about $2,000 a year freezing large quantities of foods on sale or in-season, and building meals around those foods.