Location, location, location. That’s the real estate mantra. It isn’t how much you spend but where you spend it that makes the difference. Location is also a big deal when it comes to everyday purchases. Here is Money Examiners’ best advice for what to avoid buying at the grocery store. We’ll show you how to save money skipping items at the grocery store.
Spices: Your recipe calls for a pinch of Grains of Paradise. Great! You can go to the store and buy three ounces for $14 and have enough to leave some in your will. Or, you can go to Whole Foods or any other gourmet shop that sells spices in bulk. You can buy a pinch for a buck! There we go, saving you money already.
Marinara Sauce: Let’s do the math together. If your store is anything like ours, jarred marinara is about five bucks. A can of crushed tomatoes is three dollars less. Add your own Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and olive oil. Pop in the right amount of pepper and a little cayenne. Not only will you have made your own marinara for half the price of the jarred stuff, but your own will be better because it will reflect your family’s taste.
Pet Food: Grocery store pet food is low-end stuff, filled with corn and something called meat meal, whatever that is (I don’t want to know.) Yet, grocery stores sell it at a premium price, because you’re already there. Instead, go to a pet store or Tractor Supply and get a better product for the same price. Okay, we may not have saved you money with this one, but we made your dog Buster Posey’s coat shine. We have to get points for that.
Lunch Snack Packs: Kids love Lunchables. They love the compartments, the cheese, and the little cookie or brownie inside the package. Have you ever priced them for value on the dollar? Soften the separation blow for your child and let her pick out a reusable plastic container with split sections from your local dollar store. Then make the lunch pack yourself using fresh ingredients. In less than a week you will have saved money, even counting the cost of the container.
Frozen French Fries: Everyone likes fries, but the frozen ones never live up to your expectations, even in a 500-degree oven. Thinly slice a potato into a reasonable facsimile of your dream french fry. Dip it in oil and put it in a 425-degree oven. It’s a better taste at half the price.
Salad Dressing: While bottled dressings aren’t terribly pricey, they tend to have additives you may not want to absorb into your bloodstream. The ones you make at home will be less expensive and better for you. That’s a quinella Money Examiners will bet on every time. You probably already have oil, vinegar, a white sauce, ketchup, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, honey and mustard in your possession. Mix and match for the best dressing your salads have ever experienced.
Energy Bars: Everyone loves a good pick-me-up at 2 pm. The problem is this. Those pick-me-ups can end up being a too-large proportion of your monthly grocery bill. Skip the grocery store snacks and buy a variety of nuts, dark and white chocolate chips and chopped-up dried fruit for a cheaper snack that is healthier, as well.
There you have it. Fresher, healthier foods that are better for you. Money Examiners scores once again. Enjoy the savings, while you enjoy the healthier alternatives. Oh, say “hi” to Buster while you’re at it.