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Save Unexpectedly on Your Groceries

Save Unexpectedly on Your Groceries

USA Today

November 11, 2009

Meats and other proteins

Maples says she often builds on what she learned from her mother, who had to feed eight kids on a limited budget.

She recommends buying whole chickens rather than the pricier pieces — often at least twice as much a pound — and doing a quick Internet search on “how to cut up a chicken.” It’s easier, quicker and less ghastly than it sounds to the uninitiated. Less-expensive and tougher cuts of meat, including flank or chuck steak can be quite tasty if prepared properly, Maples says. And don’t forget the often-overlooked bean. Beans can provide much of the protein of meats and chicken at a much lower cost.

Dairy products

The same brand of cheese in the same store can have three different unit prices depending upon which department you buy it in.

Tod Marks, a senior projects editor for Consumer Reports who also writes the Tightwad Tod blog, found that out with Swiss cheese during one grocery store visit. The deli department’s sliced cheese, the prepackaged cheese section and the higher-end cheese section all charged very different prices for the same store-brand cheese. Of course, the more work the store does for you, the more they charge. That’s why Maples says she shreds her own cheese for her teenage children’s quesadillas, saving about $1.50 per pound. Eggs, at less than 20 cents apiece, are also a good and inexpensive protein option.

Coupons

You no longer have to hang onto newspaper sections to get the best deals. Websites including RetailMeNot and AOL’s Shortcuts are among those that gather most of the deals in one spot. After you register your loyalty card at Shortcuts.com and select coupons for your favorite brands, you get the savings automatically at checkout when you swipe the loyalty card. RetailMeNot.com just added a printable coupon component to its promotion codes, and now has thousands of grocery coupons available.