Learn penny-wise spending tips at the supermarket in the Bronx or anywhere USA. Robert Burton coined the phrase, “penny wise, pound foolish.” This refers to those of us who are “over careful about trivial things and under careful about important ones. The literal image is of the person who fusses over small amounts of money to such an extent that he misses opportunities to save or make large amounts,” according to the Dictionary of Clichés by James Rogers. Whether you live in the Bronx or small town USA, developing a grocery budget is an excellent tip to apply to a cost-effective spending plan while weathering this economic crisis. The cost of living has gone up and will continue to soar in 2011. In case you haven’t noticed, we are spending more and getting less in amount and quality in our neighborhood supermarkets. But with a strategic plan in place your family can enjoy the benefits of healthy foods without breaking the bank. So here are some frugal spending tips to stretch your grocery budget while pursuing a healthier lifestyle.
Make a List and Check it Twice
That tip is not just for your holiday shopping list but for the supermarket too. Believe it or not one well planned trip to the neighborhood grocery superstore once a week is cheaper than several trips to the grocery convenience store. Walmart offers lower prices because they purchase larger quantities of products. Though your neighborhood ‘corner store’ can offer you a ‘running tab’, in the long run you will save far more money making one trip. Develop a list of healthy meals for you and your family by following these simple nutritional instructions posted in the “2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans”. This publication steers the American diet towards healthier food choices based on our documented eating habits. Then follow these healthy food shopping tips:
- Gather together the circulars of the local supermarkets in your area or review them online and map out a strategic plan to purchase healthier food items on sale only. For instance if you need condiments but they are not on sale this week holding out until next week’s circular would be better especially if you live nearby an A&P where you can buy 10 bottles of ketchup for $10. This also works best if you don’t wait until your cabinets are totally bare. Remember to choose healthier food items and never make the list while you’re hungry! This can still lead to impulse shopping even though you’re not physically in the store. The “rule of thumb” with circulars is that there are always more savings during holidays and a great time to buy in bulk. List of Bronx Supermarkets’ Weekly Circulars: A&P, Pathmark, Western Beef, Morton Williams Supermarket, Stop & Shop, Pioneer, Key Food, Met, Ctown, Food Town, Fine Fare Supermarket.
- Devise a list that includes all the food groups and traveling expense. Every adult and child’s diet should consist of grains, dairy, protein, fruits and vegetables. For the necessary amount of for each food group click here for the Food Pyramid. With your dietary guidelines in mind, there’s two ways of creating a shopping list. You could make one based on monthly spending or biweekly trips. Whichever works best for you. Then your list should reflect food and household items purchased according to the time frame you choose. Develop a master list of healthy foods that you can stick to. Be creative and use Microsoft Excel program with columns for things that are important to you like sizes for instance, 8oz vs. 16oz, and additional spaces to write in. Keep in mind to list foods that are basic necessities to you and a separate list for extra healthy treats.
- Be sure to do comparison shopping not only with your circulars but also with your neighborhood 99 cents store. You would be surprised to know that there are basic healthy food items such as low sugar canned goods, dairy products and dry goods like rice and beans at the 99 cents store. Due to their bulk buying and ‘close outs’ practice, you will find foods at a better price than the larger supermarkets. If you find the right store you may also find an array of brand name foods too. But compare prices before buying because though their pricing strategy is competitive, the chain supermarkets are also aware of their neighborhood presence and are in price wars with them too.
NEXT: Healthier Shopping Tips continued
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