Ways to Save on Food and Fuel

Worried about food and gas prices? Soaring costs have many shoppers looking for ways to stretch their dollars.

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Worried about food and gas prices? Soaring costs have many shoppers looking for ways to stretch their dollars. The skyrocketing food and gas prices affecting much of the world have many of us looking for ways to stretch our dollars at the grocery store and at the gas pump. Food for thought: Pay attention to how you shop.

Here are 10 tips for saving on food and everyday expenses. Buy local. You can save money on fruits and vegetables by buying local as much as possible. Planning your menus around food that is in season means fresher ingredients and that you won’t be incurring expensive food transportation costs. Comparison shop. Look around for the best bargains, and not only in grocery stores. Pharmacies and hardware stores often offer good deals on staple items.

If you find a good price, consider stocking up. Shop smart. Make a grocery list and a weekly spend limit — and stick to it. Even small impulse items can add up — as much as 10 per cent of your yearly grocery bill, according to some experts. Utilize store circulars and coupons. And be sure to check your receipts for accuracy. Accidental overcharges can add up to a hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.

Save green when you go green. If the prices of organic foods have you bulking, target your spending for foods where conventional pesticide use is high. These include apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, imported grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, red raspberries, spinach, and strawberries. Get out the slow cooker. Buying inexpensive (and tougher) cuts of meats won’t be a sacrifice if you slow cook them to mouth-watering tenderness. Slow cookers also make great use of leftover vegetables. Consider making your own cleaning products.

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A trip down the cleaning supplies aisle can add big bucks to your grocery bill. Instead consider making natural and less expensive cleaning solutions from items in your pantry. Know your food costs facts. A few rules of thumb: white eggs are generally cheaper than brown; skim milk is cheaper than 2 per cent milk; and bacon is usually less expensive than sausage. A rotisserie chicken is not only a convenient way to prepare dinner, but it can go a long way toward leftovers, soups, etc. — and it is often cheaper than buying, say, boneless chicken breasts. Think generic. Cereal, canned and frozen foods can be cheaper when sold through the store brand name — and in most cases, the quality isn’t that much different.

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Cynthia Ross Cravit of 50Plus
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Related Topics: Money, Food, Gas, Tips, Sailthru Pacing June

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