a shopper grabs for produce at a market

Saving money at the grocery store: savvy shopping

In this series of posts, we’re helping you save money at the grocery store. In this post, the last in this series, we focus on being a savvy shopper.

In this series, we’ve listed a number of ways you can save money on groceries. Here’s another that might go overlooked: “Fresh, Whole, Weight and Compare.”

That’s what you’ll want to keep in mind when you approach the produce section. Let’s break those down.

Buying fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season will always be less expensive, but don’t underestimate the value of frozen or canned fruits and vegetables. If a recipe calls for a specific ingredient and it’s out of season, using canned or frozen might be a good alternative.

Whole food items, like full carrots rather than chopped or “baby” versions, generally will be less expensive, more nutritious and have less processing. Buying whole and cutting or chopping items yourself will take more time, but you will save money and enjoy a better tasting product.

Next, consider the weight of a food item. If you’re paying for an item rather than by the pound, a dense head of lettuce will weigh more and give you better value than a lighter head.

Finally, compare items. Do your homework to find the best values, check the price-per-ounce cost of similar products, and even learn when a store typically runs promotions. Planning like this will help you know when to buy and when to stock up on certain non-perishable items.

As you’ve seen, there are many ways to save money at the store. Understand that your best approach to saving might not be identical to your neighbor’s. Find what works best for you. And stick to it. You’ll be happier, healthier and have a better bank account in the long run.

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