Saving Money at the Grocery Store

Our public library has a table where people can share magazines. I love this! It’s like a treasure hunt. You never know what you’ll find. I also like leaving my own magazines there instead of throwing them in the recycling bin for the garbage man.

This week I found the September issue of Good Housekeeping. Years ago, I subscribed to GH, but over the years its editorial mix changed to more of a celebrity/decorating/beauty type of magazine, and I stopped getting it.

But this issue had a few useful things in it, including a time vs. money list of grocery store purchases. Some examples weren’t that impressive. For instance, if you make your own ground beef patties instead of buying them preshaped, you’ll save 13 cents per patty (92 cents vs. $1.05 each). Using dried beans instead of canned beans will save you just 15 cents per serving (10 cents vs. 25 cents). Shredding your own mozzarella only saves 8 cents per serving.

But most of the examples made it clear that you can save a decent amount of money by shunning convenience (all price examples are per serving):

Romaine (head) vs. precut Romaine: 25 cents vs. 97 cents

Whole carrots vs. preshredded carrots: 25 cents vs. 48 cents

Baking potatoes vs. frozen steak fries: 20 cents vs. 43 cents

Jello cooked pudding mix vs. Jello refrigerated pudding: 20 cents vs. 62 cents

Celery (in a bunch) vs. precut celery sticks: 29 cents vs. 62 cents

Fresh green beans vs. fresh green beans in a microwave/steam-in bag: 37 cents vs. $1.33

My personal favorite is the brown rice example:

Raw brown rice (cooks in 30-40 minutes) vs. precooked brown rice in microwaveable pouch: 19 cents vs. $1.10.

And that’s per serving, so for a family of four that’s a savings of $3.64, just on rice!

(Here’s another article from Good Housekeeping about saving money when grocery shopping.)

5 thoughts on “Saving Money at the Grocery Store

  1. Their comment on the beans? That doesn’t seem right. Where I shop, a pound of dry beans costs about the same as a pint of canned beans, which after you drain off the water, is about a cup and a half or a little more. But the dry beans will give you about 6-7 cups of beans. That means canned will cost 4x as much as starting from scratch. I guess, though, beans are cheap enough that 4x as much doesn’t translate into too many pennies, and that’ll help me feel better when I’m running behind and would like to make beans but feel wasteful using a can instead of starting the night before soaking the dry beans.

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  3. I thought about that too, Susan, because dry beans are definitely cheaper, but even canned beans are inexpensive, so it’s just not a huge savings. Yet look at the brown rice—-you pay so much more for convenience on that example!

  4. Not only do I avoid convenience foods but I use coupons too. Every little bit is money I save goes into another budget line for more important things like a special needs trust fund!

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