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Around the Home: More tips to stretch your grocery dollars

POSTED: March 21, 2012 1:30 a.m.

Here are eight more simple tips that can add up to big savings. If you missed the first set of tips on Feb. 29, go to and search "Around the Home."

As in that article, an example is given for each tip with the potential when you use the tip. The possible grand total saved is given at the end of this article.

Remember, a dollar saved is even better than a dollar earned: You don't have to pay taxes on it. Prices are rounded to the nearest 25 cents and may vary by store and region.

Stock up. Invest in staple foods when they are on sale. Take advantage of those 10-for-10 offers. Don't try this with fresh produce unless you plan to preserve it in some way.

Stocking up on staples such as reduced-price canned tuna or tomato sauce can be a great buy if you have shelf space to store it. Remember to check expiration dates.

Example: Stock up on 10 cans of food reduced by 20 cents apiece will save $2.

Bulk up. When the price is right and you can use it, of course. First, do the math and check if you actually do save by buying a larger package. Two smaller packages may cost less than the larger one.

Plus, will you use the food while the flavor is still tasty? If the larger size meets your criteria, go for it.

Example: Buy a 5-pound bag of rice instead of a 1-pound bag and save $1.50.

Store brand savings. Store brands are comparable in nutrition to name brands. And, taste-wise, there may be little difference.

In some comparisons, they have been preferred over the name brands but may vary more in size, color or texture than name brands. A less than perfect-appearing vegetable may be just fine for a casserole or soup recipe.

Example: Buy just two store brands, 50 cents less on each, and save $1.

Prevent food flops. Check preparation methods for unfamiliar foods. If you don't know how to prepare it or where to find information once you bring it home, think again.

Often the produce person or the meat manager at the store can give you some tips. Many produce departments have books with descriptions of all the items, what they taste like, how to prepare them, etc.

Example: Don't buy self-rising flour when your recipe calls for all purpose flour and save yourself $2.50.

Beware of snack attacks. Unless you're fairly active and need extra calories, enjoy snacks, such as chips, cookies, candy in limited amounts. You'll save money and may lose unwanted pounds at the same time.

Example: Buy one fewer bag of chips weekly and save $2.

Shop Specials. Plan your menus around sale items, especially for more expensive purchases such as meat. While raw ground meat maintains optimum quality in the freezer for 3 to 4 months, larger pieces of meat like steaks or chops maintain optimum quality for 4 to 12 months.

Thaw meat in the refrigerator on a plate on the bottom shelf so it doesn't drip onto other foods.

Example: Buy meat on sale and save $2 or more.

Think before you drink. Buy a reusable water bottle and fill it with tap water. Your investment soon pays for itself. Limit amount of soft drinks and fancy coffees.

Example: Drinking tap water versus buying a 12-pack of bottled water saves $4.

"Checkout" temptation. OK, you've almost made it to the finish line so don't stumble now as you approach the checkout lane. As you're waiting in line, think twice before buying some last-minute temptation.

Example: Resist the latest magazines and save $3.50.

The more you use these tips, the more you will save. If you use each of these eight tips in one shopping trip a week, you could save as much as $19 a week.

Multiply that by 52 weeks and the yearly savings would be more than $985. When you add that to the savings of $1,350 from the first eight tips in the February article, you will save a grand total of about $2,340! Hey, you could buy that huge flat screen TV you've been eying!

Adapted from an article by Alice Henneman, MS, RD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension

Radon is not regulated in Georgia in any way so many real estate agents will not bring up the issue. It is up to you, the buyer, to make sure that radon testing is added to the home inspection.

If the level is high, you may negotiate with the seller for installation of a radon ventilation system. If a home already has a system installed, it should also be tested to make sure the system is keeping the radon level as low as possible.

Ginger Bennett is a Program Specialist II-Radon Educator with the UGA Cooperative Extension in Hall County. Contact: 770-535-8290,



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