Need to trim some expenses from your food budget? Luckily, several simple ways can help you get more for your dollar.
It begins with paying careful attention to how you shop when you’re buying groceries.
Is it really worth saving just a few dollars during each trip to the store? Why not give it a try?
Consider this, over time a few dollars each week can add up to a lot of money. For example, if you save $10 a week, it adds up to more than $500 by the end of the year.
UGA Extension offers these tips:
* Plan ahead and use your menu to create your list. Think about the meals you plan prepare between now and the next shopping trip.
* Always shop with a list. You are more likely to buy impulse items and other things you may not need when you shop without a list. You also are more likely to forget something.
* Get to know the store you visit the most, and list the location of the items in the store.
* Buy fresh fruit and vegetables in season. Buying out of season adds the cost of shipping and import fees. Buying in season means you will have a fresher product and hang on to more of your money.
* Use coupons only for items you buy anyway. Avoid buying items you wouldn’t normally purchase because you have a coupon.
* Consider store brands. Even with a coupon, brand-name products are often more expensive than others. If you compare ingredients, you’ll often find no difference between store and national brands. Store brands are often as good and, in some instances, even better than national brands.
* Compare unit prices. The unit price is how much the item costs per ounce, pound or other unit. Contrary to what many people think, the largest size is not always the cheapest. You can find the unit price on the shelf sticker.
The UGA Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program in Hall County has been really busy recently.
We’ve visited adults and children at East Hall Middle School, Gainesville High School, East Hall High School, Lanier Charter Career Academy, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hall County and Mount Zion Baptist Church.
They’ve enjoyed “Food Talk” recipes such as curly noodles supreme, munchy mix and chicken divan.
Sandra Stringer is a nutrition educator with the UGA Extension office in Hall County. Call her at 770-535-8290. Her column appears monthly on Wednesdays and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.