How to Grocery Shop Economically and Well – Part 2

Feb 24, 2011 by

"tomatoes"Go semi vegetarian or just cut way down on meat. I don’t care how great that butcher department sale is, Scarlett, it can’t compete with the price of beans or tofu or making a frittata. A wide assortment of nuts is available and they have become more competitively priced in relation to other groceries.

Get worldly. Ethnic markets can have some of the best options for fresh and affordable, not to mention delectable. Some of the items I stock up on in ethnic markets or grocery sections are spices, noodles, seaweed, tostadas, tortillas, sauces, canned beans and the list goes on. At a fraction of the usual grocery price, and often better tasting. The last time I visited the Buford Asian Market they were out of my favorite Pad Thai Sauce that is sold for $2 a jar. I almost cried.

Veggies. Think versatile. Start exploring new ways to make veggies, especially those that are consistently cheap like greens and cabbage. I never liked collard greens. Had always had the traditional ones with ham that taste like an armpit and somehow conjure up visions of mullets, muscle tees and chitlins. Now I sauté them in chicken broth, olive oil, garlic, onion, and Siracha sauce. Yum. Thinly sliced cabbage in Pad Thai instead of bean sprouts is a good substitution. Cabbage is much less likely to spoil before you can use it. My Mother turned me on to frozen mushrooms and diced peppers. I still use fresh frequently but you can thaw frozen sliced mushrooms, diced onion and peppers in a skillet in the morning for a healthy quick omelet.

Rethink “convenience” foods. You can stuff hummus with carrot and celery sticks or smoked oysters on crackers in your face in even less time than it takes to reheat frozen appetizers. Try a new sandwich. One of my faves is Peanut butter, bacon, and lettuce with onion and mayo.

How will you store your abundance of new homemade and non-individually packaged fare? You can get pleated baggies for a penny each for your brown bagging and cut onions and tomatoes. Ziplock bags are sorta expensive but still a better option than buying frozen dinners. And I mean Ziplock when it comes to freezer bags. Others leak. I get them at Costco but you can also watch for sales.

We all have a huge collection of assorted plastic containers of the new flimsy variety floating around our cabinets. I’m not a big fan of those. I prefer to buy the Kmart Martha Stewart glass storage containers that are freezer, fridge, and microwave safe. Never lost one, not even a top! The thought of nuking food in plastic you can indent with a fingernail just does not sound good. I’ve never had one of the tops ignite at the bottom of my dishwasher and create noxious gasses throughout my kitchen either. And I think they are pretty. Oh, here’s a good one. Clean and reuse…it’s not just for Grandma anymore. Jam and salsa jars can hold leftovers and spaghetti sauce jars are great for storing rice, pasta and grains.

Almost as important as what TO do, is what NOT TO do. Personally, I never use grocery coupons. I can’t justify the time to clip sort and keep up with them. I could use that time to learn a new skill or watch a web video of cats on a treadmill.

Most coupons are for newly introduced foods you may like or may not. They are often toward processed foods that are poor choices in the first place. I don’t do the once or twice a month cooking thing because I’d get sick of eating the same similar frozen crap all the time and end up making a run to Whole Foods for something good. Would rather double recipes on occasion and freeze some. And I only buy healthy foods in bulk. If it’s here most likely I’m going to eat it. So it is best not to hoard crap foods because that’s what I’ll eat.

What are some of your best economical and good grocery shopping tips?

Part 1

About the Author

Jacki Schklar Has Written 7 Articles For Us!

Jacki Schklar is a video and interactive content producer in Atlanta, Georgia. Her main interests are marketing, comedy production, web publishing and cooking. Everyone asks her if she is a comedian and/or tells her she should open a restaurant, neither of which appeal to her. She publishes a website featuring funny female producers, writers and comedians called . FunnyNotSlutty Original Videos have been featured by Funny or Die,, and Internet Video Magazine.
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  1. Jody DeVere

    Fresh & Easy has become my grocery store of choice and helps me “limit choices” and save money due to the reduced selection. They have weekly coupons and if you sign up via email a $10.00 off coupon comes a few times a year.

    What I like is the great selection of fruits and veggies, deli and healthy no added preservative milk, cheese and meats plus single serving ready made meals. My life needs healthy fast food and this place has a great selection of salads and ready to heat yummy meals.

    They are greener with self check out, bring your own bags and simple concrete floors to energy-efficient LED lighting.

    I save at least $25 – 35 per week doing all my grocery shopping for One here!

  2. Jacki – Wonderful tips and ideas. I love to shop at the Oriental Farmer’s Market. Not only is the produce fresher but the prices are usually cheaper. The added bonus is a dull grocery chore becomes a trip to different world and lots of fun!

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