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Cooking Tips

[ How Do You Rate as a Food Shopper? ]
[ Ways to Stretch Your Food Dollars ]

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How Do You Rate as a Food Shopper?

Reviewing the checklist of shopping tips below will help you decide how good a shopper you really are.

You're a good shopper if . . .

  • You keep a pad handy in the kitchen for listing items that are running low.

  • You plan tentative menus ahead and use them as a guide when making a shopping list.

  • You divide your list according to food types (canned, frozen, fresh, staples, baked goods) to save you steps when shopping.

  • You list quantities, sizes and brands you prefer.

  • You keep up to date on foods in season when they are usually less expensive and hence good buys.

  • You watch newspaper ads and store window displays for food specials and seasonal sales.

  • You encourage other members of the family to help with the shopping.

  • You give yourself more time to shop, thereby reducing hasty and unwise buying decisions.

  • You try to shop when the stores are least crowded.

  • You buy according to your family's needs and preferences, considering how much money you have to spend and how much storage space you have.

  • You buy for longer periods; additional trips to the store increases the chances of impulse buying of items not necessary.

  • You compare prices of the same food in various forms - fresh, frozen, canned, and dried; and then buy accordingly.

  • You note the weight on packages because the size may not be a true guide to amount of contents.

  • You know that nutritive value does not depend on price. For example, beef liver, while high in nutritive value, is low in price and a good meat buy.

  • You consider the amount of edible meat per pound rather than price alone; some cuts have more waster than others.

  • You recognize the signs of quality in foods. For example, you avoid wilted, bruised or over-ripe fruits and vegetables.

  • You buy economical large-size containers when you can use the quantity conveniently. For example purchasing "family packs" you can divide the package into family size meals and freeze for future meals.

  • You know that ready-to-bake goods are usually more expensive than homemade products, but their convenience may make them well worth the extra cost.

  • You keep your eyes open for new foods and your mind open for trying them.

  • You know the store personnel and are courteous to them :)

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Ways to Stretch Your Food Dollars

If it is necessary to cut your grocery bill, there are ways you can do that and still give your family a healthy diet:

  • Buy fruits and vegetables when they are most plentiful and therefore less expensive.

  • Use all the edible portions of the food you buy, such as the leafy tops of vegetables.

  • Compare prices of fresh, frozen and canned foods and buy whichever gives you the most for your money.

  • Use more evaporated milk and nonfat dry milk in place of fluid milk for cooking, on cereals and in milk drinks.

  • Buy less expensive cuts and grades of meat. They are as nutritious as the more expensive cuts. Use variety meats such as liver.

  • Use protein foods other than meat and fish such as: cheese, eggs, dry beans and peas; when they cost less per pound.

  • Limit the purchase of more expensive ready-baked items. If time permits, do more home baking.

  • Watch the markets for reductions on foods which the grocer doesn't want to hold over a weekend, and buy whatever food you can use (or freeze) before it spoils.


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