Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Price of Convenience

With the prices of things going up, we are looking for ways to control costs and make our money go further. One way to do this is to take a look at how you shop. At most grocery stores, you can get almost anything already prepared or partially prepared, for a price.

Sometimes you are in a hurry or away from home so it is necessary to pay the extra costs. But many times with a few extra minutes you can save the expense by doing it yourself. The other day in one of our local grocery ads, next to each other was Minute Rice in single serve portions and a box of Minute Rice. They were the same price but you got over twice as much with the box.

Another example is fruits and vegetables. Yes, it is handy to have it already chopped and ready to use. But with a few minutes of preparation you can save yourself money by doing it yourself. For items you plan on using in multiple meals throughout the week, you may be able to chop it once and use throughout the week (like peppers, onions, etc). Rachel Ray suggests washing and storing your produce when you come home from the grocery store. Then it is ready and easier to use when you need it.

When I find some fruits and vegetable on sale, I buy more than I normally would and chop and freeze on cookie sheets until hard and then store in freezer bags. Some examples are peppers and onions. I buy strawberries and other berries and do the same thing. Lately, our stores have been having whole pineapple on sale. I chop and freeze that also. When I have fruit in the freezer like this, it is easy to mix in blender or my Magic Bullet with milk or juice and make smoothies. When the fruit is frozen you don’t need ice or yogurt.

So with a few extra minutes and a little effort, you may be able to save money on your grocery bill.

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