Tips to save money on grocery shopping, storage, and recipes to help you make your groceries stretch.
See the articles on re-growing vegetables from scraps at home on the Food Storage & Leftovers page.
DATES AND THE TRUTH
Most people look at the sell by date and think the food is no good after that day. Food is good at least until its expiration date, and sometimes after. Bread yeast is often good a full year after its expiration date. (You can test it by “blooming” the yeast.)
Sell By – the date by which the store must sell or destroy the product
Use By – the date by which the food must be used or frozen. Sometimes shown as use or freeze by or best by.
Expiration – the date the food expires and (in most cases) should be thrown out.
Watch for sell by, most stores offer a serious markdown near this date so they don’t have to destroy the food. Stock up and freeze these perishables in single-meal portions.
Always put dates on the food you freeze. Meat, if frozen properly, will always be safe to eat no matter how long it remains frozen – as long as it remains frozen the whole time. The only concern is in the quality of the food. The food may pick up freezer burn which is nothing more than a dry patch.
This article from America’s Test Kitchen deals with egg dates:
WHERE TO BUY
Not all markets cost more than discount stores, and not all discount stores cost less than markets.
Costco™ only offers fresh chicken individually pre-packaged, so it costs much more than your local market’s skin-on pieces in the bulk package.
Local markets are now packaging flour in 4 lb (not 5 lb) bags, so the 25 lb bag at Costco™ will cost you about the same as 8-10 lb at the market. Even if you give half to your neighbor, you come out ahead – or store the flour for up to a year (see the Storing Flour article on the Food Storage & Leftovers page).
See also: 1 Bag of Groceries-5 Meals: http://shine.yahoo.com/financially-fit/5-dinner-recipes-one-bag-groceries-035800738.html.