My 5/1 Publix Trip – $57.08 for $32.67 or 43% Off

We’ve been having a bunch of track meets lately and with two scheduled for this week I’m a little off my shopping game. Today I just picked up a few staples and drinks and even though I didn’t quite hit half off I’m pretty pleased with my savings. This week at Publix I bought $57.08 worth of groceries for $32.67, or 43% off after coupons. Here are the deals:

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How to Reduce Food Waste and Save Money on Groceries

How to Reduce Food Waste and Save Money on GroceriesThere are plenty of ways to save money on food. Some families choose to coupon and buy in bulk, while other families stick to a basic grocery list and avoid purchasing anything not on that list. While these tricks work, it is also possible to save money by purchasing just enough for the family and avoiding any waste. Here are some tips on reducing food waste that will help you save money:

1) Go to the grocery store once a week.

Save time (and gas) by only going grocery shopping once a week or even once every two weeks. If your meal planning skills aren’t quite honed, do your shopping one or two days ahead of time. As you master the art of meal planning, you can buy enough groceries for longer periods of time.

2) Regularly inspect the contents of your kitchen.

Check the contents of your fridge, freezer and pantry every few days to ensure that you use anything nearing the end of its safe storage or expiration period. It may help to make a running list of the items in your shelves and freezer and their “best before” dates.

3) Swap your goods around.

Regularly rotate the boxed and canned goods on your shelves so that the items in the back don’t remain unopened. Food items at the back of the shelves are often the ones that get too old to be eaten, because you’ve forgotten that they are even there.

4) Be realistic about your meal plan.

As you plan your meals for the week, be realistic about how much time you will actually have to cook and prepare your dishes. Don’t buy lots of fresh produce if you know you won’t be able to use it right away. Opt to purchase produce that have longer storage lives, or buy frozen foods that don’t easily spoil. You may also want to designate which days you’ll be able to spend more time cooking, and which days you’ll be bringing out the slow cooker.

Follow the abovementioned steps and you’ll be able to reduce a lot more food waste and saveg much more on your groceries. Just a few simple practices can truly make a big difference!

Photo Credit: iClipart 

5 Tips For Eating Well In Tough Economic Times

There’s no question that many people are having difficulty keeping up with household and food expenses in these tough economic times.  This is especially true for those who have lost a job or are now working in lower paying jobs out of necessity.  I often hear people complain that they would like to eat healthier, but it’s just too expensive to buy the right foods.  While it is true that many inexpensive sale items you see at the grocery store are the foods with poor nutritional value, there are still a number of things you can do to eat well without spending a lot of money.  Here are 5 tips to help you do exactly that:

1. Use whole grain foods instead of prepared and packaged items such as flavored rice and pasta mixes. Whole grain pasta, brown rice and whole grain bread or tortillas provide far more fiber, vitamins and minerals compared to the processed items.  You can purchase most of these items under the store brand, rather than a branded label.  Factor in how many servings you get for the purchase price of the whole grain, and you will find that your net cost is lower.

2. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables when they are in season and buy local whenever you can. Produce can be costly if purchased when they are not in season or have been imported from far away.  The trick is to learn what fruits and vegetables are in season in your area and buy them at the right time.  For example, in the northeast, fresh berries in January very expensive because they are not in season.

3. Stock up on frozen vegetables and fruit. Purchase the plain frozen vegetables and fruits (without sauces or seasonings).  Flash frozen produce has comparable or possibly better nutritional value to the fresh counterparts.  Frozen fruits and vegetables often cost less than fresh and are quite convenient.  While most convenience foods are expensive or low on nutrition, frozen fruits and vegetables are definitely a winner.

4. Stock up on beans and lentils (legumes). Legumes are extremely versatile and can be used in soups, stews, salads or side dishes.  The cost is low, while the nutritional benefits are high.  Legumes provide a great source of fiber, protein and minerals.  Trying adding black beans and some spices to your next batch of ground meat or turkey so you can use less meat.

5. Avoid the coupon trap. Coupons can be of help when you are on a budget, and you should check them out.  However, many coupons are for higher priced food items which are highly processed.  Be selective in your use of coupons.  If the item has little nutritional value, then it’s really not a wise purchase, even with the coupon!

Follow these tips for making healthier choices at the grocery store.  With a little planning, and bit of time devoted to your food choices, you will not only come out ahead nutritionally, but you will also get the biggest bang for your buck!

Photo Credit:  iClipart

About the author:  © 2011 Gretchen Scalpi. All rights reserved. “Pre-Diabetes: Your Complete Plan For Preventing The Onset Of Diabetes” and the “The Everything Diabetes Cookbook, 2nd ed.” Gretchen is a wellness coach and also offers The Balance Program® online in partnership with Real Living Nutrition Services®. Visit http://www.nutritionxpert.com/the-balance-program to learn more and while you’re there register for her monthly newsletter

Saturday Savings Coupon News Digest

Saturday Savings Coupon News Digest

Saturday Savings Coupon News DigestGrocery Coupon Network Announces Partnership With SheKnows Food & Cooking Channel – Newsblaze.com
LOS ANGELES – (BUSINESS WIRE) – As digital coupon and “daily deal” platforms continue to rise in popularity, leading online coupon community Grocery Coupon Network has announced an advertising partnership with SheKnows, a leading online destination for

Coupon Mom: Half off diapers and more – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)
Huggies: Get Huggies Little Movers Slip On Jumbo Pack diapers at Walgreens, on sale for $9.49. Use the $3 coupon from the Aug. 14 SmartSource circular to pay $6.49 and receive a $2 Register Rewards coupon for your next order. Your net cost for the diapers

Has coupon controversy put OnLive in a positive light with skeptical gamers? – CNET News
Before this week, if you mentioned OnLive’s cloud gaming service to dedicated gamers and you’d hear lots of skepticism. Whether it’s doubts about OnLive’s responsiveness or reservations about the absence of a local copy of games you’ve paid for, OnLive has

Best Buy Tells Me It Will Honor Coupon For Printer, But Only If It Can Charge Price That Negates Use Of The Coupon – Consumerist.com
Consumerist reader Jon saw that Best Buy was offering what appeared to be a pretty decent deal: Bring in any old printer for recycling and get a coupon for $50 off a Kodak ESP printer. And when he got to the store and saw the printer price had been dropped

Coupon Queen: Coupon the old-fashioned way – Post-Bulletin
If you’re a regular reader, you know how often I reference the online tools that make a coupon shopper’s job of matching coupons to sales a snap. With sites to print coupons, load electronic coupons to a store’s loyalty card or match coupons to

Local coupon websites add grocery deals – Crain’s Chicago Business
(Crain’s) — Two up-and-coming Chicago-area coupon websites are now sharing a basket in the grocery aisle. Evanston-based Coupon Mob LLC is collaborating with Chicago-based Coupon Network to add grocery coupons to its broad selection of daily deals

Bagging Bargains: 3 coupon booklets this week, plus issue of $aving Sense – Patriot-News Blogs
In this week’s editions you’ll find three coupon booklets — a SmartSource, a red plum and a P&G brand SAVER — as well as the September issue of $aving Sense, The Patriot-News local coupon section. Not all manufacturers’ coupons are available in all

Georgia Woman Allegedly Denied Discounts at Store for Being ‘Habitual Coupon User’ – FOX News
A Georgia woman says she’s miffed at the manager of her local Kroger grocery store who allegedly called her a “habitual coupon user” and refused to take her clippings, MyFoxAtlanta.com reports.  Khadijah Herring said she clips coupons with her children at

OpenTable Rewards Loyalty, Refunds Loyalty Points After Coupon Expires – Consumerist.com
As a frequent user of online reservation service OpenTable, Ben’s girlfriend had earned a fair number of loyalty points. She turned these in for a $50 voucher, which she promptly forgot to use. Oh, well, her loss, right? Not exactly. Hey guys, love the

GameStop pulls copies of PC game Deus Ex over coupon controversy – Dallas Morning News
GameStop Corp. has pulled all copies of the computer game Deus Ex: Human Revolution from its store shelves. The move comes after a controversy erupted when Grapevine-based GameStop told store workers Tuesday to open all copies of the new PC game and remove

Sam’s Offering Free eValues Coupon Program to All Members Aug. 31 – Sept. 5 – Everything Alabama Blog
Celebrate eValues with us! Between August 31 and September 5, we’re offering $600 in extra eValues savings to all Members. All you have to do is head to your Club. Stay tuned for more information. Here’s a description of the program: Your eValues benefit

How to shop at Walgreens – Tri-City Herald
Here’s how it all works: — When purchasing a single item, Walgreens accepts one manufacturer coupon and applicable Walgreens in-ad coupon for the purchase of a single item, unless prohibited by either coupon offer. So, if you have a manufacturer coupon

$5 Off Coupon for Disney’s Prom – Blu-ray.com
Disney is currently offering a $5 off coupon for the upcoming Blu-ray release of their 2011 teen comedy Prom. The film, which stars Aimee Teegarden and Thomas McDonellis, centers on a group of teenage students who are anxiously preparing for their high 

Download a Free Grocery List Spreadsheet

I Heart PublixMichelle at IHeartPublix has generously shared the Excel spreadsheet that she uses instead of a grocery list. The spreadsheet calculates exactly what the final prices should be for items after coupons and it looks pretty easy to use.  Go here to download your copy, and while you’re at it, enter to win her giveaway of a $100 Publix gift card in celebration  of reaching a million visitors at her blog.