Home Articles Food Articles
Farmers Market vs. Grocery Store PDF Print E-mail

The Farmers Market is one of the best sources for fresh produce.  Just be careful not to assume that the fruit and vegetables offered are always the most affordable.  If you're trying to keep a close eye on your food bill, be sure to compare the prices of the Farmers Market to that of your grocery store. 

The easiest way to compare prices is to take the grocery store's sales ad with you to the Market.  You will be able to quickly and easily see who is offering the best prices. 

It's Time for a Pantry Challenge! PDF Print E-mail

By Melissa Tosetti
Traditionally, the Super Bowl is the last of the big winter parties.  That makes tomorrow the perfect day to start a Pantry Challenge.  

By taking on the Pantry Challenge, you see how long you can eat using only the food you already have in your kitchen - with the exception of purchasing fresh products like milk, eggs and produce. 
The Pantry Challenge, which we do quarterly, was started as a way to encourage you to rotate through everything in your pantry and freezer within a three month period. The food in your kitchen should be consumed. Often, we get into the mode that a well stocked pantry needs to be static. If you see something sitting there for three months, either eat it or donate it to a shelter and don’t buy it again.

In addition to saving money, an added benefit of the pantry challenge is that it forces you to get creative. You’ll look at canned soup and dried pasta a little differently as you figure out how to make a meal from what you have on hand. Over the years I’ve received feedback from readers who have come up with new family favorites based on the need to get imaginative during the Challenge.

The longest any Savvy Life reader has gone without having to buy groceries (outside of milk, eggs and fresh produce) was three months!
Let me know how your Pantry Challenge goes. Drop me an email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Note: The Challenge does not include the food in your emergency kit. You should always have enough non-perishable food and water set aside to sustain you for 3 – 7 days. Keep your emergency food and water supply in a waterproof bin along with your other emergency items. 

Last week I talked with two clients in Atlanta who were caught in that crazy storm.  One of them told me that although she was able to get out and walk around her neighborhood, all the stores were shut down.  She was glad to already have food on hand.  

A Savvy Grocery Shopping Tool PDF Print E-mail

By Melissa Tosetti

When an item goes on sale at the grocery store, our primal money saving instinct kicks in and we get an overwhelming desire to “stock up”. This unfortunate instinct is what creates the syndrome of having 30 cans of corn collecting dust in our pantry.

Keep in mind that most items go on sale on a six week cycle.  Unless something is offered at an extraordinarily great price, pick up only what you need for the next six weeks. Sales can lure us into overbuying.  Remember: your pantry is inventory.  If your inventory isn’t moving, then it's money sitting on your shelf.

One of the best ways to figure out the difference between regular prices, sale prices and really good sale prices is to create a Price Book. Keep the average prices and the sale prices of your regularly purchased items there, so you know when a sale is a true deal.  Include the “per unit” price as well, so you can more easily compare different sized containers.  This is especially useful when comparing between big-box stores and regular grocery stores.

The other day I was at our local Safeway and saw that Gatorade was on sale for the unbelievable price of $.49 per bottle when the usual sale price is $1.25.  Although we may only drink one bottle of Gatorade a week, I walked out the door with 10 bottles.  I doubt I will see it on sale for that great of a price again.

Grocery vs. Warehouse Stores PDF Print E-mail

By Melissa Tosetti

I won't drive cross town to save $.10 on a can of corn, but I do find it worth my time to shop at two separate stores each week for my groceries and household supplies.  

I start by going to Safeway to take advantage of their great sales.  I then alternate going to Costco and Trader Joes.

There are certain items at Trader Joes and certain items at Costco that we use on a regular basis, and that I just can't get better prices anywhere else.  For example, Costco has the best price on eggs, meat, condiments and cheese.  Trader Joes has the best price on baking powder, whole wheat flour and cereal.

By alternating which stores I go to each week, I am able to stay stocked up and my grocery bill doesn't spike every other month by making a big trip to Costco.

I recently ran across an article by Cameron Huddleston of Kiplinger, discussing the Best Buys at Warehouse Clubs, Grocers and Big-Box Stores.  If you're trying to decide if it's worth heading to Costco, Sam's Club or Smart & Final, check it out.

I love her advice about the giant box of strawberries you can get at warehouse stores for just a few dollars.  She talks about how they become a waste of money if you can't eat them quickly enough before spoiling.  Instead, she suggests looking for fruit and vegetables on sale at the grocery store and buying just what you will use.

Just two weeks ago I had a similiar conversation with a client in Seattle.  She was buying three different types of deli meat at Costco for her husband and two sons (they all had different preferences).  Although the price on the deli meat was great, she ended up having to throw half of it away because they couldn't consume it all before spoiling.  She was easily throwing $15 - $30 away each month. 

I suggested purchasing meat at Safeway's deli counter where she could buy exactly how much she needed, eliminating the waste. 

I heard a quote a long time ago that has always stuck with me.  The most expensive food is the food you throw away.  Very true!

Is Organic Always Worth It? PDF Print E-mail
By Melissa Tosetti
For many Savvy Life readers, organic produce is a "worth it" expense. But, if budget is an issue, focus on purchasing organic items that, when not organic, tend to have higher pesticide residues such as:
  • Apples
  • Bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Lettuce
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 9

8 Tips for
How to
Save 20%-80%
on Almost Everything

* indicates required
Email Format

Connect with The Savvy Life

Join BudgetSavvyMag on Facebook

Join BugetSavvtMag on Twitter

Follow Me on Pinterest


  • narrow screen resolution
  • wide screen resolution
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
  • fresh color
  • warm color