Good news! Clipping coupons no longer requires actual clipping. There are TONS of coupons online, from those found on money-saving sites to coupons released by food companies themselves. Some websites don't even require printing; they simply apply savings to your supermarket discount card! Of course, if you prefer to keep it old-school, you can sit down on a Sunday afternoon and cut coupons from the paper. It's your choice...
***POP-UP TIP: WAIT FOR ONLINE DEALS, AND THEN STOCK UP!*** If a website that you frequently visit -- maybe one with the initials H.G.! -- runs specials on certain items you love, keep an eye out for the money-saving offers, and then POUNCE! Example: We run exclusive specials on Vitalicious VitaTops in our daily emails ALL the time. (Look for one NEXT week!) In general, frozen items and those with a long shelf life are perfect for stocking up on. Another deal-doling website? Amazon Grocery, with its super-impressive Manager's Specials.
Buying things in bulk and shopping at warehouse stores may strike you as, well, a little overwhelming. (The crowds... The sky-high shelves... The endless samples!) But if it's a bargain you're hunting for, strap on your protective headgear and give it a go. (We're kidding about the protective headgear... mostly.) Get a membership and stock up on things you use a lot of and items that won't go bad for a while, like canned goods, dry mixes, etc.
Fruit and Veggies - Buy seasonal -- there's generally a lot of whatever's in season, so stores lower the price to sell it all before it goes bad. And frozen fruit and veggies are great any time of year, because they last a LONG time without spoiling.
Meat and Seafood - Take some time to compare prices. The meat counter could have a deal that beats the price of the packaged stuff; sometimes a big pack of frozen chicken breasts is your best bet. And frozen shrimp is a big YES -- much cheaper than fresh!
Canned Foods - Staples that we swear by? Canned beans, canned crushed tomatoes (lower in fat AND generally cheaper than premade tomato sauce), canned pineapple in juice (great as an ingredient or a straight-up snack), and light soup. Also, canned/pouched tuna in water is a must!
Breads - Make the stuff last. Keep it in the fridge or freezer to lengthen its shelf life, and don't have bread with every single meal of the day. (That gets both costly and carby.) And a pack of high-fiber tortillas is a good investment, since you can wrap things up in 'em, bake them into thin pizza crusts, or cut 'em and bake 'em into chips!
Dairy - Generic/store-brand versions of fat-free and low-fat dairy items are smart choices. But also consider how well an item multitasks. For example, sour cream is good, but you're not gonna eat it with a spoon. Choosing fat-free plain yogurt (Greek or regular) will give you more options; use it as a sour cream swap, in smoothies and parfaits, or just add a bit of sweetener and eat!
Snacks and Sweets - For some SERIOUSLY helpful tips on how to put together your very own 100-calorie snacks, click here. Ration your goodies out; it's good for your wallet AND your waist.
Hungry for More Tips? Check out The Grocery Cart Makeover, by HG pal and registered dietician Heather K. Jones. This e-book is SUPER helpful!!!
CHEW ON THIS: Friday, October 22nd, is National Nut Day. So get crazy and eat some pistachios -- chomp on 25 of them for only 100 calories. Just, um, remember to remove the shells first...
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We may have received free samples of food, which in no way influences whether these products are reviewed favorably, unfavorably, mentioned with indifference, or mentioned at all. Click for more about our editorial and advertising policies.
*The PointsPlus® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.
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