Saturday, August 16, 2008

Shop Smart

Rising food prices due to energy costs has resulted in the adoption of shopping strategies by many people. Like everyone, I've had to pass up on snacks and desserts because they are simply too expensive due to the rising price of sugar and provide very few benefits for the body. So I did some snooping on the net to find the most highly recommended tips which will help you save now and guarantee a spectacular holiday season.

  1. Don't shop on an empty stomach and plan ahead.

    Everyone knows you should maintain a list of must-have items but you can also prevent yourself from getting distracted in the aisles by mapping your way through the store.

    Here's how:

    The longer you spend strolling around the more likely you'll stray from your budget and pick up junk food.

  1. Be a Spartan!
    You may not look like an escapee from the 300 production but you can be a financial Spartan. For people who consistently go over budget because they rely on credit or the convenient debit card. Take only cash to the store until you regain full control of your spending urges.

  1. Shop on Sundays after you gathered your coupons from the net or cut them from the paper. Sundays are usually slow days at the store which will guarantee that you won't have to deal with a long line or limited parking.

  1. Think outside the box and beyond the grocery store.
    Dried goods like pasta, cereal, canned goods, and even cleaning supplies are actually less expensive at pharmacies and dollar stores. You can also treat your grocery store as if it were a discount outlet by looking for “must sell now” items like two day old sour dough bread which is still safe to consume.

  1. Stockpile goods by shopping as a team. College students who live in dorms and apartments can pool their resources to take advantage of club stores. This tip also works if you are part of a church or community which is likely to have a member who has club store privileges. So coordinate your shopping and split the costs. Such wholesale places sell five pound bags of flour, syrup by the gallon, boxes of butter, dozens of rolls of toilet paper and coffee at a greatly discounted cost. Students should stock up prior to moving back to their campus quarters rather than relying on nearby convenience stores.

  2. Make the late summer BBQ count. As we count down the days to fall, take advantage of one last cook out to prepare meats for freezing to enjoy later on. Nothing beats defrosting and microwaving a meal for those occasions you don't have time to cook from scratch.

  1. Discover the lost art of cooking. Perhaps the only good which has emerged from the recession is people are learning that the kitchen is more than just a place to store dishes. Cooking as a family is a great activity and a way to give the television and video systems a rest. There are many articles which mention that baking breads have come back into fashion because it is not very hard and doughs can be frozen. I've never made my own bread but if I ever get the urge then these are the links to consult:

See you next Saturday!

~Tiffany ~ Silapa Jarun
KATANA DUET: Samurai's Forbidden Love
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