Monday, February 4, 2008

Time&Money: Supershopper Secrets II

By Lori Hall Steele

Care to save up to $5,200 a year on groceries? We're sharing secrets of supershoppers who do just that. Here's the latest in our ongoing series:

Make a 10-Meal List—Stock your pantry with items that you routinely use to avoid expensive emergency runs to the store. If you dash out for milk or a stick of butter even twice a month, it’s possible you’re spending $10 to $30 unnecessarily, grabbing items at inflated convenience store prices. (Which can add up to a not-so-convenient $360 a year.)

Avoid this by making a list of the 10 meals your family eats most often, then keep ingredients on hand, always, so you don’t have to dash out to grab something. If you do run out of ingredients, then improvise. But whatever you do, stay put. “That’s probably my No. 1 tip,” says Tawra Kellam, editor of “Make do with what you have. If you go to the store you’re going to come out with $30 worth of stuff. You’re not doing to die if you don’t have milk for one day.”

Making a 10-meal list takes about five or ten minutes. Stay on-program by posting a list or dry-erase board on the refrigerator, jotting down items when they run out, and taking the list to the store.

From a story that originally appeared in Woman's Day. Lori Hall Steele, founder of You&Me Kid, is an award-winning journalist who writes for national publications.

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