We hope that you found some of our strategies that we shared last week for saving money at the grocery store  helpful.  But, we still have some additional ways that might save you even more money when you shop.  Check out these ideas for ways to find hidden savings when you shop. 

Check for expiration dates and look for the ones with the latest date so your food lasts as long as possible.  Stores want to sell as many of their products as possible, so they rotate stock to put the items with the soonest expiration date towards the front of the shelf and later dates are towards the back. Check for the date that will give you the most time to use the food. 

Check the discount shelves for items that you can use or freeze immediately. Stores will place items with close expiration dates on tables and special bins with signs so that people will purchase them rather than the store having to throw them out.  Maybe discounted cut fruit like watermelon or honeydew would make an easy dessert the same night you are shopping or could be frozen right away for a future snack? Important note:  For food safety, do not purchase expired fruits, vegetables, dairy products, or meats.

Unit prices help us get the most for our money.  The price stickers on the shelves tell us how much the product costs per ounce (oz.), per pound (Lb.) or per number (ct.).  This is the unit price, and it lets us compare the prices of different brands of the same item with different size packaging. Often the item in a larger package will have a lower unit price. The lower unit price usually means you are getting a better bargain for the amount you are buying. Here is a blog post about how to find the unit price.

Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables help stretch your produce dollars. Canned and frozen produce last longer than fresh and can be used in a number of ways. Consider buying fruit canned in water and rinsing canned veggies to reduce the sodium content.  Drain off the syrups from canned fruit and use them to flavor oatmeal or desserts. If you have extra fresh produce from your garden, freeze or can them before they spoil. Contact your local University of Maryland Extension office if you would like to learn how to can your own fruits and veggies. 

Swap sodas and flavored drinks with water flavored your own way. When we buy soda and flavored drinks, we are actually paying for water that has been flavored and put into a bottle or can and driven to the store, all of which goes into the price. Why not use our own water and flavor it our own way to save a few bucks here and there?  Consider lemon, grapefruit, mint, cucumbers, and apples to flavor your water, like in our Wild Water recipe.

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