Money Matters: Grocery Savings

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This week is "America Saves Week". In a tight economy, it's sometimes easy to overlook how important good saving habits are.

One of the ways to save is when you shop at the grocery store. Wasted food costs Americans one thousand dollars of food each year and Americans waste 25% of the food they purchase. The website www.ziplist.com has a smartphone app that can help you plan ahead .

Here are some of the food items Americans overpay for, according to Lauren Wallack of www.ziplist.com.

1. Coffee

Half of Americans buy coffee at work spending more than $20 a week or around $1,000 a year. Instead, get your coffee fix at home and bring a thermos to work.

2. Bottled water

Instead of spending $2 on bottled water get a home water filter and fill up a sport bottle you can take to work. That way you can avoid that 4,000% mark up from the bottled water industry.

3. Buy in-season produce

In-season produce is less expensive.

4. Choose less perishable items

Try longer lasting fruits like applesand oranges, rather than fruit that perishes quickly. The same goes for vegetables. US consumers $32 billion on vegetables thrown away when they were not eaten.

5. Package your own snacks

You may be paying as much as 40% more for those products. Don't buy individual sizes of crackers, cookies and the like. Instead, buy in bulk and package small amounts in your own containers.

6. Buy store brands

In some cases store brands can be cheaper. You can save up to 29% using store brands.

7. Stay away from ready to go food

Avoid frozen dinners and boxed meals. You can make the dinner at home for one third the cost and it will likely be more nutritional.

8. Plan ahead

60% to 70% of purchases made at the market are unplanned. So make a list and stick to it.

That free app from Ziplist lets users decide how they want to find recipes - by ingredient, prep time or what you have on the shelf. Then it arranges items by your local grocer's aisles to cut down shopping time.


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