37. A Smart Shopper

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Where you do your major food shopping often affects your grocery bill. It’s best to check the price in nearby stores for the foods you buy all the time. You can then decide which store gives you the best prices. Check, too, for other features that may be useful to you. Which store offers the freshest foods? Which store has off-street parking and will cash your check?

Small stores will deliver orders to your home. If you do not need this service, you will do better shopping at a large chain. The large chain markets offer more variety and have better prices.

For most people it is best to choose a store with good prices and stay with it. Store-shopping for sales on certain foods may save you pennies, but it can be costly in time and gas.

When you shop depends on your schedule. Try to go when the store is not too crowded and when you have time to choose with care. Study labels and compare prices. Learn about new products. Give food buying all the attention it deserves.

The meat, poultry, and fish items in your menu usually cost the most. Studies show that one-third of the money spent on food goes for these items. To take advantage of the best buys at the meat counter, you need to be aware of the many cuts of meat that are available. Also, you must know how to use them in meals. Keep in mind that the economy of a cut depends on the cut with a low price per pound is not the best buy. What counts is the amount of lean meat and the number of servings it will provided. For example, a high priced meat with little or no waste may be a better buy than a low priced cut with a great deal of bone or fat.

Same size servings of cooked lean meat from different types and cuts of meat often have the same food value. As a rule, cooked lean meat from pot roast is as nutritious as that from steak. Fish has as much nutrition as lamb, and turkey has as much as veal. So when you visit the market, be a smart shopper and take the time to make the right choice.

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