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3 Tips For Slashing Your Grocery Bills

We all need to eat, so Live! With Regis and Kelly concluded its "Save a Dime in '09" series with a visit from Consumer Reports senior editor Tod Marks to discuss ways for saving money at the grocery store. We've heard some of his tips before, but they are great reminders of how to make the best choices for your wallet. Here are the ideas Marks shared with the show's audience.

  1. Buy in bulk and share with a friend: It especially makes sense to buy dry goods in bulk, but always remember to check unit prices to ensure the bigger items actually cost less. For things with expiration dates, consider splitting the cost with a friend.
  2. Store brands: Marks says buying store brands instead of national brands is the number way to save. He organized a taste test for Kelly Ripa and guest host Jerry O'Connell, and they had a tough time differentiating samples of peanut butter and cream cheese.
  3. Medication: The active ingredient is often the same in store brands and national brands, yet the store brands tend to be much cheaper.


Join The Conversation
melonman melonman 8 years
A restaurant man taught me if you can't think of three ways to use leftover turkey, don't buy the turkey.
dcfashionista dcfashionista 8 years
I love to use store brands. I love target brand body wash and it's alot cheaper than Dove. I believe that some store brand items taste better than their name brand counterparts.
brielleblonde brielleblonde 8 years
i think target has the best store brands for shampoos and toothpaste and stuff like that. It's usually half the price of the generic!
Calimie Calimie 8 years
Last year I did use to buy from the "close to expiration" shelf in Tesco. I miss that here now. I could buy stuff that I wouldn't normally do and try them much cheaper. And I could freeze everything and not worry about expirations. Lots of pounds saved that way.
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 8 years
Spectra, I do that! I'm always a teeny bit embarrassed to be digging through the discount meat bin, but it's all normal stuff, just close to its expiration. My favorite thing is when I find the pre-cooked, pre-cut chicken breast. Normally I wouldn't waste money on stuff like that since it's so much cheaper to cook and cut it yourself, but for half off I can justify it.
syako syako 8 years
These are good (but almost common sense to me). Some other ideas are to stretch out your meats. So if you buy chicken, try to make two dishes with it for two nights (or if it's just you and a s.o., make a meal that will last a couple of nights). This way you're not buying 5-7 entrees a week, but more like 2-3.
cokerad cokerad 8 years
The only things I buy that aren't usually store brand are sour cream and cheeses (block or shredded). Store brands just don't seem to melt as well on pizzas or quesadillas and the like. Sour cream, I don't know, I just like the words of wisdom from Daisy, haha!
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
The 4th Consumer Reports tip "Eat from the garbage can of your favorite restaurant." ha ha! Freaking common sense.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
these are some GREAT tips - i never thought about 'sharing' with a friend, but it really does make a lot of sense if you don't have space for storage.
Taadie Taadie 8 years
I must admit I buy store brand on almost everything except paper towels and toilet paper. Don't know why. I have bought store brand on both items before but I just like the fancy brands better.
hibiscus96818 hibiscus96818 8 years
I always buy store/generic brand. There's no way I am paying so much more for something that has a different label but is the exact same inside. Also, I love hitting the whole foods store in my town and getting nuts, grains and other dry goods from the bulk bins. I make my own granola for a lot less money than buying a box of granola and it is healthier because I control the sugar content.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I almost ALWAYS buy generic/store brand things. It's really stupid not to, especially since they're made in the same exact factories that the brand name things are; they just have a different label smacked onto them. My mom is kind of a brand snob though...she only buys brand name paper towels for cripes' sake. I just can't justify spending a couple of dollars more for the exact same stuff. Another little trick to saving money on your groceries is to look in your produce section and meat case for "reduced" foods. They're usually pretty close to the expiration date and are often marked WAY down. If you will be using it that night or the next night, it's still fine to eat and it's way cheap.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Ditto. I hate those people who are on a high horse and think buying store brand is "cheap" or "gross." Take the time to read the ingredients people and you'd see it's the same thing, you're just paying for a brand name. I always buy store brand.
cmd0610 cmd0610 8 years
i guess by stuff i mean "ingredients" of sorts
cmd0610 cmd0610 8 years
I always buy store brand medications- HUGE rip off not to. Also I started buying store brand dish washer detergent, and yesterday I bought store brand yeast for baking bread- it's always the same stuff I don't know why I didn't do this before!
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