– when buying meat or produce, pay attention to “waste”. You’re usually paying by the lb, so a head of brocolli with a huge, thick stalk is less economical than one that’s more “crown” than stalk. With bacon, for example, try to pick a package with the most amount of meat and least amount of fat. There’s a lot of variance between packages, even within a brand name, and they cost the same regardless of meat/fat ratio.
– also, when buying produce, pay attention to how it’s priced. Most are priced per lb. But not all! Lettuce, avocados, peppers, and pomegranates, for example, are usually priced per item. Therefore you get more bank for your buck by picking the BIGGEST you can. Weigh them if you’re so inclined.
– the same goes for Costco rotisserie chickens, BTW. You think they’re all the same size? Think again. Look for the ones where the chicken squishes against the top of the plastic container. Pick up a couple and see the difference. You’re paying the same price for the scrawny one…
– it’s common to assume that the bigger the package/box, the cheaper the per unit cost. Not always so – especially when the smaller size is on sale. I find this, frequently, when buying cereal or milk. Check the price info for the cheapest per unit cost.
– your best savings come when you can combine an in store price reduction AND a coupon. Get a feel for the sales cycles for your most commonly purchased items to maximize your savings.
– have more than one carton of eggs in the fridge or two open jugs of milk or multiple packs of meat in the freezer? Use a Sharpie to mark the one you want to use first (unless you LIKE checking the expiration dates all the time). When the kids are around in the summer I make a lot of hard boiled eggs and keep them in a bowl in the fridge. If I make a batch before a previous batch is finished, I mark the eggs to be eaten first with a dot (they’re still in their shells, of course).