As you may have heard, next week is National America Saves Week. To support this initiative to get Americans thinking about how they can save more, Ziplist the recipe discovery and grocery list app that will help you plan ahead and get you more bang for your buck before you hit your grocer, has identified the Top 10 food Americans Overpay For. ZipList makes recipe discovery and grocery shopping a breeze by letting users decide how they want to find recipes (by ingredient, by what you’ve already got in your pantry, by cooking and prep time, by social network popularity) and then with a click, you can easily add ingredients to your mobile shopping list which arranges items in by your local grocers aisles so you never have to forget an item or backtrack through the store.
Wasted food costs America more than $100 billion annually. The average four-person household wastes about $1000 of food each year and waste about 25% of the food they purchase. A family can save a significant amount by planning ahead, using coupons and opting for less expensive alternatives. I have noted the ones that we do regular in our home to help with our food cost. It just so happens that we do all of these tips!
Make Your Own Coffee- Half of Americans that buy coffee often at work, are 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.
Quit Bottled Water- Instead of spending $2 on bottled water that many bottled water companies are simply bottling filtered tap water and put a 4,000% markup on, buy a sport bottle and filter your own water from your faucet Brita home-filter pitcher or sink attachment for less than a case of store bottled water.
Buy In-Season Produce-In-season produce is less expensive than out of season produce that has to be imported. Consuming produce that is in season can greatly reduce the cost of your meals during that season.
Choose Less Perishable Items- Try longer-lasting fruits like apples and oranges rather than fruit that perishes quickly. Vegetables are the most wasted food. U.S. consumers spent $32 billion on vegetables they purchased, never ate, and ended up throwing away. Choose veggies like potatoes, onions and tomatoes. And learn to cook with shelf-stable items such as pasta, beans, rice, canned goods, and other items can be made into major elements of a meal.
Package Your Own Snacks- Pre-packaged snacks might be a way to save time. But you are paying extra for that, sometimes as much as 40% more. Don’t buy the individual sizes of crackers, cookies and pre-cut veggies and fruit unless you score a great deal. Instead, buy a big package and package the food yourself in containers.
Buy Store Brands- In some cases name brands can sometimes be cheaper if you have a coupon, but without them store brands are in most cases going to be less expensive. You could end up saving 29% using store brands, but always make sure to pay attention to the price per unit to make sure you are getting the best deals.
Stay Away From Ready-to-Go Food- Avoid frozen TV dinners, all-in-one boxed meals, and prepared foods are much more expensive because of the labor it takes to prepare them. Rather than buying pre-made packaged food, make them at home for one-third the cost and in most cases will be more nutritional.
Pay For Food, Not The Fancy Packaging- Instead of buying the pre-made chocolate pudding in plastic containers, it’s so simple to make it yourself. Purchase old-fashioned oatmeal, instead of the instant oatmeal packets. If a food is greatly packaged, most likely you are paying for the package not the ingredient.
Food From a Luxury Market vs a Cheaper Market - Don't dismiss the idea of shopping at cheaper stores for your weekly shop. Some items are truly better quality at the expensive markets, like fresh foods, but for canned and tinned goods, there are often great deals for the same product.
Plan Ahead- One of the biggest costs when grocery shopping are made on impulse purchases. 60 - 70% of purchases made at the market are unplanned. Creating and sticking to a shopping list eliminates impulse buys saving you both money and number of trips to the market (time and gas). Sit down before your next grocery trip and use ZipList, so you get only what you need.