When it comes to feeding your family, every penny counts. Learn how to save at the grocery store with advice from Iron Chef
's Cat Cora
and Take Home Chef
's Curtis Stone
Have a Plan
Make a list before you head to the store. Cat says people spend 50 percent more than they need to when shopping without one.
Know Your Produce
Buying fresh doesn't have to cost a lot of money. When looking at produce, Cat says to look at what's on sale—and what's in season.
Find out what's in season right now.
Also, look for locally grown products. That means they're fresher and, in most cases, less expensive.
Buy Only What You Need
You don't have to buy the whole bunch of bananas, Cat says. Don't be afraid to break off what you won't eat.
Know the Rotation
When looking for produce like bags of lettuce, Cat says to remember this rule: The oldest leaves are always in the front, the freshest in the back. Stores always put the items closest to expiration where you're more likely to grab and go.
Cat says buying an entire chicken is more economical than buying prepackaged drumsticks, breasts or thighs.
Instead of buying a bag of tortilla chips, Curtis says to buy a pack of flour or corn tortillas for 99 cents, tear off some pieces and throw them in the oven for an inexpensive alternative.
Buy the Block
If a recipe calls for cheese, Curtis says you can save money by buying a block of cheese and grating it yourself.
Shop the Sales
Have a salmon dish in mind? Curtis says to look for alternatives for the main ingredients. For example, tilapia could be a less expensive—but just as tasty—option.
Scour the Meat Department
As the sell-by date approaches, Curtis says many meats get reduced in price. Since you're cooking fresh anyway, take advantage of the great deals!
Next: Cat Cora's tasty popcorn recipes
Published on March 11, 2009