Buying meat on a budget

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You know how some areas of the supermarket can seem almost apocalyptic in their disarray, with packages of beef looking three-quarters empty and what few offerings are left scattered about? Researchers have found that messes like those can scream "Great deal!" to us—even when they may not actually be. A recent Journal of Marketing article explains that in some cases, disorganized, not-fully-stocked shelves tend to increase our perception of an item's popularity, and can even boost sales (although jumbled egg cartons can have the opposite effect, making customers think the food is subpar). Bottom line: Stick to your list and don't be swayed by displays—whatever they look like.
Chicken breast

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You already know that using a grocery-list app makes shopping faster (hello, automatic sorting!), but mobile apps are constantly coming out with new features to save shoppers' money. Ones such as Favado, which has been around for about a year, show you the best deals in your local store on the products you're interested in; you just have to create a list so it can continually track those items and brands. Favado says it can help you trim your weekly bill by up to 70 percent (right now, the average shopper of boneless chicken breast saves 26 percent; the average shopper of apples saves 17 percent).

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Stocking up on big quantities can be one of the best ways to save; it's particularly helpful for freezer-friendly items like nuts. Yet, if you live in a rural area, it can be difficult to find a warehouse club near you; and, if you live in a city, you may not have a car to get your haul home. That's why we're loving Boxed, a new site and mobile app that sells large packages of almonds, cashews and pistachios (plus more, from plastic wrap to quinoa) at discounts ranging from 13 to 35 percent—and delivers (free for your first order), with no membership fee.
Taco cheese

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If you're using coupons mainly for cereal and salty snacks, you might be missing out: shared with us the top 15 food categories with the most coupons so far this year, and you may be surprised at some of them. Two mainstays for taco dinners—cheese (average discount: 26 percent) and Mexican ingredients such as nacho cheese and taco sauce (average discount: 34 percent)—were on the list. These items also keep well, so even if you aren't planning to make enchiladas this week, you can buy the cheddar and salsa now, and make them in a week or two.