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Fill your grocery cart without busting your budget

MSNBC has a great little article about shopping on a shoestring. Some of their ideas are standard decisions for budget-minded shoppers. But I picked up some new tips & I was reminded of tricks that I've forgotten. You can read the whole article here, but here are my favorite points on saving money with food staples:

Go for bulk - Buy eggs in economical 18- or 24-packs if you’re planning to use a lot of them. Even if you don't finish them quickly, eggs are still good for up to a month after the expiration date.

Not just for breakfast
At an estimated 20 cents a serving, eggs make for a much cheaper source of protein than meat. Substitute frittatas, omelets and other such egg-based foods for meat at main meals. If you're watching your cholesterol, avoid the yolk and just use the whites.


Buy brown
Though it costs about 25 percent more, brown beats white for its valuable fiber and fatty acids. Brown rice will turn rancid over time, so refrigerate it for storage up to six months. By purchasing brown rice in bulk and refrigerating it, you can save significantly.

Try barley
If rice prices have skyrocketed in your area, consider dry barley. It's packed with even more nutrients than brown rice and is about 40 percent cheaper. Use it like rice in soups or casseroles. Toss it into a salad with tomatoes and almonds.


Think frozen
Frozen produce is preserved at its nutritional peak, yet sells for a quarter of what it costs fresh. So stock up on frozen to save money and reap nutritional benefits.


Fresh isn’t all that
Once caught, all fish is iced. So fish on the frozen aisle is really fresher and cheaper than what the store thaws and peddles as fresh.


Boost your intake
Whether canned or dried, beans pack valuable protein, fiber, folate and iron for a cost effective $1 per 16-ounce can or bag, often much less when on sale. They’re a healthy substitution for, or addition to, meat in any hot dish or salad. Black beans or lentils can be added to pasta sauces, soups and casseroles for an affordable, nutritious meal. Chickpeas add low-fat protein to green salads.


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