# Save BIG money on food without coupons

Posted: 03/12/2013

You can save money on food without coupons; it's all about knowing what to buy.

Save big by avoiding pre-packaged foods. A little bit of elbow grease can save you a ton.

Buying prepared foods can be costly because you're paying big time for that convenience, when instead you can just simply do it yourself.

For example, if you need carrots don’t buy the already cut carrots. Buy just plain carrots, clean and cut them yourself, and you will save. It may take a little more time to prepare, but the time it takes is worth the savings.

Here is an example; I bought loose carrots at a Valley grocery store for \$.50 a pound. The already cut and peeled carrots cost \$1.38 a pound.

Or how about individual snack packs. Sure they are great for portion control, but why not just buy a large bag and then bag up the rest in separate portions. It meets the same objective, but without the cost.

Here is another example of savings. You can buy already portioned 100-calorie snack mix for \$.50 per pouch. Buy that snack mix in a larger bag, and it will cost \$.25 per ounce. It's the same product, just packaged differently and you save 50%.

If you want to portion out that snack mix, grab some small sandwich size bags and put 100 calories worth in each bag. It should probably take a total of 10 minutes to do and you saved money doing it.

If you can’t decide if something at the store is a good deal, try figuring out the cost by pricing it per ounce.

For example, a box of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies is \$4.99 for an 18-ounce box, and a bag of Malt O Meal Crispy Rice is \$5.99 for 36 ounces. The better price is the Malt O Meal, because it is \$.17 per ounce versus the Kellogg’s for \$.28 per ounce.

You don’t have to do the math for calculating the cost per ounce. There is an app for that. There are many free apps that will do the math for you while you are shopping. One of my favorites is Unit Price Compare.

These are just a few ways to help you save some money at the store. If you want to find out what Valley grocery stores have on sale this week, tune in to ABC15 at 10 p.m. on Tuesday.

More Smart Shopper