I make it a habit of being open to food-shopping deals whenever I go anywhere. Today I stopped in at an independent dollar store, where I found a quart of lemon juice at 2/$1.00. That'll last a good long time. I also found bundles of 1-quart Chinese take-out containers. With a bow and a card, they will be good for packaging cookies or gifts during the holiday season.
Flea markets often have food and toiletries that have had their boxes damaged, at low prices. I get some good buys on suncreen and insect repellent at these places.
Before going out-of-town, I check for surplus food outlets in the places I will be. Last summer I was able to stock up on organic 100% vegetable chips at 2 for a dollar.
Likewise, when I go to yard sales, often I will find things like soap, coffee filters, and candles. Once I needed a new filter for my Britta water filter pitcher. I happened upon one, still in the wrapper, at a garage sale, and the pitcher with it for $1.50- a big savings. I saved the pitcher. After many years of use, the old one developed a crack, so I had a spare pitcher to fall back on.
Right after the holidays, I go to the grocery store where they have marked down all the holiday candy and baking items.This is a good time to stock up on Hershey's kisses, M and M's, and other items in holiday colors or packages that are marked down by 50%. They go fast, so do not wait until they are marked down further, because all but the hard candy will be gone.
Speaking of hard candy, Lifesavers can be used as candle holders on a cake. Crushed hard candy can be sprinkled on the icing for a the color-coordinated. Look for solid-colored plates and napkins too. Red, pink, and white items can be used for Valentine's Day. Green ones can be set aside for Shamrock Day, and gold and silver are good anytime.
Think outside the box and look ahead! You'll save a lot of money!
By Jennifer from Gilbertsville , NY
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It helps if you know prices on things you use all the time. For instance, Walmart dishwasher drop-in soaps are about 10cents each. If I find a better price somewhere else I buy them. If I find butter for $3/lb or less I know that is a good price. You can keep a small notebook in your purse with prices in it.