The Simplest Way to Save Money on Groceries?

A few months ago, I was in the grocery store talking to the cashier and I mentioned that I'm always looking for new grocery savings tips for the Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine Supermarket 101 column. She immediately offered her two cents: "Limit the amount of fresh food you buy-especially produce since it only lasts about a week before getting moldy and slimy." It sounds obvious, but it's easier said than done! As I looked down into my own basket, I realized I had enough produce to feed a family of six for a week-and I was just shopping for myself and my fiance! Whoops...guess I don't need that pound of peaches or three bags of salad mix.

Well, I did a little research and found out that my cashier's friends and I aren't alone: the average family of four trashes roughly $590 worth of perishables each year! Though we all buy lots of fresh fruit and veggies with the best of intentions, dinner plans come along or that bag of spinach just doesn't look as appealing as the box of mac and cheese or chips-so it's easy to see how we end up with a rotting excess. I know when it comes to shopping healthier than I eat, I'm guilty as charged.

I'm curious to hear from everyone out there: Do you find yourself throwing away lots of spoiled perishables? Any tips for figuring out how much to buy? Or sticking to your plan once you're in the store?

By Nicole Jones, Every Day with Rachael Ray Food Editorial Assistant

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