Stretching the Supermarket Dollar

Do you, or could you, help with your family’s food shopping? If so look on this page for tips on saving money on your food budget. Food is a big item in most households and a regular approach to saving money can make a big difference!

  • Shop Sales – Study weekly flyers from local supermarkets to find weekly specials. You can find flyers in newspapers, on-line and in the stores. When you see something you like and use regularly, stock up.

  • Use Coupons - Manufacturers offer coupons on line and in newspapers or magazines that give the consumer discounts of anywhere from twenty-five cents to a couple of dollars. The consumer gets a double bonanza if the item is also on sale in the store.

  • Use a Shopping List and Don’t Shop When You Are Hungry
    Come to the supermarket with a list of what you need and eat before you shop. If you shop when you are hungry everything looks delicious and you are easily tempted to buy “extra” things set out to attract you.

  • Compare Products
    • Popular Brands and Store Brands - Many big supermarket chains carry their own brand of common products which usually sell for less than nationally advertised brands.
    • Amounts You Get - Sometimes containers of different brands hold different amounts of the product. And many products come in both large and small sizes. To know which is the better deal, you have to figure out the cost per ounce for each choice. And don’t forget to factor in any coupon discount you may have.

  • Limit Prepared Foods - Buying food that has already been cooked, as in the deli department of a store, or buying a frozen meal that is ready in minutes in a microwave, costs more than if it is prepared at home from scratch. The price of a bag of pre-washed lettuce or cut-up vegetables from a salad bar includes the cost of the labor and materials involved in washing and packaging the product. The savvy consumer can save money by doing his or her own preparing and cooking.

  • Check Your Receipt - Sometimes checkers make mistakes. They may scan something twice or forget to scan the coupons you brought. Sometimes the store doesn’t enter a sale price into the computer and you get charged full price for a sale item. If you look over your receipt and find an error, the store will make it right and you will save money.

Stretching the Supermarket Dollar


  1. Why should you eat before you go food shopping?

  2. How can supermarket flyers help you save money?

  3. Where can you get coupons? How do they save you money?

  4. Why is it good to check your receipt even though it was prepared by a computer?

  5. Why should you limit your purchase of prepared food if you are trying to save money?

  6. You have to do the math!
        a. If a frozen vegetable costs 3 for $5 at one store and another is selling the same frozen vegetable at 2 for $3 and a third has a BOGO (Buy One, Get One Free) selling for $2.90 , what is the best deal?
        b. If an 11 ounce can of coffee is selling for $2.99 and a 34 ounce can of the same coffee is selling for $5.99, how much more per ounce will you spend if you buy the large can? (As you are figuring, round out to the nearest cent)


    a. By dividing the cost by the quantity in each case you will see that at 3 for $5 you are paying $1.67 for each. At 2 for $3 you are paying $1.50 each. And the buy one for $2.90 get one free offer gives you a price of $1.45 each. The BOGO is the best deal!

    b. Each ounce of the $2.99 can of coffee costs 27 cents (2.99 divided by 11). Each ounce of the $5.99 can costs 18 cents (5.99 divided by 34 =.176 rounded to 18) Subtract 18 from 27 and you get 9. If you buy the small can you will spend 9 cents more per ounce for your coffee.