Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Top 10 Series: The top 10 food items I buy

Inspired by recent discussion at Money Saving Mom.com about the top items that people should buy or should not buy, I am running a series in April and May about the top 10 things I purchase or don't purchase regularly.

Some of the points are actual physical items; other points are a bit more broad. In many cases, the reason I purchase a specific item is because we have a brand preference - and we choose to save money elsewhere in the budget so we can afford that specific item!

In April, I will share the top 10 things I purchase in four different categories: food, household products, health and beauty products and other miscellaneous products around the home.

Now, these lists will be based on my opinions and my purchasing habits. Each individual and family will have different priorities for how money is spent. If your priorities are different, that's okay!

Here are the top 10 food items that I purchase, in no specific order:

1. Meat - My husband is a "meat and potatoes" guy, so meat is an important part of our budget. Of course, I look for sales and I stock up (vacuum sealed in the freezer) whenever I can. But, believe me, there will be a mutiny if I ever try to serve a vegetarian meal!

2. Yoplait yogurt - This is only kind of yogurt that my husband will eat. :) This brand is generally priced comparably and I'm often able to snag coupons for it, so it's quite affordable for us (I aim for under $0.50 per cup if possible.)

3. Fresh produce - Fresh produce is a must in our home. Of course, we eat what's in season, which means we eat more in the summer. Overall, we aim for several servings of fruits and vegetables each day - whether that's fresh or frozen.

4. Minute Maid OJ - Whenever possible, I buy Minute Maid brand orange juice (sometimes concentrate, sometimes fresh).

5. Udi's gluten free bread - Udi's is the most "normal-tasting" gluten free bread that I have found. I really like it for sandwiches!

6. Pre-shredded cheese - Where I live, shredded cheese is actually cheaper (per pound) than block cheese. That little fact basically seals that deal for me! And, who doesn't like the convenience of not having to shred your own cheese?

7. Gluten free flour blend - Recently, I have been purchasing gluten free flour blends and really find that they are well worth the money. My two favorite blends are Better Batter and Meister's GF. I'd like to try making my own, but it's rather cost-prohibitive right now as I can't purchase the ingredients in stores near me.

8. Lunch meat - My husband likes to eat several sandwiches each week, so we make lunch meat a priority in our budget. I usually watch for sales and buy extra to freeze. We also like to buy summer sausage, which we can get for $3-$4 per pound.

9. Beef hot dogs - I personally don't care for hot dogs, but I do keep a package on hand - the only requirement is that they must be all-beef hot dogs.

10. Spaghetti sauce - I have tried making my own spaghetti sauce and we just weren't impressed with it. In addition, it costs the same to make it from scratch as it does to buy it, so I just buy it.

11. Butter - And because I couldn't leave butter out, I had to add a number 11! We only use butter - I absolutely refuse to buy any sort of margarine product anymore. Like many other items, I watch for sales and buy extra to keep in the refrigerator.


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