| Home | Why? | Tip Topics | Links |  News  | Photos/Contact | Message Post | Recipes | Site Map |



New Tips added every day !


     1.  " Never eat more than you can lift. Submitted by  Miss Piggy,  the pigpen


Saving on food costs does not involve one magic silver bullet. It comes as the result of doing many things a little better. Here are some senior suggestions.

Seniors, Senior Citizens, those noisy Boomers, and concerned caregivers, have submitted the following tips for saving on food, eating tastier, healthier meals.   What are YOUR food tips?
1a. Salt. Spotting  high-salt foods isn't always easy, since many pass the "taste test." 

High-sodium foods do not necessarily taste salty, because sodium is used not just for taste but as a preservative, flavor enhancer and for texture. More than 75 percent of the sodium Americans consume comes from processed food, not the salt shaker on the table. That much salt in the American diet increases the risk of hypertension, the AMA noted in its initiative, which recommends that the federal government add warning labels on food high in salt and that the food industry cut the amount of salt used in processed foods and restaurant fare. Americans consume 4,000 to 6,000 milligrams of sodium per day, while the maximum daily consumption of sodium set by the American Heart Association is 2,300 milligrams (1,500 milligrams for those with high blood pressure or those at high risk for hypertension).

Read labels carefully. Here are some foods to watch: Baked beans, Canned vegetables, Breakfast cereals, Hot chocolate, Pizza, Ready Meals, Soups, Lunch Meats, Baked goods--including cookies. Even some skinless, boneless chicken breasts are injected with salt as a preservative. Frozen fish can be loaded.

2. Buy what is on sale, not what you feel like eating today. You may feel like eating it tomorrow.

3. Buy the family pack, even if you are just one person. Boneless skinless chicken breasts may be $3.49/lb for two pieces, but in a 10lb pack they go on sale at my market for $1.99/lb. Separate the order into one-serving sized freezer zip bags, or split the order with a friend. Shop with your friend and save.

4. I make spaghetti sauce from Aldi sauce (it is exceptional). Use leftover roast chicken pieces for low fat, and add peppers, onions or whatever. Freeze individual portions. At Aldi, be prepared to bag your own groceries, and they do not accept checks. The selection is limited, but the quality I find to be excellent. Your savings can be substantial. 50% on many items

5. Buy store brands. They are usually as good as the brands, and are often made by a brand you recognize. I have been disappointed on rare occasion by a store brand. So compare for yourself. In fact, some store brands, also known as private-label brands, are produced by the same big-name companies churning out the products you know and love.

Always Buy these Five Foods Generic: 
Produce Coupon-Scarce


  Over-the-CounterMedications Canned Fruits & Vegetables Pantry Staples

6. Stop into dollar stores. They are everywhere now. Only do this if you can resist the temptation to load up the cart with things you don't need. Otherwise the savings on cleaning products, toothbrushes, some house wares and a few foods can add up.

7. Buy frozen fish. It is usually frozen at its freshest. I have noticed that sometimes it is too salty, something we often need to avoid.  Wash it well. Watch for sales.

8. http://home.att.net/~quotations/food.html Have some fun here with funny food quotes.

9. When our family goes to any restaurant, we never order drinks or desserts. We can save more than a buck a person simply by drinking only water, which is healthier for you anyway. We also don't order desserts which are very expensive. Instead, we go to the store and purchase a whole large dessert for the same price as one dessert at the restaurant.  Linda Namenye,  MI

10. When I make soup stock, I freeze the stock in ice cube trays, and then put the cubes into a freezer bag. That way, I can defrost just as much as I need and I never

11. Comparison shop. Now it is more important than ever. The big store with the fancy deli and bakery is nice, but might be 33% to 100% higher than lower cost markets like Aldi or WalMart. Sometimes the fancy market will have things the others do not. We find we may not really need those items. We buy specials there only when others don't have what we need, or when there is a great sale..

12, When using things from the refrigerator or freezer - use them immediately and return the remains. The longer they remain outside - the more it cost to recool. Pennywise, Carl S.

13.. http://www.restaurant.com/  Save money on local or distant restaurants.

14. When eating out, ask if the restaurant offers any senior specials. I have been stopping at Taco Bell each Wednesday for lunch.  I ordered two spicy chicken burritos and a small drink. $2.73. I tallied the items and said, "That can't be enough, surely."  "No charge for the drink", she said with a smile. I just thought it was a special promotion. On my third trip I was charged for the drink. I asked if the promotion was over. "We didn't have a drink promotion", I was told. When I told them about my earlier experiences, I was told that they do not charge seniors citizens for their drink! I guess the third person thought I looked younger. Alright!!!  Ask everywhere. Was this a policy of our local Taco Bell, or national---don't know.

15, Here is a link to the "29 Healthiest Foods on the Planet":

 I find that most of these foods are ones I eat regularly, and none of them are unappealing!      Rivahcat - Virginia

16. If you use tomato paste and the recipe requires only a tablespoon or so, freeze the rest. Put a tablespoon in each ice-cube tray compartment, and once they're frozen, put them in a plastic bag in your freezer. How convenient is that?   Rivahcat,  Virginia  (SeniorArk thinks this might work for other liquid products as well)
17. f there is a restaurant you are just crazy to try... go there at lunch rather than dinner. You will get the same food for much less than you will pay at dinner-time. Rivahcat,  Virginia

18. Absolutely buy house brands at your local supermarket!  I worked (30+ years ago) for a local food distribution company, for the "private label" buyer. The best thing I got from that job was the knowledge that most house/private label brands are made by well-known, national manufacturers! And the stores whose house brands you buy are very concerned that you are happy, so if you get something that is not pleasing, TELL THEM. They will at least refund your money, but often they will give you the equivalent in a national brand as recompense.  I personally have never had a house brand I've been displeased with. Your mileage may vary. But SPEAK OUT! Do you realize that if 2-3% of a company's sales base complain, the company will alter the product accordingly? That's because they know that for every person who takes the time to complain, there are probably 5-7 others who simply take their business elsewhere. So raise hell!  Rivahcat,  Virginia

19. Frozen fish is such a bargain... but so many complain that it tastes "stale". Here's a tip for frozen fish: thaw it in milk. For some reason, it makes that frozen fish taste so much more like fresh!  Keep in mind that the Omega oils are very beneficial for health, so fish should be a staple on our menus. I have a recipe for moist, tender fish that will make boring fish luscious:  Melt butter or margarine. Dip fish fillets in the butter/margarine, then into crushed Ritz (tm) crackers, or a house-brand substitute. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes per inch-thickness of fish. YUM!! (Yes, you can substitute heart-healthy oil and low-fat crackers; just be sure to use "buttery" crackers like Ritz [tm] or equivalent house brands to get the delicious taste!)

20. Many grocery stores have fresh produce delivered one or two specific days of the week. Find out if that is so at yours, and plan to shop one of those days for the best, and freshest selections.  Paul V. St Louis

21. We all worry about our weight as we get older. Restaurants serve huge portions, but you don't have to fall prey to that temptation! Diets aren't always the easy way to maintain a healthy weight for senior health. Eating less can be. Use the salad plate for meals rather than the dinner plate; less surface, less food. Your system will soon adapt to this decrease and 'less' will be filling! You'll see the excess pounds melt slowly away. Couple this with a walk each day and you will look and feel better!

22. Take a small calculator to the grocery store with you. Decide in advance what you will spend today. Tally up the items you place in your cart. If you pass your goal, but still need other items, decide what you can put back, and deduct this from your total.
23. Never buy by item. Buy by unit price. Manufacturers are clever at making a product look larger than the next one. How much does the product cost by ounce, pound, or internal count?  Most large grocery chains now post the unit price with the product. But take a calculator, because even this can be deceiving.
24. People look at food labels for different reasons. But whatever the reason, many consumers would like to know how to use this information more effectively and easily. How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label is a great explanation done by the Food and Drug Administration.  
25. One of my favorite websites is www.coupons.com. On that website you can find over a hundred coupons for many of the products you buy. They're fairly easy to find.

Once I spot the coupons I want, I print them, cut them out, and head to the store.

26. Never go grocery shopping if you are exceptionally hungry, you tend to way over buy and get things that are "eye candy" and not all that good for you.                            Edie in WA
27. Consider using whole, natural foods. Once upon a time, most of us ate eggs from free-range chickens kept by small, local producers. But today, agri-culture has become dominated by agri-business. Most of our food now comes from large-scale producers who rely on chemical fertilizers, pesticides and animal drugs, and inhumane confinement animal production. American agribusiness is producing more food than ever before, but the evidence is building that the vitamins and minerals in that food are declining. For example, eggs from free-range hens contain up to 30 percent more vitamin E, 50 percent more folic acid and 30 percent more vitamin B-12 than factory eggs. And the bright orange color of their yolks show higher levels of antioxidant carotenes. Read more about whole foods, and whole food recipes.
28. The food package may say "no trans fat", but read it carefully. Trans fats are being looked at very carefully for their part in clogging the arteries. They may be present in foods you would never suspect. Even in foods that say they have none. What are the foods that usually contain trans fat, and how can they be avoided? See this valuable list.
29. Read about those sneaky trans fats.  First we heard about saturated fats. Then it was poly-unsaturated fats. Then Mono-unsaturated fats.

Now read about trans fat., and the foods where we find and don't find them.

30.  Starbucks may be the world's largest coffee shop chain in the world, but what they serve isn't as good as what McDonald's brews, Consumer Reports says." McD's also beat Burger King and Dunkin' Donuts.  The magazine called the fast food giant's Premium Roast "cheapest and best....  Your SeniorARK editor agrees. I love coffee, and go out of my way to buy this new McDonalds brew. I wish they had some decent food to go along with it.

31. 20 Between-Meal Nibbles Under 100 Calories Each

32. Every great once-in-a-while SeniorARK will outright endorse a product. Today we have two.

1. If you must restrict your salt and/or calories, have a look at Progresso low sodium soup. I am not a soup fan, but the chicken noodle has become one of my favorite lunches. 90 calories for a cup, 470 mg sodium, and low fat. We pay $1.69 for a two-cup can at Wal-Mart. (this week was on special 2/$3)  Delicious!

2. I am a chunky peanut butter nut (pun intended). I wonder if years of consumption of the trans-fat laden stuff contributed to my heart bypass surgery. If the product says "partially hydrogenised" then there is trans fat in it. It makes the consistency of the product more palatable, but it also clogs the arteries, perhaps more than cholesterol. I would occasionally buy Smuckers natural, but it was expensive, and liquid at the top, but very hard at the bottom. You had to do a messy job of stirring the whole jar in order to get it right. But now Skippy has come out with a no-trans fat natural creamy and chunky variety. It costs about $2 for 18 oz. It is better blended than Smuckers, and less expensive. Hope it is as healthy as advertised. It's good!

33. Get in the habit of taking a drink with you when you leave the house for an extended period. You will get thirsty, and you can easily spend in excess of a dollar for plain coffee, a soft drink, or even just plain bottled water.
34. When you cook spaghetti, put the water in the pan and then the spaghetti and put a lid on it. When it boils, turn it off and time for 10 minutes, keeping the lid on it. This saves energy and money by not keeping the stove on the whole time the spaghetti boils.
35. Great section of frugal recipes (and they sound delicious) here.
36. 5 Professional Tips for saving big on groceries.
37. Many of us love the banana. Now it is shown how healthy it can be. 18 Healthy Things a Banana Can Do for You
38. - Limit your use of coupons. Coupons usually apply to name-brand items Ė which cost more than lesser-known brands Ė and convenience foods. Use a coupon if the item is on sale Ė or you were planning to buy that brand anyway.

- Plan your weekly menu around the sale items on the grocery fliers. This one step can trim 35 percent off your grocery expenditures.

- Cook several meals at once and freeze them. Batching reduces your tendency to eat out when youíre busy, and will save preparation time and money when you buy groceries in bulk.
Elaine, Charleston, WV
39. Two great articles on saving money on food from the Frugal Yankee:

Supermarket's Dirty Little Secrets Pt. 1

Supermarket's Dirty Little Secrets Pt. 2

40. So you need to go FRUGAL? Read: Cheapskate Guide: 50 Tips for Frugal Living
41. Gift cards: If you know that you will be shopping regularly at Wal-Mart, or another retailer, restaurant, gas station, then you can save a few extra percentage points on your goods by purchasing gift cards on the secondary market. Gift cards are sold at a discount on sites like eBay, because the person who received them wants cash instead of store credit. If you check for gift cards being sold on the secondary market on a regular basis, you should be able to knock an additional 5 percent or more off the cost of your purchases.
42. On the "Dollar Stretcher" web site, we read an article about starting a PRICE BOOK. In an article entitled Price Book 101, author Amy Allen Clark writes, "A price book will make you the smartest consumer in the store because you will actually know whether or not an item really is on sale or not."
43. When picking out products, always remember to scan the bottom and top shelves. The products the store makes the most money on -- which usually means the more expensive ones -- are chest-high, where they are easy to see and reach. You will save money!
44. Check your receipt: Don't trust the scanners, because a lot of unintentional pricing mistakes can happen, especially in stores where they change prices often. Take a quick look before you leave to make sure you weren't overcharged. This is true for grocery stores as well as any type of store that scans barcodes.
45. Plan a weekly menu based on the store circulars so that you don't have to go to the supermarket as frequently, and you can buy what is on sale that week.
46. Expiration Dates: When it comes to both food and medicines, we tend to treat package expiration dates as advisory guidelines rather than hard and fast limits.  We've been known to willingly eat foods well past that limit if we're reasonably certain that spoilage hasn't occurred.  Really, I ask you, how can hot chocolate powder go bad?  And as for sour cream, well, how much more sour can it get?  We tend to be a little more circumspect when it comes to medications, but it's not unheard of for us to use aspirin a year past its expiration. (found online)
47. 23 Ways to Save on Groceries  From "the Bargainist" Food is one of the biggest expenses, along with housing and cars, in most people's budget. If you're looking for ways to cut back on your budget, your food category should be one thing you look at closely ó there's almost always ways to reduce your spending here.
48. Watch where you walk at the grocery store. Less expensive items are typically placed around the outside of the market, itís those middle aisles that hold the items that quickly add to your bill. When you do need to dash down one of those aisles, remember to look high and look low. Less expensive items are usually placed near the top or bottom of the shelves. The shelves that are eye-level are reserved for the more expensive items.
49. Buy in bulk when you can. Buying items in bulk that donít spoil, can save money and save trips to the store. For staples and nonperishable goods, stock up at good sale prices, or join a warehouse club. If warehouse quantities are too much for you, combine your list with a few other seniors and then split the food to maximize your savings.
50. FOOD MILES Thereís something thatís talked a lot about quite a lot these days, and thatís food miles, or the miles a given product has traveled by the time it reaches a consumer. With the price of fuel and what it costs to buy a tractor trailer, theoretically it would make it cheaper, so local products might be a way to save. Try local farmer's markets, and compare prices and quality.
51. Whatís really helped us limit the amount of driving weíre doing these days is something Iíve done for years: keeping stashes. To start a stash, you buy two of every item you use regularly in your household. This means you always have a spare, and donít waste gas or time running out for a last minute replacement. Besides, youíre going to use the same amount of gas going back and forth to the store whether you buy two bottles of ketchup or one. So why not buy two? (Take this concept a step further by only buying these items when theyíre on sale, and youíre now reducing your grocery bills as well as the amount of gasoline that you use.) One important thing to remember about stashes is that they donít work if you donít remember to buy items before you need them.  J.M. Chicago
52. Two Web sites to visit: www.grandpappy.info/indexhar.htm, which offers tips on surviving tough times, and www.earthbox.com, a product site that details how to build a high-yield, low-maintenance garden.
53. As a general rule, purchasing food in its least processed form, i.e. a whole chicken instead of boneless skinless chicken breasts, is more economical. Larger cuts or meat or bulk foods may also save you money if you will use the items or properly store them until you need them. It is not difficult to save money on food. However, you may have to change some old habits. Take a look at what you are doing now and how you are spending money and decide today to take some small steps toward a new and improved habit.
54. Take a close look at what you spend on food during a week. Write down the amounts spent each time you purchase any type of food or beverage from a restaurant, convenience store, vending machine or grocery store. You might be surprised as just how much money you spend each week on food for yourself, your family, and others.

55.  Do you often find yourself wishing for a way to reduce your expenses? With this list of suggestions for saving money at the supermarket, you can expect to save a significant amount on your grocery bill and free up some cash for savings, investment or fun!        

16 ways to save money on your food bills, from the site sheknows.com. 

56. Did you know that the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the average American family of four spends $8,513 per year on groceries?
57. A timely study by the Oklahoma State University, Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, gives an in-depth approach to saving money on those grocery bills.
58. Cooking for yourself can be fast and easy, as well as surprisingly cheap. Try online recipe finders for meals that use what you already have in your fridge. Make enough for a few days, and then use the leftovers in sandwiches for work the rest of the week.

59. 1. You can cut your grocery bill by 20 percent by using a grocery list and coupons.

2. With this shopping spree buying private and generic label items saved this customer nearly

    45 percent.
3. You have to stoop and stretch for bargains when shopping.
4. Keeping your refrigerator and freezer on the correct temperature.   KHAS-TV 5

60. What to do with those left-over hot dog and hamburger buns.

  • Separate the bun in half and cut each half into thirds and make French-toast sticks. They're even better when I have leftover whole-wheat buns.

  • Layer the cut-up buns with either cheese and meat or veggies of your choice. Mix eggs and milk, and pour over the top and bake.

  • Toast hot-dog buns and make garlic bread. Add cheese if you want.

  • Freeze leftover buns until you have six and make bread pudding. Grease a small baking dish. Break the buns in half and put them in the bottom of the baking dish. Melt a stick of butter and pour it over the buns. Using a whisk, mix together 3 eggs, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 Ĺ cups of sugar and 2 cups of warmed milk. Pour over the top. Bake for half an hour at 350 degrees.

  • Let them dry out and rip them up and use them for meatloaf.

  • 61. We have discovered a site that claims to be able to compare prices at various grocery stores in your area, based on this week's flyer. We had a look at the site, and find it interesting, but cannot represent it as correct or not. It offers an ability to select the bargains you want to consider, and will print out your shopping list. Check it out to see what you think. Give us your opinion.  www.MyGroceryDeals.com
    62. Own a deep-freezer.  Even a small chest freezer can make a world of difference when it comes to spending money on food.  Buy meat in bulk when it's on sale and freeze what won't be used in a week.  Freeze nuts, cheese, breads, fish, fruits and vegetables and anything else that might go bad.  Having a freezer full of food makes it easy to plan meals and is a great safety net for those times when the grocery money doesn't quite stretch through to the end of the month
    63. Use a spatula.  Every professional chef knows that using a spatula can make the difference between four meals and five.  Scrape down the inside of pots, containers and bowls to get everything out.  The food is already paid for--why not eat it?
    64. There's a website where you can print many of the regular Sunday paper coupons and then stack pages of them and cut 9 or 12 out at a time. I regularly check Coupons.com for deals.  They feature over 150 coupons that you just click on to add to a cart, and then when you're ready to print, they print out 3 to a page.  These are good coupons too, for items like brand name cereal, coffee, juice, pasta, detergent, etc.

    The key to coupons is to not let the coupon sell you a product. ONLY print and use coupons for products you already intend to buy.

    65.  Look into ANGEL FOOD MINISTRIES. This is not canned beans like a food bank. This is frozen meat and fruit and vegatables. You have to pay for it.  but it is very good. Thanks to wdgroot.

    (SeniorArk did have a look, and it is very interesting, There are about 12 distribution centers within 15 miles of our hdqtrs. We will check it out further and report. In the meantime, click the link http://www.angelfoodministries.com/.)

    66. See article at WalletPop's list of the top 10 overpriced products you should avoid if you want to save money.

    Seniors are waiting for your tip here.    Or submit a useful link for a links section.

    Where can I find -- a great home -- in a great town --  for less than $50,000?

    Click to add SeniorArk to your favorites!   


    And please email us if you found our site helpful. Our volunteers need the 'atta boy'.   Senior ARK@aol.com
    www.SeniorARK.com                                        email: SeniorARK@aol.com