Some foods and beverages do not have to cost a lot to be tasty or fulfill a recipe. Many times, store brands and bargain staples are just as good as you need them to be and offer all the flavor and quality at a lower price. These guidelines for saving on select grocery items will help manage costs so you have extra cash to spend on foods that are actually worth a splurge.
Daoud recommends reserving pricey, high-quality olive oil for foods like salads and hummus and buying a cheap bottle for cooking. "You don't need to waste money cooking with expensive olive oil, since you'll never get the flavor you're paying extra money for," he says. As for olives, nutritionist and author Stephanie Pedersen tells her clients to go to a local Middle Eastern grocer and purchase them in jars or vacuum-sealed pouches to save money.
Store-brand dried beans and lentils sold in bags are a huge bargain, providing a protein-rich foundation for a meal. Not only do they cost less than canned, they don't go bad and aren't loaded with sodium. Rinse them and prepare according to the instructions. It takes longer, but the result is worth it.
Love treating yourself to a mimosa or French 75? No need to pay real Champagne prices for the requisite sparkling wine, only to dilute the flavor with juice or gin. Reach for the best sparkling wine under $10 — or an honest-to-goodness French champagne from Costco for around $20 — and live well for less.