Another way I save money in my kitchen is by purchasing food in Institutional sized cans. Several types of food can be bought in these bigger quantities for less money than smaller canned goods.
For example, I buy the following foods in Industrial size cans:
Tomato Sauce (105 ounces) - $2.98
Whole Tomatoes (105 ounces) - $2.88
Diced Tomatoes - (102 ounces) - $2.98
Crushed Tomatoes - (102 ounces) - $3.22
Spaghetti Sauce - (105 ounces) - $2.98
Pizza Sauce - (105 ounces) - $2.98
Black Olives - (105 ounces) - $ 6.25
Green Beans - (105 ounces) - $3.88
Pineapple Tidbits - (106 ounces) - $3.78
Fruit Cocktail - (106 ounces) - $4.35
The green beans work out to 58¢ for a 14.5 ounce can, so that is a money saver for me since the price of a can of green beans has went up to 65¢ or more. What I would do with this large can is open it up and add a chopped up onion and olive oil and cook that down and then serve it for dinner and then freeze the remainder of the beans into meal size portions.
The Pineapple Tidbits work out to 64¢ for a 16 ounce can, which is also a money saver. What I would do in this case is plan ahead on how to use this up in time. I would make a Chicken Stir Fry for dinner and add some to the dish, I would plan on sending some in our lunches, and put some in individual bowls in the refrigerator for snacking, and also plan on making some smoothies and including them. Finally I would freeze some for smoothies later.
The Tomatoes work out to 44¢ for a 14.5 ounce can, which again is also a money saver. Anytime I am making spaghetti, pizza, lasagna, or chili I can use one of these and save money. I can always then freeze the leftovers for later use.
The Black Olives are also a money saver at 87¢ for a 14.5 ounce can. Black olives have risen a lot in price in the last few years and now cost around $1.50 for a 14.5 ounce can. We love black olives here and include them in many dishes, so this is a good money saver for us as well. I simply transfer the olives to a big bowl with a lid and keep them in our refrigerator for a couple of weeks and we've never had any problems using them up in that time frame. Of course, it helps that I plan meals that I know call for black olives like tacos, pizza, pasta salad, etc.
Now, I know that not everyone has access to these types of canned foods, but for those who do they can be a money saver. Sometimes Walmart and some grocery stores have a small section devoted to the Institutional size canned goods, so it may be worth your time to check into this.
However, it is important to note that sometimes you may run upon a good sale on a similar product in the 14.5 ounce canned good size. I know I have found canned tomatoes in that size priced at 3 for $1.00 at Big Lots before, although that kind of price has been hard to find since the Great Recession. Also, some Institutional size canned goods are not a good value like the canned chili, which I have seen priced close to $9.00. So, as always, be sure to check your prices to make sure you are getting the best deal for your family.
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2012.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”