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Scott Tranter, owner of Crazy Otto's Empire Diner in Herkimer and host of CNY Flavor, knows how to make magic in the kitchen.
Cooking: 5 Tips to Save Money Grocery Shopping
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By Scott Tranter
Diner wizard Scott Tranter, owner of Crazy Otto's Empire Diner in Herkimer and host of CNY Flavor, knows how to make magic in the kitchen. For more of his tips, visit www.cnyflavor.com or www.crazyottosempirediner.com.
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Feb. 12, 2013 12:01 a.m.

With the cost of food and the increase in prices all around us, it’s very important to try to shop economically whenever possible.  Here are some tips that may serve to guide you as you consider which items to purchase.  Some of these tips you may already practice, but consistency is key.  Whether you are a coupon user or not, these tips are designed to save you extra money when shopping.
(1)   Always take an inventory before going to the market.  After you have planned out your weekly meals, it’s important to know what you have on hand so you can avoid duplicate buying.  Having three boxes of the same type of cracker in your pantry is just a waste of money.
(2)   Bulk buying is not always the answer.  Always check the shelf tag for the per pound price or per item price and do some quick mental calculations to make sure you really are getting the better deal.
(3)   Experiment and buy store brand items.  For example, Hannaford’s has Home Essentials glass cleaner that is very comparable to Windex and can save you lots of money.  Even a few cents here and there add up.
(4)   Plan ahead and cook ahead.  Take chili, for example, if you are cooking, make enough for two extra meals and freeze some.  You can save yourself time and money and have something quick, easy and nutritious on hand for those nights when it could have been a more expensive fast food night.
(5)   Grocery stores are laid out so that the produce and dairy sections are on opposite corners of the market.  This causes the shopper to have to walk through the whole market past aisles of items not originally on the list.  We’ve all been guilty of throwing the items from the aisles in our carts, causing us to spend extra money.  Avoid those areas.   Also consider avoiding checkout lines with candy, magazines and other little novelties you can’t live without.
To see a video of mine explaining some of these items further, just visit www.cnyflavor.com/quick-tips.php.
If you have more tips for saving money at the grocery store, I would love to hear them.  Just leave me a comment below.

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