It was the smallest one in the store.
But I figure, you pay one price, usually about $4 each regardless of the melon you choose. Why not grab the biggest one you can find?
So this is what I do.
I eyeball up the two biggest melons on the rack and then I weigh them on the produce scale.
And guess which melon I buy?
The winner was 1.27 pounds bigger than the loser.
Bigger is better. Same rule applies to cantaloupe and watermelon.
So here's 14 more tricks and tips to get the most bang for your buck the next time you grocery shop.
So you pay the same price whether you buy the big honking ones or the smaller more tender ones.
I’d rather have three small zucchini than one large one.
The smaller ones have fewer seeds making them tastier and easier to work with when cooking or spiralizing.
Smaller is better too, when attempting to caramelize with onions!
Now I realize that it isn’t my job to buy the milk that’s going to expire in 2 days.
It’s okay to reach to the back to buy the fresher milk that lasts longer for my kids.
And remember, milk with higher fat content lasts longer as well.
It you can’t stomach whole milk, maybe 2% is a good compromise.
Skim milk spoils quickly! It’s fine to buy the fresher yogurt and cheese, too.
But those liners they put on the bottom are mold magnets.
When I get home, I remove the pad altogether and lay the pack on a paper towel inside the fridge to prevent dripping.
- Before you buy, always flip the container over to make sure they’re no moldy ones on the bottom.
- Check the sides as well. I find that even when the top of the berries look okay, the sides are still harboring a moldy berry or two.
- Just yesterday, I spotted a mushed and moldy kiwi at the bottom of one of those bulk packs. Ewwww.
You don’t want to be mistakenly charged for macadamia nuts ($14.49 a pound) when what you actually bought were hazelnuts ($4.99 a pound).
6.) Check the sell by/use by date on everything you buy at the grocery store from tortilla shells to bacon to meds.
You’d be surprised by how many expired items are sitting on the shelves.
And it’s less of a pain to check while you're still at the store than finding out when you get home. Then you have to locate the receipt and return to the store.
"best by," is an advisory that simply means the product will taste best up until this date, but is still edible a few days after.
"sell by," is a date that helps stores keep track of inventory that needs to be bought by a certain time.
Then locate items like oatmeal, pasta and cereals. Next, I pick out my produce.
Last, I select my meat, dairy and milk products. Ice cream is the final item I buy.
This way, items that spoil or melt quickly aren’t out of the cooler or freezer any longer than need be.
Check the stores policy. You probably will still get the sale price even if you only buy one.
My husband used to dutifully buy 10 of the said items to make sure he got that sale. He once came home with 20 dozen eggs!
9.) Double check that you bought the product you intended to buy in the first place.
Is that tea decaf or regular? Instant oats or steel cut? Canned whole kernel corn or the cream style version?
And you know the kids won’t eat the baked beans with the bacon in it.
11.) The deli workers roll their eyes at me too.
Just keep smiling and ask that they slice that turkey or roast beef fresh for you.
Shaved, too, if that’s the way you want it.
Who knows how long the meats have been sitting under the lights in the store pre-cut? Same rules apply for ground beef and steaks.
Ask the butcher to package it fresh instead of buying the already done up packages.
Another plus? You get the precise amount of meat and the exact percentage of fat you want.
Same for cored pineapple. It should sparkle.
Don’t buy produce that lacks luster (looks cloudy). It won’t taste very good and will spoil quickly on you.
The darker the produce, the more nutrients it yields.
I used to work on a berry farm, those dark berries were both delicious and they glistened!
You would think that the bigger sized bag of cat litter would be cheaper than the smaller sized bag.
But Tom discovered the 20 pound bag was actually cheaper per ounce than the 40 pound bag.
And it's a lot easier to carry!
But I’ve discovered that sometimes produce like lettuce or a watermelon gets too cold on the truck when in transit. This causes it to freeze through.
So when it thaws in the store, it’s shot. Totally inedible.
I like to check the corners of the bags of lettuce in particular for signs of frost and thaw.
We had to eat a whole bag of lettuce last night that had over a week left until the “use by” date because it had frozen on the truck.
15.) If you don’t like or don’t have a self-checkout at the local grocery store keep a sharp eye on the clerk who’s packing your goods.
I phased out when one kid was packing my up my groceries and found out later, much to my dismay that he put three bottles of Dawn dish washing soap with all my packets of seeds.
So when one bottle burst open on the ride home, I had an absolute sticky mess!