Grocery Saving Tips From A to Z: Letter B

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Letter B

We are continuing with our series on how to save on groceries — even if you don’t have a coupon!   These items below are things we need, and we purchase, even if we don’t have a coupon or one is never available.  Here are a few food items, beginning with the letter “B” which you can purchase in bulk when you find a great deal!

Bananas can ripen and go badly rather quickly.  Here are some tips to make them last:

  • If you do plan on consuming them right away, purchase them with a little green on them – that will extend the life.
  • Bananas last longer outside of the refrigerator.  Anywhere from 2 – 5 days in the fridge vs. up to 7 or more on your counter/pantry.
  • If you do refrigerate, the skins will blacken more quickly, but the fruit should be fine underneath.
  • Freeze bananas only to be used for baking items.   You will want to peel and mash them.  Place them into baggies filled with the amount needed for your favorite recipes (for example if you need 3/4 a cup for banana bread, place that much into your baggie).  Lie them flat and remove excess air.  Note on the outside the name of the item, date and the amount (ex – Bananas 5/16/2012 3/4 cup).  They are good for 2 -3  months in your freezer.
  • If you wish, you can toss whole bananas in your freezer and thaw and mash when ready to bake.

Dried beans are a great staple to keep on hand.

  • Dried beans can be good for up to one year in your pantry.
  •  Just need to rehydrate them in water over night, or if you forget the night before you can rehydrate in hot water a lot faster

Ground beef it one item a lot of people use and knowing how to save money can really help the budget!

  • Visit your butcher either 30 – 60 minutes to close or within 30 – 60 minutes of opening early in the morning.  They often discount the ground beef 10 – 50%.   If you plan on buying more, make a reasonable offer – you might get a better deal!
  • If you plan on freezing, freeze as soon as possible, but in no instance later than the use by date on the package.
  • Ground beef it good for up to 4 months in the freezer (for optimal freshness).  If you plan on freezing for an extended time, wrap in foil and clearly mark with date.
  • Purchase ground beef in larger packages as the price per pound is usually reduced.  Then, break out into smaller one lb packages or even shape your own patties and then freeze (following same notes as shared above).

Blueberries are not always in season.  However, when they are, you can find some good deals.  Here’s how you can purchase extra and make them last longer:

  • Blueberries last for quite a while after purchase.  They can be good for up to 2 weeks after purchase.
  • To preserve freshness time, place them into a shallow container and cover with plastic wrap (do not leave in store packaging).
  • To freeze blueberries, first wash and dry them.  Place them on a cookie sheet and flash freeze them for around an hour (this is called flash freezing).  Place into baggies, label with the date and put into your freezer.
  • They are at optimum freshness up to 12 months after freezing.

If you don’t make your own bread and elect to purchase it from the store, there are some easy ways to save.

  • Stick with the store brand.  They are the name brand product, just bagged under a store name.  You might find such brands as Wonder or Sara Lee with your store name stamped onto the package.
  • You can freeze bread for up to 3 months (for optimum freshness).  To help prevent freezerburn, you can wrap the enter package in foil or heavy duty wrap.
  • Do not keep your bread in the refrigerator as it will dry out much more quickly and increase waste.
  • Do not toss your bread when it does dry out — make your own croutons!

When you find a good deal on broccoli, you can stock up.  Just follow these tips:

  • Keep in a plastic bag and do not wash until you are ready to use it.
  • Refrigerated broccoli is good up to a week (sometimes longer) after purchase.
  • To freeze broccoli, first wash and remove the leaves and stems. Split the stalks and flowerettes into 1 to 1 1/2″ pieces. Blanch them (put in boiling water for 3 minutes and then put into ice water to quickly cool them).  Once that is done remove the excess moisture and place into air tight containers or bags and freeze.
  • Broccoli is best if consume within 12 – 18 months after freezing.

Make sure you check out our basic Grocery Savings Tips on how to get the most out of your grocery trip!  Plus, we are showcasing four to five foods from each letter of the alphabet to help you learn how to freeze/store certain items.  Just click on your letter below and go right to the post with the foods for that item!



  1. heidi says

    another tip for bananas, you should pull them apart instead of keeping them bundled. when clumped together they ripen faster,

  2. says

    Love the nana notes!! They never seem to stay the way I like them for very long. Now, ll be sure to separate them. : )

    I’ve tossed them in 1/2 (not mashed) in the freezer & put them in microwaved oatmeal when it was almost done cooking. Worked great!!

    I also have a recipe for nana nut bread. The rottener the nanas, the better the bread!! It’s also very easy to make!!

    Besides, loving this grocery gab, I also love the “A” link.