Confession: I get a rush of adrenaline from finding good grocery store deals. Recently, I stocked up on chips, kettle corn, and other snacks that were 90 percent off at a local imports store. I think I paid 35 cents for the most expensive item!
But while I love a bargain, I'm pretty choosy on what I'll snatch up. In fact, I'm kinda picky when it comes to certain foods that I think are worth the splurge. Here are five ingredients that I am always willing to spend money on at the grocery store.
I'm not sure whether it's the time I spent in France in college or just the fact that I love cheese. Whatever the case, I'm particular about the cheeses I buy. I don't mind spending money on good-quality Brie or the real Parmesan. A little goes a long way and makes a huge difference in the tasting experience. A cheese plate of bargain cheeses isn't really something to write home about.
My husband is a super-hard worker. He joined the workforce when he was still a kid, helping his dad run his milk route. Today, he continues to get up before the sun to start his work day.
Years ago he mentioned that knowing he had a good cup of coffee to look forward to helped him roll out of bed in the morning. So, while I don't import beans from all over the globe, I do make a point to buy good-quality coffee because I know it makes a difference in my husband's day.
3. Wine and Beer
I have tried Two Buck Chuck and, frankly, I would prefer to quit drinking altogether if that's my only choice. To me, cheap wine and beer taste, well, cheap! I'd much rather enjoy a great glass or pint less frequently than waste my luxury allowance on cheap booze.
Tip: Watch your grocery or liquor store ads and stock your cellar when you see great deals on quality labels.
If you've never tasted wild Alaskan salmon, today might be the day to seek it out. Once I tried it, I knew I couldn't rely on just whatever was on sale at the store. Taste and sustainability matter.
Not sure where to start? Grab the Seafood Watch Consumer Guide for your region and keep an eye open for sales.
I remember as a child hearing my mom specifically instruct me not to buy the generic bread, as it contained plaster of Paris. Another good reason not to buy generic bread? It doesn't taste as good as higher-quality loaves anyway.
My advice: Find a good local bakery that uses real food ingredients or learn to bake your own.
What grocery store items are you willing to spend a little more money on?