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Changing habits

(article, Melanie Mesaros)

With food prices escalating and gas prices still climbing, many families are crossing brand names and organic products off their grocery lists in order to stretch their food dollar.    

Some families have admitted to media outlets such as "CNN Money" and the New York Times that they are forgoing “green” purchases, such as organic milk, in favor of regular store brands. They're also buying generic versions of packaged foods.

Florida’s News-Press has done the homework on how to save with specific comparisons. The paper claims your food bill won’t plummet immediately, but your savings will be noticed over time. For instance, instead of buying Mott’s applesauce, buy the store chain’s brand to save up to 50 percent. 

Skip the refrigerated jugs of brand-name orange juice, such as Simply Orange, and stock up on cans of frozen concentrate. You may sacrifice some flavor, but the payoff can be a savings of 68 cents per half-gallon and fewer trips to the store.

Buy five- or 10-pound bags of potatoes instead of individual potatoes; this can save you 20 cents a pound. Individually weighed produce generally is more expensive than what comes packaged in bulk — but you have less control over quality when you buy prebagged produce, and you may not be able to eat those five or 10 pounds fast enough.

And if you have kids, can they tell the difference between fancy and not-so-fancy? A TV station in Orlando, Florida, recently put store brands to a taste test done by kids. When it came to cereal, pretzels, peanut butter, and orange juice, the majority of kid testers either found no difference or preferred the generic products.