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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Frugal Friday--Canned Tomatoes

Back in November I met up with the homeschooling mom's group and shared with them my money saving ways on groceries.  I almost always learn something new from an audience member when I'm out to speak and share on that very topic.  This time was no exception.  I only wish I could remember the lady's name who shared it.  She was sitting on the front row, which narrows it down a bit.  :)  I'll call her Pam, but am confident that was not her name.

Generic canned tomatoes are not something that will typically break your grocery budget, but back when I was being ultra-frugal I looked for every single possible way to reduce grocery costs.  These days I'm a little less hard-core, but many of the tactics I started back then have become routine.

Pam shared that she would buy the big #10 industrial sized can of tomatoes from Sam's for $2.50, use what she needed and then freeze the remaining tomatoes in ziploc bags already measured out in 14-16 ounce increments.  Of course if you lay the bags flat in your freezer they will be much easier to store once frozen.  You can stand them up vertically and store them like a file folder.

Most canned tomatoes are packaged in 14.5oz cans these days.  Here they are waiting to go home with someone at HEB...

The 12 pack of tomatoes at Sam's is $0.64/can, not a significant savings.

However the 102oz can of diced tomatoes at Sam's is $2.57.  Assuming you measured it out in seven 14.5 ounce portions that would cut the cost 'per can' down to $0.36; a 47% savings!  Yes, you'd have to store at least six bags of tomatoes in your freezer (I assumed you didn't open the can until you needed at least one portion's worth), but if you have a large/extra freezer maybe that is not a big deal.

Perhaps you don't have a Sam's membership or a friend with one either, the big can in the grocery store still gets the cost down to $0.56 'per can' a 19% savings.

If anyone would like me to pick them up a can of tomatoes next time I'm headed to Sam's, let me know.  :)

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