Why did the chicken cross the road? To get away from the knife-wielding reporter who doesn’t know how to cook

I’m not sure how this could have happened, but I became a 33-year-old woman without ever having cut apart a whole chicken.

This astounds me given the regularity with which my mother would divvy up a chicken and oven fry it, including chickens she and my dad used to raise on the farm.

But since establishing my own presence in the kitchen, I’ve been a frozen-boneless-skinless-chicken-breast kind-of girl.

Until last night.

I had a fresh buttercup squash from my in-laws’ garden I wanted to bake, and decided it would be delish served with fried chicken.

I made a special trip to the grocery store to buy a box of Oven Fry (I won’t tell you how long I stood there debating between that and Shake N Bake) and the chicken. As I compared the package of cut-apart chicken pieces and the whole chicken, my frugal side won out.

I got out my butcher knife and a cutting board, unwrapped the chicken, and panicked.

I had no clue what I was doing.

I grabbed my Betty Crocker cookbook, the one my mother gave me when I was first starting out on my own. The poultry section includes a six-step, photo illustrated guide on “How to Cut Up a Whole Chicken.”

Oh so easy, right?

Unfortunately for me, I got lost on step one — to place chicken breast down on a cutting board — as I wasn’t really sure which side was the breast.

Once that was determined, I managed to cut off each wing. I ungracefully hacked off the legs, accidentally de-boning one of them. I became confused again at which side was the neck. I pleaded to no one in particular for help as I sawed the back from the breast (pretty sure I did not do that correctly) and became really confused at what the “keel bone” was. But in the end, I managed to dissect my chicken and bread it.

I totally ran out of the Oven Fry by the time I got to the breasts, so used some leftover Shore Lunch to bread them. It worked, but I wouldn’t really recommend it …

My husband declared it delicious and well-cooked. The kids ate the the small shreds put on their plates (I was too worried about bone fragments to give them whole pieces). Owen also loved the squash (He called it “cheese”).

I’m sure this all sounds ridiculous to any accomplished (or even not so accomplished) home chef, but I’m feeling pretty proud of my poultry escapades.

Here’s hoping practice makes perfect.

Some purr-fect cupcakes

When my kids’ birthdays roll around, I can come up with some creative party theme ideas. However, I lack the technical skills to create the epic party perfection so proudly displayed on Pinterest. A three-tiered, fondant-covered fairy woodland cake? Not gonna happen.

But I can create some pretty cute cupcakes, using my vast knowledge of boxed cake mix, frosting in a can and store-bought candy.

For Eve’s second birthday, I decorated cupcakes like Sesame Street characters. I used marshmallows and chocolate chips for their round eyes, halved Oreo cookies for the mouths, gumballs for noses and licorice for hair and eyebrows.

Can you name that Sesame Street resident? (Clockwise from upper left) Ernie, Oscar, Elmo and Cookie Monster

Now for her fifth birthday party on Saturday, I’m at it again. Eve chose Hello Kitty invitations and I ran with the theme for the goodie bags and tableware. I very nearly bought a HK cake pan, but decided instead on the far-less-expensive red and pink cupcake liners. Then I realized Hello Kitty’s face would fit pretty nicely on them.

Today, Eve and I stirred up two boxes of strawberry cake mix. After our cupcakes were cool, I frosted them with vanilla frosting and set about decorating. I knew I wanted to use yellow M&Ms for her nose (‘M’ side down, Eve insisted), but realized as I sorted through the large bag that the brown would work well for eyes and the red could add to her bow (as for the blue, orange and green, I had no choice but to eat them …). I bought some pull-and-peel red licorice for her hair bow, thinking I could loop/twist/tie the ropes into bows, but soon abandoned that plan and just placed half-inch pieces on either side of the red M&M. Some black writing gel made for easy whiskers.

Well, Hello Kitty

Eve also decorated her own cupcake, too.

We switched to chocolate chips after the brown M&Ms ran out

Four dozen later, we’re ready to party. Say goodbye, kitties!


Money-Savin’ Mama’s Guide to F-M Birthday Specials

This month, the SheSays section of The Forum is celebrating its first birthday. It seemed like a good excuse to tackle a story I’ve been intrigued by for awhile: Where in town can you get freebies for your b-day?

I’ll be honest, it was an overwhelming task to call as many restaurants as I could think of in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo. After four days and 145 establisments, I wrote on Facebook that I felt like I’d run a marathon on my phone, and have hit the wall at mile 25.

“This is why I get paid the medium bucks,” I wrote.

So in hopes of preserving my marathon-like effort, I’m posting the piece her for posterity. I’d like to keep it updated, so if you hear of a birthday promotion in town, let me know.

What a deal: Check out these special birthday bargains
By: Sherri Richards, INFORUM

With SheSays celebrating its birthday today, I’ve been on the look-out for ways to celebrate. My criteria: Free. Food.

Last week, I called more than 150 restaurants in the Fargo-Moorhead metro area, searching out the best birthday promotions. It turns out lots offer a little something extra on the anniversary of your birth.

While this list includes only free restaurant promotions, there are other deals to be had. Some bars I called give a free drink or shot to birthday patrons. Several coffee shops have birthday specials. Toys R Us mails out small gift cards before your child’s birthday.

My new rule: If it’s your birthday, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Here’s the fine print: Offers are subject to change. Some freebies, especially dessert, require a purchase. There may be a price limit on complimentary items. You’ll need to provide proof that it’s your birthday, so bring ID.

Did I miss your favorite restaurant’s birthday freebie? Know of a great deal outside Fargo-Moorhead? Email srichards@forumcomm.com, and I’ll update this guide.

The free meal

The gold standard of birthday freebies, several local restaurants comp your meal on your birthday. Bon appetit, birthday boy/girl!

Big D’s Bar and Grill: Free meal
Denny’s: Free Grand Slam breakfast
Grand Junction: Free sub
Grazies Italian Grill: Free meal
Hooters: Free meal (up to $10)
IHOP: Free meal (up to $10)
Mexican Village: Free meal with purchase of entrée (equal or greater value)
Old Broadway Grill: Free meal with purchase of entrée (5 to 10 p.m. Mondays during birthday month)
Paradiso: Free meal
Valentino’s: Free buffet with purchase of buffet

Meal deal

These places offer a discount for birthday guests, or gift cards good for use at a later date.

101 Sushi: $15 gift card (with group of 5 or more adults). Otherwise, free deep-fried bananas.
Acapulco Mexican Restaurant: Half-price meal and free sopapillas
Broadway Classic Subs: Half-price sub
China Garden: $2 off buffet
Gallery Restaurant at Holiday Inn: $15 off fine dining entrée (after 5:30 p.m.)
Giant Panda: Half-price meal
Kobe Japanese Cuisine: $15 gift card and free dessert at end of meal (evening only)
Mango’s: Half-price meal
Speak Easy: $10 gift card (no purchase required)
Speedway: Half-price meal
Spitfire: $10 off any entree
Super Buffet: Half-price meal

Join the club

Lots of national chains and even some local establishments send birthday coupons to members of their loyalty or rewards clubs. They’re free to join and get you other deals throughout the year. Just visit the restaurant’s website or ask for a card in the store. An added bonus: Most of these coupons give you a week or more to redeem the free item, stretching out the celebration, though you must sign up in advance.

Arby’s: Free menu item (coupon varies)
Boppa’s Bagels: $8 toward sandwich and drink
Cold Stone Creamery: Buy one, get one free creation
Culver’s: Free sundae (on birthday only)
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit: Free drink or barbecue
Divots at Edgewood: Buy one entrée and beverages, get one entrée free
Erbert and Gerbert’s: Free sandwich
Green Mill: Free menu item (otherwise free dessert on birthday)
HuHot Mongolian Grill: Free meal (if register on birthday, free cheesecake or sake bomb)
Moe’s Southwest Grill: Free burrito or entrée
Noodles and Co.: Free meal
Old Chicago: Free pizza (otherwise free dessert on birthday)
Pizza Ranch: $5 off, plus $5 in reward points (kids get free meal on birthday)
Qdoba: Buy one burrito, get one free
Ruby Tuesday: Free burger (otherwise free cupcake on birthday)
Schlotzsky’s: Free sandwich
Smashburger: Free shake
Smiling Moose Deli: Free sandwich or salad (automatically deducted when swipe rewards card)
Spicy Pie: Free slice of pizza and soda (Facebook coupon)
Texas Roadhouse: Free appetizer
The Pita Pit: Free pita

Sweet deals

Forty-one restaurants not already mentioned said they offer birthday guests a free dessert, with some giving the option of a free drink to guests 21 and older. Most required purchase of an entrée. Some places were specific about which dessert you get. Here are some other “sweet” deals.

Cherry Berry: Free yogurt up to 12 ounces
Goodfellas: Free dessert pizza (or personal pan)
Perkins Family Restaurant: Free strawberry pancakes (or slice of pie)
Sandy’s Donuts: Free donut
Tutti Frutti: Free yogurt up to 12 ounces

Worth mentioning

Chuck E Cheese: 12 free tokens
Godfather’s Pizza: Free mini pizza
Pizza Hut (sit-down): Free personal one-topping pizza (children only, call ahead)

Money Savin’ Mama: Spending challenge an eye-opener

I watched the cash register total creep upward as I fingered through the dollar bills in my envelope. The coupons I clutched in my hand brought the bill down enough that my cash covered the final total.

It was a different experience than I’m used to at the grocery store, usually swiping my plastic and not being overly concerned at the amount, knowing I’d been frugal in my choices. With cash, I was forced to stick to a limit and pass on impulse purchases.

It was also a bit of a victory. While I’d planned to replenish my cash envelope each week, we’d purchased three weeks of groceries on one week’s budget, plus a $20 bill.

Last month I wrote about my self-imposed spending challenge, to eat less expensively during the month of April. I gave myself a weekly limit of $103.20, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s thrifty plan cost of food at home for a man, woman and 4-year-old. Baby Owen didn’t get a food allowance, though I did buy a box of single-grain cereal and two whole sweet potatoes for him.

In total, our family spent $188.38 at the grocery store in April, about 46 percent of my maximum allotment. We also ate more meals at home than we typically do.

One reason is the challenge morphed into a pantry-clearing exercise, a head start on my spring cleaning. The food reserves in my cupboards and deep freezer made up many of our meals’ main courses and side dishes during the month. I was truly surprised at how much money, in the form of food, was at my fingertips.

Our weekly cash outlay, then, went largely to fresh fruit, vegetables and milk, though I also restocked some staples like flour and oil, and bought several pounds of meat.

I cooked thrifty recipes suggested by the USDA, such as pizza meatloaf, cheese-stuffed baked potatoes and tuna macaroni salad. I also really liked the ingredient search at allrecipes.com to find dishes that called for what I already had on hand, including lasagna roll-ups and a breakfast skillet.

I’m confident the total amount of food we consumed, even with the pantry additions, stayed below the $103.20 weekly guideline.

Throughout April, I blogged about the challenge and lessons learned.

I realized in week one that it’s important to limit grocery store visits to one a week, if possible. That cuts down on temptation. Also, don’t forget your shopping list. That was a “duh” moment.

Plan out your meals, building menus around what you have on hand and what’s on sale. Group together recipes that use the same perishable ingredients. Avoid buying single-use ingredients that may expire before consumed.

Find a middle ground between cost and convenience. Money and time are both finite resources. Sometimes it makes sense to use more of one to gain the other. I’ve found frozen juice concentrate is a less pricey, though slightly more time intensive, option to cartons or jugs of juice. But packaged, seasoned rice and beans made more sense for our family than preparing them from scratch.

I think there’s also a middle ground between Mother Hubbard and having enough food hoarded to survive nuclear winter. How much money withers in your cupboard when it could have been used to pay down debt or cover other expenses?

Compare, compare, compare. In week three, my husband volunteered to do the shopping. One of the items I asked him to buy was fish fillets. I assumed frozen would be cheapest, but he found some fresh fish on sale that was less expensive per pound than its frozen counterpart. (In the end, he chose a 2-pound bag of frozen cod fillets that priced out just under $4 per pound.)

I am hopeful some habits will stick from the month-long trial. I planned out meals for the whole first week of May that still purged older items from the pantry and freezer. And though my May Day shopping list was long, the total was $45.94 – 45 percent of that thrifty budget.

Perhaps I’ll extend Eat Less Expensively April into Economizing Meals May.

Sherri Richards is a thrifty mom of two.

Eating Less Expensively: Week 4 recap

It appears our $30-a-week grocery bills caught up with us. During the final week of my self-imposed challenge to eat balanced meals on the cheap, our total grocery store outlay was $62.26.

Considering the intitial goal was to stay below the weekly federal thrifty food plan budget of $103.20 for our family of three (plus a baby), it’s silly that I’m disappointed in that figure, isn’t it?

We needed to stock up on some pantry staples this week, including flour and canola oil, graham crackers and peanut butter. Our meals included several recipes from the USDA booklet I’ve oft mentioned: baked cod fillets with cheese, crispy baked potatoes (FYI, they take longer to bake than the recipe says), and beef-noodle casserole. I also made enchiladas using a less costly seasoning packet vs. the canned sauce my normal recipe calls for. My hubby made “bachelor food,” a staple from his (and his uncle’s) college days. (Combine chicken, a box or packet of chicken-flavored rice, cream of chicken or mushroom soup, plus water, and bake).

I’m planning to grocery shop tomorrow, as Eat Less Expensively April comes to an end. And oh boy, is my list a looooooong one. But I’m hopeful some good habits learned this month will stick. I’ve already planned out meals for the next week, focusing on what was in my cupboard and fridge. I’ll buy what I need for the coming week, plus just a few bargains. It’s nice to see my pantry looking a little sparse. I’d like to keep it pared down.

I’ll compile my thoughts on the challenge as a whole in my next Money-Savin’ Mama column. Look for it Friday in The Forum and on this blog.

Did any of you join me in this challenge, or were you inspired to take it on next month? What last tips do you super-savers have for me?

Eating Less Expensively: Week 3

When last we left off in my family’s month-long adventure of trying to trim our food budget, I’d sent my husband to the grocery store with a list and a challenge: to spend less than $40.

He ended up visiting two stores, but got everything on the list and spent … drum roll … $30.05. This included an $8 bag of frozen, wild-caught cod fillets (the type of fish featured in the USDA’s thrifty food plan booklet), as well as some staple veggies (onion, celery), fresh fruit, milk and pasta.

When Craig got back from the store, he commented what a different experience it was, going in with a finite amount of cash. He had to try to come in under a certain number (which eliminated the impulse purchases he inevitably brings home) and find the best deal on everything. I was surprised and impressed that he purchased generic baking soda and O-shaped cereal. These are two items I typically buy name brand, for no good reason, I now realize.

This week, our meals included several dishes from that USDA booklet: cheese-stuffed baked potatoes, tuna macaroni salad and potato soup (though I did tweak the recipes for those last two, adding in more veggies). I also made Seven-Layer Hotdish, a favorite of Craig’s passed along by his Grandma Elaine. (UPDATED: Find this recipe in the comments below.) I even baked a pan of Rhubarb Cheesecake Bars on our meager budget.

We did stumble. I went through the McD’s drive-thru one afternoon, but kept the bill to $8 for lunch for the three of us. And a craving for ice cream on Friday night sent Craig back to the store, spending $6.49 on a half-gallon of cookie dough ice cream and a jar of hot fudge. This was a far less expensive option than getting blizzards from DQ, and still kept our out-of-pocket food costs for the week under $50.

Random lessons taken from this week:

  • I realized how fortunate I am in this challenge to have a cupboard full of staples after reading this blog post from moneysavingmom.com.  While the amount of money I’m pulling from the cupboard to prepare meals is minimal, the investment to obtain those items is significant for someone on a tight budget. We used up the last of our canola oil making fried chicken Saturday, and my flour is almost gone, so I’m going to need to stock up again.
  • It’s amazing how much food I had in my cupboards. How much do you have that just sits there, when it could be feeding your family? (BTW, as a farm girl, I LOVED this column by Tammy Swift about the need to have a well-stocked pantry.)
  • I’ve been trying to plan meals close together that use the same ingredients in different ways. A pound of bacon from the freezer (bought on sale for $3 awhile back) was divvied up between a pancake breakfast and the top of that Seven-Layer Hotdish. The two green peppers purchased for 88 cents each in Week 2 added crunch and flavor to the hotdish, the tuna macaroni salad, a makeshift jambalaya, as well as last week’s breakfast skillet and pizza meatloaf. It’s a good way to stretch more expensive ingredients.

Craig actually did most of our Week 4 shopping on Saturday, as we were out of milk and we wanted to make the trip worthwhile. He spent $30.10, which included more than 2 pounds of sirloin steak (at $3.98 a pound). Yes, we’re eating steak on a thrifty meal plan.

I’ll need to make one more grocery run later this week, to stock up on Cash Wise coupon deals and a few of those cooking staples we’ve depleted. Hopefully we’ll finish out the month frugal and full.

Eating Less Expensively: Week 2

My self-imposed challenge to spend less on groceries this month has perhaps turned into more of an “empty out the kitchen cupboards and freezer” exercise.  Which is actually great for two reasons: 1) It gives me a head start on my spring cleaning and 2) It does mean a lot less money going out this month (even if I’ll have to replenish the pantry some next month).

And I do mean a LOT less. The total amount I spent on groceries during week 2: $33.08.

I promise you I’m not starving my husband and children. Craig actually referred to me as a “gourmand” the other night, and said we’re eating a better variety of foods than ever.

Meals this week included lasagna roll-ups with side salads, mini cheeseburgers and carrot sticks, black beans and rice, a country brunch skillet (with breakfast sausage instead of bacon), and pizza meatloaf. That last recipe is from this USDA thrifty food plan booklet.

For these meals, I pulled a pound each of ground pork, beef and turkey from the freezer, as well as the sausage links, shredded cheese and hash brown potatoes. I had the lasagna noodles on hand, too. But even factoring in what I’ve cleared out of the pantry, I think I’m below the $103.20 allowance I’m trying to follow.

This boggles my mind a little, especially after I put pencil to paper. When broken down, that $103.20 translates to $14.75 per day to feed three people (plus Baby Owen). I divided that $14.75 out to $2.45 for breakfast, $4.90 for lunch and $7.40 for dinner. It’s obviously doable when we split a 50-cent box of mac and cheese, slice up a carrot and divvy up an orange for lunch. Not at all if we wanted to grill some steaks for supper. I guess that’s why there are no steak recipes in that USDA booklet …

Back to that grocery receipt (yes, singular “receipt,” I went to the store only once!): With my $33, I stocked up on milk, juice, eggs, fruit and veggies again, and bought several pounds of chicken breasts. A pleasant surprise to help aid my challenge was the arrival of the Cash Wise coupon mailer. Twice a year, the store sends out 8 weeks of coupons on a magnetic strip (SunMart does this once a year, too). The coupons feature really good deals, including those chicken breasts (a 2.5-pound bag for $3.88, or about $1.55 per pound) and potatoes (5 pounds for $1.48). Of course, it’s only a good deal if it’s an item you use anyway. I passed on the first week’s Kool-Aid coupon.

Other random thoughts from week 2:

  • Look at what you throw away. Look at what lingers in your fridge or cupboard. This is wasted money.
  • Avoid purchasing ingredients that are only good for one recipe. Half-full cartons of ricotta cheese usually go bad in my fridge. That’s why I was glad the lasagna roll-up recipe called for cottage cheese, my ricotta substitute from now on.
  • Trying to save money while feeding your family often comes down to balancing convenience and cost. Time and money are both commodities. Which do you have more of? While it’d be great to cook everything from scratch all the time, that ain’t happening in my house (especially because I’m not a very good cook). Where can you cut convenience to save cost?  One way I do this is buying frozen juice concentrate. Adding my own water and stirring saves me up to a dollar per half-gallon of juice.  This week I made a box of instant pudding instead of buying snack packs. It was super easy and less expensive, and Eve loved to help. On the other hand, while I could have saved even more money making the black beans and rice from scratch, I used a $2.50 package that was already seasoned and took only 25 minutes to cook. Find the middle ground that works for you.

Tonight, as we enter week 3, my husband volunteered to go to the store for me. I sent him with my list (I’ve got meals planned out through next Monday), the cash envelope and a challenge: to come in under $40. We’ll see how he does …

Eating less expensively: Week One

In Friday’s Money-Savin’ Mama column, I wrote about my self-imposed spending challenge: To see how little I could spend on groceries this month. I’m using a cash envelope system, giving myself a weekly maximum of $103.20, the federal thrifty meal plan amount for two adults and a 4-year-old. Here’s an update on how it’s going:

I’m one week in, and so far I’ve spent $56.50 on groceries. While that’s well below my self-imposed limit (huzzah!), it’s a deceptive number. The first week was  a transition, as we finished up food in the fridge, raided the pantry and were treated to some meals by our families, including the traditional ham-and-potatoes Easter Sunday lunch.

I actually went to the grocery store THREE times last week, which I wouldn’t recommend when you’re trying to save money. That’s three opportunities to be tempted by impulse purchases (though I did pass up the $2.50 Oreos and 4/$12 12-packs of sodas, both items I’d normally buy at those prices if I weren’t watching what I spent).

The first grocery outing was on Tuesday. I hadn’t meal planned yet, but was out of milk. So I stocked up on fruit and salad veggies, as well as milk and yogurt, and spent $19.09. I was pretty thrilled at the total, as I only needed to turn over one of the five twenties in my envelope.

I headed to another grocery store on Thursday, with some meals planned out. But I forgot my grocery list AND was working off an expired circular — two rookie mistakes. I bought what I could remember from my list, and a couple things from the current ad, spending $22.46.

So I went to ANOTHER store on Friday morning. I got the last things from my list, including ingredients to bring a raspberry rice salad for Easter dinner. Completely mindlessly, when I got to the register, I swiped my card. And it’s fascinating how mindless it was. While I could easily remember how much cash I had to turn over at my previous two grocery visits, I was completely clueless how much my bill was ($14.94 my receipt tells me).

I’m also noticing the mindless eating I tend to do throughout the day, as well as how quickly midday and late-night snacks can add up to real money.

Our evening meals last week included corn dogs with green beans and noodles, shrimp with couscous, Spaghetti alla Ceci (that’s chickpeas — thanks Rachael Ray!), and a frozen pizza Friday night.

This week’s plan is to cook some items from the USDA’s thrifty meal pamphlet, and hopefully only go to the grocery store once! I think it will be a truer test of my self-imposed limit.

Money-Savin’ Mama: Establish thresholds to keep grocery store spending in check

Here’s today’s Money-Savin’ Mama column from the SheSays section of The Forum.

As my husband flipped through the grocery store circular, he asked what a good price is for Lunchables. One dollar, I told him without hesitating.

That’s what the meat-cheese-cracker snack pack was on sale for that week. And so we knew to buy a couple as a treat for our daughter, Eve.

Maybe it’s because I grew up watching “The Price is Right” every summer, but somewhere along the line I came up with a pretty good sense of how much groceries are supposed to cost.

And so I have all sorts of price guidelines for food products stored in my head. They’re thresholds that help keep our grocery bill reasonable without having to clip coupons or scout sales.

I won’t pay more than $3 for a 12-pack of pop or $2.75 for a bag of Oreos. I know I can get an 8-ounce bag of shredded cheese for $2 and a pound of strawberries for $2.50. A gallon of milk shouldn’t cost more than $3.50. An inexpensive pound of meat will ring in around $1.80. A bag of frozen vegetables can be had for $1, and 50 cents for canned.

If a store is charging more than that, I know I can get it for less somewhere else or at a later date, as grocery store prices follow a pretty regular cycle. If the price is much lower that week I might stock up, especially if it’s something I can keep in the deep freeze like the shredded cheese.

I’m not saying these are the cheapest prices or greatest deals. They’re just the maximum prices I’m willing to pay. Every family will have different price limits depending on their priorities and preferences. Perhaps you wouldn’t pay that much for soda or maybe you’d pay more for strawberries. But knowing your threshold helps keep your grocery bill lean. Adding a coupon when you know the price is especially low helps cut expenses even more.

The other big trick I use for saving money on groceries is per-ounce comparison shopping. That helps make sure you’re picking the best value on the shelf. To figure out the per-ounce price, divide the price by the number of ounces. Carry a calculator with you, or use the one on your cell phone.

Once you know what each product costs per ounce, you can compare apples to apples – or fruit snacks to fruit snacks – and choose the least expensive one.

Generally, the bigger the packaging, the better price it is per ounce. Generic products are usually cheaper than name-brand. But these aren’t set-in-stone rules. Special sales or adding a coupon can make the smaller bottle or well-known product the better buy.

If the large package of food would spoil before you use it all, you’re better off buying the smaller option.

Many stores now list a per-ounce price on the shelf price tag, but this can be confusing when comparing different sizes and products. One may be listed per ounce while another is per pound or per item. And sometimes the store’s math is wrong.

Being watchful of prices and doing your own math will ensure the price is right for your food budget.