I’m always looking for how to save money on food and this week, almost by accident I found a way to save money on groceries that can put an extra $50 a year back into the pocket of the average family of four.
Does your family have a popcorn hour? Growing up, every Friday night my dad and I would watch professional boxing on television and eat popcorn cooked up in my family’s ancient popcorn popper. It wasn’t a fancy air popcorn maker machine or the microwave popcorn people eat today.
It was an old-fashioned, stovetop popcorn maker.
After burning yet another bag of microwave popcorn a few days ago, I decided I had had it with that second-rate popcorn. The next day I headed out to the store with one item on my shopping list: a bag of popcorn kernels. Although it wasn’t my original intention, I found a way to help me save money on one of the best healthy foods we can enjoy as a snack.
The bags of popcorn were on the same shelves as microwave popcorn. I noticed that I could get a four pound bag of kernels for $3.39 while a 10-bag box of a popular microwave popcorn brand cost $7.99. Both prices, by the way, are everyday, non-sale prices.
I’m not a math wizard, but immediately I knew I’d be able to pop up far more popcorn with that four pound bag. I realized I had found another way to eat on the cheap—at least when it came to my favorite evening snack.
A little online research uncovered the statistic that the average American eats 54 quarts of popcorn a year. That’s a convenient number because four cups—which equals one quart—is the standard popcorn serving size. As in everything I do, ahem, I believe I’m above average in this regard, so this should really help me on my goal of saving money on groceries.
After factoring in the cost of the popcorn and the cost of the cooking oil, stovetop popcorn costs about eight cents a serving. The microwave popcorn mentioned above comes in at 29 cents per serving. That’s a savings of 72 percent and you don’t have to be a saving money expert to know that’s a good deal.
And, not only is this one of the best ways to save on snack foods, stovetop popcorn is far more tasty than microwave popcorn and it’s also much easier to cook up without burning. (I didn’t even include burnt batches of microwave popcorn that end up in the garbage can in my calculations, or the stink they cause in your house.)
So, next time you cue up a movie at home and get ready to sit back and enjoy a traditional family popcorn hour, cash in on this easy way to save money and eat better popcorn at the same time.
My readers and myself are always looking for good ways to save, so do you have any tips on how we can save money on snack foods? Or, with food in general, how do you save money?