1. Switch Supermarkets Stock Up on Grocery Staples at a Discount: Six-word strategy for saving on food: Get in car. Drive to Costco (Sam's or BJ's). We compared prices on 37 staples at Costco, Safeway and Whole Foods, calculated the prices for equivalent sizes, multiplied the total for each list by 12 (representing monthly shopping expeditions) and added Costco's $50 annual membership to the cost. Result: Costco can supply a family of four with many of the basics for an annual tab of $1,708, followed by Safeway, at $2,417, and Whole Foods, at a pricey $3,498.

Annual Savings: $1,790

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