Not Reading Labels Cost Me Money

food label We try to provide a healthy but frugal diet for our family. I am constantly reading coupon websites, grocery store flyers and unit pricing signs to make sure that we get the most food for our money. We stay away (mostly) from expensive junk foods, such as soda, candy, sugary cereal and packaged convenience foods that are loaded with chemicals. But, I recently found that I haven’t been doing enough label reading, and that fact has cost me some money. How? Here is my story.

Let’s start with some salad dressing. We try to make salads several times a week as a healthy and mostly frugal addition to our dinner meals. Most of us like a little bit of salad dressing on our salads, and I find that the bottled dressings are usually easier to use with less waste, especially since my family tends to prefer creamy dressings. We don’t use much, so one bottle can last use a long time. I usually only keep two or three extra bottles stockpiled at a time.

So just the other day, I went down into the stockpile and grabbed a new bottle of ranch dressing. It was a different brand, but one that was on sale. I took a look at the label. The ranch dressing contained anchovies! Since a member of our family has an allergy to most forms of seafood, the bottle had to go. Who would have thought there would be fish in ranch dressing?

Of my two remaining bottles of dressing, one was a duplicate of the anchovy one, so that had to go, too. The third bottle was a different brand, and it did not contain anchovies. However, it did contain monosodium glutamate, or MSG, which our family avoids. Again, this is an ingredient that I was surprised to find inside salad dressing. Had I taken the time to read the labels on these bottles, I would not have wasted money on them, no matter how good the deal was.

Mary Ann Romans writes about everything related to saving money in the Frugal Blog, technology in the Computing Blog, and creating a home in the Home Blog. You can read more of her articles by clicking here.

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT or visit her personal blog