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Grocery Saving Suggestions

 
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Lorelei Sieja
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Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Posts: 61
Location: Kalamazoo, MI USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:59 pm    Post subject: Grocery Saving Suggestions Reply with quote

I thought I'd branch out from the previous post, which was questioning how much folks are spending on groceries, to collect suggestions on how people are cutting back, pinching pennies, and spreading their food dollar farther without cutting back on nutrition. The more who respond, the more useful this thread will be!

Here's what I've been doing:
1) bake bread. This is basic! It may seem time consuming at first - so go ahead and teach all your kids to do it! Bread is really simple once you get the hang of it. You can bake two or three loaves once a week, or do like we used to do with the kids were home, and spend one Saturday a month and bake 30 loaves for the freezer. Either way, a bag of flour is just not that expensive, and bread is $3.00 a loaf or more! When you bake your own, you can leave out the crappy ingredients and make it wholesome.

2) shop at discount stores first, (Like Aldz's or Save-A-Lot) then get the items you couldn't find there at your regular store.

3) stock up when something is on sale. This may seem basic, but I mean REALLY STOCK UP. Don't just buy twice as much toilet paper when it's on sale - what about buying a year's worth of toilet paper? I mean, you know you're going to use it anyway... <G>. Some stores have limits on their sales, so you can't always do this. But every time you can use something that was bought at sale price, you've saved money! I found a restaurant supply store in Middleton, Wisconsin, for instance, where I could buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts, frozen, for about $1.50 a pound. That's like 60% off the regular price around here. You had to buy the chicken breasts in 25 pound boxes, though, but we had a freezer, so that's okay.

4) Cook once, eat twice. Maybe this saves some money because you're using less electricity, I'm not sure. But how this saved me money, was that I was less likely to run out for something "fast and easy" if dinner was already made. With this method, you cook twice as much, and put half of the casserole or hot dish into the freezer for later. There are entire cookbooks based on this concept - "Dinner's IN the Freezer" and "Once a Month Cooking" are two I can name right off the top of my head. I have Dinner's in the Freezer, and I love it!

5) Take good care of your left-overs and your fresh produce, use them and don't let them go to waste. There are right ways and wrong ways to store food. If you often throw things out that have spoiled before you could eat them, then either buy less of that item, or rotate the items in your fridge so you eat the older items first. I hate plastic, and avoid using plastic in my kitchen as much as possible. I store dinner left overs in glass pyrex dishes, to be reheated the NEXT DAY for lunches. If you aren't going to eat the casserole left overs within a day, then freeze them. I wrap lettuces, greens, celery, fresh spinach, and other raw fruits and vegetables in damp kitchen towels, and set them on the bottom shelf of the fridge. (I don't use plastic "celery keepers" or plastic "lettuce keepers".) I can keep celery about two weeks, and lettuce about 10 days. The best way to keep fresh foods fresh, though, is to EAT them <G>.

6) go vegetarian. Not all the time, maybe. But start eating at least one meatless meal a week. Then maybe two. Vegetables are healthier for you, and most Americans at least, don't get enough of them. If you can't give up your meat, then consider what you can raise yourself (even city dwellers are starting to raise chickens these days) or what you can buy in bulk, "off the farm" at wholesale prices.

7) Eliminate snacks and junk food. No soda pop, no chips, no ready-made snack cakes. Make your own old-fashioned popcorn (not microwave stuff that is full of chemicals) or bake your own cookies for treats. Commercial junk food is not just junk, it is expensive junk. <G>


8. ) Try a fast . That is probably the easiest way to save money - don't eat! Of course you can't fast forever, but it can become a once-a-week style of life. ( Children shouldn't be fasting) There are many positive health and spiritual benefits to fasting, yet few of us ever do it.

9) make your own mixes. You don't have to buy taco seasoning mix. You can buy the spices and make your own. There are recipes online, or I can post in another spot. Whatever you normally buy, see if there is a cheaper alternative. Do you often cook with olive oil? Then try to find the best price on olive oil. If you rarely cook with olive oil, then don't spend too much time looking for a bargain on that item. Time is valuable, too. You can make your own cake mix, your own "instant oatmeal" mix. You can make your own granola cereal.

10) make your own "non-edible" items! I've been making my own laundry detergent for about three years now. A bottle of commercial brand liquid laundry detergent may cost $10 / month to use. My home-made kind costs me less than fifty cents a month. It works great, and isn't harmful for the environment, either. You can find the recipe for it on my blog, or you can google "home made laundry soap" and find a dozen hits at least. It's all about the same recipe, using bar soap (home made or commerical bar of fels naptha or ivory) washing soda and borax and water. I make my own shampoo, and even my own dog-flea product! If you aren't going through a 50 pound bag of baking soda a month - you aren't saving as much money as you could!

Okay, friends! I challenge you! How do you save money grocery shopping?
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Jill
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Joined: 20 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have a bread recipe that is a no knead recipe...the dough takes 5 minutes to mix then is can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Whenever you want fresh bread you cut out a hunk and bake it. It's artisian bread...moist inside and crusty on the outside. My family loves it and my youngest child (9) is our in house bread making expert. She recently did a 4H presentation on how to make this bread and the adults were amazed she could do it...some of them had never made bread!


Find it here:
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/Artisan-Bread-In-Five-Minutes-A-Day.aspx

We make pizza crust from the basic recipe and the Pecan Rolls are AWESOME (and I'm not a fan of that type of sweets.)

PS We don't have a "pizza peel" we use the back of a cheap flat round pizza pan...works just as well.
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Lily
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eliminate non-necessities. We've stopped buying
paper towels (use rags, cloth napkins, cheesecloth)
a cabinet full of cleaners (we now buy concentrated laundry detergent, dish soap, and a multipurpose cleaner for floors, counters, and everywhere inbetween)
feminine products (I use a Diva cup which is good for 10 years, but there's cloth pads, sponges and all sorts of other reusable products out there)

Make a list! If it's not on there, you don't need it!

Eat seasonally. Dh used to laugh at me because I went through cycles of craving high protein/fats in the winter, and more fruits, veggies, and cold items in the summer. But now that he's doing it, too, we're seeing a difference in our grocery bill.

Look outside the grocery store. If you can, take a look at your local butcher and farmer's market prices. You might be surprised. Better yet, save some of your seeds and container garden. Even a windowsill herb garden can save you money in the long run...and help you eat healthier, too!

Try to plan for 4 separate dishes each night. We have a tendency to pair a high priced dish (like beef), with a pretty low cost one (potatoes), but the beef is still eaten in huge quantities. We only need a few ounces of protein a day! By giving a little bit more variety on the table with low cost dishes you're stretching your dollar that much further. Have chicken and rice and your steamed veggie, but add a bowl of seasonal fruit cobbler to everyone's plate. Or offer two different veggies - steamed peas and a simple salad.

Eat your calories, don't drink them Have ice water ready in the fridge at all times. If you need to have flavor, even spending the $2-3 for a box of tea bags (we love the orange/jasmine and peach/mango ones) is cheaper than buying soda or juice drinks.
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janaleigh
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Joined: 11 May 2009
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Location: Orange County, CA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll add my thoughts...

make natural deodorant (and smell wonderful!)

5-6 tb cold pressed cocunut oil
1/4 up corn starch
1/4 cup baking soda

Use Coupons-
My favorite coupon help sites
money saving mom
slickdeals

Cook beans in the crock-pot-yummy and economical!
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janaleigh
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Location: Orange County, CA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jill wrote:
We have a bread recipe that is a no knead recipe...the dough takes 5 minutes to mix then is can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Whenever you want fresh bread you cut out a hunk and bake it. It's artisian bread...moist inside and crusty on the outside. My family loves it and my youngest child (9) is our in house bread making expert. She recently did a 4H presentation on how to make this bread and the adults were amazed she could do it...some of them had never made bread!


Find it here:
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/Artisan-Bread-In-Five-Minutes-A-Day.aspx

We make pizza crust from the basic recipe and the Pecan Rolls are AWESOME (and I'm not a fan of that type of sweets.)

PS We don't have a "pizza peel" we use the back of a cheap flat round pizza pan...works just as well.


Wow-this looks amazing-I'm going to give it a shot. Thanks for sharing this article.
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Theodore
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Joined: 06 Oct 2005
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Location: Missouri, US

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does making your own deoderant really save enough money to be worth the time expenditure?
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macro_grp02
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Joined: 10 Aug 2009
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:53 am    Post subject: Don't do shopping when Hungry Reply with quote

I do practice the age old trick of not shopping when hungry. It makes you buy more stuff you don't really need. Eat at home first.

Also, as what we always do, we spend a lot of time in the grocery. Some people say that the longer you stay, the bigger your bill is.

Lastly, choose a smaller cart. It's from psychology the if the cart is not full yet, we may not stop. We are kind of ashamed to go to the counter with a half filled cart.

Hope thse would help. Embarassed
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Jazzy
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used this service called The Grocery Game for a while that really saved us a bunch of money. It shows you how to combine coupons with sales in your area. I was shocked by how low our grocery bill was.

The website is www.thegrocerygame.com
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comusher
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am lucky that I have a bent and dent grocery in my area. This place saves me so much on my grocery bill.
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MyLittle
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Joined: 04 Feb 2010
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Location: Grants Pass OR

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello! New here but I thought I'd share my tips

I use coupons whenever I can. This website has really helped, although not everything she has works in my area http://athriftymom.com/

On monday I went to Albertsons and stocked up on oatmeal and cereal (and few other things). At checkout I ended up saving $68.97.
I only spent $32.40 Shocked
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MyLittle
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Joined: 04 Feb 2010
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Location: Grants Pass OR

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried this! It's awesome! Thanks for posting the link Smile





Jill wrote:
We have a bread recipe that is a no knead recipe...the dough takes 5 minutes to mix then is can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Whenever you want fresh bread you cut out a hunk and bake it. It's artisian bread...moist inside and crusty on the outside. My family loves it and my youngest child (9) is our in house bread making expert. She recently did a 4H presentation on how to make this bread and the adults were amazed she could do it...some of them had never made bread!


Find it here:
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/Artisan-Bread-In-Five-Minutes-A-Day.aspx

We make pizza crust from the basic recipe and the Pecan Rolls are AWESOME (and I'm not a fan of that type of sweets.)

PS We don't have a "pizza peel" we use the back of a cheap flat round pizza pan...works just as well.

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Regina Hogsten
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow!
When meats are discounted cause the sell by date is about to expire, buy several packages. Freeze or make recipes to freeze.

Buy spices that you use often in bulk. We eat a lot of cinnamon, pepper, and vanilla extract.
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