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Old 06-08-2017, 12:51 PM
 
676 posts, read 529,418 times
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i think what may help your budget is to cook a meal that will last for 2-3 meals. cooking one meal at a time is more expensive than cooking one meal to eat twice, if that makes sense. make something you can eat for dinner and then eat as leftovers for lunch.
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Old 06-08-2017, 01:27 PM
 
1,912 posts, read 890,423 times
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No Walmart near me that sells food (the closest one is over an hour's drive). And I do cook and freeze leftovers (guess I wasn't clear on that).

But I just discovered something I didn't know existed! Amazon Fresh! I read about it in another thread about Amazon offering discounts to EBT card holders. Anyway, I have Amazon Prime and I looked it up. The prices are so cheap compared to the stores Red peppers $1.19 instead of $2 each! Tomatos $1.50 cheaper than the store. I'm going to give it a try.
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Old 06-09-2017, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,392 posts, read 42,738,435 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaLind View Post
I like to read this forum, even if I'm not great at being frugal myself. I've been told I'm frugal, but compared to most here, I don't hold a candle. I could use some grocery saving tips from you experts... please.

I want to save an extra $100 a month. I need to make cuts somewhere to do this and ran some reports in Quicken. I spend about $500-$600 a month on groceries! I read in another thread where singles were spending $200 or $300 a month and I think I can make some improvements. I'm single, but I have a relative I take care of who lives with me most of the time and I buy her food too. So we are kind of a house of two. But she doesn't eat much and she also spends a lot of time with other family. She really doesn't add much to the bill other than some easy to prepare food for herself should I not be home.

My grocery bill is food and also household stuff like shampoo, soap, cleaners, etc.

I've looked at a lot of websites and I do what they list. Cook at home, from scratch. Don't buy a lot of prepared foods etc.

I can get better at buying stuff on sale, but I have a small house and don't have the space to stock up on things. I'm thinking of buying a pantry cabinet for the garage so I can store extra stuff on it. There never seem to be coupons for what I buy (generic and fresh foods).

I do have an issue with produce waste. A lot of it goes bad in a day or two. I try to cook it up quickly and reheat it as needed. But I throw away too much. Also my choices of grocery stores is "inexpensive but horrible produce" or Whole Paycheck (Whole Foods). When I visit my mom (who lives rurally) I stock up at roadside produce stands (best produce I can get at a reasonable price).

I'm also kind of a meat snob (because of what I ate growing up). Filet mignon and boneless chicken breasts, that sort of thing. I tend to buy organic chicken and beef too. I'd love suggestions for other types of meat that's cheaper and tastes just as good. Although I honestly don't buy a lot of meat.

My boyfriend bought me a Kurig and that thing is pricey! I bought a reusable pod for it and I'm going to buy cans of coffee again. Boxes of coffee pods are $8 for 12 cups.

So that's what I know. I might be able to pull things off with just that, but I'd appreciate more grocery saving tips. I also live in a high cost of living area. But I know I can be smarter about shopping.

I wish I could cut "eating out" but that only nets me an extra $45 a month.
For some vegetables, buy them frozen in bags, you can pour out and cook as much or as little as you wish, and put the bag back in the freezer. They won't keep for years and still taste like anything but cardboard, but generally people don't have any waste from frozen bagged veggies. I personally find for example frozen broccoli to be as good when cooked as fresh - apparently you can tell a difference though from what you post.

For the pantry cupboard in the garage, I would only put canned food in there, things like crackers in cardboard boxes tend to draw mice. But you don't use much in cans.

You might find it's practical to just buy the produce you will use today, today. Or not, I don't really know that much about your habits and area.

If your produce is going bad in just a couple of days, I wonder if your refrigerator is working right? Put a thermometer in there (most grocery stores carry these and not very expensive). You may just need to adjust the refrigerated compartment temperature, the heat reject fins on the back may be dirty and need cleaning, or your fridge may be on it's way out.
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Old 06-09-2017, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
4,981 posts, read 5,455,906 times
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This is a great thread! Lots of cool suggestions here.

My tips:

OP, save your receipts and track your spending so that you have a better idea of your progress.

Also, be sure you're eating "in season" and know when things go on sale. Example: eggs can often be found at $.89/carton around Easter.

Pick a main store for food and another store for paper towels and such. For that's Aldi and Dollar General when I need to pinch pennies. I study the coupons and know the sales. I don't have time or energy to run around to five different stores.

To be honest, it's summer, and I worked extra so I can shop at the farmer's market once a week, and I do make sure I'm buying locally and supporting actual farm families (at some, a few play games, like not actually grow what they sell). I eat a lot more produce in the summer, which kicks my bill up a bit but my weight goes down, so it's OK for me.
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Old 06-09-2017, 06:05 PM
 
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I like to buy my paper stock bulk. It saves money and time. I always think of time as money.
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Old 06-09-2017, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
676 posts, read 1,474,432 times
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I had a problem with produce wastage with vegetables, so I stopped buying fresh and switched to frozen. It saves me a ton of money, and tastes just as good (to me, anyway) as fresh when I make steam or stir-fry them, or use them in stews.

Something that has really saved me money is using Harris Teeter's grocery pickup service. I can shop the weekly flyer online and plan my meals around what is on sale. If there is not a good deal on fresh meat that week, I can always buy their $1.99 boneless chicken breasts from the fresh meat counter (always a good deal). It costs $4.95 per trip (or less if you do a yearly subscription), but carefully choosing exactly what I need and not picking up random "extras" in the store really cuts costs. If you pick up a prescription at the same time (they will bring it right to your car), the fee is waived.

Walmart also offers this service for free, but I don't have one close to me.

Going meatless for at least one meal a week saves some money.

I make a lentil soup once a week that is pretty inexpensive and can be eaten for random meals throughout the week:

1 lb dry lentils
1 bag frozen chopped kale
1 lb carrots (only fresh veggie I buy)
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 carton chicken broth
Water to equal amount of chicken broth
Random seasonings

You can reduce the cost by using all water with more seasonings instead of chicken broth. I just like simplicity.

If carbs aren't an issue, pasta and rice are inexpensive but filling.

Eggs are a great low-cost protein. Hard-boiled eggs are super quick and easy in the morning.
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Way up high
14,072 posts, read 20,148,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaLind View Post
No Walmart near me that sells food (the closest one is over an hour's drive). And I do cook and freeze leftovers (guess I wasn't clear on that).

But I just discovered something I didn't know existed! Amazon Fresh! I read about it in another thread about Amazon offering discounts to EBT card holders. Anyway, I have Amazon Prime and I looked it up. The prices are so cheap compared to the stores Red peppers $1.19 instead of $2 each! Tomatos $1.50 cheaper than the store. I'm going to give it a try.
I've heard about that too. I may look into it as well.
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Old 06-11-2017, 05:40 PM
 
11,625 posts, read 5,465,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaLind View Post
Thanks for the ideas so far.

Yes, I do eat more than chicken and beef... I just brought those two up because I read that chicken breasts and filet are probably the most expensive way to go on meat and I knew it was a easy place to cut. The idea on buying the whole chicken makes sense. I don't really buy pork, not a fan of it. Although I do like Polish ham and buy that when I can find it on sale. I also buy seafood, mainly tilapia or cod. But that's rare. Even more rare I will buy bison meat. Love that. But actually my whole meat budget is pretty small. I usually only buy one package of meat a week, maybe two. So I'd estimate I spend about $40-$50 a month on meat stuffs. But every cut to the budget adds up and can help... so thanks!


I buy Kroger brand flash-frozen chicken breasts with broth. They are a good price and easy to take one or three out at a time and then re-seal the bag. Buying whole chickens would be a waste for me. I only like breasts and wings and I far prefer the boneless breast filets.
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Old 06-11-2017, 05:41 PM
 
11,625 posts, read 5,465,637 times
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Originally Posted by MLSFan View Post
grow those extra garnishes on the window edge

i have 12 onions growing above sink and i cut 6 every week alternating them
I love this. I want to do it! I want to grow potatoes and lettuce and celery but IDK what all I can do in a condo.....
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Old 06-11-2017, 05:46 PM
 
11,625 posts, read 5,465,637 times
Reputation: 11000
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaLind View Post
No Walmart near me that sells food (the closest one is over an hour's drive). And I do cook and freeze leftovers (guess I wasn't clear on that).

But I just discovered something I didn't know existed! Amazon Fresh! I read about it in another thread about Amazon offering discounts to EBT card holders. Anyway, I have Amazon Prime and I looked it up. The prices are so cheap compared to the stores Red peppers $1.19 instead of $2 each! Tomatos $1.50 cheaper than the store. I'm going to give it a try.
Report back, please! How fast does it come? I use Prime Now to get things in two hours.
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