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Old 02-28-2019, 12:28 PM
 
246 posts, read 134,175 times
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I had this decision earlier this week. Last year I had bought the largest size BBQ Sauce and eventually ended up throwing about 20% of it out. This week when I got to the grocery store the 18oz size was $2 and the 80oz size was $5. I opted for the 80oz size as I only need to use 32oz (40%) of it to break even. I have already used about 20% of it for the dish I was making so it shouldn't be tough to come out ahead.


That being said I have found it to be hit and miss. Sometimes what looks like a good deal to my wallet doesn't jive with my stomach and I don't end up using as much as I thought I might. It's up to each person to figure out what will work as a bargain buy and what won't.


Two things I bought that help are a vacuum sealer and a separate freezer. I use both extensively.
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Old 02-28-2019, 01:24 PM
 
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I'll stock up on things with a lot of vinegar in it -- or horseradish. Things that take almost literally forever to go bad, like mustard or cocktail sauce. OR frozen prepared foods. If I get a deal, for me it's a no brainer.)

I cook and shop for one person (me), and we all know singles rarely get good deals on anything.
As was said especially when you know you won't use it all, it's really important to "do the math" on whether you're really saving money or not.

Paper products are a no brainer for me. I have plenty of storage room and eventually it all will get used. So paper towels, toilet paper, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, trash bags, dish detergent.....I stock up two years wroth or more. Toothpaste, deodorant, floss sticks....I have over a year's worth also.

Household things like Scotch tape, duct tape, rubber bands, paperclips I have enough to last years also. I also don't use them tat often so a couple of rolls will last a good long time.

Food is about the only thing I debate about buying more than I know I'll use. And that's because I do feel bad throwing things out...basically being wasteful. I have good friends who grew up hearing, "It's a sin to waste food." (It's a religious guilt thing.)
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Old 02-28-2019, 04:12 PM
 
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With just the two of us, we don't go through enough spices to stock up on them. I can always find a sale when I need something. At Christmas time, I always look to see if we are getting low on something, because there's always lots of good sales on spices around that time. It's a great time to buy real vanilla.

I don't stock up on fresh fruit and veggies. Those I buy carefully so there is no waste. I under buy a little on fresh and just use frozen when I run low. Usually fresh costs a lot more than frozen, so I just buy them already frozen rather than going through the trouble of freezing fresh.

Most other things I always have a nice stockpile -- meat in the freezer, paper products bought on sale, frozen fruit and veggies, and pantry items. I buy the large sizes of paper products because they're so much cheaper and there are good sales. We have the room to store them. Today I was in Walmart and stocked up on Perdue Harvestland chicken which had been marked down almost half because this was the sell by date. They're individually wrapped already, and all I had to do was toss them in some reused freezer bags and throw them in the freezer.

I only use milk for cooking, so I buy half a gallon about every three months. I freeze it in small mason jars and take out as needed. Even with spending a little more on organic milk, it's a lot cheaper than buying even a small regular container that I'll have to throw out after a couple of weeks.
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Old 02-28-2019, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
17,133 posts, read 7,671,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
I'm in Idaho and sales like that are only at potato harvest time and only in locally owned markets. I take advantage but it is rare.


Things I don't stock up on: the gallon size canned fruit and veggies are extremely cheap. But I can't use a fraction of them, so I don't buy.


They require a special can opener that isn't cheap, but I would buy the can opener if I could use the contents, which I can't. I could use the gallon of green chilies to make and freeze rellanos and I could use the gallon of apple slices to make and freeze pies, but I don't want to spend the $125 for the can opener for those things because I rarely make rellanos or apple pies.


Onions are 10 cents a pound in the 50 pound bag. In no way could I use 50 pounds of onions. They freeze OK when chopped, but 50 pounds of onions takes up a lot of freezer space. So I buy the 4 pound bag that costs $1.09 and I barely get those used before they go soft.


One of the markets where I used to live had 10 pound produce sales. If you bought 10 pounds, you got a screamin' deal. But it is hard to use up 10 pounds of fresh fruit before it goes bad. I'd sometimes buy the 10 pounds of Roma tomatoes and make gallons of fresh salsa and my family would stuff ourselves with fresh salsa for a couple of days. But pears, apples, bananas wouldn't get used up. The produce sales were never on things that froze or stored well. No great deals on red bell peppers or winter squash.


There is a local produce stand that sell fruit by the lug. By the lug it is really cheap, but by the pound, it is more than the supermarket price. For someone who does canning, it is a fabulous deal. But I gave up canning long ago, so it doesn't work for me, except that I will buy a lug of black cherries and freeze them in single serving bags and eat them still frozen.


Normally, the great bargains aren't actually cheap enough to justify using half and throwing the rest away.
No it isn't. I'm not sure how many pounds of fruit my mother bought for canning, but I can assure you that 10 lbs of peaches was what we'd do in a day. She knew how much jam, jelly, applesauce, dill and sweet pickles, canned peaches, and canned pears our family of 6 would use in the year, and that's how much we canned.

I don't can a year's supply, but I do still can, using one of the small-batch canning books out there. Keep in mind that fancy jams/jellies/pickles make good gifts all year round, and you can't beat the price. But I find that drying large quantities is easier to do and easier to store.

So I don't avoid buying large quantities of fresh fruit, and as I noted above, many large sized cans/jars/bags take very well to being broken up into smaller containers and frozen.

Last edited by jacqueg; 02-28-2019 at 04:43 PM..
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:02 PM
 
13,950 posts, read 23,423,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
I'm in Idaho and sales like that are only at potato harvest time and only in locally owned markets. I take advantage but it is rare.


Things I don't stock up on: the gallon size canned fruit and veggies are extremely cheap. But I can't use a fraction of them, so I don't buy.


They require a special can opener that isn't cheap, but I would buy the can opener if I could use the contents, which I can't. I could use the gallon of green chilies to make and freeze rellanos and I could use the gallon of apple slices to make and freeze pies, but I don't want to spend the $125 for the can opener for those things because I rarely make rellanos or apple pies.


Onions are 10 cents a pound in the 50 pound bag. In no way could I use 50 pounds of onions. They freeze OK when chopped, but 50 pounds of onions takes up a lot of freezer space. So I buy the 4 pound bag that costs $1.09 and I barely get those used before they go soft.


One of the markets where I used to live had 10 pound produce sales. If you bought 10 pounds, you got a screamin' deal. But it is hard to use up 10 pounds of fresh fruit before it goes bad. I'd sometimes buy the 10 pounds of Roma tomatoes and make gallons of fresh salsa and my family would stuff ourselves with fresh salsa for a couple of days. But pears, apples, bananas wouldn't get used up. The produce sales were never on things that froze or stored well. No great deals on red bell peppers or winter squash.


There is a local produce stand that sell fruit by the lug. By the lug it is really cheap, but by the pound, it is more than the supermarket price. For someone who does canning, it is a fabulous deal. But I gave up canning long ago, so it doesn't work for me, except that I will buy a lug of black cherries and freeze them in single serving bags and eat them still frozen.


Normally, the great bargains aren't actually cheap enough to justify using half and throwing the rest away.



We have two programs in Tucson where you can purchase 70# of produce for $12. On the weeks that I decide to participate - and this weekend will likely be one- I start calling my neighbors and letting them know that I will have something for them.

In these programs, we never get potatoes or onions as those are not grown in Arizona or Western Mexico. However, back home, my father would grow all of his own potatoes and onions and had a place to lay them them out in the basement - often 200#+.

Over the last year, we have come across a huge amount of mangoes, figs, and dates. We have learned how to dry them and also to freeze them so the supply lasts through out the year.

In the past week, we have squeezed at least fifty lemons and froze the juice.

My goal since 2014 has been to cut my food cost by 10% per year while eating a healthier diet. I do not think that we are quite there yet.
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Old Today, 08:06 AM
 
2,028 posts, read 2,369,625 times
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Toothpaste goes on sale all the time in my area, but check the expiration dates. I had to throw a few out that expired before I used them. I have to remind myself to check cause I get burned on an item now and then.
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Old Today, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Boston Suburb
2,051 posts, read 5,158,187 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebbe View Post
Toothpaste goes on sale all the time in my area, but check the expiration dates. I had to throw a few out that expired before I used them. I have to remind myself to check cause I get burned on an item now and then.
Toothpaste really dont go bad. Throwing them out is not frugal for sure.. I get so many free ones from CVS - with coupons and Extrabucks- I have enough to last a lifetime.
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