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Old 07-19-2009, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Denver
682 posts, read 1,827,183 times
Reputation: 337

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Thanks for the suggestions. I think what I might try to do is just have one big spending day a month, and I'll buy everything that I expect to last several weeks. It'd be nice to just shop once a month, I think would save me a ton of money. But, since some things expire pretty quick, I might pick up a few additional items here and there. Hopefully, it won't be more than $10 a week for those extra little things.

I found a lot of recipes with inexpensive ingredients. I think I'm going to cook the full recipes and freeze what I don't eat for later. Hopefully, that will prevent me from having to cook everything from scratch every night.
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Old 07-19-2009, 10:39 PM
 
Location: Denver
682 posts, read 1,827,183 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sskkc View Post
You want to AVERAGE $39/wk... but some weeks, you'll probably spend more, some less.

Each week (sometimes I go two weeks), I plan out a menu. I write out 7 dinner menus, and I ask the kids and dh for lunch/breakfast wants. Then I go through coupons, newspaper and online and check the "loss leaders" at the major grocery chains. I look through my pantry to see what bargain ingredients I've still got stocked and then I make my list. It's almost never the same twice.

I try to always have $10-20 set aside for major bargains. For instance, when 1/2 gal ice cream goes on sale at Walmart for 99 cents. I can pick up 10 and the kids get to have their friends over for a special sundae snack once that week, and we have dessert for weeks, without me having to prep anything.

I've caught tomato sauce, dented cans, for 15 cents each, Mini Raviolis (name brand) for 40 cents a can (we all love it, but only the name brand stuff), cereal for 14 cents/box (big boxes of the name brand stuff - usually a holiday promo box), blocks of cheddar cheese for 50 cents/lb (because their frig was on the blink and repairman couldn't make it til the next day), 90% lean ground beef for 29 cents/lb (same day), etc.
Great suggestions! Thanks. Planning ahead is pretty much always the first step towards accomplishing your goals.
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Old 07-20-2009, 04:31 AM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,939,688 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhousegirl View Post
Wow! Impressive. Do you find the chicken breasts at BJ's? We have one here, a bit of a drive, and when we went the prices were equal to the "evil" place - Walmart.
Sometimes at BJ's, sometimes at Publix, sometimes at Sweetbay. Because I buy so much when it goes on sale I can just wait until I find it on sale again. I buy 93% fat free burger as well and buy deep when it goes on sale.

Last night I made tacos, using beef on sale and taco shells from a local Mexican store (cheap!). Shredded cheese bought bulk from BJ's. Added in diced tomatoes from the garden. The total cost worked out to about $1.25 per person, and they were yummy!
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Old 07-20-2009, 08:21 AM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,502,858 times
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I think the key is NOT to make a menu each week and then buy the ingredients. The key is to buy what's on sale and stock up enough to make it to the next sale cycle. The average shopper, me included, has a grocery cart filled with foods that will go together to make meals, but that means that some items are bought at regular prices. For example, canned tomato sauce may be on sale, but the pasta and meatballs are at regular price. Grocery stores are really good at making sure that the components of common meals are never on sale at the same time. They have to make a profit, after all!

The really frugal shopper may have a cart filled with foods and other items that seem to make no sense, like bags upon bags of TP and lots of cans of tuna fish. The difference is that they have a stockpile at home of other foods also bought on sale at other times from which they can make meals.

To get the most for your money, you're going to have to do your homework by following the sales at your own grocery. I don't recommend driving all over the place to get the best deal. Just pick one store, like Kroger or Albertsons, and watch their flyers for bargains to stockpile. If they have a customer rewards program, sign up so you'll benefit from the store coupon books they occasionally mail out. Soon, you'll find your grocery bills plummeting. Consistency is the key.
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Old 07-20-2009, 08:47 AM
 
3,422 posts, read 9,434,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhousegirl View Post
Wow! Impressive. Do you find the chicken breasts at BJ's? We have one here, a bit of a drive, and when we went the prices were equal to the "evil" place - Walmart.
Not the poster, but I have found the cheapest prices on meat to be at the regular grocery store when they put them on sale as loss leaders.

Our boneless skinless chkn breasts get as low as $1.89/lb and as high as over $3/lb. I buy a ton when they are at the $1.89.

Costco, WM, many times even the commisssary(the military grocery store) cannot touch the loss leader prices.
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Old 07-20-2009, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma
288 posts, read 815,848 times
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My weekly grocery list is boring. It never changes.

1. Whatever fresh fruit looks good (quality and price)
2. Whatever fresh veggies look good (quality and price)
3. Whole wheat pasta...I get the same brand every time, though I can't remember what it is...it's a brown box and doesn't have any animal products in it.
4. tofu (maybe once every month or so)
5. brown rice (if I've run out)
6. dry beans/lentils (if I've run out)
7. chickpeas, canned, (if I've run out)
8. whole wheat flour/wheat gluten/yeast (if I've run out)
9. fresh mushrooms (if they look good and price is good)
10. frozen veggies (if I've run out)
11. granola cereal...but I only buy the Heartland brand and it seems to be very popular--the store is usually out of it so sometimes I go weeks without cereal and other times I get lucky and there are 10 boxes there (and I greedily snatch up every single one of them) and then go on a granola binge.


I buy bocca burger when it's on sale....but that's more for the dogs than for me. Sometimes I'll splurge and buy some juice--but that's rare. Of course I replace spices when I run out--but it's summer so I'm mainly using the herbs I'm growing on my patio. I buy a 5 pound bag of potatoes every couple months. I'm mainly living off fresh fruits/veggies and pasta right now. I'd like to get back into more rice and lentils, but one of my dogs is on a major pasta kick (and has been for MONTHS) and won't eat unless there is a lot of pasta in her bowl. I'm too lazy to cook two meals at a time, so I just eat when she's willing to eat.
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Old 07-20-2009, 08:57 AM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,939,688 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
The really frugal shopper may have a cart filled with foods and other items that seem to make no sense, like bags upon bags of TP and lots of cans of tuna fish. The difference is that they have a stockpile at home of other foods also bought on sale at other times from which they can make meals.
Hey, I resemble that!

Quote:
To get the most for your money, you're going to have to do your homework by following the sales at your own grocery. I don't recommend driving all over the place to get the best deal. Just pick one store, like Kroger or Albertsons, and watch their flyers for bargains to stockpile. If they have a customer rewards program, sign up so you'll benefit from the store coupon books they occasionally mail out. Soon, you'll find your grocery bills plummeting. Consistency is the key.
I agree to a degree. I shop at Publix and BJ's, both of which are within two miles of my home, but if there's a great deal I'll also go to SweetBay, which is only two miles further.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:48 AM
 
Location: CA
830 posts, read 2,283,915 times
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I find I spend a lot less when I DO make the menu out ahead of time. If I just buy things I find on sale, I have a lot of trouble putting them together in an edible fashion and end up spending more. Plus, having a list keeps me focused.

I usually pick out 4 or 5 dinner meals for the week and make the grocery list from that. If something ends up being too expensive once I get to the store, I don't buy it and either substitute the ingredient or just don't make that meal and rely on one of my staples.

The other days a week I eat leftovers or staple, easy stuff that I always have on hand - spaghetti and sauce, scrambled eggs, things like that. Lunches are almost always packed from leftovers. Breakfast is almost always some form of hot cereal - oatmeal most usually. I only use the packet oatmeal if I'm in a real rush... it doesn't take very long to make real (and cheap) oatmeal.

The biggest key is to cook more and buy less processed foods. I can make a loaf of bread in my bread machine for far less than it costs to buy, for instance. Desserts are easy to make and much cheaper. When I stick to my guns and shop from my recipe list, I end up with a lot more produce which ends up being less expensive than frozen pizzas and Boca Burgers (which is what happens when I get lazy and don't make a list). I don't usually buy beverages other than milk and tea. Don't need them. If I do get them, it's considered a treat.

In the end, I eat far better and more exciting when I spend $40 a week on good, real stuff than when I spend $60 on a lot of junk. I feel less deprived, not more.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:56 AM
 
8,649 posts, read 14,867,845 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistoftime View Post
We don't buy anything that is pre-prepared, no mixes or ready to eat products. most of our food is made from scratch and contains mostly food that we grow and put away. Our average food bill is about 150.00 per month for three of us. I know everyone can't do what we do, but thats how we cut food cost and have better quality food for our family.
Do you make cakes and pies from scratch?
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Old 07-20-2009, 12:16 PM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,939,688 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Houston3 View Post
Do you make cakes and pies from scratch?
I do, the only difference is more things to measure out.

I don't make brownies from scratch, they never come out as good as the ones from the mix.
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