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Old 09-26-2015, 03:30 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,271 posts, read 21,195,108 times
Reputation: 26853

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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
The only time I ever notice people really looking in my shopping cart is right before Halloween when I have three or four thirty pound pumpkins in my cart. Inevitably, a couple of people will ask what I am going to do with them.

I put them into dog food and buy a full years worth when they are cheap.

I buy a couple of 40 pound boxes of yams at thanksgiving but no one ever asks about those.

OP, try making granola instead of buying breakfast cereal.

My granola isn't so cheap because I add lots of expensive nuts and dried fruit. But a granola with just oatmeal and a few raisins would be cheap and filling. Add a few chopped walnuts to increase the food value.

Just be carefull with granola recipes online. They use far too much sugar, like you are making Cracker Jacks instead of breakfast cereal. Reduce the sugar and your family will still eat it and it will be healthier.
How do you chop those pumpkins up without your hands ending up really sore? I use pumpkin in my dog food but I wait until the stores have the canned pumpkin on clearance and I stock up.

One year a family I was babysitting for did some work on a farm and ended up with a truckload of pumpkins. They gave me about a dozen. I did my best to cook them so they wouldn't go to waste, but my hands were bruised by the time I was done slicing all those pumpkins.
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Old 09-26-2015, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
38,035 posts, read 46,836,164 times
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Ok, so I am all about thriftiness, but I would not start with a pumpkin to make pumpkin pie. The canned pumpkin is cheap enough.
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Old 09-26-2015, 04:50 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
23,504 posts, read 30,102,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgehog_Mom View Post
How do you chop those pumpkins up without your hands ending up really sore? I use pumpkin in my dog food but I wait until the stores have the canned pumpkin on clearance and I stock up............

I cook them first. Cut them in halves or quaters. Roast the seeds for my family. Place the pumpkin into my turkey roaster pan with a couple inches of water in the lan. Cover and roast until the pumpkin is soft. Cool it down and just scrape the meat off with a spoon. Freeze the pulp and put the rind into the compost bin.

That home cooked pumpkin with make the most outstanding pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cake. Much much better than the canned pumpkin.
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Old 09-26-2015, 05:26 PM
 
133 posts, read 133,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgehog_Mom View Post
The reason Ramen noodles get a bad reputation is that they're deep fried and they have a lot of fat. The seasoning packet has a lot of sodium and msg. One packet of ramen as a meal now and then isn't terrible, but it's not the best food for you.

It sounds like you need to get a Sam's membership. I know the prices are going to vary a bit by area, but here I pay $1.88/lb for boneless chicken breast and about $3.40/lb for 90% lean hamburger meat. 5 pounds of cheddar or mozzarella is $12 or $14, it varies a bit. But I can make a lot of pizzas with that 5lb bag of mozzarella. Their store brand toilet paper and paper towels are really good too. They also have good prices on yogurt, burger buns, cereal...lots of good stuff for a big family.

My pantry is full, my freezer is full, and I spend probably $700/month for food, paper goods, pet food and toiletries. My husband would like it if I spent less, but the kids are doing online school so they're home to eat more meals, and I try to make sure we have veggies every day.

So this would be a basic dinner for 5 people: 1 chicken breast for each person $7.50, 1 family size pouch of mashed potatoes $2 (or 5 baked potatoes, about the same price), 2 steamable bags of mixed veggies, $2. A loaf of Italian bread if you think they're still going to be hungry, $1. So $12.50 for the meal.

Or pizza for 5 people: crust, $1 (flour, yeast, sugar, salt, 2 eggs, butter), tomato sauce $1, tomato paste .75, seasonings 50 cents (I don't buy all my spices at one time, I just estimate that I'd be using about 50 cents worth of what's in my pantry), 1 lb hamburger meat $3.40, 1 bell pepper 50 cents, 1 onion 25 cents, 1 lb mozzarella $3 (assuming I used part of a big bag from Sam's). $10.40 for two large pizzas, enough to feed 5 people. If you want a veggie on the side, add a tub of spring mix for $4, still cheaper than ordering pizza.

The only time I spend $60 for one meal is Thanksgiving or Christmas.

If you can buy meat on sale and freeze it, it will stretch your budget. When HEB has boneless beef ribs or shoulder roast for $3/lb, I stock up. They have good prices on pork sometimes...don't buy the pork picnic they sometimes have for $1/lb on sale, it has skin and a lot of fat and a big bone in it that make it a waste of money. But the Boston Butt cut of pork is a good deal...rub it with bbq seasonings and cook it in the crock pot all day, then pull the meat out and shred it and you've got pulled pork for two meals.

Somebody mentioned brisket...brisket is great if you can really get a lot of meals out of it. But a big brisket makes about 3 meals for my family, so it's not cost efficient for me. My husband overeats when we have a large quantity of meat like that.

And somebody else mentioned being overweight...it's true that people look in your cart more when you're overweight. I don't care if they look at my cart because I don't care what people think. I buy a lot of veggies and a lot of ingredients to make things, rather than processed foods. I've lost 150 lbs and I'm still overweight, still working on losing more, but it's no one's business. I don't even look at other people in the store enough to notice if they're looking at me. I'll say this though, if you don't like people looking at you in the store, don't ever develop a problem that requires you to use the motorized cart or a wheelchair...I was in a wheelchair when I broke my leg and people would come up and ask if there was really something wrong with me or if I was too lazy to walk, even though I had a huge, hot pink cast that you could see from across the store. That's when I learned to ignore people.
I appreciate you saying to ignore them. It's what you have to do these days. I think there are more immature adults around than we think. I am glad to hear you have lost weight. I understand very much. I really don't care about the comments made about the wrong things on the thread. Some people have their views and others make a valid point. I am only out to take notes of what may help my situation and not things that won't. I've cut back on the spending recent and really didn't think my decisions would cause people to stare as they did.

Let me ask you this..... Do you think an $850 budget is still too high? That's a major step down from $1300. What could I buy to piece meals together week to week? including breakfast and lunch. People are suggesting other items that sounds pretty good but not full days. So, what I was estimating was for 7 days/3- meals a day per month. We use to eat a lot of healthy foods such as nuts/ mixed nuts/ fruit/ produce and the boys love meat...meat...meat, but they are healthy. They will easily get to 6'2- 6'4 feet tall. My ten year old is at 5' now. any thoughts???
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Old 09-26-2015, 05:46 PM
 
9,979 posts, read 9,598,912 times
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How can you be an adult and so paranoid about what strangers think of your purchases? People buy things all the time that I think they should be embarrassed about, like Trix of Spaghetti-Os. Besides, sometimes if sometime looks at your food, it leads to a pleasant conversation. I once was next to a woman buying fresh collard greens and asked how she cooked them.

As to what I buy, I tend to start with chicken that's on sale. I buy cheaper things like potatoes and carrots. I buy some things that are generic when it doesn't matter, like oatmeal. And I stock up on things, like frozen vegetables, when they're on sale.
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:34 PM
 
133 posts, read 133,578 times
Reputation: 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cida View Post
How can you be an adult and so paranoid about what strangers think of your purchases? People buy things all the time that I think they should be embarrassed about, like Trix of Spaghetti-Os. Besides, sometimes if sometime looks at your food, it leads to a pleasant conversation. I once was next to a woman buying fresh collard greens and asked how she cooked them.

As to what I buy, I tend to start with chicken that's on sale. I buy cheaper things like potatoes and carrots. I buy some things that are generic when it doesn't matter, like oatmeal. And I stock up on things, like frozen vegetables, when they're on sale.
More paranoid by the prices, than others assumptions. Do you have children? If so, what's a good budget for family?
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:39 PM
 
133 posts, read 133,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OutdoorsyGal View Post
The cheapest easiest vegetable to grow eventually becomes free in abundance.
Get free manure, they give it away in droves here (horse manure) buy some organic potatoes and cut the "eyes" out of them. Mix them in the manure. As they grow, and it is slow but it's free and healthy, before you cook them, cut the eyes out and toss them back in so they will make more potatoes. Eat the rest.

With little money start very slow but it will catch up and you will eventually have more than enough potatoes. A youtube video showed me this years back. Also buying a homemade laundry soap kit from ebay for $10 saved me hundreds per year. And it is the best laundry soap and dish soap. We replaced cascade, this is pennies per load. Those are my two biggest easy money savers. I make the laundry soap on very hot days so I dont need to cook on my stove, get recyclable containers free at the recycling center to use

The military has its own food stamp program. You may want to check to see if you qualify for the secular food stamp program, you never know. Online calculators can tell you. Good luck to you
I really like this idea. I have taken notes to get started. Is there something I can replace for the manure, I read an article about cow manure not being the best compost for veggie gardens do to diseases passed on to humans ... but you said it is free where you live. Is there any truth to the statement?
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:40 PM
 
Location: I am right here.
4,929 posts, read 4,215,349 times
Reputation: 15621
Buy a chest freezer.

Find a local farmer and buy a quarter of half of a beef cow. Also buy a pig.

Buying meat this way is much cheaper AND much better, because you KNOW the animal came from a local farm, not a factory farm.

I raised 3 boys to adulthood. My weekly food budget was never more than $100 a week, and was often less. I cooked most meals from scratch, used very little prepared or boxed food, and a had a stocked chest freezer containing beef, pork, and chicken.
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:53 PM
 
133 posts, read 133,578 times
Reputation: 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeachSalsa View Post
Buy a chest freezer.

Find a local farmer and buy a quarter of half of a beef cow. Also buy a pig.

Buying meat this way is much cheaper AND much better, because you KNOW the animal came from a local farm, not a factory farm.

I raised 3 boys to adulthood. My weekly food budget was never more than $100 a week, and was often less. I cooked most meals from scratch, used very little prepared or boxed food, and a had a stocked chest freezer containing beef, pork, and chicken.
I like this idea!! I think my biggest problem is the meat prices have gone up a bit and so have the boys wanting to eat more of it. I am looking for rural land at the time but don't want to get ripped off. I think it would help to have room to grow enough and have more of a mini farm which is not permitted in the deeded neighborhood I live in. Do you know of any trust worthy places- such as farmers or meat markets that would ship to TEXAS? I grew up with farming Grandparents but my Mother was a city person. If I could save on food than I could make better investments with the savings.??????
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Ohio
1,217 posts, read 2,392,467 times
Reputation: 2223
To save money and have better health search for Asian recipes which do not feature meat as the central subject in a meal but as an addition to the vegetables. We humans simply do not need more than 4 ounces of meat for dinner as long you have tasty vegetables such as potatoes, green vegetables and perhaps baked beans or a similar protein source including lentils. Fresh green salads are expensive and don't fill anyone up so lean toward bean salads or rice salads with a smaller portion of fresh veggies like sliced tomatoes or canned beets.

It is much healthier to reduce meat consumption and better on your pocketbook. If you add healthy oils such as olive oil your growing boys will feel full and not deprived. There are many recipes for free: look on Pinterest or in your local library. I don't buy cookbooks anymore because I got tired of only liking one or 2 recipes out of 100 pages. I love looking at photos so Pinterest is great for that.

PS I made a curry soup last night that was so great and just had shredded squash, shredded carrots, chicken broth, olive oil, coconut milk, garam masala (spice) and a little red pepper. It was so rich and delicious my husband asked how much cream was in it. None. Tasted great for lunch today too.

Spices are so much cheaper at the health food store in the bulk section. Ask where Frontier spices by the pound are. Half the cost of grocery store.

Last edited by imagardener; 09-26-2015 at 07:41 PM.. Reason: adding on
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