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"How to feed your family for less" - Page 5

post #81 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benji'sMom View Post
Your refrigerator is always running.
I know your comment was direct at DF, but if I could figure out a way to avoid having the refrigerator run all day while I am out, I would.. as it is I pay a professional to come and inspect the dryer, washer, fridge cords and their electrical units every year. I was told that the cords need to be replaced periodically because they DO become fire hazards from normal wear and tear.. but I don't anyone that pays someone to inspect/replace the cord of their crockpot.
post #82 of 116
I don't understand why you are so floored... if you don't shop sales, that's what you spend. It's not crazy, it's just not sale savvy. Not everyone has the rock hard discipline you and a lot of MDC'ers have. I try but it gets exhausting sometimes to continually do the "right thing". It's not the easy way, for sure.

That said... my Mom was queen of making meals of nothing. Some of 'em were really, really not good. I remember one time she used spaghetti with a white saice, some veggies and kielbasa. It was so bad. That was over 20 years ago and I can still see it on my plate. Maybe she scarred me for life.
post #83 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinoikoi View Post
I like Fred Meyers (which I think is Meijer other places).. I am sure you could find one at Target also. Sears and JCPenney have them and I have found really nice cookware items there for super cheap during their clearance sales..

this is the big one I have (with the snap on lid)

http://www2.shopping.com/xPO-Hamilto...tainless-Steel

Here's one that has multiple sizes in one- which would sure be versatile, and require less storage area!

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...word=crock+pot

Those are not really "cheap" but at least you have an idea of what they go for new..
Thank you!!
post #84 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
. Then I read what others were spending to scratch cook and I was floored again. ?
One thing, I notice is that it looks like you have very young kids, I will say as much as I thought my kids ate when they were 4 or 6 or even 9, nothing compares to how much they started eating when they hit about 11yo... and they are not big either! One's under 100lb, the other's under 70lb and they can out eat their dad who was infamous in college for how much food he could inhale... my under 10s eat a lot as well it seems, but I definitely saw a dramatic jump in how much food I had to buy each time a kid hit preteens.

Besides that I don't know, I'm amazed at how some get by with such low costs. All our food comes from home though (no work snacks, school snacks, etc.)... we don't have a whole foods, so that's not it, I buy everything from bulk bins (but once I start that price book that may change, we'll see!, I do buy from bulk in great part for environmental reasons though, so...?). I tried a csa, but my kids would eat most of the produce before we got home and it made it harder to plan meals ahead not knowing what we would get. I tried u-pick, but my kids work up such an appetite with all that picking in the hot sun they manage to not only eat everything we pick but are 'starving' when we get home, ack! I used to do a food co-op -azurestandard- but I found a few years ago their prices started to become more than the regular store prices and I usually buy the sale prices. I always plan meals, and I use up absolutely everything (part of the reason I could never give up my microwave as I see so many here do because I can use up every last bit rather than lose some amount with all the cookware/servewere/storage transferring, I'm using leftovers at almost every meal). I make my own spice blends from bulk spices... I don't buy snack foods or sweet treats at all. Oh, we also don't eat any animal products or oils and use nuts sparringly and I only buy fresh fruits in season, frozen on sale.

So, I don't know...??? I'm real excited/hopeful about starting up a price book though! I'm thinking of getting a freezer also... I've never had much success with freezing things for too long, but someone told me things last longer in a seperate freezer because it doesn't do the defrost cycle all the time...??? I have had to pass on some things because our freezer was stuffed at times also. And I'm planning on doing a garden this year, I have NO idea what I'm doing though so I'm totally paranoid I'm going to spend a ton getting it started and then have nothing to show for it.
post #85 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ygle View Post
One thing, I notice is that it looks like you have very young kids, I will say as much as I thought my kids ate when they were 4 or 6 or even 9, nothing compares to how much they started eating when they hit about 11yo... and they are not big either! One's under 100lb, the other's under 70lb and they can out eat their dad who was infamous in college for how much food he could inhale... my under 10s eat a lot as well it seems, but I definitely saw a dramatic jump in how much food I had to buy each time a kid hit preteens.
I totally agree with this. My stepds is out of the house now, but when he was a teen, he would eat anything and everything set in front of him and ask for more every time.. (he was great when a recipe didn't come out quite as expected, now that I think about it.. )

My 10yo ds outeats me and dp all the time! 5yo ds is a somewhat picky eater, but our older 4yo boy... he eats a TON (except veggies, he nitpicks at veggies..)

When these boys become teenagers I think I will need to remortgage my house.
post #86 of 116

Momma

i'm loving the tips but um,

what is a price book? i've heard the term but i have no idea how to make one, or exactly what it is?
post #87 of 116
I haven't watched the show (don't have TV), but it doesn't sound awful. I guess I expect shows like this to be aimed at a very mainstream audience. We all have to start somewhere and there are a lot of people out there who don't even know the basics of cooking and shopping let alone throwing meals together from scratch and comparing prices. I think if the advice went straight to beans and rice level frugality it would turn off a lot of people. I think the goal is to get people cooking, then shopping sales, looking at cheaper alternatives, etc.

Also while $20 for 4 people for dinner isn't really frugal, it isn't that bad if you're trying to replicate a restaurant meal quality meal. I do fresh fish at least once a week, and if I add in local veggies and a decent dessert it easily tops $5/ per person.
post #88 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs*kewpie*pie View Post
i'm loving the tips but um,

what is a price book? i've heard the term but i have no idea how to make one, or exactly what it is?
Check the thread I started about "$300 for everything..." It sort of morphed into a pricebook thread on me as people have been asking questions. Also, I'm sure you could do search here, and definitely on Google, and find lots of other great ideas. Also, "The Tightwad Gazette" has quite a bit of info on price books. Check your library for that one.

Basically a pricebook is a place where you write down the prices & unit prices of the products you regularly by at whatever stores/coops/online places you use. It's the only way I've found to really *know* which place is the cheapest for any given item. Sam's is the cheapest place for me to buy cheese. Walmart has the cheapest eggs. There's just no way to keep all that info in my head. By writing it down I & then using my pricebook & store flyers when I put together my shopping list I know I'm spending the least amount on each item.

Yes, I have to go to a couple stores. For me that's not a big deal. Obviously everyone won't feel that way. But even if you DO choose to shop all at one store I figure you'll still have a much better grasp on what you're actually spending & know when a sale comes up if it really is a good deal.

It's some work to get together, but pretty easy to maintain once you get it organized. And it's not something I think you can trasfer from family to family. The items I have will likely be very different from the items you have, which is why everyone really ends up having to do their own list. But the theory behind putting it together is the same regardless.
post #89 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathirynne View Post
Try "Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker". (Your library probably has it.)

I am a single, WOHM to 4 children. That book changed my life!:
That's the book I was going to recommend It's great. It's not specifically aimed at being frugal, but since it's veggie there are lots of low-cost recipes in it. Everything I've made from it has been really good. Definitely check it out first if your library has it, but I found it worth it to have my own copy, and it's one of the few cookbooks that I use on a regular basis. We just had one of the recipes tonight - Indian Cauliflower and Kidney Bean Stew with Coconut Milk : Oh and the recipes are very generous - usually last us for 3 nights.
post #90 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magpie1972 View Post
I don't understand why you are so floored... if you don't shop sales, that's what you spend. It's not crazy, it's just not sale savvy. Not everyone has the rock hard discipline you and a lot of MDC'ers have. I try but it gets exhausting sometimes to continually do the "right thing". It's not the easy way, for sure.

That said... my Mom was queen of making meals of nothing. Some of 'em were really, really not good. I remember one time she used spaghetti with a white saice, some veggies and kielbasa. It was so bad. That was over 20 years ago and I can still see it on my plate. Maybe she scarred me for life.
What I was mainly floored at was spending money eating out and buying ready made food to take home. Also, a lot of people are saying how much they are spending no matter they have 2 mouths to feed or 6. I think if our economy is going to keep going in the direction it is, people will find ways to get creative with what they have or whats available in a dollar range and learn how to feed their families for less not nec like me out of want but really need.
Also, most of the reasons people are spending way too much is eating out but mainly very poor planning because they either never learned how or its just because they sorry the pun- have a lot on their plate with WOH, busy life etc.
And as your kids get older, yes they will eat more esp if you are raising boys but my own mother who raised 4 kids and my MIL who raised 9 (6 of which were boys) can tell you how to stretch that as well. I have also heard from families IRL who complain how much food is but then you see the portions they put out even for the younger kids. The larger kid eats the whole thing and just gets bigger as they get older. The other child picks at it and then it gets thrown out-wasted instead of keeping it in the pot and having it the next day. They even give these portions to themselves. if you're eating out and not taking half of the entree home, you are also eating double what you need to be eating in a meal.

So yes, I am floored by that, not trying to judge and I would help anyone trying to feed their family healthy for lower costs.
post #91 of 116
$50-75 per day means unless you have a pretty large salary, a large portion of it is going to feed you and your husband each day. Like the first 4-5 hours of your day, at least, you are working so you can go eat out.
post #92 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
I have also heard from families IRL who complain how much food is but then you see the portions they put out even for the younger kids. The larger kid eats the whole thing and just gets bigger as they get older. The other child picks at it and then it gets thrown out-wasted instead of keeping it in the pot and having it the next day.
This reminded me about food waste and food standards. I know some people are more squeamish than others, but I feel our family shares germs all the time anyway and as long as it's just our family at dinner I just put all the salvagable leftovers (off the plates) back in the fridge for reheating the next day.

We used to throw out what was probably an exhorbitant amount of food. Not any more. I also have my kids "trained" (LOL) to offer anything they don't want to the rest of the family before they abandon it. Usually one kid would love the last two bites of the other kid's meat, or whatever.

I draw the line at reusing leftovers from people who are not in our family. I figure the germs in our family are endemic to our family, so we all have them anyway. The only exception is that I will take chicken bones from non-family members and put them in the pot for making soup stock. I figure I boil the heck out of it for hours and hours, so it's safe enough.

I try to get leftovers put away quickly after we're done eating, so they don't accidentally get abandoned or left out too long.

That was a bit of a tangent but I think that simply being conscious about preventing food waste can go a long way to keeping the grocery bill down. I don't think most people realize how much food they throw away. I didn't until we started using a compost bucket instead of tossing them in the trash. You can really see how fast food waste adds up in the compost bucket.
post #93 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by amyamanda View Post
That was a bit of a tangent but I think that simply being conscious about preventing food waste can go a long way to keeping the grocery bill down. I don't think most people realize how much food they throw away. I didn't until we started using a compost bucket instead of tossing them in the trash. You can really see how fast food waste adds up in the compost bucket.
Yes it was a bit of a tangent and I think I starting noticing how much food gets wasted when I started composting as well. Also, I read an article on dollar stretcher talking about 10-20% of your food expense goes in the trash since that is about how much average is wasted.
post #94 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
$50-75 per day means unless you have a pretty large salary, a large portion of it is going to feed you and your husband each day. Like the first 4-5 hours of your day, at least, you are working so you can go eat out.
There are at least some people on MDC for whom $50-$75 is only the first hour of work. I understand that my partner is in the minority.

I am inconsistently frugal. We have months where we only spend $400 (I understand some of you still think that is still a lot) but we have months where we spend $1200. Something that I almost never see reflected on this board is that it is a *good thing* that people like us exist and eat out and spend a lot of money on food. If we didn't restaurants would go out of business and many jobs would be lost. That said: our only debt is our mortgage, we have at least 6 months income (not expenses--income) in ready cash, and we aggressively invest for retirement and college for our kidlet. You can be rich, spend a lot of money on 'frivolous' things, and still be making reasonable choices. Rich people need to spend money. If we don't we screw over the economy. I understand that I am in the minority on MDC but it would be awesome if there was slightly less scorn for people who spend a lot of money on food. We are not all irresponsible--we are just doing our part to keep the economy going.

(I think about this kind of thing a lot. I have enormous respect for those of you who are feeding your family's well on little money. I wish you had been around to teach my mom tricks when I was little and we lived in poverty. I ate more Top Ramen than any five college students put together.)
post #95 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post
There are at least some people on MDC for whom $50-$75 is only the first hour of work. I understand that my partner is in the minority.

I am inconsistently frugal. We have months where we only spend $400 (I understand some of you still think that is still a lot) but we have months where we spend $1200. Something that I almost never see reflected on this board is that it is a *good thing* that people like us exist and eat out and spend a lot of money on food. If we didn't restaurants would go out of business and many jobs would be lost. That said: our only debt is our mortgage, we have at least 6 months income (not expenses--income) in ready cash, and we aggressively invest for retirement and college for our kidlet. You can be rich, spend a lot of money on 'frivolous' things, and still be making reasonable choices. Rich people need to spend money. If we don't we screw over the economy. I understand that I am in the minority on MDC but it would be awesome if there was slightly less scorn for people who spend a lot of money on food. We are not all irresponsible--we are just doing our part to keep the economy going.

(I think about this kind of thing a lot. I have enormous respect for those of you who are feeding your family's well on little money. I wish you had been around to teach my mom tricks when I was little and we lived in poverty. I ate more Top Ramen than any five college students put together.)
This is one way to look at it. Sure.

But, there's also the point of view that says, hey, you can be rich, and you can *give* it away. Or be able to quit working at your current career and do what you love. Or all sorts of things.

If someone *wants* to spend a good amount of money on eating out and the like--GREAT. But, it's when it sneaks up on them, and they make statements (like on the Oprah Show) of, "we had no idea how much we were spending", that's when I think something ought to change.

No matter how much money you have, it's a good thing to make sure that you are being intentional about where the money is going.
post #96 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post
Something that I almost never see reflected on this board is that it is a *good thing* that people like us exist and eat out and spend a lot of money on food.
It might have to do with the fact, that you posted on the "frugality and finances" section, where a lot of people are short on money and have to budget.

If you can afford it, why not spend the money on foods you like. Although, organic and local are still two big issues I would want to consider, even if I could afford blueberries from Chile at this time of year.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
But, there's also the point of view that says, hey, you can be rich, and you can *give* it away. Or be able to quit working at your current career and do what you love.
Maybe she loves what she is doing already? And maybe they are spending and giving away on top of it? You are implying that she doesn't, but you just don't know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
No matter how much money you have, it's a good thing to make sure that you are being intentional about where the money is going.
Yes, I completely agree. But I can also imagine, that it would be very easy to let it slide, if budgeting is not a not a necessity anymore. Also, some might consider this to be misery behavior.
post #97 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
I have also heard from families IRL who complain how much food is but then you see the portions they put out even for the younger kids. The larger kid eats the whole thing and just gets bigger as they get older. The other child picks at it and then it gets thrown out-wasted instead of keeping it in the pot and having it the next day. They even give these portions to themselves. if you're eating out and not taking half of the entree home, you are also eating double what you need to be eating in a meal.
This. I have seen people give their children WAY too much and most of it either gets scraped off into the compost(if they are at my house), or into the trash (their house). I just don't get it. We try not to waste anything because we work way too hard for our food! I think that some of it is because these people I'm talking about don't obtain their food the same way we do. We raise our own meat/help family butcher trapped wild meat, garden/pick wild... And when we eat out we either split an entree, or bring home lots. And this is because we simply can't eat that much food in a sitting!
post #98 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post
There are at least some people on MDC for whom $50-$75 is only the first hour of work. I understand that my partner is in the minority.

I am inconsistently frugal. We have months where we only spend $400 (I understand some of you still think that is still a lot) but we have months where we spend $1200. Something that I almost never see reflected on this board is that it is a *good thing* that people like us exist and eat out and spend a lot of money on food. If we didn't restaurants would go out of business and many jobs would be lost. That said: our only debt is our mortgage, we have at least 6 months income (not expenses--income) in ready cash, and we aggressively invest for retirement and college for our kidlet. You can be rich, spend a lot of money on 'frivolous' things, and still be making reasonable choices. Rich people need to spend money. If we don't we screw over the economy. I understand that I am in the minority on MDC but it would be awesome if there was slightly less scorn for people who spend a lot of money on food. We are not all irresponsible--we are just doing our part to keep the economy going.
(I think about this kind of thing a lot. I have enormous respect for those of you who are feeding your family's well on little money. I wish you had been around to teach my mom tricks when I was little and we lived in poverty. I ate more Top Ramen than any five college students put together.)
No I dont have a problem, she is not spending my money but I am still floored. I would not even respond but the OP was looking to spend less, thus the reason for the thread.

If we have people who can support the economy by eating out each and every night, they have every right to do that just like I have every right to eat more frugal and spend that money on keeping us debt free and spreading the wealth to the less fortunate by stocking food pantries or showing them others how to stretch a dollar, make sure they are not eating just ramen noodles.- Not because they are cheap, but that is unhealthy for a child to eat that many!
post #99 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
This is one way to look at it. Sure.

But, there's also the point of view that says, hey, you can be rich, and you can *give* it away. Or be able to quit working at your current career and do what you love. Or all sorts of things.

If someone *wants* to spend a good amount of money on eating out and the like--GREAT. But, it's when it sneaks up on them, and they make statements (like on the Oprah Show) of, "we had no idea how much we were spending", that's when I think something ought to change.

No matter how much money you have, it's a good thing to make sure that you are being intentional about where the money is going.
We do give it away. We give lots of money away. And my husband would do his job as a hobby if he wasn't getting paid for it so there isn't much to work towards for that.

I'm not saying that unthoughtful spending is good--far from it. (I hope I didn't come off that way.) Just that spending itself isn't necessarily bad. I am very thoughtful about how I spend money. We do try to eat local, organic foods and I do a lot of cooking.

I read this section because you ladies are brilliant and you inspire me to think of very interesting foods to eat. I didn't grow up with home cooking and I don't have any innate skills in that department to fall back on. We now have get a CSA box and we are eating a huge array of foods that I've never had before in my life. Most of that is because of the stellar advice here. I love that you all are so smart and talented and willing to share your knowledge.

I really wasn't trying to waggle a finger at anyone. I'm just trying to encourage more love around MDC. :
post #100 of 116
- cool!
It's great to get new ideas which is why I come here-I might need a little more creativity because of my big family. But non the less coming here for a common goal is awesome!
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