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Save hundreds of dollars a month of groceries - a vent - Page 5

post #81 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
I was a teenager before I'd ever had the boxed kind. A mom left it for me while I was babysitting. Yuck. I couldn't believe that it was the stuff of legends. LOL

We still don't eat it at our house, and my kids haven't ever had it, either. I'm a white sauce mac and cheese kind of girl. Yum.
this story reminds me of my 8th grade D in Home Ec. Basically the quarter on cooking was a semi home made type of cooking. The teacher said I had a bad attitude because I didnt know about velveta. She said I was lying and never heard of such a thing. When she talked to my mother, she recinded on the D. My mom really let her have it since she thought I myself could teach the class since I had been scratch cooking already since I was 8- my first dish was mac n cheese with real white sauce. I also got attitute during the omelette assignment since I had made those for years too. I remember the kids in my group saying my ommelette was the best.

I guess during the sewing term, she failed my neighbor one year. The girl had come over to my house to finish her sewing project since my mom could sew and her mom could not. My mom made her redo the zipper on the dress until it was perfect and showed her in the process. The teacher failed her because no child could do such a perfect job so obviously an adult did. Got an A on that term since I could do the zipper myself and did it in front of the teacher.
post #82 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
I guess during the sewing term, she failed my neighbor one year. The girl had come over to my house to finish her sewing project since my mom could sew and her mom could not. My mom made her redo the zipper on the dress until it was perfect and showed her in the process. The teacher failed her because no child could do such a perfect job so obviously an adult did. Got an A on that term since I could do the zipper myself and did it in front of the teacher.
That totally reminds me of when I was in secondary school. We had to take practical exams in sewing, cooking and laundry. The sewing exam gave out sewing tasks on a sort of lottery system to each student. We all used to DREAD that we would be allocated the Zipper Only the Bound Buttonhole task was more feared
post #83 of 107

Late to the party here

I almost never buy name brand stuff that may have coupons. If I buy processed food it comes from Aldi's or I buy store brand.

I too find this stuff amusing on the morning news programs. It's the same with the "eliminate calories by using these shopping tips" stories.
post #84 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caneel View Post
The comment about these "no-brainer" tips being directed at men and the comment about the neighbor's husband?

That describes my DH. He has no, I mean ZERO, concept of money-related food costs. It would never occur to him to look at a price or comparison shop. He buys whats looks good to him.

He is no longer allowed to do the grocery shopping and it has to be a true emergency before I ask him to swing by the store on the way home. He simply can't be trusted to buy off a list.

I know where his behavior and attitude comes from and I know it is likely never going to change so I have taken over that household duty.
Why is this???? My DH has an undergrad degree in accounting and a MBA in finance, yet he NEVER checks the price for anything. EVER! And until I told him, he had no idea that unit prices existed, let alone where to find them. You better believe I'm going to teach our boys the ins and outs of shopping and household management.
post #85 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbymom05 View Post
Why is this???? My DH has an undergrad degree in accounting and a MBA in finance, yet he NEVER checks the price for anything. EVER! And until I told him, he had no idea that unit prices existed, let alone where to find them. You better believe I'm going to teach our boys the ins and outs of shopping and household management.
LOL, my dad the accountant, former CFO would tell stories upon stories how his department (accounting) would have the worst time managing their personal finances. He said that dept had the most garnishes on their payroll checks. Whatever!

I guess its sort of the shoemaker's family run bare foot.
post #86 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
this story reminds me of my 8th grade D in Home Ec. Basically the quarter on cooking was a semi home made type of cooking. The teacher said I had a bad attitude because I didnt know about velveta. She said I was lying and never heard of such a thing. When she talked to my mother, she recinded on the D. My mom really let her have it since she thought I myself could teach the class since I had been scratch cooking already since I was 8- my first dish was mac n cheese with real white sauce. I also got attitute during the omelette assignment since I had made those for years too. I remember the kids in my group saying my ommelette was the best.
In 10th grade I took a home-ec class. We "cooked" tacos (browned meat and opened up packages of pre-shredded lettuce and cheese), grilled chicken salad (we opened a bag of lettuce, a bottle of dressing, and heated up pre-cooked chicken strips in a skillet). Oh, and we served all of the meals we made with "homemade" fruit punch - which meant we opened up a pack of kool-aid brand fruit punch mix, poured it into a pitcher, and added water and sugar.

No wonder so many young people now have no idea how to cook at all, let alone from scratch!
post #87 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
I was a teenager before I'd ever had the boxed kind. A mom left it for me while I was babysitting. Yuck. I couldn't believe that it was the stuff of legends. LOL

We still don't eat it at our house, and my kids haven't ever had it, either. I'm a white sauce mac and cheese kind of girl. Yum.
I must go on record as saying that I HATE homemade mac and cheese. I've tried several different varieties from mom's who had "the best mac and cheese ever!" and I didn't like any of them. I can't stand super cheesy, gooey stuff. I like the box stuff because it's not "cheesy."
post #88 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by notjustmamie View Post
Or more than the article suggests. I read a blog post a few months ago with suggestions on how to save $1,000 a month. About half the ideas were more expensive than what we were doing already. I went through item by item and listed our savings: less than $50.

Now, if we took it to the ridiculous place of actually adding costs to the level she suggested (e.g., we don't subscribe to cable, one of her suggestions was cutting back to basic cable, so if I subscribed to basic cable to follow her instructions to the letter) we'd actually be spending about $50 MORE each month.

I guess what I don't understand is this whole idea of what is NEEDED (that, of course, isn't really needed). Why would you need cable at all? Sure, I'd like to have some of the networks. Whenever we've had the chance to stay at a hotel, I love watching the Weather Channel or Food Network or whatever, but it's certainly not something that I can't live without.

Our local community magazine had an article about a family that cutting costs dramatically and saving a ton of money. They had great tips like only getting the car washed once a month and only getting manicures for special occasions. Making your own coffee instead of the daily starbucks trip and using netflix and cutting back to basic cable.

It was so darned annoying. I felt like writing the magazine with the suggestion of "let them eat cake" instead.
post #89 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicky2 View Post
Leta, you could probably make a ton of cash if you marketed your frugal skills and taught classes.
You think? DH said something to that effect the other day, and I was just kind of like, "Oh, pshaw".

I was thinking, though, of approaching our co-op with the idea of teaching a workshop that was one of those Super Supper type things, where I'd teach people how to make ingredients from scratch and then assemble meals that freeze and reheat well. (No, we don't have Super Suppers around here.) I taught a class for the co-op once about making your own cleaning products, and that was very well received. Maybe I'll call them tomorrow.
post #90 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caneel View Post
OMG - DH has a lost twin! Cheese, hot peppers - they must have been seperated at birth.

About 3 weeks ago, I sent him out to get one missing ingredient. A friend was coming over for dinner.

DH came back with not one but three different cheeses from the speciality section, two boxes of crackers and two loaves LaBrea bread. The bread was for the hot peppers I had picked up as a treat at the Italian market earlier in the week. It was at least $40 of stuff we didn't need.

Why? He thought we needed something to nibble on before dinner. Never mind he helped me prepare the planned appetizer.......
The real question is...did he bring back the item you originally sent him for?
post #91 of 107
I've got a question re: soup. I make my own chicken stock sometimes (I do keep storebought on hand in case I run out), and I make my own chowder, and I've made some other soups. But...I'm not sure what's the best way to keep the leftover stuff. I like to have fast soup on hand, and the only way I've found to do that is the cans. What do you all do?
post #92 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I've got a question re: soup. I make my own chicken stock sometimes (I do keep storebought on hand in case I run out), and I make my own chowder, and I've made some other soups. But...I'm not sure what's the best way to keep the leftover stuff. I like to have fast soup on hand, and the only way I've found to do that is the cans. What do you all do?
Freeze it in ice cube trays. Each cube is about 2 Tbsp. You could also measure it into 1-2 c servings in a zipper bag and lay it flat to freeze. With either method, the frozen stuff with thaw pretty quickly in a saucepan.
post #93 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
That show drives me a bit batty as well. And yes, in my world this show is not cooking which is why I put quotes around cooking. But in households everywhere in America, this is cooking sadly.
I used to do this a lot (before we had so many dietary restrictions). But I didn't call it "cooking." I called it "Assembling dinner from prefabricated parts." Back then, I didn't know how to make bread or chicken stock or mayonnaise, but I still knew the difference between cooking and opening bags from the freezer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post
My husband always comes home from the grocery store with tons of cheese and pickled hot peppers and things like that. I try to get him treats occasionally, but he just won't shop within our budget.
Ok, all these DH stories are reminding me of the other day when we went shopping. He's *usually* not bad (he doesn't like to look at prices, but the truth is there's not a lot of comparison shopping to be done with our specialized diet anyway). But on Monday I picked him up from work and we hit the store fast before getting home to the nanny; I went to the deli to pick up dinner, and he went to get a few things to cook later in the week. He did pretty well, getting standard ingredients we use and like. And then, just as I'm wondering "And what on earth is that?" he picks up the package in question and says "And these ADORABLE mushrooms!"

Yes, he picked up some mushrooms because they were goshdarned cute. We do like our mushrooms in this family, and I gotta admit, they were precious, but... wow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ian'smommaya View Post
so what do we do if we work full time out of the home or are single?
I work full-time out of the home, and cook dinner pretty much from scratch five to seven days a week. I do prep work the night before or in the morning; I use the crock pot; and I'm fortunate that right now, we have a nanny, so I can get a chicken ready to roast in the morning, and tell her what time to put it in at what temp. I also work earlier in the day, so I can come home at 4 and have dinner ready by 6. And I spend more to buy pre-sliced veggies or ask the meat department to cut my meat into stew chunks or fajita strips or however I'm using it.

We do our meal planning and shopping on the weekend; I take the list to the farmer's market on Sunday morning, then go to Whole Foods to pick up anything I couldn't get there.

And my husband helps. And when I'm pressed for time or feeling out of it, we keep a jar of pasta sauce and a bag of pasta as emergency rations. ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MelanieMC View Post
In 10th grade I took a home-ec class. We "cooked" tacos (browned meat and opened up packages of pre-shredded lettuce and cheese), grilled chicken salad (we opened a bag of lettuce, a bottle of dressing, and heated up pre-cooked chicken strips in a skillet). Oh, and we served all of the meals we made with "homemade" fruit punch - which meant we opened up a pack of kool-aid brand fruit punch mix, poured it into a pitcher, and added water and sugar.
On the other hand... I had a 10-week cooking class in 7th grade, where we made pizza as our "final exam," starting with the crust on one day, then topping it on the second. We didn't make the sauce by hand (it takes more than a class period to boil it down ;-), but we started with flour for the crust, which was most impressive. (Our group was the only one that had our crust turn out reasonable. We also brought in pepperoni and mozzarella... the school was only springing for cheddar... and some Pepsi to go with, had ourselves a little party. ;-)

In that same class, we made a cake from mix. However, we also made the mix ourselves ;-) starting with flour, sugar, shortening, baking powder, etc.
post #94 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironica View Post
I work full-time out of the home, and cook dinner pretty much from scratch five to seven days a week. I do prep work the night before or in the morning; I use the crock pot;
I always see this kind of stuff in advice for working moms, but I honestly never had the time to do it. The mornings and evenings were filled with other things. I still more-or-less cooked most days, but they were pretty sketchy meals (grab a chicken breast, coat lightly with olive oil, sprinkle lightly with dried herbs, and bake...meanwhile, make rice, and either open a bag of "quick" veggies, such as baby carrots or sugar snap peas, or chop some veggie sticks). Fitting in meal prep just didn't work for me, whether I tried to do it at dinner, after dinner or before work...
post #95 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I always see this kind of stuff in advice for working moms, but I honestly never had the time to do it. The mornings and evenings were filled with other things. I still more-or-less cooked most days, but they were pretty sketchy meals (grab a chicken breast, coat lightly with olive oil, sprinkle lightly with dried herbs, and bake...meanwhile, make rice, and either open a bag of "quick" veggies, such as baby carrots or sugar snap peas, or chop some veggie sticks). Fitting in meal prep just didn't work for me, whether I tried to do it at dinner, after dinner or before work...
Well, since I don't have a choice, it doesn't get "fit in," I fit in other things around it. My kids don't get baths most nights, for example (if they need it, we take them in the shower with us in the morning, or the nanny sometimes gives them a bath). Some nights I'd like to watch a TV episode with DH, but I have to get stuff ready for tomorrow's dinner instead. When I get home from work, I kiss my big kid, I take the little one and put him on my back, and I dive into whatever needs doing for getting dinner on the table. I also sleep less than optimally (but that's standard for motherhood, I think).

It does help that my drive home is 15 minutes without rushing. Yesterday, I was in a hurry (miscommunication between me and the nanny about when she was staying until), and made it desk to desk in 18 minutes (DH noted when I sent my last IM from work and my first one from home ). But that was a deliberate choice on our part; we chose our house location so we wouldn't have much of a commute to likely places to work (including where DH works, which is 15 mins in the other direction).
post #96 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironica View Post
Well, since I don't have a choice, it doesn't get "fit in," I fit in other things around it.
I'm not really sure what you meant here. No choice? Everybody has to eat. I had to fix meals. I simply didn't do the kind of cooking that people talk about when they talk about doing morning or after-dinner meal prep. DS1 bathed about twice a week, so I have no idea where daily baths came from. I wasn't watching tv when I wasn't doing after dinner meal prep...I was doing dishes, clearing the kitchen, cleaning the cat box, helping ds1 with his homework (homework - K & 1st grade!), going shopping (on foot), etc. etc.

I didn't even get home until 6:30 at the earliest, and we pretty much never ate before 8:00 or so. That doesn't leave a lot of time for meal prep, yk? I dove into whatever I had to do to get dinner on the table as soon as I got home, too...but if I'd tried to cook the way I do now, we'd have been eating at midnight, and I've have had even less sleep than I was already getting.

I'm all for people cooking from scratch. I just have trouble with all the highly misleading stuff that WOHMs get about how they can have scratch meals quickly and conveniently by doing prep after dinner or in the morning or cooking "quick and easy" (rarely one of them, and almost never both) meals. The day has 24 hours...if you can't fit in extensive meal prep, juggling the things that are already filling those 24 hours isn't necessarily going to make a difference. If someone really is in that kind of time crunch, I really don't think anybody is doing them any favours by suggesting that if they just did X at Y time, then everything would work.
post #97 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leta View Post
You think? DH said something to that effect the other day, and I was just kind of like, "Oh, pshaw".

I was thinking, though, of approaching our co-op with the idea of teaching a workshop that was one of those Super Supper type things, where I'd teach people how to make ingredients from scratch and then assemble meals that freeze and reheat well. (No, we don't have Super Suppers around here.) I taught a class for the co-op once about making your own cleaning products, and that was very well received. Maybe I'll call them tomorrow.

Yes! I really do think you could. And I think that now, of all times, it could go very, very well for you! You should write to morning shows, your local news, Oprah, etc, and tell them you have a show for REAL people.
post #98 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I'm not really sure what you meant here. No choice?
There's precious little in the way of semi-prepared or packaged food that is free of gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, canola, and sorghum. I use a few pre-mixed spices (chili powder, italian seasoning, garam masala) and pre-cut fresh or frozen veggies, but 98% of what I cook starts off as single ingredients. And if I don't cook, I don't eat... not dinner, or lunch the next day.

There's about three restaurants (counting the Whole Foods deli) that we can reasonably eat at. No Chinese or pizza on busy nights, either.

ETA: oh, I forgot, we also avoid artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. And "corn" cuts a broad swath... I can't have anything with "citric acid" or "dextrose" in it unless I contact the company and find out that their ingredient is derived from something other than corn. Jarred olives and tomato paste suddenly become a luxury.
post #99 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironica View Post
There's precious little in the way of semi-prepared or packaged food that is free of gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, canola, and sorghum. I use a few pre-mixed spices (chili powder, italian seasoning, garam masala) and pre-cut fresh or frozen veggies, but 98% of what I cook starts off as single ingredients. And if I don't cook, I don't eat... not dinner, or lunch the next day.

There's about three restaurants (counting the Whole Foods deli) that we can reasonably eat at. No Chinese or pizza on busy nights, either.

ETA: oh, I forgot, we also avoid artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. And "corn" cuts a broad swath... I can't have anything with "citric acid" or "dextrose" in it unless I contact the company and find out that their ingredient is derived from something other than corn. Jarred olives and tomato paste suddenly become a luxury.
We'd have been screwed. Quite utterly screwed. I'd have ended up in the hospital (I was close to it as it was) trying to find the time to do every meal from scratch. (Mind you, I did do a few meals back then that would have fit those requirements...but chicken, rice & prepackaged raw veggies - or even regular chopped veggies - would get really old if we'd eaten them every day.) Restaurants weren't an option for us, either - too expensive.

That sounds really hard.
post #100 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironica View Post
There's precious little in the way of semi-prepared or packaged food that is free of gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, canola, and sorghum. .
:

*happily kneels, prostrates herself and kisses the (pretty filthy) floor in pure gratitude and extreme thankfulness that I do not have to deal with this*

You rock.
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