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With food prices set to sky rocket...What are your thoughts for lowering grocery bills? - Page 4

post #61 of 89
Thread Starter 
neetling you can't avoid some news
Quote:
Where is the info coming from that is forcasting such an awful increase?
here's just one
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...utlook250.html

but food prices especially for staples like bread/rice, add in gas, shipping costs...I'll post more stories later
post #62 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiloh View Post
great ideas keep them comming, I have a small townhouse I can plant some stuff but not much.
Using square foot gardening, you may be able to do more than you think. We have a townhouse too, with a small yard and are able to get a lot more than I imagined. http://www.squarefootgardening.com/
post #63 of 89
Thread Starter 
I'll check it out but its a small small yard
I was thinking of stowing away into our park - the untended parts...and planting pumpkins/squash beneath bushes...urban guerrilla planting
post #64 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiloh View Post
I'll check it out but its a small small yard
I was thinking of stowing away into our park - the untended parts...and planting pumpkins/squash beneath bushes...urban guerrilla planting
lol, I plan to do this along the back fence (I live in an apartment building). The kids used to play back there but not so much anymore. I figure I can plant some pumpkins and zucchini back there and it shouldn't bother anyone . I have an old chest I was going to toss that I'm planning to plant things in out front and I'm going to participate in community gardening. I want to try to grow as much as I can that I can store away. Yeah, we got to do as much as we can because if things continue as they are, I don't know what we'll do. We have a huge food storage but much of it I can't eat
post #65 of 89
I work at Whole Foods so it saves us tons of money each month on our grocery bill.
post #66 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonrisaa29 View Post
I work at Whole Foods so it saves us tons of money each month on our grocery bill.
Hmm, this is an idea... how much of a discount do you get? I wonder if they'd let someone work 1 day a week?
post #67 of 89
We've been thinking about doing the "guerilla" planting, too. There are about 30 acres of fields around us for sale.

You could also forage, there are lots of wild foods to eat. The pecan trees around here are so abundant, you can literally gather as many as you want. It's kind of neat to gather and start learning which trees have the best varieties. We've also found persimmon trees, just literally dozens. Their fruit is awesome, although messy (when it's ripe, before that it is *not* pleasant). We've located walnut trees, but too late in the season, we'll go back to them this year. Then, there are all sorts of greens you can eat (dandelions are good when they first start coming up), but they're a bit more work than the trees.

It seems lately (just in the last month or so), I've actually seen the prices go down some from last year. Of course, Dallas/Ft Worth seemed to be a bit more inflated in the food prices anyway, I noticed when we moved from Austin. The sales have just been better than last year. We've been stocking up on some things. The exception seems to be eggs, they're up and seem to stay up.

Oh, mentioning eggs made me think of something else. Sometimes, substitutions can save you a little bit of money. For example, you can substitute gelatin for eggs with baking (we've done it for banana bread, and I like it better because it doesn't dry out at all after a couple of days). Since eggs have gotten pricier and it doesn't take much gelatin at all, it ends up being cheaper.
post #68 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by neetling View Post
Where is the info coming from that is forecasting such an awful increase?

Admittedly I avoid the news.
It's not merely a forecast; it's a current reality:

http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695261817,00.html

"The price of wheat has more than tripled during the past 10 months."
post #69 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by SusannahM View Post
Oh, mentioning eggs made me think of something else. Sometimes, substitutions can save you a little bit of money. For example, you can substitute gelatin for eggs with baking (we've done it for banana bread, and I like it better because it doesn't dry out at all after a couple of days). Since eggs have gotten pricier and it doesn't take much gelatin at all, it ends up being cheaper.
After a little bit of searching, I found the directions for substituding gelatin for eggs in baked goods:
Egg Substitute Using Gelatin

Also, the same site tells how to substitute flax seed slurry for eggs in baked goods:
Egg Substitute Using Flax

I think The Tightwad Gazette (or at least one of those books) had instructions for how to use soy flour as an egg substitute. How is the price of soy right now?
post #70 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiloh View Post
I'll check it out but its a small small yard
I was thinking of stowing away into our park - the untended parts...and planting pumpkins/squash beneath bushes...urban guerrilla planting
Love it! Great idea.

Do you have community gardens in your area? I used to rent a 10x20 plot year round and had quite a bit of stuff.

We cleared a large area in our yard last summer for additional gardening. I planted lots of blueberries in the area but they are quite small so there is room for lots of squash there until the berries fill in.

I also have raised beds where I grow tomatoes, greens, etc.

This year I want to can a lot more food. I will also probably invest in a freezer so I can buy some bulk pastured meat. Even if you don't have the space to grow the food yourself, you can buy large quantities of the fruits/veg in season at the farmer's market and can or freeze that. I noticed at the farmer's market they will sell boxes of 'blemished' fruit/veg for cheaper. As long as you are committed to using it up fast (canning or whatever) this can be a great deal! I plan to take advantage this year.

Also, someone mentioned foraging for nuts...I wish we had more here! But I do see lots of neglected fruit trees around - plums rotting on the ground or whatever. Often if you ask the home owner they'd be thrilled to have someone take the extra fruit off their hands!

Otherwise, meal planning is the biggest thing that cuts my bills - and planning the meals around what is in season and what I have in the pantry already.
post #71 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by SusannahM View Post
Why is the government always blamed for rising prices? There's only so much the government can do. We're becoming a global economy, there's just more competition for goods, so the prices are going to rise.
Because in this case it IS the government's fault. Yes for the reasons SD wrote, but the problem is not rising prices, it's a falling dollar. Our dollars are worth less. Why? Because the Fed insists on cutting interest rates. One can only assume that the reason they are purposefully ENCOURAGING inflation is to 1) be able to pay for our insane deficit spending w/ devalued dollars and 2) hoping that as the dollar drops and prices rise, wages will follow.

This is a great idea, I'm sure, if you have plenty of money, an academic background and a secure job with bennies and a pension w/ the US government, but from where I'm standing it stinks!!!

We're in for another rate drop Tues--watch stocks tank again and watch commodities (like oil) rise. Why isn't our gov't stopping oil speculation? There isn't a supply issue--it's a bubble. Again.

Vote 'em all out!!!
post #72 of 89
Well, this weekend I went shopping at Frys (kroger) and save about 60% with coupons and sales... then I ran into target and again saved 50% with coupons...
But things like cereal and crackers are very expensive , even on sale and with coupons so I headed today with 2 kids in tow to 'the grocery outlet' and stocked up on cereal and snacks... 'kids' cereal was under $2 box.... apple jacks, frosted flakes, froot loops, same boxes are close to $5 box at the traditional grocery. Ya its not healthy but we get WIC and have plenty of cheerois etc... Also stocked up on crackers and such... I left with a whole cart of cereal boxes and snacks for under $30. Sometimes the dates are wtih in 6 wks of expiration but it will be long gone by then.
I forgot to ask if they take coupons... if they do I couldve saved about 50% again...

Our meals are starting to have a 'pasta' base instead of a meat base... We are averaging a pasta meal 3-4x a week as our 'main' meal.... that can be spaghetti, mac n cheese, tuna salad, italian pasta salad , pasta bake etc with meat/chicken as a side item.

Im very thankful we still qualify for WIC, milk is over $4 gallon here and at MINIMUM of 1 gal a day thats 30$ week if we didnt supplement with WIC. Our milk consumption is increasing daily it seems, Natalie, Bridget and Jacob are almost off formula, down to 12 oz a day each...
post #73 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderdust View Post
After a little bit of searching, I found the directions for substituding gelatin for eggs in baked goods:
Egg Substitute Using Gelatin

Also, the same site tells how to substitute flax seed slurry for eggs in baked goods:
Egg Substitute Using Flax

I think The Tightwad Gazette (or at least one of those books) had instructions for how to use soy flour as an egg substitute. How is the price of soy right now?
You can also buy "egg replacer" mix... it's about $6 for a box that is the equivalent to 100 eggs, and has a 3 year shelf life. It works out well in baked goods that use 1-2 eggs.

You can also use a combination of 1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil mixed with 1-1/2 tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon baking powder per egg
post #74 of 89
Since you mentioned "groceries" and not just food, I'll add that we've stopped buying paper towels and tp in the last six months and switched to cloth, in addition to using cloth mama pads.
post #75 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by WC_hapamama View Post
You can also buy "egg replacer" mix... it's about $6 for a box that is the equivalent to 100 eggs, and has a 3 year shelf life. It works out well in baked goods that use 1-2 eggs.

You can also use a combination of 1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil mixed with 1-1/2 tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon baking powder per egg
We've tried increasing oil in some things before and they always seem to come out a little fried. Although, I think I'm going to try the oil substitute with things that don't already contain oil. You're supposed to be able to make homemade eggless pasta fairly easily if you use some oil.

Thanks for the egg replacer tip. Hadn't heard of it!

Baking powder is just cream of tartar and baking soda and some filler to keep it from reacting, so we always mix our own. If you need to save money and use stuff you already have on hand, you can use baking soda and vinegar as a replacement, too. The baking soda + vinegar is probably cheaper, although I haven't done the math. We just cut out the baking powder because I was having trouble finding a brand without aluminum.
post #76 of 89
I'm continuing to pare back the interesting food we are accustomed to, in favor of "healthy, basic" food that might not be thrilling but it fuels our bodies. My kids and DH are adjusting. I'm making changes slowly and the bottom line is our budget so my DH is on board and the kids have no choice. It's a far cry from where we were about seven years ago when we didn't have a grocery budget because we had enough money that we didn't have to think about how much we spent. It was a brief period in our life (1-2 years) and very fun - and I know we'll never get back there, but it's nice that we had that experience for a little while. Makes me feel less "poor me" about our current situation.

I meal plan very carefully and keep close tabs on how much we use of things in a month. I try to shop once monthly and try not to go back for more food (pantry challenge by the end of the month). I order as much as possible by the case or in bulk through our co-op. I save an extra 10% that way. We also stock up on certain things at specific stores once in awhile.

We're using family cloth more; at least the kids and I are. TP has gotten so expensive.

Creative use of leftovers and pantry odds-and-ends. Trying to make sure we eat cheap/vegetarian meals four or five nights a week. Limiting our trips to town (more than before) to save gas. Really challenging ourselves not to buy anything we don't need, trying to buy in-season and local or do without, eating a lot of soup/stew/fried rice, reducing recipes to the cheapest common ingredients and leaving out the fancy stuff.

Long ago we stopped drinking anything but water, except the occasional splurgey bottle of wine (less than once a month) and one can of frozen OJ a week. Birthdays are the only exception. Packing car snacks and water so we're never tempted to buy food when out and about. Planning a bigger garden than last year, and buying seeds in bulk to use for future years. More homemade baked goods and even less packaged food. This is the year I'm vowing to can my own beans, make my own salad dressing, and bake my own bread.

I'll stop there, but it's definitely influencing how I manage our food needs.
post #77 of 89
We've really simplified lunches. My dh works from home so I have to feed all but one son, who's in public school at lunchtime.

My dh hates sandwiches which means that I need to cook lunch or make sure that we have leftovers for him. Plus, we try to eat low-carb because my cousin, who lives with us, is diabetic (diet controlled). I've been keeping bread in the freezer and out on the counter. Plus, we get WIC now and always have PB&J and grilled cheese supplies. WIC has really allowed me to cut down on my breakfast and lunch costs but only because dh & I had a 'meeting of the minds' and I threatened to get a job if we couldn't shave significant cash off our bills. He's willing to eat more sandwiches(without complaining) if it means I can stay home w/the kids. And as long as I am fixing a meal the kids don't complain too much, the most I usually get is an eye-roll.

Ahhhh, I remember the days when they were little and ate whatever I put in front of them.

Also, more beans, ground turkey. I can't even remember the last time I bought ground beef(kosher) it's tooooo expensive. More carrots, potatoes and cabbage. Lots of cole slaw for salad instead of green salads.
post #78 of 89
Thread Starter 
http://www.standeyo.com/NEWS/08_Food...epwalking.html

Quote:
U.S. Labor Department figures show eggs cost 40 percent more than last year; milk is up 26 percent, and bread and flour also have risen by double-digit percentages. Prices for apples, ground beef and chicken are up as well. At the same time, wholesale prices, a good sign of future retail prices, are rising at the fastest rate in five years, with wholesale eggs, pasta and vegetables springing up 60, 30 and 20 percent.
post #79 of 89
I'm starting an inventorying kick. I'm hoping to identify staples we need more of, and to find space for them.

Well, I inventoried one of our sections of kitchen cabinets last night. Just three shelves, but it took about an hour. It was the beans, rice, pasta, seaweed/nori, dried peppers section.

I found some items that had gone bad - mold on syrup and buggy pasta. ICK! So I am trying to get all the dry goods appropriately packaged, and using the random small bits of beans and pasta. And then restocking with new stuff.
post #80 of 89
I haven't read through the whole thread, but I'm going to start making as much of our own stuff as possible. Bread, almond milk (I'm avoiding cow milk because I think DD is sensitive), cooking the rest of my meals from scratch as much as possible. I will shop the farmer's market this summer (May-October) to keep my money in the local economy and I do belong to a buying club and will buy in bulk if it's a good deal. Otherwise don't know what else to do, just went shopping this morning and it seems like prices are going up weekly. It stinks.
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