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Stretch your food budget tribe - Page 3

post #41 of 109
Okay, it sounds like Frontier is AWESOME! I checked the website, but I couldn't find out how to become a member. Can anyone help me out w/ that?
post #42 of 109
Wholesale Application

Join as a "buyer's club". Make up a name for your organization.

After I did this and everything was activated, I just called them and paid the $10 fee over the phone...

In order to get free shipping as a buying club, you have to buy $250+ at a time, I believe. I put an order in about every other month. And I know how overwhelming the catalog is. I find something new everytime I look through it and it took me FOREVER to decide on multi-vitamins just because there were so many choices.
post #43 of 109

went past my food budget


I am feeling so disappointed. At the beginning of this month, I felt sure I would be able to post here, triumphant -announcing we were below $650, very close to $600 for our food. We hit $670 yesterday. We told ourselves that we wouldn'tn buy anything above $650 - but we got caught with only sausage as meat and no cornstarch or tapioca flour for our gluten free cooking. I bought $1 lb ground turkey, and $1.69 lb, antibiotic free chicken breasts (Tyson).

We did go to Trader Joe's and spent $15 in unnecessary food, out of $126. 2 frozen meals $4 each(the only packaged food I can find that we can eat in our severely restricted diet), and freeze dried fruit $8 total. Also, I haven't controlled our juice drinking. So I will go back to being extra strict about drinking our high quality juice (which I don't wish to totally remove becaues of all of the antioxidents we get from it, and the pleasure from it.)
We also did buy $4 doz farm fresh eggs, from chickens we met. This is a high priority for us, so I refuse to give it up.
Also, I bought a bunch of rice yogurt for my toddler at $1.50 a cup. It is so expensive. I am trying to figure otu a way to make him yogurt from home, but have felt stuck. I just tried hemp milk, but he is allergic to that. I am still searching. I could use some help with that.

I just really thought I was doing well. . . .
well, lessons learned and hopefully I can get below $650 next month.

My boys just eat soooo much. I can't imagine what it is going to be like when they get older.


I am feeling really down about this. We work so hard and I feel like we are just spinning our wheels, getting nowhere.
post #44 of 109
I am in the process of finishing up my square foot gardens. I plan on freezing lots. I need to get tomatoes so that I can make chilis and freeze them.

I just built a coop and bought some bantam hens, and I have one standard hen for eggs, but she fre ranges at my moms house and has taken to hiding her eggs
The hens get table scraps and bugs, we get eggs and posibly chicks if any of the eggs are fertile(they came from a flock with roo, though they are seperated now).

I am starting to shop for stuff on sale only. Ive cut back on some of the organics. Things that are likely to be GMO and pesticide free I buy non-organic.

We are no longer eating to feel stuffed. We eat to satisfy and feel a bit hungry after. I am becoming concious of portions and healthy fats and good nutrition so that we can eat less and not loose weight or energy.

I shop only when I have multiple errands to run. I park centrally to the stores I need and then I walk back and forth.
post #45 of 109

try to use what we have, and not eat exotic...

I have to laugh when I was in Chapters the other day, and saw the cookbooks on sale...stuff with recipies like "arugula and goat cheese salad" and that was supposed to be for "supper"! (like we'd eat this in a family of kids/adults) Or the meat in the recipie was sirloin steak, or it's Jan and lets make this tomato aspic salad. I personally think we want waaaay too much variety as a society in our diets, and if we eat more seasonally and simply we would have way better of a food budget.

I struggle with the whole organic idea. I have to drive to a city 40 min away, if I don't find what I like at the local Superstore....with gas prices I just don't! I "*try** to buy organic fruit, but draw the line at organic packaged foods like cereal or flour as I cannot afford it. The one health food store in town has organic stuff, but it is not local and is pretty bad quality. Last year I got strawberries locally, and while not organic they were great, I froze enough to last all year. I have discovered an "Organics in Manitoba" book that lists all the local people, and I am trying to get about half a bison (in lieu of beef) and maybe a bit of chicken, and of course berries. The local food movement appeals to me, and I would rather use the local bison, and use it WISELY, or the local berries, than pay for berries from California (and not buy berries in Dec, to make up for the extra price...we used our local berries on ice cream, etc lots this last winter). However, I think the local food movement has its limits...I used to live in the Northwest Territories (for you USA folks, think at the same latitude as Fairbanks, Alaska) and there was ONE farm in the whole territory(saskatoons, currents, vegetable), a 6 hr drive/ferry crossing away, and NOT ONE local meat processing place, or place that raised any meat let alone organic/grass fed in the WHOLE TERRITORY...my dh did hunt caribou and ptarmigan though and we used this in leiu of beef in recipies and ptarmigan (it's grouse like) is great stir fried with bacon! I think that there are geographical places that this concept has its limits and I am so glad I live where I can support the local farmer. Can you imagine living in a small isolated community in Canada's (or Alaska for that matter, places like Barrow) far north where groceries are flown in and you pay 15.00 CDN for 4L (1 gallon) of fresh milk? (I was not that isolated where I was, but still paid ridiculous amounts) And if you don't want to do that, you place a barge order once a year for stuff like toilet paper? These people would think we are elitist and would laugh at us at insisting on organic! I do try to balance organic/local with what I can afford, and am sad that money is tight enough that I cannot insist on organic for everything.

In general I try to use what I have, not cook too "exotic" of a recipie, use say a chicken in a variety of ways, and eat what is in season...if a produce item is over say "x" amt per kg I just don't buy it.... for example here asparagus is pretty cheap in the winter in say Dec to Feb, but now is just horrendus, almost 10.00/kg so we don't eat it now. It tastes better too when you buy it in season..."winter" strawberries are just gross IMHO!

I do want to try local stuff this year as I described above, and also I am planning a square foot garden, just probably going to be able to build it, not plant yet this year. I also bake my own bread, muffins, pancakes, cookies, etc...we only buy prepackaged stuff like crackers, cereal (we eat alot of porridge here and cereal is a treat) and some bottled/ canned stuff.
post #46 of 109
We are a family of 5 with a grocery budget of $400/month. I use about 50% organics. This is getting easier as I get more heavily involved in couponing and combining them with sales.

~try to buy in season fruits and veggies

~eating more meatless meals. I try for 2-3x a week.

~make a menu and really try to stick to it

~try to grocery shop right away in the morning so I can get the marked down meat at SuperTarget

~watch the sales every week. see if there are any coupons floating out there or any printable coupons. I trade for multiples of a certain coupons to combine with sales

~if there's an excellent sale I'm going to buy several to either freeze or store in my pantry

~try to make more simple meals

~shop at the farmer's market during the summer to save on organic veggies and buy extra to freeze if it's a good enough deal.
post #47 of 109
Subbing.

We're a family of 4 and I pay around $175/week. I'm just floored by the prices. This past weekend, I didn't really need to buy any meats, box cereals or other items that seem to jack up my final bill and it was still $90+!

I'm actually trying to scale down how much I have in the refrigerator. We're running two because we need the freezer space. That ancient beast that's in our basement is most assuredly causing global warming and contributing to our $350 electric bills! Hoping the savings from turning that off will help and maybe we'll save enough to buy a small chest freezer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeekingSerenity View Post
I make pancakes and waffles at home on the weekends. They're really a treat for DS because he helps me mix the batter. I could never bring myself to buy frozen waffles again after I got a waffle-baker - so expensive for such little pieces of nasty, frozen crap!
Hmmm. Something to look into. I don't have a waffle iron but the kids just love eating mini-waffles with cream cheese when we're late for daycare/work and can't sit down for breakfast.
post #48 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post


Is he aware of how much 3 gallons of store-bought stock costs? Here it's over $3/qt, which makes that $36 in the garbage can! I'd be

My DH doesn't get to question what I keep in the freezer... he knows it's in the freezer because it's better for the budget that way. Seriously, I'd have a long talk with your DH about the cost these kinds of behaviours have on the family budget, not to mention your own personal frustration.
:
post #49 of 109
Definitely subbing! I have started to make my own sourdough bread, pizza crust, muffins, pancakes (well, I always made the latter two), yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream, and cottage cheese. I try to keep some homemade cookies or other treats on hand when DH is home. Actually DH is gone a lot (military) and we save money because of that but I'd rather have him home of course. I sucked it up and applied for WIC a few months ago and I'm so happy I did. I gave up on eating a lot of things organic and just try to stick to the really important ones.

We live in a small apartment so bulk buying is kind of impractical. Next year we hope to buy a town house and then I will garden, get a big freezer for beef and chickens, etc.
post #50 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mammo2Sammo View Post

I am feeling so disappointed. At the beginning of this month, I felt sure I would be able to post here, triumphant -announcing we were below $650, very close to $600 for our food. We hit $670 yesterday.

I am feeling really down about this. We work so hard and I feel like we are just spinning our wheels, getting nowhere.
I noticed something similar happening with my groceries - we cut back and cut back and cut back, and my spending stayed about the same or went up a tiny bit each time. If prices hadn't gone up this past year, I think I'd be congratulating myself for spending so much less each month. But with the way food prices are rising (I have heard it's ~30% over the past year?!?) I think we should pat ourselves on the backs for keeping our spending at approx the same level, never mind being able to get it lower. Understood, lots of us NEED to spend less on groceries because we don't have the extra to spend, but if your grocery spending is not going up tremendously these days, you're doing a heck of a job to keep it where it is.

Do the best you can, and just keep doing the best you can. It's not our fault that food prices are going through the roof. Hugs!
post #51 of 109
Well a week or so ago I posted what I was doing, but this site was having major issues and it never posted, ugh. I have done these things in the past few weeks and although I have spent slightly more than I normally would I have bought more things for the future. I feel like I am putting this in all my posts, but I bought 2 cases of Muir Glen tomatoes, the 28 oz cans were a 1.99 a piece and I could not pass them up. These will be used all winter, I may buy one more case, the store still has them I am surprised more people aren't buying them, but oh well more for us. I went to a one day sale and socked up on burger, I know that at the end of May there will probably be more sales on burger because of Memorial Day. I have become a pretty savvy shopper these days, the tomatoes alone I saved $2 a can. DH and I are planning a trip to the largest town in our area which is about 2 hours away, we are going to go to Costco, I'd like to go to the Grocery outlet, and we'll probably be stocking up on household products too.

In our home I also budget in dog and cat food, I don't buy anything fancy so right now the local store brand has a huge bag of food for 15.99, it works out to .29 a lb, I will be purchasing 1 or 2 more bags, we have the room I am going in to winter totally prepared this year. My DH is working a ton of hours and so we have good cash flow at this moment so I am trying to be as frugal as possible and also stocking up at the same time, lucky for me our local store just plain rocks, we have a wonderful meat dept., great produce sales and there are so many great deals that I find. Anyway my Dd is waking up got to go.
post #52 of 109
I don't have time to read the entire thread right now, but I would be thrilled to join if you'll have me! My food budget is, well, not really a budget at all. I'm so bad at it. I need help.
post #53 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by amyamanda View Post
If prices hadn't gone up this past year, I think I'd be congratulating myself for spending so much less each month. But with the way food prices are rising (I have heard it's ~30% over the past year?!?) I think we should pat ourselves on the backs for keeping our spending at approx the same level, never mind being able to get it lower...[snip]
Do the best you can, and just keep doing the best you can. It's not our fault that food prices are going through the roof. Hugs!
:
Hearing that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Well said.

I'm off to go pat myself on the back.
post #54 of 109
I have a question for those who bake their own bread:

how do you slice it?

I always try to bake my own bread for sandwiches, but I always end up frustrated: I always get slices that are too thick to be useful for sandwiches or toast. any suggestions?
post #55 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by katheek77 View Post
They have some bulk foods (flours, sugars, baking items, veggies, fruits, TVP, spices, teas, essential oils, dried dairy, etc) and a host of natural items from other companies like Burt's Bees, Newman's Own, Jason Naturals, etc. .
Burt's Bees and Jasons are no longer very natural. They contain some of the big words that should be avoided if possible.
I am still using Jason because the only alternative I can find at this point is $12 a bottle
post #56 of 109
Thread Starter 
Funny about Burts. I have been running frontiers for a few years. At the beginning, it was sorting dozens of burts bees stuff. Now that clorax bought them, its down to maybe about a dozen of items in the order.

and

I think the biggest issue w groceries right now is the loss leaders are lost. At least in my area, chicken, meat, milk, eggs, butter, certain produce was on sale to get you in the door. We would buy this item in huge numbers, freeze or store in the pantry until the next big sale. Not happening as much.
post #57 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
I think the biggest issue w groceries right now is the loss leaders are lost. At least in my area, chicken, meat, milk, eggs, butter, certain produce was on sale to get you in the door. We would buy this item in huge numbers, freeze or store in the pantry until the next big sale. Not happening as much.
I've noticed this as well. I used to have the sales cycles down and I would stock up until the next sale. It's getting harder to do that now with the good sales getting further apart.
post #58 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyLamb View Post
I have a question for those who bake their own bread:

how do you slice it?

I always try to bake my own bread for sandwiches, but I always end up frustrated: I always get slices that are too thick to be useful for sandwiches or toast. any suggestions?

First, I make sure that it is not warm

Second, I use a large bread knife

Third, I really need to be focused

As time has gone on, I have gotten better
post #59 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosie_plus_one View Post
How do you freeze your meat? We have a small deep freezer which I love to fill up, but it seems like everything I pull from there has ice all over it. I use ziploc freezer bags, try to squeeze as much air out as possible, etc.

I actually don't mind it that much, but DP complains sometimes about it. I'm just not sure if there's anything else I can do.
My awesome brother gave me a Reynold's Wrap thingy that sucks all the air outta the special bags and it really keeps down on the freezer burn! I love it
post #60 of 109
How do tribes work? Is this the thread for the "tribe"? I have never participated in one before.

I am going to work at saving money on groceries more and more, and this goes in hand with wanting to cook more at home for my family. We are expecting our third child, and I feel I have no choice but to learn to cook good meals for my family, and I'm going to have to learn to cook larger volumes of food. With DH and I we can get by kind of snacking or making a grilled cheese, etc. but we want to eat dinners as a family and make dinners complete and special. Much of it for me is learning to get more dishes on the table, not just a main and one side but adding another few side dishes, or more filling side dishes and salads. I also want to work up to a proficiency where I don't feel intimidated by grocery planning or cooking. I need lots of practice and routines.

We are thinking of getting a freezer. I misses a sale at Home Depot that just ended for an energy star upright freezer, but I'm going to wait and see if there are Memorial Day sales, etc. I also want a small area of additional shelving for storing dry goods -- I'm not an all from scratch cook (maybe someday) but I want to store things like canned tuna and tomato paste and even (yeah I know) cream of mushroom soup.

We have square foot raised garden beds that have been dormant for a while. I want to get a raspberry patch going in one or two of them and start gardening with the kids -- I want to start small so I'm not overwhelmed.

I had an excel grocery list and I want to work at keeping things more organized in terms of knowing what we have on hand. I like allrecipes.com and I just want to cook more in general. I would love to try bread but I'm kind of intimidated by it and right now I need to focus on dinners and get that skill down.

Looking forward to reading other posts. I need to find out about these produce bags!

I'd say my weakness is definitely McDonalds, especially when the weather is bad and I want to take the kids to play and have a quick meal.
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