I am SO OVER grocery prices. Also coupons SUCK. How are YOU saving money? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 96 Old 09-16-2010, 02:37 PM
 
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I guess I am one of the lucky ones who has a coupon friendly store a couple miles away. (I used to think coupons were a waste of time until I had a huge awakening about 2 months ago). I used to do most of my grocery shopping at Super Walmart until I discovered www.hotcouponworld.com and a great blogger who matches the local sales with coupons.

Now, I NEVER shop at Wal Mart because I'm now getting the same stuff for pennies or even free. For example:

9 lbs of Carolina Rice= FREE
10 pks Land O Lakes Butter= FREE
30 bottles Wishbone Dressing= FREE
8 boxes Whole Wheat Pasta= FREE
12 cans Hunts Pasta Sauce= FREE
30 pkgs of cheese (shredded and chunk)= $1/bag/pk
20 Mission flour tortillas= 50cents/pack
Kelloggs Corn Flakes/Cheerios= 50 cents box
Brownstone whole wheat bread= 80cents loaf
8 Coffeemate coffee creamer=FREE
8 containers Quaker Rolled Oats= FREE
Knorr pasta sides= 10 cents/pk

I just started couponing a couple of months ago, and I already have a nice stockpile of groceries going. Granted, we do not eat organic, but we try not to eat a bunch of junk either.

What chains of grocery stores are you near?.....you might be surprised (like me) what great deals are out there if you take a closer look!

Good Luck!!
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#62 of 96 Old 09-16-2010, 07:12 PM
 
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ryan'smom you are my kind of couponer!

Single mom to 2 boys
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#63 of 96 Old 09-16-2010, 07:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ryan'smom View Post
Now, I NEVER shop at Wal Mart because I'm now getting the same stuff for pennies or even free. For example:

9 lbs of Carolina Rice= FREE
10 pks Land O Lakes Butter= FREE
30 bottles Wishbone Dressing= FREE
8 boxes Whole Wheat Pasta= FREE
12 cans Hunts Pasta Sauce= FREE
30 pkgs of cheese (shredded and chunk)= $1/bag/pk
20 Mission flour tortillas= 50cents/pack
Kelloggs Corn Flakes/Cheerios= 50 cents box
Brownstone whole wheat bread= 80cents loaf
8 Coffeemate coffee creamer=FREE
8 containers Quaker Rolled Oats= FREE
Knorr pasta sides= 10 cents/pk

I just started couponing a couple of months ago, and I already have a nice stockpile of groceries going. Granted, we do not eat organic, but we try not to eat a bunch of junk either.
I am near you!
What blog are you following???

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#64 of 96 Old 09-16-2010, 11:28 PM
 
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I am near you!
What blog are you following???
I follow www.ccherrypicker.blogspot.com .....and the Giant Eagle forum on www.hotcouponworld.com......

Definitely worth a look to see if it is something you would like to try. I really have fun doing it!

PM me if you have any questions

GO STEELERS!! lol

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#65 of 96 Old 09-17-2010, 02:14 AM
 
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GO STEELERS!! lol
I think you mean Giant Iggle and "Go Stillers!" ;-)

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#66 of 96 Old 09-17-2010, 08:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ryan'smom View Post
I guess I am one of the lucky ones who has a coupon friendly store a couple miles away. (I used to think coupons were a waste of time until I had a huge awakening about 2 months ago). I used to do most of my grocery shopping at Super Walmart until I discovered www.hotcouponworld.com and a great blogger who matches the local sales with coupons.

Now, I NEVER shop at Wal Mart because I'm now getting the same stuff for pennies or even free. For example:

9 lbs of Carolina Rice= FREE
10 pks Land O Lakes Butter= FREE
30 bottles Wishbone Dressing= FREE
8 boxes Whole Wheat Pasta= FREE
12 cans Hunts Pasta Sauce= FREE
30 pkgs of cheese (shredded and chunk)= $1/bag/pk
20 Mission flour tortillas= 50cents/pack
Kelloggs Corn Flakes/Cheerios= 50 cents box
Brownstone whole wheat bread= 80cents loaf
8 Coffeemate coffee creamer=FREE
8 containers Quaker Rolled Oats= FREE
Knorr pasta sides= 10 cents/pk

I just started couponing a couple of months ago, and I already have a nice stockpile of groceries going. Granted, we do not eat organic, but we try not to eat a bunch of junk either.

What chains of grocery stores are you near?.....you might be surprised (like me) what great deals are out there if you take a closer look!

Good Luck!!
I stockpile with coupons as well, and use the same site along with a few others. We have Harris Teeter here, and they frequently run promotions where they will triple coupons that are up to $.99 value, or Super Doubles where they double coupons up to $1.99 value. Currently they are running super doubles. We don't buy junk, but there are still deals to be found. My stockpile is pretty set for now, but one of the items that is free with coupons this week is Quaker oats. Other things I typically get for free/super cheap with coupons include tortillas, beans, taco shells, spices, tuna, brown rice, pasta, canned organic tomatoes, mayo, frozen veggies, 7th Generation dish and dishwasher soap, and lots of other stuff. People get tons of other stuff for free/cheap, but most of it is processed crap. I skip over those items and only go for the things we use. When something I use often is free or extremely cheap with a sale I get as much as I know I'll be able to use.

Another site I really like is afullcup.com. Like hot coupon world there are match ups for grocery stores.
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#67 of 96 Old 09-17-2010, 08:40 AM
 
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I am at my wits end with grocery prices and just don't know what to do. It seems like prices have gone way up in the 2-3 again (anyone else noticed this?). Shredded mozzerella (I know I can shred it myself, but the pre shredded kind is low moisture and my kids will eat pizza only with low moisture cheese) went from 7-8$ a bag to 11-12$ a bag. I now only buy it if it is on sale for $8 or less. I cook 80-90% from scratch and still am getting hammered at the checkout each week. Yesterday I was going to buy a chicken to roast-- the cheapest whole chicken was $8!! I remember not long ago, you could get a chicken for $3.

There is a very cheap grocery in my area that caters to ethnic cuisine, I think I have to start shopping there.

Otherwise, pretty much, if it is not on sale, I don't buy it, unless it is a very basic staple I can't do without or is already affordable.
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#68 of 96 Old 09-17-2010, 09:02 AM
 
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I think you mean Giant Iggle and "Go Stillers!" ;-)

One sleepy mama to ds #1 (5) and ds #2...my VBAC baby (2) and expecting #3 sometime in 2/2012!!
 

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#69 of 96 Old 09-17-2010, 09:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by frugalmum View Post
I am at my wits end with grocery prices and just don't know what to do. It seems like prices have gone way up in the 2-3 again (anyone else noticed this?). Shredded mozzerella (I know I can shred it myself, but the pre shredded kind is low moisture and my kids will eat pizza only with low moisture cheese) went from 7-8$ a bag to 11-12$ a bag. I now only buy it if it is on sale for $8 or less. I cook 80-90% from scratch and still am getting hammered at the checkout each week. Yesterday I was going to buy a chicken to roast-- the cheapest whole chicken was $8!! I remember not long ago, you could get a chicken for $3.

There is a very cheap grocery in my area that caters to ethnic cuisine, I think I have to start shopping there.

Otherwise, pretty much, if it is not on sale, I don't buy it, unless it is a very basic staple I can't do without or is already affordable.
What size are those bags of mozzarella? $11-12 each?!! And $8 for a chicken? That is truly outrageous. I don't think I pay that much for an organic, free range chicken! Do you have any CSA's near you where you could at least get your meat? I drive a bit for mine, but the pick up is only once a month, so, I deal with it. There are others with pick up spots in the city, but, I'm happy with this one and the prices.

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#70 of 96 Old 09-17-2010, 10:10 AM
 
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What size are those bags of mozzarella? $11-12 each?!! And $8 for a chicken? That is truly outrageous. I don't think I pay that much for an organic, free range chicken!
Ummm...

Part-skim, low-moisture mozzarella (pre-shreded) here, 16oz, is only about $3 on sale, about $4, not on sale. Not organic, and we actually prefer the buffalo mozzarella that is a couple bucks more, but I can't imagine such prices!

In fact, dh and I were just talking about how our grocery bill is DOWN from a couple of years ago. I cook almost exclusively from scratch, so I don't know what goes on with processed foods much. We're paying less (and we don't coupon AT ALL) these days.
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#71 of 96 Old 09-17-2010, 01:55 PM
 
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I just checked the preshredded mozzarella cheese we have and it is low moisture, part skim and I think it was about $2.50 for a bag of two cups of cheese. It can be cheaper but thats a common price where in live. It is just Kroger brand and is not organic or anything else. The name brand cost more but not too much more. I have seen the six cup bag about $5 on sale but I think it's usually about $6 per bag.

I'm always kind of amazed when people say they don't buy things that have coupons. I've seen coupons for healthy (or healthier than the alternative) foods like whole wheat bread, pasta, rice (both white and brown), oatmeal, cheese (organic and non), meats (mostly chicken but sometime other). People dont eat anymof those items? I know some people have dietary restrictions and personal preference but coupons are not just for junky foods. Of course, there certainly are times when the store brand is cheaper but sometimes that isn't the case.
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#72 of 96 Old 09-17-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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You can buy a larger chunk of cheese and then shred at home and freeeze. Works really well.

Currently safeway is running great sales on grapes (.99 per #) and canalope for .99 each. I buy several and use thru the week.

Also free campbell's soups.
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#73 of 96 Old 09-17-2010, 02:51 PM
 
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I'm always kind of amazed when people say they don't buy things that have coupons. I've seen coupons for healthy (or healthier than the alternative) foods like whole wheat bread, pasta, rice (both white and brown), oatmeal, cheese (organic and non), meats (mostly chicken but sometime other). People dont eat anymof those items? I know some people have dietary restrictions and personal preference but coupons are not just for junky foods. Of course, there certainly are times when the store brand is cheaper but sometimes that isn't the case.
I check coupons and use the occasional one, but for the most part, even with the coupon, the store brands are cheaper, and I tend to only buy things when they are on sale. Our stores don't double.
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#74 of 96 Old 09-17-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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We eat vegan, with very few packaged foods and I shop at Walmart with all the other stores ads in hand because walmart will match their ads so I am not having to go from store to store. This week I got peaches for 77ents a pound instead of the 1.29 that was listed. I love going up to the cashier and having everything I bought for a cheaper price. I have never really done coupons for groceries because we do not eat those things. I will use them for dog food, toiletries, etc. Also, I make all my cleaners.

It is really tough right now with grocery prices.

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#75 of 96 Old 09-17-2010, 10:56 PM
 
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I also am surprised by those who won't use coupons. A couple weeks ago, my grocery store had a coupon in their ad for $10 off when you buy 6 General Mills cereals. Since it was a store coupon, it could be combined with manufacturer coupons. They were priced at $2.50 each. So...$15 for 6 boxes of cereal minus the $10 store coupon minus any manufacturer's coupons I had. These GM coupons are a dime a dozen, I swear. I happened to have $1.00 off 3 coupons. So, we're currently at $3.00 for 6 boxes of cereal, but THEN, the register was spitting out $6.00 Catalina coupons, so now I've made $3.00 for buying those 6 boxes of cereal. This week they are doing a similar sale that happens to include more items like yogurt, Progresso soup, Pillsbury baked goods, etc. Nothing ends up free this time, but there's some nice coupons out for these things, and when you buy 10 items, you get a $5.00 Catalina coupon. Another great deal I got last week was Quaker oatmeal 18 oz. boxes were on sale for $1.48 each. I had $1.00 off coupons making them 48c each. I bought 10, but I still have 15 coupons because I'm waiting for the Target sale which should make these real close to free.
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#76 of 96 Old 02-28-2011, 11:16 AM
 
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I feel the same way!!!! I found a new site that shows where the lowest grocery prices are in ********** every week. mygroceryspy.com. It updates twice a week. You can print out your personal shopping list by store or you can have it sent to your cell phone. How cool it that? I use to help me build my menu around the lowest priced groceries each week. I've been using it for two months now and I just love it. I really hate buying something at one store just to see it cheaper at another store. Now I can find out before I go shopping.

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#77 of 96 Old 03-08-2011, 09:17 AM
 
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We eat a very whole foods/ Nourishing traditions diet, so very little of what's in the grocery store and even less of what has coupons fits our eating habits. I tend to buy most of my grians (wheat berries, rolled oats, buckwheat, rice, popcorn, etc.) through natural food co-ops. In my area, the best co-ops are Frankferd Farms and Quail Cove Farms (mid-Atlantic/ East Coast).I grind my own wheat for flour (first I sprout and dry the wheat) and make my own kefir, yogurt, kombucha, and sauerkraut. We buy beef by the whole animal and raise our own egg laying chickens.  

 

 

 

 

 

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#78 of 96 Old 03-08-2011, 11:41 AM
 
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I'll mention a couole things that haven't been covered as much... one that has been saving me some money is to buy in bulk online.  If you don't have many grocery store options, it might even save money to buy regular groceries online; don't know since I haven't really looked into that, but maybe. 

 

My grocery bill is huge in comparison to most discussed here, but its worth-it to me that we eat well for our health, and also that we we enjoy our food too.  We are pretty Nourishing Traditions based too and I like supporting and eating local, so we really don't buy many name brand things that would have coupons.  Still, I'm trying to get it down so we can save money to build my little eco dream house, etc. 

 

Anyway, we go through pretty much coconut oil too.  In stores its like $20 per quart?  Last time I bought 5 gal from Mountain Rose Herbs (they are AWESOME btw), It was $9.61 per quart including shipping.  I put out the word on some local e-mail lists I'm on and usually can unload at least half of it to other people if I don't want that much money tied up in coconut oil :)  There are some other things I buy now online too in bulk, like organic black tea for kombucha, stevia, and the cranberry concentrate that my kids love to drink dilluted.  Buying our grains and beans in bulk online would probably also save a lot... I need to get on that.  Oh, quality nuts are also usually really expensive, but I at least have found a source for almonds now... I buy them direct from the farmer at $5 per pound including shipping and they are unpasteurized, which you can't even get in the store now.

 

The other thing we have here that no one else maybe has (but you could maybe start one if you have the time?) is a produce co-op.  A husband and wife go to the produce wholesalers every week and bring back cases of produce... at the price that grocery stores pay for it (or cheaper if it is slightly damaged or about to expire), and then sell it to members basically at cost.  Sometimes there are super deals on things that are expired but still good, or berries that have one or two in the package that are already moldy, etc.  One time there were beautiful organic strawberries at $7 per flat of 8 containers (the medium size containers, not the small ones)... the co-op is held in a "lifeline ministries" building (meaning they don't pay rent for the space)... SO, I'm sure this is duplicatable in other places as long as you are close to any produce wholesalers and have the time, etc to organize it.

 

great thread!


Elizabeth, naturally-minded mother to two beautiful girls and on the path to living a debt-free off-grid eco-lifestyle in my not built yet dream house
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#79 of 96 Old 03-08-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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There are some great suggestions here. I am with those of you who say that coupons are useless to them. I don't buy a lot of packaged stuff or name brands ususally and here in Canada, there are even less options for coupons I think.

 

For me, I'm very willing to prioritize food over other expenses because it's just really important to us. We are mostly veg, but we eat some grass-fed organic, local, humane beef now and again. Sometimes we have fish fillets and we stock up on tuna.

 

We support a CSA which is a great way to save money on organic local produce. Here in Canada, all of our dairy products are growth-hormone and antibiotic free (thank goodness) and so I can get those for pretty cheap ($3.99 for 4L of milk and cheddar cheese on sale is $4.44 for 500g). We do buy some fancy cheeses every week usually like goat's feta, fresh parmesan, fresh mozzarella balls, etc.

 

I'd love to be able to afford all organic eggs, breads, etc. but that's really expensive here. So for now bread is store bought on sale at $2/loaf and we freeze it. That's about as cheap as a loaf of bread gets here.

 

My way of saving money is to meal plan. Allrecipes.com has a new meal planning function for supporting members. It's very useful because you just click and drop recipes and then add the menue to your shopping list and print. Saves time and money. We eat leftovers for lunches, including DH who is a grad-student. We bake our treats at home and don't buy junk food or packaged snacks.

 

Another great way I save money is to go to No Frills which is a grocery store that does price matching. I look through all the grocery flyers and pick out what I want and take them all to No Frills where I will get them to price match the local sales to what I have in my cart. That way I can go to the cheapest grocery store (No Frills) and get even cheaper prices on all the items I want, and even stock up. I always get things like bread, beans, cheese, etc. that way. Saves lots of money!!

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#80 of 96 Old 03-08-2011, 02:57 PM
 
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I live in  a HCOL area too. I think you should be able to trim your grocery bill under 150 for a family of three, so don't give up! I don't use coupons very often because I just never find ones for the stuff I use. What works for me is. 

 

-stocking up on sales!

 

-meal planning (including lunch/breakfast) This cuts down on a lot of waste and allows for recycled meals. For instance I bought whole chickens on sale for 2.50 each (steal so I stocked up LOL). Out of this one chicken I'm getting 3 full meals plus about 4 sandwiches and left over s on the soup I'm going to make. So we don't get to tired of chicken, I'm making two of the meals this week and threw the soup fixens in the freezer for a later date. Meal planning also helps keep a variety to our meals and helps you work with what's in your pantry. Recycled meals help to keep left overs interesting. :) 

 

-plan recycled meals! lol

 

-a deep freezer! This saves a ton of money really it does! Not only does it allow you to stock up on sales but it allows you to toss leftovers that are going to go bad in there. 

 

-freeze left overs you are getting tired of. Muffin tins make wonderful portions, then you pop them out and toss them in a freezer bag/foodsaver bag. 

 

-batch cooking. I make big batches of pancakes, meatballs ect and freeze them. It saves time and money. It also allows me to have some "easy" meals on had so I don't get tempted with takeout/fast food. 

 

-look to the top and bottoms of the racks at the grocery store. The highest priced items are usually at eye level. 

 

-be very careful what fresh produce you buy. Make sure you are buying the proper amount for your family size so you aren't wasting any.

 

-buy in season fruits/veggies

 

-buy some frozen/cheapy prepackaged food. I know this doesn't sound like good advice but we all get tired of cooking sometimes. If your going to end up ordering take out pizza why not just have a frozen one on hand? It' costs a lot less!  If you never get tempted by take out this might not pertain to you. LOL

 

-I try to shop a week ahead for some things. This only works if you have storage space but it saves a lot. I stock up on sales, then meal plan mainly from whats in my pantry/freezer, then I buy whatever is on sale when I'm at the store. This can back fire though if you end up over stocking so b careful!  If you find you have a very full pantry/freezer then just eat out of that for a while you don't want to end up wasting food because you didn't realize it was in the back of the freezer/pantry 

 

-l

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#81 of 96 Old 03-08-2011, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow this thread just keeps going. Amazing!

 

Here's where I'm at.

 

1. We joined Costco for meat and bulk buys. The only thing that's a deal are the whole chickens (2 for $9). BUT the meat quality is waaaaaay better. Giant Eagle (which is our chain) routinely sells meat that has already been frozen and thawed but does not disclose this so the meat is inedible by the time I refreeze and thaw. Costco eggs are nice too but the organic milk sucks, tastes like milk carton.

 

2. I started shopping at Walmart (except for meat, did that once, it was awful). Which was saving us money but then prices went up again.

 

3.I still have to go to Giant Eagle for the stuff that can't be found at Walmart or Costco. So groceries can be a real circus.

 

We buy very few processed items--we go through 1 box of Kashi bars (if I haven't baked) and 1 box of high fiber crackers a week, bread lasts for weeks in the fridge etc.. We don't eat cereal and DD hates oatmeal as well as pasta and rice so we skip those alot. We eat primarily produce, meat and yogurt/cottage cheese/cheese. We have a freezer. I cook from scratch. I do pick-ur-own for berries and freeze them. We shop biweekly to cut down on costs with me just stopping to pick up fresh produce between shopping trips.

 

So we are still at about $150 a week.

 

I ration out food too to stretch leftovers. Don't let DH eat it all as he is wont to, instead I suggest he eat a salad or apple if he's still hungry.

 

I quit buying things such as Kefir which was a $30 a month habit for DD. I buy generic. I use coupons if I can find them but they are often for things we don't eat. Face it, the large majority of coupons are for highly processed foods. We don't eat that.

 

I plan to expand my lettuce growing into spinach and peppers this growing season to help save money. Also moving to a monthly menu plan to control costs and the number of grocery stores we go to.

 

V


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#82 of 96 Old 03-08-2011, 03:35 PM
 
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I am getting so frustrated too.  I have tried shopping more often, shopping less often, making every last thing from scratch, trying processed (on sale it seems cheaper sometimes).  But I can't get below about $30/ day ---- $210 a week for 8 people.  This includes paper products and toiletries.  I don't buy organic, and only generic. 

 

I have looked at online budget menus and 90% of it my kids wouldn't eat-- they are picky.  They want the same things over and over again-- breads, pizza, yogurt, milk, juice, some fruits, grilled cheese, french toast, desserts, french fries.  I make it all from scratch so I basically just buy ingredients.  Coupons don't help as I buy generic and nothing processed.

 

I've tried shopping at different grocery stores but end up spending about the same each no matter where I go.  I read that NYC schools make lunches for $1 per child in food a day -- at three meals a day for 8 people I am spending slightly more than that ($1.25 per person per meal).  I just don't see how to get it lower without them being hungry.

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#83 of 96 Old 03-08-2011, 05:53 PM
 
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If you eat chiefly meat, produce, and dairy, then I don't think $150/week for 3 people is all that unreasonable. 

 

My budget is $100 a week for 5 people.  I've had to recently increase it (it was $75/week for a couple of years), with the combination of rising costs and growing children. 

 

That's about the same as $210/week for 8 people.  I find this budget point do-able, but it's not an "oh, it's so easy; I don't think about it" price point, at all.  We eat lots of rice and beans, we eat carbs with almost every meal (rice, pasta, potatoes, bread, grits, oatmeal usually), and I buy almost only in-season produce, supplementing with frozen veggies/fruits and stuff I can in the summer.  The baby and I are dairy free, so our suppers are dairy free, for the most part, for all of us.  It's just easier. 

 

 

 

 

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#84 of 96 Old 03-08-2011, 06:19 PM
 
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We're a family of 4 (2 teenagers), and spend $100 a week on groceries.

 

My biggest money saver is Aldi. We save so much money shopping there that it is unreal. For example, their I can't believe its not butter is only .99 rather then almost $4 at the supermarket. Cereals 1.99 box,

 

I also only buy meat when it's on sale. I stocked up my freezer with Wegman's 90% lean chop meat for 1.99/lb. Boneless chicken breasts 1.79, split chicken breasts .99lb, london broil 1.74 lb, bottom round roast 1.99 lb. Boneless pork chops 1.99/lb, boneless pork roast .99/lb. We also buy some meats at BJ' wholesale club.

 

When an item goes on sale, I stock up so I never pay full price for anything. When albacore tuna in 6 oz cans went on sale for .59, I bought 50 cans. we will finish it before it expires. Same with crushed tomatoes. We stock up on seasonal sale items for use in the off season. For example, ketchup goes on sale more often in the summer, so we buy enough to last through the winter.

 

We also have a BJ's wholesale club membership that we use fairly often. Certain things for us are cheaper to buy in bulk.

 

We have 2 large freezers in addition to the refridgerator freezer. We also have a large pantry. When money was super tight, we ate mainly from the freezer for a few months. The way the economy is, one never knows what is going to happen. I look at my food supply almost like a savings account. Should something happen, at least we won't starve.

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#85 of 96 Old 03-08-2011, 06:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sunsetdancer View Post

I'm always kind of amazed when people say they don't buy things that have coupons. I've seen coupons for healthy (or healthier than the alternative) foods like whole wheat bread, pasta, rice (both white and brown), oatmeal, cheese (organic and non), meats (mostly chicken but sometime other). People dont eat anymof those items? I know some people have dietary restrictions and personal preference but coupons are not just for junky foods. Of course, there certainly are times when the store brand is cheaper but sometimes that isn't the case.
I check coupons and use the occasional one, but for the most part, even with the coupon, the store brands are cheaper, and I tend to only buy things when they are on sale. Our stores don't double.


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#86 of 96 Old 03-08-2011, 07:17 PM
 
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1.  We belong to a food co-op and generally are paying pro rata for bulk goods (spend about $70/week for three people on all items except stuff like shampoos).

2.  We cook one main dish a week which lasts us all week (we basically eat the same thing for dinner every night and have varied packed lunches).

3.  We eat a lot of beans/legumes, no meat, no dairy, no packaged foods, very few grains (essentially we're grazers - except for the main dish - and tend not to eat traditional meals).

 

We don't use coupons because we get ridiculously low prices at our co-op (in exchange for labor).

 

I grew up in a small university town with an agricultural school.  We spent most of the summers growing up picking free fruits and vegetables on the farms and then would can everything.  If you have a university near you with an agricultural department, it may be worth looking into.  It may not be free but it was a wonderful resource for us growing up.  

 


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#87 of 96 Old 03-09-2011, 04:53 AM
 
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I'll mention a couole things that haven't been covered as much... one that has been saving me some money is to buy in bulk online.  If you don't have many grocery store options, it might even save money to buy regular groceries online; don't know since I haven't really looked into that, but maybe. 

 

My grocery bill is huge in comparison to most discussed here, but its worth-it to me that we eat well for our health, and also that we we enjoy our food too.  We are pretty Nourishing Traditions based too and I like supporting and eating local, so we really don't buy many name brand things that would have coupons.  Still, I'm trying to get it down so we can save money to build my little eco dream house, etc. 

 

Anyway, we go through pretty much coconut oil too.  In stores its like $20 per quart?  Last time I bought 5 gal from Mountain Rose Herbs (they are AWESOME btw), It was $9.61 per quart including shipping.  I put out the word on some local e-mail lists I'm on and usually can unload at least half of it to other people if I don't want that much money tied up in coconut oil :)  There are some other things I buy now online too in bulk, like organic black tea for kombucha, stevia, and the cranberry concentrate that my kids love to drink dilluted.  Buying our grains and beans in bulk online would probably also save a lot... I need to get on that.  Oh, quality nuts are also usually really expensive, but I at least have found a source for almonds now... I buy them direct from the farmer at $5 per pound including shipping and they are unpasteurized, which you can't even get in the store now.

  

great thread!


Thanks for the tip RE coconut oil!  I know I have a few friends who would split an order with me, so that's a GREAT plan.  Could you share your resources for some of the other things you mentioned?  Specifically, stevia!  We use it to sweeten our tea (we're southern ... we drink a LOT of iced tea! LOL) and it can be SO expensive.


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#88 of 96 Old 03-09-2011, 05:01 AM
 
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We do many of the things that others have mentioned.  We buy our meat by the animal from a local source.  It's not certified organic, but they tell us it is all raised organically, and we trust them (friend of a friend).  We have 2 deep freezers (uprights, actually) and buy in bulk in addition to the meat... online and at Costco.  I have a stockpiled pantry of purchased and home-canned products.

 

One major money saver for us is gardening and canning.  Last year was a disaster because of drought, but usually we put out a very nice garden and I home can the harvest that we don't eat fresh.  During the summer, we rarely buy vegetables and the fruit we do buy is very inexpensive.  We used to belong to a CSA, but the box would give us about 1 serving of a bazillion different things and I got tired of having to combine them to make vegetable soups and such (and I'm a good, creative cook, so it wasn't for lack of imagination, but just a poorly organized CSA).  There were few things that we didn't raise ourselves, anyway.  I can soups and meals, so we have some wholesome convenience that doesn't even need to be thawed.  I also can meats, so there is never an excuse that I didn't thaw our something for dinner.  I also raise many of our herbs.  Herbs and spices can be very expensive.  I have a dehydrator, too.  If you have little room where you live and can't put up a large pantry, drying your produce and meats can be economic and space-saving.

 

We don't eat processed food at all and I do all of my cooking from scratch.  We do eat some *prepared* food.  I like this term because "prepared" is something I buy for convenience, but the ingredients are not chemically processed and it would be something I would make from scratch at home if I had the time.  For example, crackers.  You can buy crappy, highly-processed crackers with a ton of ingredients you can't pronounce or you can buy crackers that are made from whole wheat flour, salt, fat, milk (or not), and oil.  I will buy the prepared crackers, but not the processed crackers.  But my first inclination to save money is to try to find a way to make it at home.  I think that processed foods really HURT the overall budget.  In the end, if you eat a lot of that kind of food... the kind that typically has coupons... you're destroying your health, so you'll pay for it through healthcare.

 

There are a lot of good ideas here.  I remember this thread and it always tickles me when someone resurrects these old ones.  Some advice never goes out of style.  (And I may have repeated myself because I don't have the time to go back and re-read it again and I know I posted to it before.)

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#89 of 96 Old 03-09-2011, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by LadyJayne813 View Post

We're a family of 4 (2 teenagers), and spend $100 a week on groceries.

 

My biggest money saver is Aldi. We save so much money shopping there that it is unreal. For example, their I can't believe its not butter is only .99 rather then almost $4 at the supermarket. Cereals 1.99 box,

 

I also only buy meat when it's on sale. I stocked up my freezer with Wegman's 90% lean chop meat for 1.99/lb. Boneless chicken breasts 1.79, split chicken breasts .99lb, london broil 1.74 lb, bottom round roast 1.99 lb. Boneless pork chops 1.99/lb, boneless pork roast .99/lb. We also buy some meats at BJ' wholesale club.

 

When an item goes on sale, I stock up so I never pay full price for anything. When albacore tuna in 6 oz cans went on sale for .59, I bought 50 cans. we will finish it before it expires. Same with crushed tomatoes. We stock up on seasonal sale items for use in the off season. For example, ketchup goes on sale more often in the summer, so we buy enough to last through the winter.

 

We also have a BJ's wholesale club membership that we use fairly often. Certain things for us are cheaper to buy in bulk.

 

We have 2 large freezers in addition to the refridgerator freezer. We also have a large pantry. When money was super tight, we ate mainly from the freezer for a few months. The way the economy is, one never knows what is going to happen. I look at my food supply almost like a savings account. Should something happen, at least we won't starve.


This is the next step for us I think. Serious bulk buying. No longer buying for the month with a few extras for the pantry, but for the year.
 

I am keeping an eye out for loss leaders and I do stock up when I spot good ones,but not for a year yet.

 

Just bought 15 jars of spaghetti sauce for $1.25 each which is a good price in our area.

 

F

 


Happy Momma to DD (almost 3) Fall Coleslaw -- Simple Italian Stuffed Peppers -- - Fall Toddler Activities.- We Made a Play Kitchen Selling gently used books on all topics here.
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#90 of 96 Old 03-09-2011, 10:08 AM
 
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One of our grocery stores (Publix) has had "Italian days" in February the last 3-4 years.  This year was GREAT for me.  I usually can our tomatoes.  I like home-canned, because the texture is better.  But, this year, I underestimated how many I'd need, and we have only 6 quarts left.  I need enough tomatoes to get us through to July, when tomato season starts (we'll eat fresh for the 11 weeks or so of tomato season, then switch to canned).  Anyway.  I bought 40 cans for a great price.  That should (hopefully!) get us through until July.  They aren't as great quality as home-canned, but they are better than fresh out of season (to us), so it works for us. 

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