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#1 of 26 Old 09-19-2011, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I need some help from you experienced frugal mama's.  We not too long ago bought a deep freezer and I am trying to learn to use it.  I made a list of the items that for our family, make the most sense to stock up on when on sale.  These items are ground beef, roast, chicken, butter and pasta.  I do all my shopping at Target because my DH works at their HQ and we get 15% off.  So, what I am wondering is, at what point do you consider the cost to be so low that you stock up? 

 

I went to Target and wrote down the regular cost of these items and plan to keep that in my purse but what price do you all feel it should fall below before I buy, say, 15 of them.

 

This is the current cost of these items:

 

Frozen Chicken breasts:  $3.08/lb

Fresh Chicken Breasts:  $4.10/lb

Pasta: $1.19/lb

Butter: $3.94/lb

Chuck Roast (great crockpot food:  $4.69/lb

Hamburger

     80/20: $3.19/lb

     85/15: $3.79/lb

     93/7:   $4.29/lb

 

Thanks in advance for your help.  I am planning to quit my job and stay home with my girls in a few months and every little bit saved helps.

 

 

 

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#2 of 26 Old 09-19-2011, 04:33 PM
 
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I think those prices are really high! Have you checked out other stores in the area, to see if their sale prices are better?

 

I live in northern NJ, and my prices look something like this for the items you mentioned:

 

Frozen Chicken breasts:  $1.84 /lb

Fresh Chicken Breasts:  $1.69 /lb

Pasta: .79/lb

Butter: $2/lb

Chuck Roast (great crockpot food:  $2.59/lb

Hamburger

     80/20: $1.99 lb

     85/15: $2.49/lb

     93/7:   no idea!

 

These are the guidelines I go by for stock up shopping. Anymore than what I've posted above, and I'll wait for another sale.

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#3 of 26 Old 09-19-2011, 05:21 PM
 
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my DH and I both work at grocery stores and get 10% employee discount. Despite that, we still sometimes find better deals at discount grocers. Shop around, you may find that to be true in your area as well.


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#4 of 26 Old 09-20-2011, 05:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That suprises me, I am in MN and would assume prices on the east coast would be more expensive....but....hmmm.  I guess I will have to check out some other stores.  I just assumed that since I get 15% off it would be cheapest to shop there. 

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#5 of 26 Old 09-20-2011, 08:58 AM
 
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I am in New England.

 

My stock up prices are $1.99 or less for any kind of meat (I can't afford organic, unfortunately). Beef and pork are harder to come by than chicken, so we eat a lot of chicken! I NEVER see ground beef that low.  Makes me wonder why it's considered a budget-friendly option! I can often find ground turkey for a good price, but I have to wait for the buy1get2 sales. I try to keep fruit/veggies around $1.50/lb.

 

Pasta needs to hit $1 a box at the most, but often goes lower. 

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#6 of 26 Old 09-20-2011, 09:20 AM
 
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Are those the prices after the employee discount? If, so I definitely think they are still a bit high. I would check out circulars for other grocery stores in your area to compare and see if you can get even lower prices. I always sit down each week with the circulars and compare sales.

 

We eat a lot of ground turkey and Safeway and SaveMart will often have BOGO sales and that's when I will stock up on that. Pantry items like pasta or beans I will get at the 99 cent store (not sure if those are in your area too).


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#7 of 26 Old 09-20-2011, 01:23 PM
 
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We don't pay over $2.75 for any beef (but we buy a side at a time)  It's not organic, but we know the farmer who raises the cows and they are pastured in the good weather and sheltered in a barn in the winter (with access to the outside on days when it's warm enough). 

 

For conventional chicken (not the free range organic stuff), I don't pay over 80 cents a pound with bones and skin, or over $1.50 per pound for boneless skinless.

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#8 of 26 Old 09-20-2011, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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These prices are before the discount, just regular non-sale prices. 

 

This is really opening my eyes....we are members of Costco too but I haven't gone since he started at Target.  I might run there and compare their costs on these items. 

 

I also do try not to go to multiple places just assuming that the gas to get there would eat up any savings but I am seeing now that that might not be true.

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#9 of 26 Old 09-20-2011, 02:38 PM
 
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I don't necessarily think that going store to store is going to cost you a lot in gas. If you are driving an hour away from your house to pick up a $2 item, then yes, I would think it's a waste.

 

In my case, my supermarkets are very close to either my house, or my job. I drive right by an aldi every day, so I just stop in. I go to aldi during the week because I am already in the area. It would be a waste of gas if I drove the 20 minutes away on the weekend to go shopping.

 

If the stores in your area are futher apart, you could combine trips, or stop at those stores when you are closer to them.

 

BTW, I made a mistake in my original post. 90% ground beef in my area is $2.49, not 85%

 

In my area, my best deals are from Wegmans and Aldi. I also have a BJ's wholesale club membership which we use fairly often.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by poorlittlefish View Post

These prices are before the discount, just regular non-sale prices. 

 

This is really opening my eyes....we are members of Costco too but I haven't gone since he started at Target.  I might run there and compare their costs on these items. 

 

I also do try not to go to multiple places just assuming that the gas to get there would eat up any savings but I am seeing now that that might not be true.


We use our Costco membership too but only for certain things. For me it's very easy to get off track there and end up spending too much so I always have to stick to the list.

 

There are many times I make multiple stops to get everything I need, but I always plan the trips ahead of time. Luckily the stores I frequent are very close together otherwise I would try to get everything at one stop.

 


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#11 of 26 Old 09-20-2011, 06:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poorlittlefish View Post

So, I need some help from you experienced frugal mama's.  We not too long ago bought a deep freezer and I am trying to learn to use it.  I made a list of the items that for our family, make the most sense to stock up on when on sale.  These items are ground beef, roast, chicken, butter and pasta.  I do all my shopping at Target because my DH works at their HQ and we get 15% off.  So, what I am wondering is, at what point do you consider the cost to be so low that you stock up? 

 

I went to Target and wrote down the regular cost of these items and plan to keep that in my purse but what price do you all feel it should fall below before I buy, say, 15 of them.

 

This is the current cost of these items:

 

Frozen Chicken breasts:  $3.08/lb

Fresh Chicken Breasts:  $4.10/lb

Pasta: $1.19/lb

Butter: $3.94/lb

Chuck Roast (great crockpot food:  $4.69/lb

Hamburger

     80/20: $3.19/lb

     85/15: $3.79/lb

     93/7:   $4.29/lb

 

Thanks in advance for your help.  I am planning to quit my job and stay home with my girls in a few months and every little bit saved helps.

 

 

 


 

For me if I can get it for 10% or less of the price I would normally pay I stock up, but we have to have hormone & antibiotic free meats & dairy products due to allergies so we do organic in those. For those who can't have dairy we do Coconut milk products or rice milk products and wait to stock up on those when we can get 1/3 off of the price, which happens every other month around here.

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#12 of 26 Old 09-22-2011, 09:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poorlittlefish View Post

So, I need some help from you experienced frugal mama's.  We not too long ago bought a deep freezer and I am trying to learn to use it.  I made a list of the items that for our family, make the most sense to stock up on when on sale.  These items are ground beef, roast, chicken, butter and pasta.  I do all my shopping at Target because my DH works at their HQ and we get 15% off.  So, what I am wondering is, at what point do you consider the cost to be so low that you stock up? 

 

I went to Target and wrote down the regular cost of these items and plan to keep that in my purse but what price do you all feel it should fall below before I buy, say, 15 of them.

 

This is the current cost of these items:

 

Frozen Chicken breasts:  $3.08/lb

Fresh Chicken Breasts:  $4.10/lb

Pasta: $1.19/lb

Butter: $3.94/lb

Chuck Roast (great crockpot food:  $4.69/lb

Hamburger

     80/20: $3.19/lb

     85/15: $3.79/lb

     93/7:   $4.29/lb

 

Thanks in advance for your help.  I am planning to quit my job and stay home with my girls in a few months and every little bit saved helps.

 

 

 


I'm in Missouri and those prices are pretty much the same non-sale prices I see at all the grocery stores around here. I'm always astonished and annoyed at how cheap others can buy food. I thought the Midwest was supposed to be a cheap place to live! I generally stock up (for me that's just buying a few packages) if I see chicken breasts or ground turkey for under $3 a pound. Unfortunately, the store sometimes gets cleaned out before we can get even one. We don't eat beef very often and don't go through much butter, so I don't ever bother stocking up. 

 


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#13 of 26 Old 09-23-2011, 03:41 PM
 
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Chicken is $1.88/lb or less

Pasta $1/lb or less  

Butter $2.50/lb or less

Hamburger $3/lb  doesn't matter what type

 

** those prices are the MOST I will pay.  Many times I will match coupons with sales and get items very low cost or free.

Targets website also has coupons you can print out and use along with your discount.  I stalk it daily because they are forever changing coupons!

 

 


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#14 of 26 Old 09-23-2011, 03:41 PM
 
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http://coupons.target.com/?sort=newest

 

target coupons

 

Also with target you say they give you 15% employee discount.  I get 5% every day for using their credit card.  You can get the same 5% for linking a debit card to your bank account. (everyone who has a card does)  Plus every 5 RX I fill I get another 5% and I fill ALOT of RX's so I get at least 2 of those a month.  So if I only do 2 big trips a month I'm already at 10% before coupons and store sales.   

 

You can probably find a better deal at the regular grocery store if you don't coupon and monitor the target sales and clearance.


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#15 of 26 Old 09-23-2011, 04:00 PM
 
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We buy a side a beef every year and a whole pig. It crams up our freezer from Jan-march until we eat some of the supply, but its well worth it. Expensive at the start up since its about 1K, but that is all the meat you buy all year. I recommend the first year, going in on it with another family or relative or buy a quarter. Also, you must cook things such as grill steaks, but also cook roasts and eat the burgers and use up the soup bones. So you have to be a well rounded beef eater.

 

We have had a freezer for several years and as the meat supply dwindles as the year goes on, we 'feed the freezer' (check out my feed the freezer thread in meal planning that has gone on for years now) by double batching meals. Such as making a lasagna? Make two or a baked pasta dish to freeze for later. Make 5 lbs of taco meat and freeze whatever your family dosent eat.


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#16 of 26 Old 09-26-2011, 12:47 AM
 
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My own personal prices (when I buy a boatload) below in red.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by poorlittlefish View Post

So, I need some help from you experienced frugal mama's.  We not too long ago bought a deep freezer and I am trying to learn to use it.  I made a list of the items that for our family, make the most sense to stock up on when on sale.  These items are ground beef, roast, chicken, butter and pasta.  I do all my shopping at Target because my DH works at their HQ and we get 15% off.  So, what I am wondering is, at what point do you consider the cost to be so low that you stock up? 

 

I went to Target and wrote down the regular cost of these items and plan to keep that in my purse but what price do you all feel it should fall below before I buy, say, 15 of them.

 

This is the current cost of these items:

 

Frozen Chicken breasts:  $3.08/lb  $1.28-$1.48/lb

Fresh Chicken Breasts:  $4.10/lb   $1.49/lb (or down to $.79/lb for a whole chicken)

Pasta: $1.19/lb   $.44/16oz or $.68/32oz - that's for regular spaghetti/fettucini/macaroni, nothing special like lasagna noodles or alphabet pasta which cost a little more

Butter: $3.94/lb   $.99-$1.99/lb - I've gotten Tillamook butter for $.99/lb when one little pound exploded and got the rest of the case's packages all greasy - I scared a hospital nurse that night when she saw my cart

Chuck Roast (great crockpot food:  $4.69/lb    $2-$3/lb.  Ish.  This is a rare expense for us.

Hamburger

     80/20: $3.19/lb  I aim for $.99-$.79/lb for the random/generic ground beef (doesn't matter the percentage), but the half a cow we're getting this fall is grass fed and will likely bee under $3/lb.

     85/15: $3.79/lb

     93/7:   $4.29/lb

 


And those are my prices for the inland northwest.  I live in a smallish town partly in the middle of nowhere, just happen to have one awesome little local grocery store (and an Albertson's, Grocery Outlet, Fred Meyer, Costco, and a lame/overpriced Safeway).  I do use an Albertson's card for those sales, and if I happen upon coupons for something I'm already [planning on] buying, groovy.  But I don't kill myself to coupon or anything, nor do we have any kind of discounts - just what I shop for and stock up on.  So I have a respectable pantry, and only buy things like chocolate chips once a year and can up enough diced tomatoes in August to last the year, that kind of thing.  :D

 


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#17 of 26 Old 09-27-2011, 08:21 AM
 
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From my price shopping and comparing, Target is a rip off for groceries!!! Can you go to your local grocery store instead?

 

Also, buying the whole chicken and cutting it up and freezing it yourself will always be cheapest (99cents/lb)

We can get ground beef for 1.99/lb occassionally

 

Buy large quantities from the local grocery store - watch for their ads and maybe even keep a "price book" for about 3 months so that you know the best price


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#18 of 26 Old 09-27-2011, 12:01 PM
 
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I found out this week that chicken is on sale in my area for the prices I'm always seeing people talking about on here! It's $1.99 a pound for fresh skinless boneless chicken breasts at Dierbergs (one of two locally owned grocery chains) and $1.88 for skinless boneless chicken breasts at the local Shop'n Save. I bought 6.5lbs and froze it for later. Plus I got 2lbs of ground turkey at $2.20/lb (usually over $3.59/lb). Hopefully, I can find another sale before that runs out, but today's buys filled up half our tiny freezer.

 

Youngspiritmom, have you found that you get as much meat as expected from a whole chicken? I always feel like there's a lot of weight in the bones and giblets plus most of the meat is dark meat (which is the cheap stuff), so it's sort of a wash price wise to buying legs, wings, and breast separately. It seems like you should get a lot better deal buying the whole bird, I just always feel jipped! Maybe I'm imagining things.


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#19 of 26 Old 09-27-2011, 01:42 PM
 
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Between sales and coupons, I usually pay from .00 to .50 a box for pasta.


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#20 of 26 Old 09-27-2011, 02:03 PM
 
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Zaycon has 40# of chicken right now for $1.49 a pound....

 

Pasta I try for $1.00 or less

 

Butter $2#

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#21 of 26 Old 09-27-2011, 04:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IngaAnne View Post

Youngspiritmom, have you found that you get as much meat as expected from a whole chicken? I always feel like there's a lot of weight in the bones and giblets plus most of the meat is dark meat (which is the cheap stuff), so it's sort of a wash price wise to buying legs, wings, and breast separately. It seems like you should get a lot better deal buying the whole bird, I just always feel jipped! Maybe I'm imagining things.


Actually, I do kind of agree with you. After cutting it up, it doesn't seem like that much meat, and I suppose you are paying for the weight of the bones, skin, parts etc. We have no preference as far as white meat vs. dark meat. But I guess maybe buying breasts isn't really that much more expensive if you can find a decent price (sure is more convenient that all that slimy cutting up)!

 

 


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#22 of 26 Old 09-29-2011, 05:36 AM
 
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Whole chickens are much better for the environment, though. Much less processing and packaging. Just a thought.


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#23 of 26 Old 09-30-2011, 12:03 PM
 
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In my experience, the food at Target is pretty low quality and the prices are high. 15% wouldn't make it competitive with other local stores. I live in Los Angeles. I wouldn't assume that it using your DP's discount is the best price for the quality in your area. Most stores have better prices for similar quality. Restraraunt supply, ethnic markets, and many chain supermarkets (which run sales and discounts) are far cheaper

 

For instance, if you are willing to spend $3-4 /pound on chicken you could buy best quality farmer's market or Whole Foods chicken at that price. If you are buying generic, caged birds like those sold at Target it should be less than $1/pound. I'd rather have a roast chicken for dinner than something made with chicken breasts any way and then I use the carcas for stock.

 

I am too concerned about food safety to buy ground beef in a store unless it was ground on site. Much, much lower risk of contamination and no ammonia washing. This is one area where I would consider spending a premium if I had small children. You can probably find a local butcher at that price.

 

We generally buy animal shares so we can get better meat at a better price. If you live in a rural area it is worth seeking...

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#24 of 26 Old 09-30-2011, 12:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IngaAnne View Post

I found out this week that chicken is on sale in my area for the prices I'm always seeing people talking about on here! It's $1.99 a pound for fresh skinless boneless chicken breasts at Dierbergs (one of two locally owned grocery chains) and $1.88 for skinless boneless chicken breasts at the local Shop'n Save. I bought 6.5lbs and froze it for later. Plus I got 2lbs of ground turkey at $2.20/lb (usually over $3.59/lb). Hopefully, I can find another sale before that runs out, but today's buys filled up half our tiny freezer.

 

Youngspiritmom, have you found that you get as much meat as expected from a whole chicken? I always feel like there's a lot of weight in the bones and giblets plus most of the meat is dark meat (which is the cheap stuff), so it's sort of a wash price wise to buying legs, wings, and breast separately. It seems like you should get a lot better deal buying the whole bird, I just always feel jipped! Maybe I'm imagining things.



I find it cheaper to cut them up myself because then I get the "other stuff" which is useful for stock.

 

2 chickens cut up myself = four thighs (1 dinner), four breasts (1 dinner + 2 kid lunches), four legs (kid dinner), wings, backs, skin, and scraps with yield enough stock for soup.

 

1 chicken roasted whole = 1 dinner with guests + enough leftovers for another chicken dinner like a pasta with some chicken in it or a lunch for 4 + carcase for soup x2

 

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#25 of 26 Old 10-01-2011, 06:08 AM
 
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I'm in the city of Chicago.  We have a discount grocer, but their meat is kind of iffy.  Contrary to my previous sentence, looking for clearance meat deals at nicer grocery stores actually is better quality!  I just drop it all in the freezer straight away when I buy it.

 

Bone in chicken breasts - $1/lb

Boneless skinless cb - less than $1.50/lb (can wait for sales and find these 1.66 lb)

Whole chicken 80c/lb

Boneless Pork $2/lb

Beef - varies, somewhere less than $2/lb if I'm going to grind it, will pay more for steak/nice big roasts

 

Butter 2.49/lb if it is land o lakes

 

Get a food scale and weigh your bone in meat before you trim it, then measure the yield you get, and calculate a new price per pound. IIRC, bone in chicken breasts had to be around 88c/lb to match boneless skinless ones around $1.50.  A lot of times with chicken they include a lot of extra skin and fat to bump up the weight of the package. 

 

Sometimes we buy a 1/4 of a beef from a local farmer, but his prices went up to $5.50/lb this year and I just don't think we can swing it.  So some years I'm not actively looking for beef to buy.  I love to grind my own though, makes me feel so much better about where it's been, even if I can't buy local beef.


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#26 of 26 Old 10-03-2011, 03:57 PM
 
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I moved from northern NJ (NYC metro area) to the Chicago 'burbs and the cost (and availability) of good food here is horrible.  I wanna go hoooommmme... waaaaaaahhh greensad.gif

 

We have a freezer and just ordered a side of beef even though I don't love that this farmer's butcher has a 40% ground beef rate vs. the norm of 30%.  Finding organic produce year-round is way more expensive.  I haven't found where to buy stuff like rice and dried beans in bulk yet--working on that.

 

I would also suggest growing some of your own.  You could do an indoor window box of lettuce all winter!


Heather - Wife , Mommy  & Health & Wellness Educator, Speaker & Consultant 
 
Dairy, soy & corn free with limited gluten... yes, really. And journeying towards peace.  Blogging about both.
 
Let me guide you to find the food and lifestyle choices...
heatherdeg is offline  
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