With food prices set to sky rocket...What are your thoughts for lowering grocery bills? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 89 Old 03-12-2008, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I got my behind served to me on a platter today by my nutrionist
I've been convience fooding it (see drive through) for myself since I went back to school...well way too much lately.
I realise with all the stuff about food prices/shortages...that I've got to get back to basics again....

So what are your best suggestions to eat healthy but keep the bills lower in light of the fact that shipping prices will rise soon...

I got all the appliances (yogurt maker, dehydrator, pressure cooker, canners, kitchen aid mixer...the list goes on and on

I got a family of soon to be 6...
so I like to balance time and savings...
and get into a better routine...

8 might be enough
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#2 of 89 Old 03-12-2008, 09:35 PM
 
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we purchase our fruits and veggies from a CSA which saves money and supports a local farmer.

we are also starting to purchase our beef from a local farmer through a coop.

we buy NOTHING processed. so stuff needs to be MADE...means we eat less "junk" but even when we do eat choc. chip cookies, they are home made.

bulk shopping for non perishables.

we buy raw milk which doesnt help our bottom line....but its healthier.
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#3 of 89 Old 03-12-2008, 09:38 PM
 
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We plan out our meals for the week and make our grocery list from our menu. Once I am at the store I buy NOTHINg that is not on my list. It really helps us to only buy the food we will use and not waste food ie money.
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#4 of 89 Old 03-12-2008, 09:49 PM
 
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Meal plan is the way we save $$, and I meal plan from the grocery store ad's. We also stockpile/grocery game but are not organic.
I go to costco 1x month for the large items then 2x to the grocery. I have things down to a 'fine tuned machine' as DH says.
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#5 of 89 Old 03-12-2008, 09:56 PM
 
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See if a wholesale company delivers locally to you.

I am in VA and there is a company from PA that makes deliveries once a month.

I buy:

Unbleached organic white flour
organic sugar
organic cocoa
organic maple syrup
organic grains
all sorts of nice organic extras

Buy in bulk. I make my own yogurt. We also get half a cow every year and we are expecting our own chickens to arrive next week. I've also just switched to all cast iron cookware, and now banana bread in a skillet has become a daily thing.

I buy less convenience food so that we HAVE to look harder to find something to eat. It is too easy to grab something quick. If you don't have it, you won't grab it and you will come up with an alternative.
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#6 of 89 Old 03-12-2008, 09:57 PM
 
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www.foodnotlawns.com

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#7 of 89 Old 03-12-2008, 10:18 PM
 
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We get all our fruit and veggies from a CSA now and eat all whole grains nothing process. So even though we spend more per item like only organic beef we actually spend less money a months.

Heidi
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#8 of 89 Old 03-12-2008, 10:24 PM
 
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For us the key is meal planning! I came up with 2 weeks of easy to prepare home cooked meals that are inexpensive and can be cooked even if I forget to defrost the meat. No excuses because they cook up in 30 minutes or less from start to serving. We can't drive out and get take-out that quickly!

I actually have over a months meals planned out, but some require defrosting, etc. and lately we tend to rely upon those simple meals. I'm teaching my 16 y/o DS to cook and he's actually using those menus and recipes and doing really well.
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#9 of 89 Old 03-12-2008, 11:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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with wheat/bread prices rising should I be baking my own bread?

8 might be enough
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#10 of 89 Old 03-12-2008, 11:26 PM
 
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I just started baking my own bread and I'm pretty sure its saving money.

Jenna in love with my DH Jon, loving our 2.5 year old, Caroline Tulip, and expecting another little one in August!
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#11 of 89 Old 03-12-2008, 11:29 PM
 
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What's a CSA? Is it like a farmer's market. That's not an option where I live, we only have a farmer's market open 6-8 weeks in the summer. I fourth meal planning and sticking to the list you make from it.
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#12 of 89 Old 03-12-2008, 11:38 PM
 
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Community Supported Agriculture.

In my area it is when you get a box of local, seasonal, possibly organic produce that you pay a set price for. You usually don't get to choose what you get but its usually a variety of the stuff in season.

Jenna in love with my DH Jon, loving our 2.5 year old, Caroline Tulip, and expecting another little one in August!
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#13 of 89 Old 03-12-2008, 11:55 PM
 
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We go to BJs and stock our freezer up with lots of carbs, meats and frozen veggies. It is also the best place to buy milk, eggs and sometimes gas. You may pay 45 bucks for membership, but you truely save that within the first visit. Just dont overload on things you dont truely love or use alot of..or else you are stuck with it!

I drink water instead of soda or juice. People spend SO much on coca cola and other soft drinks, its insane. Plus it doesnt help with weight loss for me.

I check weekly sales in each grocery store. Ive signed up for each club card and i pick one store to go to each week. I buy only things on sale.

Last week I got 67 bucks worth of stuff at superfresh and payed only 33.

Also, the best time to go grocery shopping is friday night...things are fresh and well stocked and there is hardly anyone in there!!
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#14 of 89 Old 03-13-2008, 09:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiloh View Post
with wheat/bread prices rising should I be baking my own bread?
For us it's not cheaper. The price of flour has tripled. Thankfully I don't eat bread anymore so that almost cut our bread use in half.

I take shopping very seriously. I first scope out all the sales. I get meat and produce at small local stores (fruit/veggie stands, local meat markets, ect...), unless it's cheaper at the grocery store. I do buy some convenience items.

I am finding meal planning and cooking ahead and freezing helps a lot.

Even being extremely careful and not buying too much, our grocery bills have doubled recently. Food prices are really climbing.
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#15 of 89 Old 03-13-2008, 10:02 AM
 
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whew wee....this was my question this morning.....anyone care to share their meal plans ? I have recently discovered I may have a low blood sugar issue...andam trying to eat healthier , no white flour , white rice or sugar.
so how do i make our food budget work with this type of limitation?
seems the healthier versions are so much more expensive.
I'm afraid I won't have enough in the budget to buy anything .....
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#16 of 89 Old 03-13-2008, 05:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rainbowmoon View Post
Yup. Gardening is the bomb as far as saving money. If you don't have a lawn or space, this is seriously THE YEAR to hook up with a local community garden. Ours does 20x10 or 20x20 plots for $15/$30 plot rent, and supplies mulch, compost, water, equipment and some seeds. You supply sweat equity and basically get free veggies. With square foot gardening, I'm AMAZED at how much food it's possible get out of a 20x10 plot. And honestly, I think that if food prices continue to rise there's going to be a run on community gardens next year, so get in while the getting is good... especially if you're guaranteed a plot of you've gardened there before.

Plus, it gives us a free, fun not-in-the-house thing to do as a family on weekends.

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Originally Posted by Shiloh View Post
with wheat/bread prices rising should I be baking my own bread?
We just started doing this recently. I think if you're generally buying grocery store sandwich bread you wouldn't break even, but our family likes sourdough and rye and all sorts of snobby "Whole Foods" breads, so being able to make my own IS making a dent in our bottom line. I use a bread maker, because I can set the bread to be done when I'm home from work which both saves money and makes my day a little bit brighter. Also, we make pizza crust (no more ordering out!), bagels, rolls, cinnamon buns, etc. on the dough cycle.
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#17 of 89 Old 03-13-2008, 06:47 PM
 
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We go to the farmers market for veggies and fruit in the spring-fall. I shop sales. We do eat processed food so if there is a sale on canned food I stock up. Same with pasta and dryed beans and rice.

Pax, loving wife since 2001, Mother of DD1 (11 1/2) and DD2 (8). Entering our 4th year of Homeschooling: Eclectic mix of curriculum and child interest lead. Backyard urban chicken chasers. 10/2014 items purged.
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#18 of 89 Old 03-13-2008, 06:53 PM
 
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I'm planting a huge garden. In the meantime I will just make more of a focus to buy locally. In theory, the prices shouldn't skyrocket as much on local foods.
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#19 of 89 Old 03-13-2008, 07:26 PM
 
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We're planting a garden from seed. It's been lots of fun for the kids and me.
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#20 of 89 Old 03-13-2008, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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great ideas keep them comming, I have a small townhouse I can plant some stuff but not much.

I know I have to get back into a routine as if I can spend 400 a month on groceries now...I need to obvious cut that drastically to 200 if groceries double in price.

I have a great farmer's market and bulk options around...
now things that before didn't make sense might soon if most prices double/triple...while still eating healthy...ugh...but best to do work now make adjustments before we all go holy crap I can't afford that!

I am going to have to start a routine of using my sprouter, yogurt maker, crock pot...etc..
well soon not for 3 more weeks almost done school

anyone got any NEW sites about frugal eating? I tried the hillbilly one but its heavy on carbs..

8 might be enough
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#21 of 89 Old 03-13-2008, 07:41 PM
 
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On the subject of CSA's I found one in our area are they always this expensive?

http://www.lettucepatchgardens.com/C...prings_csa.htm
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#22 of 89 Old 03-13-2008, 09:10 PM
 
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On the subject of CSA's I found one in our area are they always this expensive?

http://www.lettucepatchgardens.com/C...prings_csa.htm

In Maine the prices ranges from about $475-525 a season and a season is 20 weeks give or take. Generally I get enough produce for 2 adults and a kid, which since both kids are not huge veggies eaters is enough though I also supplement by going to the farmers market.

Honestly I have mixed feelings about CSA's, I have belonged to 2 different ones and while its great to get such fresh food, I am not sure I would say its a bargain financially, I suppose if you are a super adventurous eater uts a deal. Yet for me weeks I got stuff like kohlrabi or brussel sprouts that was just wasted food, personally I am more a fan of farmers markets though even they are not super cheap in my area. Last summer tomatoes during the summer were almost $4 a pound organic. I think value and savings is dependent on location.

For me CSA's are about local produce not so much to save money.

Shay

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#23 of 89 Old 03-13-2008, 09:25 PM
 
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Honestly I have mixed feelings about CSA's, I have belonged to 2 different ones and while its great to get such fresh food, I am not sure I would say its a bargain financially, I suppose if you are a super adventurous eater uts a deal. Yet for me weeks I got stuff like kohlrabi or brussel sprouts that was just wasted food
I would agree with that -- we have participated in a CSA for the last couple years and while we get some good veggies, we have typically received a LOT of bok choy. Which I like in moderation but really a family of 3 can only eat so much bok choy. Last year we split our CSA box with another family and that was less cost/waste but it was also more of a pain to coordinate, like who picked it up each week and splitting the "good stuff" between families. I'm not really sure if it saved us money. FTR though I would be THRILLED if our CSA loaded us up on brussel sprouts, I love them! We would get a little broccoli and every now and then asparagus, but mostly it was green leafy sort of veggies.
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#24 of 89 Old 03-13-2008, 11:51 PM
 
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How is the quality on CSAa? I must admit, I like to choose my own produce at the FM, and am a little wary of what I might get in a CSA....
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#25 of 89 Old 03-14-2008, 02:28 AM
 
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Weirdly, for us, a lot of what we eat is cheaper processed than making our own. The main thing I can think of is lasagna. To make as much I'd need to to feed us, would cost somewhere between $15-$18, even buying the stuff on special. We can buy similar/bigger lasagna's with more variety of things in them for about $12. Part of me feels like we should be eating healthier, but it's cheaper & easier, both very important to us given our very limited budget & the fact both dh & I hate coooking.

I do wish I could manage to create a decent sourdough starter and actually keep it alive long enough to make some good bread, though. Sourdough bread is the only kind we've found that dh can eat, and it's gone up a lot in price already.

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#26 of 89 Old 03-14-2008, 02:47 AM
 
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Well actually I found a pretty awesome site where people share great deals on food, HBA and well... pretty much everything.

I have done really well with the HBA part of it (Shampoo's Conditioner's Soap's Toothpaste's Razor's ETC.) that I have alot more money to spend on food items.

Right now, I am in the stockpiling stage for food. We are on the brim of a MAJOR recession, so I am going to stock until there is no more room to stock. Most of it is free or near free when I buy it, so if for some reason we pull through this I will give what I don't need to friends and family in need, and then shelters etc.

PM me if you would like more details!

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#27 of 89 Old 03-14-2008, 07:31 AM
 
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How is the quality on CSAa? I must admit, I like to choose my own produce at the FM, and am a little wary of what I might get in a CSA....
We've never had a quality concern, all our CSA food has been extremely fresh and tasty. But I would guess this just really depends on your farm.
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#28 of 89 Old 03-14-2008, 10:52 AM
 
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Well actually I found a pretty awesome site where people share great deals on food, HBA and well... pretty much everything.

I have done really well with the HBA part of it (Shampoo's Conditioner's Soap's Toothpaste's Razor's ETC.) that I have alot more money to spend on food items.

Right now, I am in the stockpiling stage for food. We are on the brim of a MAJOR recession, so I am going to stock until there is no more room to stock. Most of it is free or near free when I buy it, so if for some reason we pull through this I will give what I don't need to friends and family in need, and then shelters etc.

PM me if you would like more details!
Even the MSM is now tossing around the word DEPRESSION and comparing these times to 1929. THAT IS NOT GOOD.
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#29 of 89 Old 03-14-2008, 11:11 AM
 
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We went vegetarian again, and it cut our grocery bill in HALF.
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#30 of 89 Old 03-14-2008, 12:44 PM
 
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Quote:
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How is the quality on CSAa? I must admit, I like to choose my own produce at the FM, and am a little wary of what I might get in a CSA....

Well I have never had much of a complaint as far as quality at CSA's, generally its very good. My biggest issue is that even belonging to a CSA, I still am at the farmers market since aside from tomatoes and lettuce, it seems I never get enough of the stuff I like (snap peas being an example). Last summer despite paying $450 for a 20 week share, I was still averaging $50 a week at the farmers market, which adds up. Also IMO unless you are totally committed to cooking whatever you get which I am not its sometimes wasteful, the first 2 seasons I probably ended up tossing half the stuff out or letting it rot.

Shay

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