I think we can cut some more costs by shopping at cosco ( neighbor is willing to get us stuff). What is good to get at Cosco? I use a lot of baking soda (4lbs for $2 at the commissary) Thinking of getting coffee there too.
I also am looking at Azure Standard, I'm in large city so I'm sure there is a drop point near me. The bulk beans and oats look a lot cheaper, possibly the canned tomatoes. How do you store the large bags of perishable food? We do have a large house and I can rearrange the pantry to store bulk foods, but I don't want bugs!
Any other money saving tips welcome. I would love to buy part of a cow or a lamb, but around me grass fed meat is $8-10/lb, that is too much for right now. I have a large freezer that I am either going to fill or unplug to save on electricity.
Me I go through all the local mailers and have in mind what I know we usually eat or haven't had in a while and are hankering for. I go through and circle what prices I'm liking on things. I also have in mind roughly the costs for certain things at certain stores. We've got a local market here that doesn't have a mailer and people think of as pricer, but acutally has some good deals on certain items.
I've been to those big buy items stores (with someone else who has a membership), and really, I haven't seen a major price difference. It's great if you want to buy in large quantities, but I've got alot of my usual prices memorized, and I just don't see the savings people claim there are. I typically buy ingredient type stuff rather than already processed, so maybe that's where the savings are?
Check around, still with local farmers, you never know. Have you checked out localharvest.org ?
We also make from scratch here, and there is rarely a product I use that has a coupon.
I looked into Azure Standard, but they don't have service in my area. Wonder if there is something similar that does? I'm in VA
We used to drink regular cow's milk ($3/gal) and switched to organic ($6/gal) and now drink raw ($8.50/gal). I've been able to make that change ($16.50/week) by changing other things around. I'd like to incorporate some red meat into our diets also, but the cost seems prohibitive.
As for a csa, that hasn't worked for us cost wise. I can grow much more of what we eat for far less cost. I spend $40 renting land and about $100 on supplies (seeds, seedlings, etc, fencing, stakes) I end up with plenty of fresh food from late June-late september plus storage items (potatoes, onions, garlic, squashes, frozen tomatillos, etc) for the winter, usually running out in mid-feb.
I have found that when I am running low on $ at the end of the month I tend to buy lower quality, quick or prepared snack stuff. I'm curious to hear how other families work with a budget, especially when it isn't due to actual financial concerns. I have a budget, but no consequences when I break it, kwim?
Me. With 1 spouse, 4 kids, 16 chickens, 74 matchbox cars, 968,562+ legos, a dishwasher waiting to be emptied, a washing machine waiting to be filled and a lost cup of tea in the house.
I'll be doing most of my shopping at Trader Joe's as well. I was doing alot at our local equivalent of Whole Foods, but that is so much $$$.
Do you have a Henry's where you live? They have the best deals on produce anywhere especially when they have sales, and a wider variety than TJ.
I don't get alot at Costco but they do have Tillamook cheese at ours for 6.99 for 2lbs (and that lasts us over a month)! Tillamook is basically pastured, very good quality. They also occasionally carry Kerrygold butter but it is about the same price as Trader Joe's. I also occasionally buy a whole deboned leg of lamb there and stretch that into several meals.
I tried a CSA but it turned out to be stressful for me working fulltime and trying to figure out at the last minute what to do with a gazillion pounds of bitter greens and several handfuls of very hot peppers, etc. Maybe when I get to be a SAHM I will have time to be more creative but we shall see. For now I do much better making a detailed menu and just buying what produce I want.
Winco has a great bulk bin section and carries Earthbound Farm mixed greens for 99 cents, it's 1.99 at Trader Joes and 3.99 my local HFS.
Fresh and Easy has organic pasta sauce for as cheap as Trader Joes, yet they use olive oil in all theirs instead of soybean oil...much better quality.
And I am still looking for the best deals.
Happily married to DH for 6 years, in process to foster-adopt 3 children DD4, DS3 and DS2. We may be bringing half brother age 9 one day as well! We are not infertile, we just have decided that since there are precious children who need homes there is no need for us to have biological children.
We eat far from 100% organic, mostly because its just not really available around here - unless I feel like driving an hour+ each way every week to go grocery shopping, much 'organic' stuff is simply out of reach. We do mostly eat organic when it comes to beans/rice/pasta/wheat/etc simply because that I can buy in bulk from my co-op, and since it keeps its no big deal. But fresh produce/dairy/etc is hard to come buy, so mostly we just don't.
If your looking to stock-up on stuff and buy in bulk I strongly urge you to either a: join a food co-op (check on unfi's website for one near you), or b: start ordering by the case offline - amazon for instance has lots of organic stuff by the case, from annies mac'n cheese to pasta, rice, beans, etc. If your ordering 25/50# bags of beans/flour/rice/wheat/etc its strongly advised to keep them in a freezer for a few weeks to make sure any bugs in them are good and dead, then keep in air-tight containers (5-gallon buckets with gamma seal lids, for example. We have 5 gallon glass ball jars, though I wouldn't buy them again, as you can't get spare parts if/when you break lids/handles/etc).