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ive just started but it seems to cost me the same or more. we only buy organic 1st off so that may be why.<br>
but,for example, to make my homemade marinara sauce i need 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes that costs $2.99 and thats before i add the onion,garlic and basil. the recipe only makes 1 jar size of sauce.<br>
so how am i saving money? i am happy having homemade food and i know its healthier but we need ot think about our spending too kwim?
 

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Yes.<br><br>
In our house at least it is. We stockpile loss leaders and basic baking supplies and then make our menus based around what is in our home already. It really is cheaper for us- but it takes a good few months to get supplies stocked up and then it takes some time to learn how to utilize the grocery sales with what we already have in the house.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>counterGOPI</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11538735"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">ive just started but it seems to cost me the same or more. we only buy organic 1st off so that may be why.<br>
but,for example, to make my homemade marinara sauce i need 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes that costs $2.99 and thats before i add the onion,garlic and basil. the recipe only makes 1 jar size of sauce.<br>
so how am i saving money? i am happy having homemade food and i know its healthier but we need ot think about our spending too kwim?</div>
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I have found the 28oz jar organic crushed tomatoes at the dollar store. When I find them I buy 20 or so. If I don't have them, I use something else, yk?
 

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Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't.<br><br>
It might be cheaper at times to just buy that jar of sauce. Then again, how many jars worth of sauce do you make at a time? If you find that it's actually 2-3 jars worth, then maybe it actually does save you some money.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>counterGOPI</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11538735"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">ive just started but it seems to cost me the same or more. we only buy organic 1st off so that may be why.<br>
but,for example, to make my homemade marinara sauce i need 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes that costs $2.99 and thats before i add the onion,garlic and basil. the recipe only makes 1 jar size of sauce.<br>
so how am i saving money? i am happy having homemade food and i know its healthier but we need ot think about our spending too kwim?</div>
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For me, the jar of pre-made stuff that I would buy is 8 bucks a jar - so yes, spending 2.99 on tomatoes is still cheaper. But, I would have most likely got them on sale and stocked up, so they would not be that much. The jar that I can get for 3 bucks, well, the homemade stuff wins taste-wise hands down.<br><br>
I spend quite a bit getting very high quality, fresh, local food. I am positive that I spend more per serving then most people buying pre-made food. But I am also positive that my food is much more nutritious, tastes better, and is generally better quality then the pre-made. And when I buy pre-made food that does confirm to my specifics (like from the farmers market) it is WAY more expensive then buying the ingredients and doing it myself.
 

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I think sometimes buying packaged food can be the same cost or occasionally cheaper than if you were making the exact same thing from scratch. I discovered once that ingredients for a home made lasagna would cost me about 50% more than buying a frozen one of the same size.<br><br>
But when we're in grocery bill downsizing mode, I tend to make things like potato casseroles or split pea soups, in which making from scratch can be dirt cheap but still tasty. Making your own bread is probably cheaper in most cases, as is eating bulk oatmeal for breakfast rather than any type of boxed cereal. We usually try from scratch cooking along those lines instead of replicating packaged foods.
 

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I really do think it is. (The intangible here is that your health will be better and so, in the long run, you are saving on doctor's bills). That aside, though...<br><br>
Your example is a perfect story that shows how stockpiling food and having a garden are extremely frugal. I saw Muir Glen organic crushed tomatoes for a very good price the other day (I don't remember what it was, but it's in my price book somewhere... too lazy to go look it up). I didn't need them, but I knew I would use them this winter. Instead of paying $3.50/can I've paid about $2 and it will pay off in 6 months.<br><br>
In the prior example about lasagne in a box: if you go out to the store today and buy nothing on sale, you are still ahead because of the quality of the ingredients. The ground meat that is in these pre-packaged items is made from meat that cannot be packaged separately and sold because it is such low quality. The sauces are made in huge batches with substandard ingredients such as vegetable pieces left over from processing. The cheese has fillers and is usually processed. You're going to pay over $6 for this crap.<br><br>
Lasagne at home: the beef is from a cow I met at a friend's farm, grain fed and I ordered the ground beef for my side of been to be 90% lean. The sauce is made from tomatoes and onions in my garden and basil and oregano from my herb garden. (Carrots, I can't seem to raise, so those are store-bought.) The cheese is good-quality purchased mozzarella (store-bought). I probably spend a total of $4 for lasagne that makes two large pans. The final cost per serving must be pennies on the dollar and the quality is exceptional. Even if everything is store-bought, you are paying no more.<br><br>
So, OP, don't give up on cooking from scratch, just start stockpiling some food from sales if you are able and if you can garden, do so, knowing that you are feeding your family health in addition to food.
 

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Some are, some aren't. You really have to do the comparison for yourself as some of the examples here are the opposite for me. It all depends on the price of food in your area.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bwylde</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11539826"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Some are, some aren't. You really have to do the comparison for yourself as some of the examples here are the opposite for me. It all depends on the price of food in your area.</div>
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True! And I wanted to add this: if you buy ingredients for just one meal, it can be become more expensive easily. I usually cook enough for at least two meals, I either put it in the freezer or we do something different with the rest the next day (for example, the marinara sauce can go over pasta one day and be a topping on roasted vegetables the next).
 

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Hey there! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wave.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wave"><br><br>
I think it depends on where you live. When my parents lived in So. Cal., it was way cheaper to eat out. And they are super, amazingly, frugal. For example (they only went to hole in the wall places, but it being So Cal, usually the hole in the walls got fresher stuff than what even the organic farmer's market offered): one night --> eggplant dish, green vegetable broth soup, a rice porridge dish, and a large fresh broiled fish... all for $12. They were shown the fish before it was cooked and they had leftovers of everything. This became their new "favorite" restaurant after this meal.<br><br>
I've had friends and relatives in Manhattan claim for decades that it's cheaper to eat out than buy groceries, b/c everything had to be transported in. Where as in So. Cal everything is grown there.
 

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GOPI, thanks for posting this. I'm not a great cook anyway but I've always thought the same thing...and we always buy organic as well. I can find a lovely recipe with whole food ingredients that will cost me $8-10 total. For instance, there is one I like with barley, bell peppers, feta, olives, tomatoes, onions, capers, balsamic vinegar, and a few other things I can't think of....anyway, you can see how expensive that dish can be if you only have for instance, a little balsamic and barley on hand at the time. I can totally see how this would be dirt cheap from buying in bulk or on sale but that brings me to my next question....<br><br>
How do you stockpile large amounts of food when you live in a small house without a lot of storage or a deep freezer?
 

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I really do think it is. (The intangible here is that your health will be better and so, in the long run, you are saving on doctor's bills). That aside, though...<br><br>
Your example is a perfect story that shows how stockpiling food and having a garden are extremely frugal. I saw Muir Glen organic crushed tomatoes for a very good price the other day (I don't remember what it was, but it's in my price book somewhere... too lazy to go look it up). I didn't need them, but I knew I would use them this winter. Instead of paying $3.50/can I've paid about $2 and it will pay off in 6 months.<br><br>
In the prior example about lasagne in a box: if you go out to the store today and buy nothing on sale, you are still ahead because of the quality of the ingredients. The ground meat that is in these pre-packaged items is made from meat that cannot be packaged separately and sold because it is such low quality. The sauces are made in huge batches with substandard ingredients such as vegetable pieces left over from processing. The cheese has fillers and is usually processed. You're going to pay over $6 for this crap.<br><br>
Lasagne at home: the beef is from a cow I met at a friend's farm, grain fed and I ordered the ground beef for my side of been to be 90% lean. The sauce is made from tomatoes and onions in my garden and basil and oregano from my herb garden. (Carrots, I can't seem to raise, so those are store-bought.) The cheese is good-quality purchased mozzarella (store-bought). I probably spend a total of $4 for lasagne that makes two large pans. The final cost per serving must be pennies on the dollar and the quality is exceptional. Even if everything is store-bought, you are paying no more.<br><br>
So, OP, don't give up on cooking from scratch, just start stockpiling some food from sales if you are able and if you can garden, do so, knowing that you are feeding your family health in addition to food.<br>
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exactly. I couldnt have said it better myself. I think making stuff home made is just a balance of being frugal and organized. You really need to know what things you have on hand, whats on sale, not buying things that you will only use once.<br><br>
I am no way a expert. When I go to the store, the first thing that pops into my brain is "how can I make this myself" Or if I see ads for meals, or restraunts.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pixiewytch</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11540142"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">How do you stockpile large amounts of food when you live in a small house without a lot of storage or a deep freezer?</div>
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We live in an 800sq foot apartment - 2 adults, one toddler.<br><br>
I have almost NO cabinet space in the kitchen (I store pots/pans/dishes/bowls/cups there, and my spices - that's all the room we have in cabinets). So, in the kitchen (8x8ft), I have a sturdy five shelf thing I got at one of the home stores for about 35-40 bucks. That is where I keep my "everyday" food (mostly the opened flours, beans, rices, oils, vinegars, cooking wines, baking stuff, dried fruits/veggies, etc.).<br><br>
We use the second bedroom closet for the majority of our food storage - all our clothing is in the first bedroom closet (which has a couple of drawer-tower things itself to maximize storage) and a dresser in the first bedroom.<br>
I have a long four shelf bookcase in the 2ndBCloset to maximize space there. I use the closet shelf, as well. I also have jarred/canned goods on the floor of the closet. And some items in those large rubbermaid tote-thingies. It is not the most attractive set-up, but, closet doors close, so, not a huge concern to me.<br><br>
The freezer I can't help you with. We only have the over the top freezer, as of right now. But, a lot of things that you would freeze, you might be able to can, depending on how adventurous you're feeling <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">. I think very carefully before I buy (or store) anything that I intend to put in the freezer, especially if it's long term. I have a gallon of mulberries I picked and 2 quarts of strawberries (CSA) that I individually froze for DD to eat during the winter (and those would be wicked expensive to buy), but, instead of freezing the massive amounts of spinach, chard, and kale we got in our CSA (can you freeze chard and kale, anyway? I don't know), I canned those.<br><br>
The most important thing is to be creative with space. We pulled our bed about a foot from the wall, and store all our extra blankets behind there (along with DD's crib to become bed and mattress). You can't tell anything's there unless you're right up next to the bed. Our sheets are between the mattress and box spring. This freed up space to store some extra hygiene needs in the (very small) linen closet. Our "first aid" kit is in a large backpack high up in the clothes closet where I can get to it quickly, but DD can not.<br><br>
I will say, a major requirement for us to be able to do this was to declutter a LOT, but, that was about a year long process for us, so, please don't think I just waltzed into an empty closet and started piling food <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Cooking from scratch is cheaper when you are using inexpensive ingredients. When I was a very poor single parent I didn't make lasagna - I couldn't afford the ingredients ! We ate a lot of soups, beans and inexpensive cuts of meat. I would buy oatmeal in bulk that was what we ate for breakfast not cereal. . . Then cooking from scratch was super cheap. IMO
 

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It is always more expensive to start cooking from scratch. You have to buy almost all the ingredients you need. After a little while you will start to build up a pantry of staples and spices, and you won't need to buy all of the ingredients for one dish. That's when it starts to get cheaper. If you can stockpile and store bulk foods, then it gets way cheaper to cook from scratch.
 

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I would say yes. But you have to know what you're doing and how to do.<br>
I grew up with a mom who cooked from scratch like her mother and MIL did before her. DH the same. So we 99% scratch cook.<br><br>
My house we are in now since last year, there is plenty of storage space for a large walk in pantry and my huge huge freezer. But before that we had less space and worked with that.<br><br>
To give some ideas:<br>
For example- a bag of rice 5 lbs was at its cheapest $1.89 on sale for the house brand which is the exact same thing as the name brand. Now you would get it around $2.50 on a good sale. But we eat rice at least once a week. I cook about a cup or less of rice with home made chicken stock and the 5 lbs lasts us about 3 months. Stock if you buy in the can if full of salt and is only about a cup unless you buy the larger one. Making stock is pennies on the dollar. IF you buy the predone rice packages- they are very pricey for once a week and what could be in the ingredients??<br><br>
ANother snack idea: Popcorn. A vat of those popcorn bags full of weird ingredients is expensive. A bag of corn for popping is less than $3. We pop 1/4 cup in a small pot on the stove w/ veggie oil at least 4 times a week. This bag lasts again about 3 months. And the taste- yum.<br><br>
Baked pasta dishes. I see them at the grocery, costco, gfs, etc or take out of restrnts or delis. They are priced anywhere from $5 to $50 for catering.<br>
A bag of rigatoni or your favorite pasta, 1/2 lb of ricotta, 2 cups of home made sauce, and 6 oz of mozella you shredded yourself- less than $5.<br>
I always make this for parties and its always a hit.<br><br>
Buy your meats on sale and freeze in portion sizes you family uses. We buy beef on sale (now that our meat 1/4 is done and eaten) and make ground patties and freeze them. When we want burgers, whatever we just take out of the freezer. Make your own meatballs. Better tasting and better for you.<br>
Buy a whole chicken on sale. Cut up the meat and freeze and keep the bones. Use for stock.<br><br><br>
Keep in mind DH and I have cooked like this always and people watch us in awe but its much cheaper to cook this way and much healthier. We had a couple in our neighborhood over the other day for ribs. I also made Mac n cheese for our kids. It took 5 minutes. We all were chatting as I boiled the mac (creamettes elbow mac $2 and I use a cup) and chopped up cheddar and melted in a white sauce I made of butter, flour and milk. As I combined it, she commented how it took the same amount of time to make the boxed mac n cheese w the yellow packet and this is much much yummier as our kids would stand by.<br><br>
HTH!
 

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i think it depends on what you're making.<br><br>
as an avid cook, there are several dishes i make from scratch that are definately cheaper than their pre-packaged counterparts. but there are some other dishes that i buy already prepared......as it would easily cost 25%-50% more to make from scratch, and some days you just can't beat the convenience. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
i do all baking from scratch though, as the prices of pre-baked goods is astronomical for the simple/cheap ingredients.
 

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Yes, I am in awe! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bow.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bow"><br><br>
I don't know what it is but in my house I can't seem to cook/prepare food for five minutes without screaming kids wanting my undivided attention. DS doesn't want to help, just wants to complain and DD is too little yet not content with her own pots and pans to bang on. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> Okay, back to topic though.<br><br>
Where do you all buy your bulk food? I truly am interested in giving it a try since our grocery bill continues to skyrocket. I've never stepped foot in a costco to even know if they have organics or anything "wholesome". We don't have local co ops around here and farmer's markets are scarce. Give me some ideas on where to stock up on this stuff.
 

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See, you say "cooking from scratch" and then "can of crushed tomatoes." To me, that doesn't compute. ;-) (Unless you canned the tomatoes yourself...)<br><br>
What about going to the Farmer's Market when it's half an hour to close, and picking up some slightly bruised tomatoes for super-cheap, since they don't want to waste the gas on hauling them back for the compost heap? Then make your sauce with that... it will be fresher, tastier, and cheaper.<br><br>
Spices just kill me on the grocery bill... but I don't have to buy them nearly as often now, because I have what I need. ONly things I use a LOT of (like chili powder) have to get repurchased frequently.<br><br>
When it comes to canned organic tomatoes, Costco sometimes has Muir Glen stuff. When they do, if I need it, I get a box. I always buy pre-made tomato paste, because I just don't have the patience or equipment to make it... but the canned tomatoes are strictly an expedient. I only use them if I'm short on time; I really prefer fresh tomatoes any day.
 

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We're trying to eat different foods to save money. I spend at least $200 a week on groceries, but now that we're doing this, I spend about $130. I try to go as simple as possible with everything I plan for a meal. For instance, for lunch, we do berries, and a wrap with hummus, avacodo and greens. I'm saving a lot of money and our meals are DELCICIOUS.
 
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