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I use frozen veggies and fruit. The fruit i leave out to thaw if I am planning on it for dessert or in my lunch box during the day for lunch. I only buy veggies I use everyday fresh-like onions and green peppers. My kids like the frozen veggies and fruits just the same as fresh but they last longer.
Obedience comes before feelings.
Growing up we always had apples, bananas, canned tomatoes and oranges for fruit. Peas, carrots, celery, cabbage, turnip, parsnip, potatoes and onions for veg. Mom was on a tight budget and we made due with the basics. When something was seasonal and on sale we would get treats of melon, nectarines, etc. As money became less tight we had more variety. Not to say we didn't have variety of flavour. We grew up eating curries, stir-frys, mexican, and many other things. The food was prepared well with great seasoning. We never felt deprived of anything or that we were missing out on things. We also had powdered milk in the house for baking and for times that we ran out of money and milk at the same time. Mom never put on an air of not having enough and I didn't realize until much later how hard she worked at giving us nutrition on a tight budget.
NOBODY WILL DO IT FOR ME!!!!
Short term goal: 200lbs
Short term reward = New CD
There is also a web site you can buy food and fresh produce cheap. You can check if it is available in your area. www.sharecolorado.com another is angel ministry. You will have to google that one.
Don't eat unless you are hungry!
Mini Goal 145 by 12/1/07
For whatever it's worth, I've found that much of the meat I buy and certain kinds of produce are usually cheaper at Trader Joe's than at the major grocery stores. But, I've learned that this does shift around, so I don't put anything into the cart without looking at the prices.
Costco or Sam's Club CAN be good options, but only if you have from to store what you buy in bulk and can actually consume enough of the product before it goes bad to save over what you'd have spent on a smaller amount at the grocery store.
Kyliesmomkim, you're a rock star. I'm saving your tips for my own use.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an achievement but a habit." -Aristotle
These are from a friend of mine and I thought it might help
Here are some thoughts, as a means to reducing your current expenditure on groceries. I am feeding a family of 6: 2 adults, 2 teens who eat like adults and then some, a set of 8 year old twins. I budget $400/month for food groceries, and another $50 for paper goods/cleaning supplies/H & B supplies. I have a separate budget for petcare. Using your family situation : 2 weeks with 2 adults and one teen, then 2 weeks of 2 adults and 3 teens, I calculated that this would be my equivalent of $266.67 on food groceries and $33.34 for paper/cleaning/HBA. This equals a total of $300.01/month, which is about $700 less than what you are currently spending. Understanding that personal dietary preferences, time constraints as well as varying grocery prices throughout the US, come in to play, I do feel that you can take steps to at least reduce your expenses, at least in half. The following is what I learned from my own family, have read over the years, have gleaned from others. There is always room for improvement. : )
Cleaning supplies: I am not brand loyal, I will try a product at least once. I buy the following: all purpose cleaner, ammonia, swiffer refills, Bon ami, nylon scrubby pads and Brillo pads, dishwashing detergent, . Vinegar and baking soda work well. I take advantage of sales, stock up a cabinet in the laundry room when I get a deal. I use double coupons. , laundry detergent, bleach, Reduce the amount of recommended chemicals, often 1/2 will clean just fine!
HBA-again I am not too picky with brands , stock up when on sale, use double coupons-esp. shampoo with teens in the house!
Paper goods: we use cloth rags and $ store microfiber cloths for cleaning, paper grocery bags for draining fried foods-this greatly reduces our need for paper towels. I usually use one roll/month. We also use cloth napkins.
Some meal specific ideas that are inexpensive:
Bfst: cold cereal , hm oatmeal from the canister-just add dried fruits/sugar, hm cornbread, hm muffins/Fr toast/waffles/pancakes. Toast w/ hm jam/Peanut butter/ hm cinnamon sugar mix over butter/margarine. We limit fresh OJ to one 8 oz glass per person/bfst. Other juices are available (no more than $2 for 1/2 gal-use cpns, buy on sale, use store brands), as well as hot beverages: hm coffee/tea/cocoa. On the weekend, I serve the above as well as eggs at least twice/month. I serve a meat with eggs: pork sausage/bacon/pan fried ham slices. I bake on the weekend and freeze as needed.
Lunches: everyone takes lunch to work/school. Adults w/ access to a microwave can take leftovers/hm soups. Kids w/ thermoses can take soup/chilli. HM sandwiches: I only buy 2 LBS of deli cold cuts/week. Once they are gone, that's it. This is for $$ as well as health reasons (I usually only buy Boar's Head). Then I have HM turkey/chicken/egg/tuna salad sandwiches, meatloaf, P butter and jam/marshmallow. Salads. I include a refillable bottle with water or milk; a piece of fresh fruit or canned or veggie sticks/dip. HM cheese sticks and a hm cookie/hm slice of cake/pie upon occassion. HM granola bars A refillable mini Tupperware of vanilla yogurt that was bought in a Quart container. On the weekends, leftovers for all, or a soup, a simple skillet dish. I make tea at work, DH gets coffee. We both have access to bottled water, too.
Dinner-Milk is the beverage of choice here, then we move on to water, hm iced tea. In the colder months, I often serve a pot of herbal tea at dinner. I pay $2 or less/box of 20 bags.
We eat seasonally, take advantage of sales, use double cpns, follow our price book and stick to it (If my best price for London Broil is $1.59, I will not pay $2.49 just because I want it. I wait until it's on sale, then stock the freezer). We garden, home can or freeze. I make jam, applesauce, too. I shop alternative stores.
Buy dried peas/beans and soak your own instead of buying canned, for savings.
Buy blocks of cheese and use a hand plane for sandwich/burger slices, slice some for crackers, and shred the rest for baking/recipes (I store this in the freezer)
I keep an inventory of my pantry and my freezers-this helps in meal planning for the month. I plan 2 Cp nights during the week due to after work commitments, one soup night, one big meal night. I vary the meats to avoid boredom. I also plan the starches and veggies, as well as the sides to avoid repetition. Now that it's Lent, we do not eat meat on Fridays.
I typical meal here has meat, a starch, 1-2 veggies and a salad/slaw/fruit. Dessert isn;t served every night. When it is, it's hm cookies/or w/o fruit, hm puddings w/ or w/o whipped cream, yogurt w/ or w/ o some berries sprinkled on top. Fruit salad and fruit crisps are popular with us, too. The crisp can be served w/ ice cream or a dollop of vanilla yogurt,.
I follow the big meat principal. Sunday is usually a big meat meal; after dinner I remove the rest of the meat from the bone, slice/shred/cube/grind for future meals and freeze. The bone/skin is placed in a stock pot along w/ the juices from the deglazed pan. I bring this to a boil, then allow to simmer 1 hour. Strain, let cool and refrigerate. I then remove the hard fat layer from the top (this CAN be used in frying/baking if desparate)and you now have free soup stock-no need for canned gravy, cream soups for casseroles, soup bouillon. I bought 2 13 lb shank hams (one for the freezer and one to cook) on Sat, I now have ham stock and a large 12 inch square Glad container full of l/o ham.
Do your own prep-buy a chuck roast and cut it up for stir fry/stew/grind your own hamburger. Ditto boneless pork, BSCB.
I buy a 5 LB bag of carrots/month. Once home, I peel, then leave some in large chunks for stew, slice some for steaming and serving as a side veggie-these 2 are then frozen (freezing brings out the sweetness, too!), and I also hand shred some for salad, coleslaw, fish cakes, sandwich wraps and refrigerate. $2.49 usually for 5 lbs = 50 cents/lb. (this past week was $1.87) A 16 oz bag of frozen carrot slices goes for 88 cents at the discount grocer, about $1.59 otherwise at a national chain. Preshredded carrots go for $1.99 a 12 oz bag-I spend 50 cents for 16 oz. Stew veggies (the reason for the larger carrots) sell for $2.49 at the IGA, again I pay 50 cents and only take 15 minutes of my time? I also sliver red peppers and chop some for the freezer when I find them for under $1.49/lb.
Plain pasta or rice cooked in hm chicken broth, add some herbs is much cheaper and healthier than the $1 on sale pkts of Rice a roni/Knorr mixes. There are health and $$ benefits for changing how you get to your goal-you want to serve a flavored rice. Spend $2 for the pkts or use some of the 50 cents/LB white rice and some of your frozen "free" soup stock.
Make your own seasoning mixes and modify them to your preferences. I make my own taco seasoning and keep it in a plastic mini container.
Make your own salad dressings, coleslaw dressing, tarter sauce, cocktail sauce. You probably already have the ingredients on hand. I do this because of the salt, the cost and the chemicals I want to avoid.
Have a soup night-ours is Saturday,which is a busy day for me as we both work full time. It is comforting having a crockpot filled w/ hm soup waiting for you., Add some hm biscuits and dinner is done! this is also a great way to use up leftovers from the week, that meaty ham bone, some of your hm stock.
Casseroles/stews/stirfry over rice are inexpensive meat stretchers (meat tends to be the most expensive part of the grocery budget)
Eat vegetarian at least once a week.
Use instant milk in cooking/baking if it is cheaper than fresh.
Crock pot meals-easy on your time and budget! often using cheaper, and tastier cuts of meat. Chilli, marinara, stock, roasts, chops, soups, meatballs, stuffed peppers all come to mind.
Do you eat out a lot? It's a rare treat here. McD's alone can easily set me back about $30. Ouch!
In the summer, we often enjoy a large pasta bowl filled with garden salad, and topped w/. sliced grilled meat. Add hm vinaigrette, a pitcher of hm tea-yummy!
For snacks: microwave poporn , grahams w/ jam/ p butter, hm cookies, low fat hm granola bars, cold cereal, cheese and crackers, fruit or veggie and dip tray (make your own! the stores here get $20 each!!). Tea, iced water, cocoa all satisfy.
I don't know how you cook, what you like to eat, but I have thrown a lot of ideas your way. The general advise is to try one tip at a time, to try to do all can be overwhelming.
Stick to Let's discuss dinner, Kitchen Frugality, Penny Pinching on the AOL message boards-some great folks and great tips/support!
I also meant to add: whenever possible, just make it yourself from scratch for significant savings.
Mini Goal 145 by 12/1/07
Thank you for all the great suggestions!
We just moved so I am learning the new town as I fast as I can. I just found the farmers market this morning and so I am going to check it out this weekend.
I did ask my boys to help me buy fruits and veggies they would be willing to eat. They told me they like corn, carrots, peas, and green beans. This is so boring to me who grew up on Brussel Sprouts, yams, acorn squash, etc. They nearly died when I suggested Artichokes..
A couple of suggestions - I buy a lot of frozen fruits and veggies. From a nutritional standpoint, they are just as good as fresh ones and they are cheaper than fresh, especially for out of season fruits and veggies.
The other suggestion I had a friend of mine told me about. She buys a lot of produce at the local farmer's market and then freezes it so it lasts longer. I love our farmer's market since I can get a lot of the fruits about 1/2 the price as the grocery store (I bought a huge thing of blueberries for the same price as a pint!)
You've gotten some great advice! I just wanted to add that you might want to check out the article "Eating Healthy On a Budget" in the Nutrition Resource Center for more ideas.
Hope that helps,
"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call "failure" is not the falling down but the staying down." Mary Pickford
"No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch."
Plan EVERY meal, including snacks. It's much easier to resist the impulse buy if your list covers everything you will need for the week.
Now that I'm planning weekly meals, I have cut down on all the packaged crude I was buying before and my grocery bill is way cheaper then it was.
Hi Amy, Remember we eat with our eyes first. Pay attention to presentation. Simple but effective: Cut fruit (apples, oranges, bananas) into bite size wedges or chunks. Arrange in a fun way on the plate with a bowl of fruit yogurt &/or peanut butter for dipping. It's amazing how much more fruit gets eaten when its bite sized and begging for fingers to pick it up. Same goes with carrots, celery and cherry tomatoes with lite ranch dressing.
Now through the fall, pay attention to all the wonderful fresh seasonal fruits and vegies, which are cheaper now. I think it's worth the investment whenever possible. Also, if you eat with your children it can make a big difference and set a good example. Finally, fruit on cereal and in pancakes...
peace & joy,
Namaste: "I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light, and of peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, We are One." by Ram Das
If you keep on doing what you've always done, you'll keep on getting what you always got. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. (Albert Einstein)
When I have to be budget conscious, I try to buy fruits that will not spoil. My kids love the apple cinnamon flavored applesauce and strawberry applesauce. DD likes canned diced peaches. And both kids love raisins and yogurt covered raisins. I buy frozen veggies, which have far more nutrients than canned, and will also keep almost indefinitely in the freezer, so you don't have to worry about them going bad. Baby carrots are not too expensive, and served with ranch, the kids love that. A way to get a fruit and veggie serving in is taking celery (which I usually have for recipes), put a little bit of peanut butter in the center (ALWAYS have that on hand), and a few raisins...call it "ants on a log" and the kids will eat it. Hope that helps you out.
TEAM CO-LEADER - SPClass of January 6-12, 2008
~~ Nothing is impossible with God! ~~
So, you ONLY lost 2 pounds this week? Well, that's 104 pounds in one year. Is that fast enough results for you? :)
I am a mother of two boys 9 and 6. My family lives on a budget and I am having a hard time incorporating fruits and veggies into our diet. any ideas on how to shop and get all the food groups covered so we can have healthier snacks or choices for dinners?