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TIGERCAT05's Photo TIGERCAT05 Posts: 232
7/30/10 11:48 P

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I have a menu for the month with 28 different meals. For example, we have chicken every Monday made 4 different ways. So when chicken is on sale, I buy enough for the whole month.
If you are just getting started with having to buy everything, it will be more expensive until you are stocked up.

One of the greatest joys in life is doing something somebody says you can't!


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GOLDIES1's Photo GOLDIES1 SparkPoints: (27,574)
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7/4/10 1:50 A

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I love your suggestion on buying the spices at the health food store-its sensible and economical. I've always wanted to try more spices but reluctant to pay the price to use just a little.

Edited by: GOLDIES1 at: 7/4/2010 (01:53)
You get credit for what you finish, not what you start.


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NORASPAT's Photo NORASPAT Posts: 30,744
7/2/10 2:16 P

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I AND ONE SON ARE VERY SENSITIVE TO MSG. MY GRANDKIDS WANTED NOODLES. I BOUGHT THEM AND FRANKLY DID NOT WANT TO USE THE PACKET OF SEASONING. I BUY SWANSON LOW FAT, NO MSG AND LOW SODIUM CHICKEN BROTH. I USE ONE OF THE NOODLES PACKS IN A CAN OF THE BROTH AND THEY LOVED IT. I THINK MAYBE I COULD EVEN EAT THOSE NOODLES. YES IT IS A LITTLE MORE EXPENSIVE BUT MORE HEALTHY FOR THE KIDS. PAT IN MAINE.

Edited by: NORASPAT at: 7/2/2010 (14:17)
Pat in Maine.
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TAYGETSSTRONG's Photo TAYGETSSTRONG Posts: 270
6/26/10 3:11 P

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I think Pat in Maine is on to something! Spices are SO expensive if you buy them at a regular store, and often you'll buy something for a recipe that you may never use again (and of course, by 'you' I mean 'I') :) In ontario we have Bulk Barn, and lots of 'organic' type stores have bulk spice. Hit up your local dollar store for cheap glass spice containers (cause plastic will leech the flavour) and go wild with Bulk!




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JENN240308's Photo JENN240308 Posts: 267
6/26/10 10:22 A

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Fresh fruits and veggies often make up a bulk of the money I spend at the store, so I try often will buy these from farmers markets or farm stands because they will often be slightly cheaper, but more importantly, I know they are super fresh and have not spent a week on a plane and then another week on a truck getting to my local grocery store!

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MERRYCAKES's Photo MERRYCAKES Posts: 523
6/21/10 9:20 P

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Also - check out your local "ethnic" markets for spices - I get such great deals there! You can often find spices for pennies instead of dollars and they are still excellent. Sometimes even in a supermarket the "ethnic" section spices are cheap, hehe.

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NORASPAT's Photo NORASPAT Posts: 30,744
6/21/10 7:16 P

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For me the very best place to buy spices is from the natural food store IF and only IF they have the bulk buying spice bins. There you can buy a very small amount of any spice that you may not be familiar with. If your recipe calls for one teaspoonful you can even buy just that.I removed the labels from the old spice jars and relabelled them. This saves a lot of money for me. Just call your local store and ask if they sell bulk spices, all of ours do in Maine.
For things like cinnamon you can buy a huge container and split it with someone that works out less expensive also.
DH and i like to decide together what we will be eatibg, I never used to include him in that decision making but he likes to have the input and learns more about what he is eating. We use very little processed food due to so many chemicals added for longer shelf life. I realise thay are a necessity but I have no need to buy them. We eat what we buy and freeze what we do not use immediately.Pat in maine.

Pat in Maine.
I FEEL Healthier every day with my Spark Tracker.
I will do it slowly I like it that way.
Toodle-ooo! and Toodle- Pip!
JUST DO IT!

Be mindful that happiness isn't based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we love and respect.

Remember that while money talks, Friendships sing and laugh out loud.


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LEAKAY59's Photo LEAKAY59 SparkPoints: (47,401)
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6/21/10 6:36 P

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Everyone is right on target, ArdynLee. And you know what? Ramen noodles aren't all bad - just use 1/2 the seasoning packet to cut back on the sodium. I posted a nifty Ramen Eggs recipe a couple weeks ago that DH and I really like for either Sunday brunch or a quick weeknight dinner, with a salad or steamed broccoli on the side.

My pocketbook, like so many others, is getting lighter every week, it seems. This week I made a real concerted effort to plan meals for which I had almost everything in the house already. I ended up having to buy beets (DH had an itch of borscht), sliced deli ham, some broccoli, celery, corn on the cob, and a bag of salad, and some crab legs (on sale for 5.99 a pound - bought one pound, put it together with some corn on the cob and a pre-packaged stuff mushrooms and that was dinner for two, for a grand total of $10.22, or $5.11 per person. Ask your hubby if you could eat out on that! LOL!) the rest of the grocery bill this week was spent on paper products, staples like bread and margarine, and prescriptions. I was very pleased with it, and will make the effort again this week!

Edited by: LEAKAY59 at: 6/21/2010 (18:36)
Laurie

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M_E_L_I_S_A's Photo M_E_L_I_S_A Posts: 989
6/21/10 3:56 P

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I agree with a lot of the other ladies. Look at the sales flyers. When I get mine (usually on Tuesday), I'll go through them and compare and circle the items I want. I also cook around what's on sale. For example: If chicken and broccoli is on sale....I'll find a recipe that uses these ingredients.

Yesterday was the past. Tomorrow is the future. Today is a present....SO USE IT!!!!


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MEESHA_DCATDIVA's Photo MEESHA_DCATDIVA Posts: 194
6/21/10 12:32 P

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By what is in season too Its usually cheaper so you may need to find some new recipes to go with what is in season

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MERRYCAKES's Photo MERRYCAKES Posts: 523
6/21/10 11:59 A

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I completely agree about shopping the sales - check out the weekly flyers online before you go, and find recipes using the ingredients on sale. For the fruits and veggies, usually the cheapest are the best, because they are in season! Farmer's markets rock too.

There are some great websites out there that can help:

http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/
http://dealseekingmom.com/kroger-deals-w
eek-of-62010/

Good luck!

I find it helps to have some regular meals you love - that way you have the basics and can stock up when they go on sale. Maybe your family would love Taco Tuesday, Italian Wednesday, Pizza Thursday etc. - it makes it easy to plan and to take advantage of sales.

And there's nothing like a big vat of lentil or bean soup for delicious, frugal healthiness! :)


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PJGABRIEL's Photo PJGABRIEL SparkPoints: (63,505)
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6/21/10 11:35 A

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Look at the cost of the spices and subtract that out because those are things that you don't buy every week, and you then just figure a small percentage of the cost into the meal. Also you can buy meat in bulk and then take it home, separate out in serving sizes and freeze that way. Also check out the farmers markets produce tends to be cheaper, fresher, and less pesticides as the grocer.

"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government."

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. "
Thomas Jefferson


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NANFACEMIRE1's Photo NANFACEMIRE1 Posts: 24,483
6/21/10 11:32 A

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Some of the high cost of your shopping may have come from spices you purchased. If you had to purchase many, it can be quite costly. I always buys items when on sale and also when they are in economy packages. Another thing, lots of items will be reduced on their last sale date to a lot lower amount. Good luck to healthy eating at home. We eat most all of our meals at home. We don't fix really fancy foods so the cost is also lower for that reason. Nancy

Nancy - from Virginia

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ONEWEIGH's Photo ONEWEIGH Posts: 1,195
6/21/10 11:31 A
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One thing I would suggest is "do the math". With what you bought, figure out the price per serving for the recipes. If you bought spices, it is likely that added quite a bit to cost, but you aren't going to use more than a fraction of them. $82 sounds like a lot, but how many restaurant/fast food meals would that buy? how much would a meal like you cooked cost in a restaurant, particularly including taxes and tips? Another thing I learned from my parents was "shop the sales". Plan your meals around that week's ads...if green peppers are $1 a pound, we're having peppers. If they're $4.98 a pound, we're having something else! Also, stock up on things you use often when they're on sale, like pasta. It really is cheaper to cook at home, not to mention the cost to your health of bad eating habits! Good luck!

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ARDYNLEE72's Photo ARDYNLEE72 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/21/10 11:18 A

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So, one of the reasons I joined this challenge was to cut back on the amount of meals that my family eats out. I've been trying to sell my husband on the idea that buying groceries is so much cheaper than going to a fast food joint. So, we went to Kroger on Saturday, to get the ingredients for 2 of the recipes I wanted to try. We ended up spending $82 on them. Nothing special, just ground turkey, cheese, chicken breasts, some spices, and some ham. He almost flipped when he saw the amount of money we spent. I tried to explain to him that when I actually cooked, it would equal to about 6 meals, because there is only the 2 of us, but I don't know if he bought it.

So, here is my question. Can anyone come up with ways for me to shop economically, while still buying fresh food? Cause he's ready to stock up on Ramen noodles and Budget Gourmet frozen dinners. Not the healthiest options for us, ya know?

If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.-Dolly Parton
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Do or do not... there is no try.-Yoda
~~~~~~~~
Goals for the month:
Fitness: 30 minutes of aerobics daily
30 minutes of strength training every other day.
Nutrition: Less than 1500 calories and 50 grams of fat per day.
Water: AT LEAST 64 ounces per day.


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