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SLOLOSER's Photo SLOLOSER Posts: 8,646
7/13/12 11:03 P

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I find www.soscuisine.com to be a great Canadian site.

It compares the prices of stores in your area. You plug in your province the first time you visit and it lets you pick which stores you want on your page.

There are a few stores it misses, but it has all the big chains and most of the smaller ones.

Diane

Bustin' that Bulge on a Budget!
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"Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still." - Chinese proverb


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A-NEW-TARA's Photo A-NEW-TARA SparkPoints: (31,066)
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7/13/12 9:05 P

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I find here in Alberta, Canada that couponing isn't so exciting, most of the time the coupons are for things I don't use and especially now that I am living healthy. I do check them out when I can and I will use ones that come for things we use. Nobody here does double coupons any more and more often than not I'll see a note "not to be combined with another offer" so all the cool tricks I see extreme couponers use on that TV show just isn't feasible here. For me I spend time each week going over all the flyers and then plan my weeks meals based on that and what I may already have in the freezer and pantry.

To give freely without expectation is a true gift.

Alberta Canada
Mountain Standard Time

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TEENYSMOM's Photo TEENYSMOM Posts: 4,187
7/8/12 9:33 P

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I am like you SLOLOSER, don't have any place local which does double coupons. Many years ago we did have several store that did that, and even one store on certain days would tripple the value of coupons. But not anymore. Bummer. emoticon

HAPPY 2014. MAKE IT A FUN & HEALTHY YEAR!

"RIP MY SWEETIE, I LOVE & MISS YOU." MARCH 3rd 2014


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SLOLOSER's Photo SLOLOSER Posts: 8,646
7/8/12 10:12 A

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Couponing definitely isn't for everyone. It depends on a lot of factors.For one thing, I have yet to see coupons for things like fresh fruit and veggies, flour, and milk. It forces you to buy name brands and sometimes there are cheaper alternatives.

However, if you want those particular products, there is no denying that coupons can help.

Some people even live in places where they can get double value for the coupons! Not me. emoticon

Diane

Bustin' that Bulge on a Budget!
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"Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still." - Chinese proverb


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TEENYSMOM's Photo TEENYSMOM Posts: 4,187
7/8/12 9:19 A

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I tried couponing last, but it just took up way too much of my time. I already don't have much "extra" time, as I have physically disabled DH & mentally disabled DD both of whom I take care of full-time, with only 10 hours a week of respite care/home health care. I usually take that time to go to doctor appointment, pharmacy or the mandatory grocery shopping.

I am lucky if I have a few minutes each day to just get on the computer and get some "me" time.

~~Starr~~

HAPPY 2014. MAKE IT A FUN & HEALTHY YEAR!

"RIP MY SWEETIE, I LOVE & MISS YOU." MARCH 3rd 2014


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TX_JEN37's Photo TX_JEN37 SparkPoints: (3,284)
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7/5/12 6:03 P

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I'm trying to get into couponing..my grocery bill is robbing me!!!

~*Jen*~


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5HIGGINS Posts: 28
4/4/12 10:03 P

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I shop at Aldi's quite a bit. I am choosy about what I buy, I never buy their peanut butter (it's horrible) or meats but I do love the milk, eggs, cheese, produce and lots of other things. my niece was a store manager at Aldi and she loves it. Now that Walmart price matches though, I take the add to walmart and get produce. I also coupon shop and can still get better deals on national brand products when the sales and coupons match up right. Otherwise it is store brands.

SLOLOSER's Photo SLOLOSER Posts: 8,646
3/25/12 7:11 A

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I think it depends on your location.

I have never seen chicken breast on sale for $1 a pound... at least not in recent memory. Maybe years ago. However, shopping the sales, does make sense, whatever the margins are in your particular area.

I also really like the white board idea.

Diane

Bustin' that Bulge on a Budget!
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"Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still." - Chinese proverb


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GEM12924 Posts: 1
3/24/12 10:12 A

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My husband and I do a lot of very planned grocery shopping. We check what is on sale at the three grocery stores we go to - which are conveniently all five minutes from each other. We buy all our meat in bulk, when it is on sale or when we get it at Sam's (the more you buy, the better the price. We then freeze the meat we buy in portioned freezer bags. We keep a running list of what is in our freezer on a white board on the fridge. Honestly, if you watch, you can always grab chicken breast for $1/lb at least once a month. Sam's club sells a 10-pound tube of 80/20 chuck ground beef for $22 bucks ($2.20/lb). They also sell two whole chickens for $10, which is great for soups and many other things. We get bags of frozen tilapia usually B1G1. Shop Rite once a month usually has pork chops B1G1 packs. The secret, in my opinion, to bargain shopping meat is stocking up when it is on sale.

We also take advantage of our local Freihoffer factor store, where you can get 3 loafs of bread for $3. We freeze those, too, so they don't go bad. Most places have some type of bread factory store in their area. I know Wonder Bread has factories.

And, for produce we check their 'being thrown out soon' bins. You can find STEALS on items ranging from grapes to tomatoes to peppers to apples, either because they are close to their expiration or they - god forbid! - have a bruise or two. Both Shop Rite and Stop + Shop have these little discount produce racks in their stores. They are ALWAYS worth checking out.

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SLOLOSER's Photo SLOLOSER Posts: 8,646
9/1/11 12:47 A

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We have neither Trader Joe's nor Aldis where I live.

We do have dollar stores, fruit markets, farmer markets, and big chains.

Shopping the sales works well for us. This week I got 20 pounds of veggies for $5. (Some of that was potatoes.)

Diane

Bustin' that Bulge on a Budget!
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"Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still." - Chinese proverb


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KOALA_BEAR's Photo KOALA_BEAR SparkPoints: (16,966)
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9/1/11 12:37 A

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We don't have Aldai's where I am but we do have Trader Joe's and I don't consider their stuff to be budget friendly.

What we do have close to us are dollar stores that also stock food items. The spouse or I shop there first and buy what we can get cheap - eggs, canned goods, produce. Then we hit the local produce stand which has local items and sometimes has fruit or veggies that are very ripe so get that at the lowest price. Then we stock up when there are sales and keep the cupboards & shelves in our garage filled with whole wheat pasta, canned tomto products, dry soup mixes, beans, etc. That leaves the other things for the bigger mainstream grocery stores.

We like the weekly farmers' market and w clip coupons, trade with others at work, and carry in store shopping cards so they know what we like to buy. There are two Safeway stores nearby so we do buy from them a lot but sometimes you just have to go elsewhere. We discovered that another chain had cheaper paper products. The dollar stores carry the detergent and cleaning products we use.

We buy some things in bulk and split it up then freeze. With fresh perisables that isn't always possible like salad stuff but a lot of it can be frozen. We divide up our own meats, poultry, and fish; I'm also cooking a lot of vegetarian meals - maybe two dinners a week? Not just for the budget either but because it's healthier and we like it.

We both cook although I certainly have more practice especially substituting healthier things in a recipe but once I show my hubby how I do it, he can follow the simple recipes rather well. I tend to cook without recipes often, too and therefore we buy many ingredients to cook from scratch. That is a big savings and you can use seasonings to make many variations and stretch the dollars that way.

Try shopping ethnic markets for spices - I get a whole package of cinnamon sticks for $1.79 at the local hispanic market, and a dozen in a jar at the grocer's would be several taimes that amount.

K.bear


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BYRDGRRL's Photo BYRDGRRL Posts: 31
8/25/11 12:48 P

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Hi All...
Seeing the discussion about Aldi's...Aldi's has a unique place in the grocery world. They have major global manufacturers producing their products with a private label. They have buying power along with sister store chain Trader Joe's. Both are good stores. Aldi's in our area are building new expanded stores, many fresh and frozen items. I have to go there as it is the only place (other than TJ's) that you can get a one pound pkg of premium frozen asparagus spears for about $2.00.(they are slightly more at TJ's) My daughter eats a pkg. everyday on her diet so it's been a lifesaver. We are still waiting for a TJ's or Whole Foods, both of which are about 45min-1hr away.
On a recent trip to TN and NC, I fell in love with a small chain of grocery stores EarthFaire...HUGE like a real grocery store and great prices, organic, no preservatives etc it was the best store I have ever shopped....

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GOOSIEMOON's Photo GOOSIEMOON SparkPoints: (165,090)
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8/24/11 1:20 P

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I love Aldi, for some items. I also go to a scratch-and-dent grocery store about 20 miles from my house on occasion. I do double-coupons when I can and also my local thrift store gives away day-old bread! (often from Panera Bread - yum!)

I was raised by frugal folks- we were not poor, but learned to think of bargain hunting as a game - which I love. The thrill of the hunt, baby!

I have been able to pay off my mortgage 10 years early and go on some nice vacations with the money I saved.

"Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use."

~ Earl Nightingale


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BUFFALOWINTERS's Photo BUFFALOWINTERS Posts: 222
8/22/11 10:56 P

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Check to see if you have a Price Rite in your area. I use to shop at save a lot all the time and when this place opened up, I was in heaven! They have all different types of cultural foods and the produce is amazing. Also, the prices were great. I am also lucky enough to have a farmers market right around the block from me that is open all week long and save a bundle on fresh produce by stopping there twice a week.

Healthy changes everything!

Just move! No matter how slow you go...
Your still lapping everyone on the couch.


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SUNNYKEL's Photo SUNNYKEL Posts: 20
8/22/11 2:20 P

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I have a family of 6 - a husband and 4 growing boys, so I am always looking for ways to cut the grocery bill. To save on the grocery budget, I do the following:
*always look at the clearance section of your grocery store. They all have one - just ask.
*buy meat at reduced priced being sold close to the sell by date and freeze for future use
*shop bakery outlets for greatly reduced prices
*shop the farmers market and buy produce in large quantity. I got flats of strawberries last summer for $3

Note, I do have a deep freeze, so I am able to buy in bulk and stockpile. If I didn't, I feel like I would be at the market all the time!

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CURVALUSCIOUS Posts: 11
8/21/11 9:26 P

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We recently got an Aldi's in the area, but I don't shop there as they don't take credit cards, and I use my credit card for EVERYTHING, then pay it off at the end of the month. HATE debit cards, as I feel like I'd still have to carry a checkbook register! I do love the scratch-n-dent stores in our area, as they always have organic canned and boxed goods. If not that, I do store brands, Archer Farms especially. That being said, there's very little processed food that I buy, as I really do love to cook fresh from scratch. And without coupons, national brands are EXPENSIVE! I've watched a couple of the "extreme couponing" shows, and the women always seem to be overweight and buying 24 bottles of sports drinks and 48 bags of candy just to have it free with coupons! I'd rather pay full-price for good, wholesome food and just eat less of it. anewgidget has it right about ethnic grocery stores being LOTS of fun, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE produce stands, especially when peaches are in season!

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ANEWGIDGET SparkPoints: (0)
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8/18/11 11:04 A

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Aldi always make me feel like I'm shopping in post-Soviet Russia or something - I find it depressing and not worth it. I'm a huge fan of ethnic markets. The produce and meat are super cheap, just don't expect them to last for ever. Plus, my Spanish is improving!

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SLOLOSER's Photo SLOLOSER Posts: 8,646
8/16/11 6:14 P

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My husband bought a 5 pound bag of chicken bones for $1 this week. There was not a whole lot of meat on them and I really think they were meant as soup bones. That is what I would have done with them.

He seasoned them and baked them in the oven. We had like 3 pieces each for lunch. However there were lots of bones. They lasted us 3 meals!

Diane

Bustin' that Bulge on a Budget!
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"Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still." - Chinese proverb


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WORM5996's Photo WORM5996 Posts: 11
8/16/11 5:59 P

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Try branching out where you shop. Grocery shopping day in my house is an event and is thoroughly exhausting. We drive 45 mins to a grocery store for the bulk of our items. Even with the price of gas, it is cheaper. I watch the sales and buy what is cheaper around town. We have a Sam's membership and that saves a ton with meat and veggies. We make a lot from scratch. Check out the local butcher's prices and the local vegetable stand. They may be cheaper and probably better quality.

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BAUCHBABY's Photo BAUCHBABY SparkPoints: (2,437)
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8/4/11 9:05 A

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well iam in Germany, so I go to ALDI ( which is a german company by the way), LIDL and something little called Netto ( they have nice organic cheese).

and to the Commissary on the military post.

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TINIERTINA's Photo TINIERTINA Posts: 4,861
7/14/11 1:15 P

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Oh, there is a Target at the crossroads of my commute, and I would occasionally pick up one or two items, usually food items under the Archer Farms name or vitamins/household/health & Beauty aids under the Up and Up moniker ...


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Find a way.

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NEELIXNKES's Photo NEELIXNKES Posts: 6,434
7/14/11 9:53 A

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I shop at aldi on occasion but this time of year, their produce prices are comparable to other stores so I haven't been there in awhile. The last time I was there, I loaded up my cart with too much junk and I don't want to repeat that. I shop at my local Super Target most of the time and at our local mom and pop centrella. Buying in season and sometimes bulk items helps the budget. Target offers store coupons on their website and I print the ones that apply to our household. Buying items like cleaning supplies and health and beauty items with coupons, on sale helps to make room for other items in the budget. I also only buy meat on sale, preferably close coded so there is an additional discount on the package. I have been able to find ground meat for less than $2.00 a pound and chicken tenders for about $2.49 a pound as well this way.

HTH

~Deb


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SLOLOSER's Photo SLOLOSER Posts: 8,646
7/13/11 12:27 P

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I used to be part of a community food group. We got good fresh fruits and vegtables at a good price. The only catch was that we could not choose our own food. We just specified whether we wanted a small, medium, or large box. We got what was in the box.

It was good food though, at a good price, and they even added variety items and recipes telling us how to prepare them.

Diane

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"Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still." - Chinese proverb


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CRYSTALGL77's Photo CRYSTALGL77 SparkPoints: (19,060)
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7/12/11 5:28 P

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I work at Kroger so I buy most of my stuff there. I get a discount on Korger Brand items. My sister buys her produce at Aldi's and that is all she buys there. Well except milk. She seems to like it. It is cheaper but I am not sure about the quality of the produce.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13


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SLOLOSER's Photo SLOLOSER Posts: 8,646
7/12/11 12:30 P

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I think that we are all going to have our own favorites that we do not want to let go of. Favorite chips, juices, or whatever. (Not that we should be eating many chips!) It all depends on our budget, calorie limits, and personal choice which things we need to let go of, which ones we will use sparingly, and which ones we will use on a regular basis.

Personally, I avoid juice, and prefer to eat the whole fruit. When it come to apples, oranges, pears, etc. if you are buying fresh, you can ignore brands completely.

Whenever possible, if you can switch from a brand to homemade, you will have both cheaper and better. However, there are limits and they will be different for each person. They may change with time though. Start small. Then branch out.

We have been making our own bread for ages. I hope to start making my own ricotta soon.

Diane

Bustin' that Bulge on a Budget!
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"Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still." - Chinese proverb


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REBECCAMA Posts: 7,102
7/12/11 12:06 P

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We've gone to Aldi a couple of times. My husband liked the prices on the chips and a few other things but I was not impressed. I'd rather go to my regular grocery store and buy generic instead.

What I try to do, and I am not an expert at this at all... is buy generic where I can like on bread and peanut butter so that I have more money for fresh fruits and veggies. However I still feel like we spend too much money on drinks because my hubby likes to have energy drinks and bottled seltzers etc. Our grocery bills are way too high.

TINIERTINA's Photo TINIERTINA Posts: 4,861
7/12/11 11:00 A

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I went to ALDI on recommendation from someone. I bought only a few items. The packaging of the items are gussied up to look like my favorite (expensive but popular brand names - their graphic designers sure did their research!)

I was so disappointed!

I grew up poor (not that I have any excess cash now), but there is a limit to how much I have to let Charles Dickensian living into my life ...

I tried one product that met expectations (pouch of seasoned tuna) ... the rest left me stunned ... and not in a good way ...

Is there a practical way to be on a diet and a budget at the same time?



Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal.

- Igor Stravinsky

Find a way.

--Diana Nyad

(Said after swimming from Cuba to Key West without fins or shark cages)

Team Co-Leader of:

◈ Free Form Dance Team
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