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Over 30 Tips to Shrink Your Food Bill and Still Eat Well
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When turkey is on sale I buy it and grind the breast. I use an old fashioned cast iron meat grinder so I even get some exercise. The last time I got a turkey breast at 88 cents a pound, instead of $5 a pound for ground turkey breast, I paid about $2 a pound.
Re the green bags for keeping items fresh: I have not used them but my friend has and she loves them. She is on her own and found previously that many items would go bad before she ate them; now she says she can keep lettuce crisp for 3 weeks and she is a very fussy person.
I buy meats from a bulk store then freeze into individual packs; check the local flyers and plan menus from the sale items and items on hand; never go down an aisle that I don't need to; keep 2 bags in the freezer, one for cooked meats, bones, etc; the other for vegies including stems, ends, etc; when the bags have enough the items go into the slow cooker with spices, water and then we have soup; recycle freezer bags.
There are a lot of great ideas out there from some wonderful people. What I am looking for is a Way to keep my salad greens fresher longer in the fridge. I too would like to know is anyone has used those green bags?
I am curious about those advertised "green bags" for preserving freshness of fruits and vegetables. I wonder if they work...or not!
A smart tip that I'd like to pass along is this: Always pay close attention to the cashier as she/he rings up each item. Many times I have had to correct the clerk (in a courteous manner) about the price. The clerks only scan the items, and often the computer pricing is wrong I have found. Sometimes the sale price is not shown. Too, when an item is "reduced" the full price might scan at the register. Become a hawkeye at the checkout register. This certainly is a thrifty tip.
To the people here that say they make their own everything from scratch... when? I guess if i got up at 3 am to bake fresh bread everyday i could save some dough :) pun intended, but i just don't think i'm that committed. I just try to strike a balance between what's healthy and what's cheap. If the difference is only a few cents, i'll get the healthier option. if the difference is only a few calories per serving, i'll get the cheaper option. My one money splurge is hormone free dairy products, and my cheap but unhealthy splurge is ramen noodles.
I plan my menu out for the week and only shop for those items. I also shop at Sam's Club with my sister and we split a lot of items between the both of us. I also shop with coupons and I carry my coupon organizer in my purse.
We make bread in our bread maker. It's fresh and probably costs less than $0.10 a loaf.
My goal is to save the most money period. I don't fully believe that 'saving money on food' is the way to save the most money.
By purchasing high quality organic food, one could save money in the long run through savings in health care costs. Eating low cost, high calorie 'empty' foods all your life? Blood pressure medication can cost around $300.00 a year. The cost of diabetes medicine has doubled in the past 6 years. Open heart surgery costs about $120,000.
There is also a dollar value that I put on the quality of life that one has when they are in optimal health and can perform like they could in their 20's or 30's.
I could also argue that living healthy while aiding you in living longer, could also cost you more in the long run because as we live longer into our late 80's and even 90's, we increase our chances of needing long term nursing care which would negate these cost savings just discussed.
As for me though, I'll pick healthy organic eating and hopefully live many extra years in a healthy state.
I buy bulk sale items that can be frozen. Dry beans, flour, and cornmeal do well in a freezer for long periods of time.
Like many other posters, I go generic/store brand on a lot of basics (milk, oatmeal, canned & frozen fruits and veggies, etc.). I try to stock up on non-perishables when they are on sale. But when I find a brand name item I love, I stick with it. Some examples: Ezekiel bread, Silk Live soy yogurt (their key lime with fresh raspberries and a little granola that contains toasted coconut is an amazing tropical dessert!), and Annie's goddess dressing. Buying those favorite items makes me feel like I'm treating myself well, and amazingly enough, those items are actually cheaper if you go to Whole Foods because they buy them in bigger quantities. If you are trying to eat organic on the cheap, Whole Foods store brand can be a good option. Trader Joe's has good deals on nuts, dried fruit, and cheese.
Each week I look at the ads for the local grocery stores to see what meat and produce are on sale. Then I look up recipes using those items on SparkRecipies.com. Buy buying meat in family packs and separating it and freezing it, I don't have to buy as much meat later and can plan a few meals around what I have in the freezer the following week. Also by planning all my meals for the week and only buying what I need, I don't waste money throwing out produce.
I do use coupons and that saves our family tons at the grocery! I run a personal blog of sale matching with coupons and have saved thousands this year alone! One of the biggest misconceptions people have is that eating healthy can't be done on the cheap! When I find a really good sale, I stockpile the item for the next 3 months. Of course, this cannot be done with perishable items but my savings I achieve by buying lots of stuff really cheap makes the purchase of my healthy items possible to fit in my grocery budget!
I'm proof that you can save money on a grocery budget and still lose weight - I've lost 30 pounds this year using SP and being a frugalista!
Obviously it takes a lot more time and energy, but I go through all of the store flyers and make lists for each store based on who is having the best deal on what we need. I usually end up going to three or four different stores to get all of our groceries (every 2 weeks) and I always end up saving money. The first time I did this my grocery bill went down $60.00.
When we first got married, we purchased a small chest freezer and it's been one of the best things we ever did. I just filled it with fruits and vegetables from this year's fantastic harvest. I grew some things myself and bought some other items from local growers since the prices were so low on the in-season produce. The freezer is now full for the fall and winter!
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