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    Default help me

    I am new to this cost cutting thing and I am lost.

    I spend about 500-600 a month on groceries ( not including take out and delivery) for two people. I know this is bad.

    Will coupons help? Maybe I shouldn't buy so many fresh veggies and buy frozen instead?

    Cut back on the fish I eat?

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    Founder Sara Noel's Avatar
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    Do either of you have dietary restrictons? Are you bringing lunches to work or packing lunches? What types of meals are you currently making? Are you buying a lot of pre-packaged/convenience or frozen meals?

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    Originally posted by smnoel
    Do either of you have dietary restrictons? Are you bringing lunches to work or packing lunches? What types of meals are you currently making? Are you buying a lot of pre-packaged/convenience or frozen meals?
    I don't eat red meat or pork. We do pack our lunches everyday, but most days for me it is a can of campbell's soup, some baby carrots, and crackers.

    I do buy a lot of convenience foods (noodles and sauce, frozen precooked chicken breasts etc)

    We have few frozen dinners around, but we do go through a lot of bread and tortillas.

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    I'd start stocking up on items you know you use frequently. Watching for when they are on sale. Chicken alone can get pretty costly if purchased full price.

    Do you use a shopping list and buy pretty much the same thing? I make almost the same menu each month for dinners, so buy almost the same thing each shopping trip.

    I'd look into fine tuning your shopping list and sticking to the list when you shop. Do you purchase a lot of snack items or pop or beer? Is that amount including health and beauty products?

    Just trying to get a feel for your spending.

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    Some things I do: shop at a store like ALDIS. I don't buy name brand items. I make out a weekly menu of meals and shopping list and try to limit the times I go to the store. The more times I go, the more I spend on impulse buys. We don't eat expensive cuts of meat, and don't always eat meat as the main entree. We have a couple nights a week where we have homemade soup and sandwiches and casseroles. (This way, a little meat can go a long way). I keep track of what items cost at each store so I can stock up on things when they are a good price. I also get a kick out of seeing how little I can spend. Another thing I use a lot, is my crockpot. It helps to have a meal figured out early in the day, so that when I'm tired later on, I can resist take out or having a pizza ordered in. You'll have to figure out what works best for your family. Good luck!

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    we do buy a lot of wine and soda.

    And I just go to the closest store or the HEB because they sell sushi. That is probably where I need to start, finding the cheapest place

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    Tanya you can make your own Tortillas and breads. You can even buy Tortilla mix at Wal-Mart for like $1.60 (where the flour is). I make all of our breads, crackers, sweets, tortillas (even corn ones). This can help cut down on alot of your expense.

    You said you buy a lot of Produce, do you have a farmers market nearby? or a co op?

    For your Chicken and Fish do you go to the Meat Market to get it or just pick it up at the local grocer? Maybe you could find a farmer that sells chickens (some of them will kill and clean them for you).

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    I buy frozen, fresh, and canned vegetables. Of course, I prefer fresh but canned is so cheap when on sale. Do you have a meat/fruit/fish market close? We buy a lot of fruit, veggies, milk, potatoes, and meat at our local meat market because it's much less there on sale than in the grocery stores.

    You could buy larger packages of chicken and divide the packages up into smaller packages yourself. (sorry for mentioning chicken again..you siad no red meat/pork so I am just assuming you still buy chicken/fish)

    I agree on the crockpot. You could incorporate one day a week to pasta and one day a week for a crockpot meal to start yourself off.

    How about cereals? Do you buy a lot of that? If so, you can definitely find coupons for that to bring the cost done or start making homemade things like eggs, oatmeal, waffles, and pancakes.

    Are all your food items name brand? If so, you can definitely cut down some money by either making items yourself or buying store brand items.

    Changes like buying larger containers of yogurt vs smaller individual packages.

    Here we don't eat a lot of snacks, rarely buy pop, and alcohol is in the house maybe once a year at most, so there's a big difference in cost right there.

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    Tanya, you said you brown bag your lunch, so you work. I have been there and know just what you are talking about. Much easier to go out to eat, order take out or get the prepackaged stuff in the store.

    What you can do to help this is to set aside 1 of your days off and cook, cook, cook! Then package things up into meal size portions for your hubby and you (or lunch sized ones for work) and freeze them. Helps knowing you don't have to stop at the store on the way home because you have freezer full of good meals at home just waiting for you to heat up.

    These are like mini OAMC (Once A Month Cooking) sessions each week. Just double whatever it is you are making and freeze the rest. In no time you will have a variety of meals ready to go in your freezer.

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    I think just shopping the loss leaders can help cut your bill. If chicken is on sale this week then by all means have chicken for dinner. Buy produce in season. Don't wait until winter to buy blueberries. Right now apples are a good price so eat them instead. Plan your meals around what's on sale and stock up when you find a good sale. That alone will save you money. If you eat tuna and find a good price on that then buy 6 instead of just one. Then you won't have to pay full price the next time you want it. That's all I can think of now. I'm sure I'll come up with others later.

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    Hi Tanya!

    I think one of the big things I save on is buying the giant bags of frozen veggies. I also buy frozen berries and such instead of buying the fresh ones I love.

    Also, I eat yogurt so instead of the individual servings I get a couple big ones and then dole out a 1/2 cup serving with about 6 berries (see above) the night before and blammo you have instant fruit-on the bottom and the plain yogurt container lasts all week at $2.29 a pkg.

    I know what you are going through grocery-wise. I spend too much on grains and cereals since I like the organic and whole grain types.

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    Start by stockpiling and combining sales with coupons, and forget about brand loyalty. I also take my lunch to work and buy a lot of canned soups and frozen meals.

    For example, Chunky cans (my favorite!) run around $2.79 each where I am. Progresso (cheaper, at $2.19 a can) was recently on sale, buy 1 get 2 free. I used a .75 off 3 coupon that doubled to $1.50 and could get 3 cans (normally $6.57) for $.69. I did this deal 4 times (all the coupons I had, would have done more if I have bought more) but there's my lunch for almost the entire month. I can find similar deals on frozen meals. Just remember: coupon + sale price. And buy as many as you can!

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    I think all the ladies here are giving you great advice. I have a family of 5, soon to be 4 that I shop for. I am trying to get our groceries down to $350 a month. I'm learning not to be an impulse buyer and if I want snacks to make them myself. We gave up sodas and we don't do take out anymore. My goal for the month of November is no eating out under any circumstances. We have been good so far, and I've been motivating myself to eat more and to bake more. Good luck!

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