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Discussion Starter #1
If you have about $5 left in your food budget, and are out of fruits and veggies (other than a few bananas), what will stretch the farthest?

I always buy fresh, but should I be considering frozen at this point?

It is just me and DH, and he usually eats dinner at work.

Thanks!
 

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Interesting question - obviously sale items are to check first - I usually go with fresh fruits and canned veggies - cheapest in general here. Let us know what you do.
 
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I would look around at all the grocers in your area and see what is on sale. Spring crops are starting to come in. Asparagus has been cheap lately, as well as greens (like collard greens) and some salad fixings. Strawberries have been 99c a pound here at one store or another. With some orange and apple it could be a fruit salad. Carrots have been cheap, too. Brussels sprouts are in season.

For frozen veg usually corn and peas are cheapest, but corn is a grain, so I don't really consider that a vegetable. Check manufacturer's website for coupons for frozen items.

Bell peppers and broccoli are fluctuating, really cheap one week, really not the next.
 
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Not big fruit eaters here so I can't address that.

To me frozen veggies are often times better than fresh since they are picked at their peak then frozen right away usually and during the winter the veggies in the fresh department often leave alot to be desired. Often times too the frozen is cheaper per lb and there is little if any waste. Canned veggies are not good in tase or texture imho.

As far as what veggies I'd have now are carrots, celery, onions & potatoes (always buy fresh as price is usually good) frozen broccoli, peas, corn...Make sure you buy full 16 oz bags (they like to fool you with smaller "steamer" bags) and use only what you want from the bag and freeze the rest for another time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks!

I've been checking prices at my grocery stone online... I considering a 16 oz bag of frozen veggies for $1 - mixed veggies or just broccoli. There is a bag of oranges on sale for $1.99, and they are selling 1 lb of carrots for about $1. That would leave me with $1 left and not a lot of variety for 10 days!

Maybe buy a few cans of veggies with the $1 and hope I don't run out of anything else!

Would love to hear suggestions! Thanks!
 

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Look at the local sale papers for loss leaders in the produce department. Today I bought 40 pounds of sweet potatoes for $14.88 plus tax.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
We had collard greens for dinner last night! I will check out the frozen peas! Thanks!

Update: my store sells frozen peas & broccoli at the same price -$1 for 16 oz.
 

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Five dollars won't really go super far. Much also depends on what you usually cook.

I'd be inclined to pick up a 5 pound bag of potatoes because they are so versatile. They have been on sale here for $1.99.

I would also get cabbage. With St. Patricks day this past week, many grocers have it marked down to $0.25-0.55/lb.

A pound or two of onions, a head of celery and a bag of carrots would probably round out my list.

I would certainly compare the prices of fresh versus frozen or even canned (such as corn or green beans).

Generally speaking though, those ingredients would allow me to make a LOT of dishes.

For fruit, I would most likely be looking at bagged apples, which are usually fairly cheap at about $2.99 for a three pound bag and can be used for fresh eating and applesauce or cooking.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
We do have potatoes!

Our menu for the week consists mostly of brown rice & beans, leftover pork ribs, chicken, etc. We also cooked off the other 1/2 of the kidney beans so looking for something creative to do with those. (other than chili or baked beans).

I also have free lunch/dinner in NYC for a work event on Wed. Will be a nice break from the rice & beans!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Look at the local sale papers for loss leaders in the produce department. Today I bought 40 pounds of sweet potatoes for $14.88 plus tax.
Wow that is a lot of sweet potatoes! How long do they last?
 

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I would say oatmeal, bag of beans( I know you have this) brown rice, bag of frozen veggies, tomato sauce, pasta, or eggs. Something like that. :) Maybe corn tortillas.
 
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If I only had $5 left for two weeks, I'd do a run thru the freezer. I try and buy frozen veggies on sale w/ coupons.

Depending on where you live, sometimes you can get the end of the farmer market's mark downs at the end of their day or early in the am, a grocery store near me will have a full grocery cart marked down super cheap w/ produce that needs to be used THAT DAY!
 

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After thinking about it, this is what *I* would do with $5. Buy one pack of romaine lettuce, there's 3 heads in the bag and that makes 12 small caesar salads, or salads for 6 meals for two. Cost $2.50. With the remaining $2.50 I would get a bag of frozen peas, a bag of mixed vegetables (to use in soup one night and pot pie another night), and maybe a 3rd bag of some other veg (maybe broccoli) if prices were good. This way we could either have a simple salad, or a side veg every night for two weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I forgot about two jars of pickles left from the garden!

My plan is to pick up fresh spinach (10 oz for 1.99), a bag of frozen veggies for $1 (probably broccoli), 1 lb carrots for $1, and 1 lb apples for $1.59. Total is $5.58.

We have a tiny bit of onion left.

I am also trying to lose 5 lbs by next month and am tracking my calories/nutrients online.

Thanks for all of the advice!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I did really well!

1 lb frozen broccoli, 1.00
1 lb carrots, 1.19
Fresh Spinach for salads, 1.99 (10 oz)
Temple Oranges, 5 for .10/ea= .50
Total 4.68
less bottle return (forgot I had these in my trunk!) -1.10
VISA Gift Card Balance (keep forgetting to use this!) -3.26
Total out of pocket - .32

Get my receipt and a coupon prints for $1 off next produce order of $1 or more!!

So I go back and buy an onion on sale for .99/ lb. Dig through onions to find one slightly over 1 lb. So add:

1 sweet onion - 1.24 lb less $1 coupon = .23 out of pocket. (.55 total for everything!)

And another $1 off $1 produce order prints!!

If I wasn't exhausted at this point with laundry in the dryer, I would have found something else to buy... so I'll just save that for next time! :)

(I love Hannaford's!)
 

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After thinking about it, this is what *I* would do with $5. Buy one pack of romaine lettuce, there's 3 heads in the bag and that makes 12 small caesar salads, or salads for 6 meals for two. Cost $2.50. With the remaining $2.50 I would get a bag of frozen peas, a bag of mixed vegetables (to use in soup one night and pot pie another night), and maybe a 3rd bag of some other veg (maybe broccoli) if prices were good. This way we could either have a simple salad, or a side veg every night for two weeks.
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I'd have to do exactly what the poster above suggested, except I'd probably add in a small bag of fresh carrots (you can shred and add to the salads or make a carrot salad or a cooked carrot side with them) and go with frozen green beans instead of broccoli. They are generally less expensive.
 
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