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Discussion Starter #1
I must admit, I have real problems in this area. I only buy healthy stuff. I try to avoid cookies, crackers and snack stuff but my grocery bill is always over the top. I do buy some things organic but probably 90 to 95% isn't organic. I also seem to remember seeing a list of pantry stocking things. I live in a town of about 50,000+ (when college is in session). I don't get the newspaper so I don't often get coupons. Mom sometimes gives them to me but she lives 1 hour away. I don't think reading sale adds help cause by the time I travel across town to save 50 cents, I could have just bought it at my grocery 1 1/2 miles from my house. I don't buy much meat either. :ponder:

I would love to hear suggestions!

Stephanie
 

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I find meal planning, and looking to see what you have and plan before you just buy buy buy. Also double duty dinners...use 1/4-1/2 pound meat instead of whole pound or more.

Buy big jars/cans of things you use reguarly and freeze. No soda.
 

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It would help more to see a list of the things you buy.

Many have complained that healthy food costs more than junk, and it often does. Poor people often can't afford good nutrition. Healthy is also trendy now, so many nutritious foods are going to cost more because they are in style.

As for coupons, there a tons on the internet. There are websites with collections of manufacturer's coupons, and there are coupons on the manufacturer's sites. Usually they are for a dollar off an item; sometimes more.

I'm new to saving on groceries too-- in the first month I think I cut my grocery bill in half. That's just amazing to me.
 

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I shop sales, stock up on loss leaders, clip coupons, do drugstore rebates, shop several different stores, cook from scratch and stretch products such as mixing whole milk with half water, using half the recommended amount of Tide, using half the amount of toothpaste, washing and reusing baggies and aluminum foil etc.
 

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I do alot of what Staceyy does. I would also add I cook from scratch, try not to buy snack foods, buy in season, and plan everything down to snacks. I stock up if I see a good sale. One thing I have just started is OAMC with a group. You make the same meal (8X) for us and then trade your meals. It can be a pain the day of cooking, but right now I have 6 meals ready to go. We decide our recipes in advance so you can look for the meat on sale and with coupons it works out to be less. It has been a wonderful addition to this household.
 

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What kind of items do you buy? Is it fruits, veggies, (fresh, frozen, canned??) breads, cereals? Do you buy anything on sale? Any store brands? Like Squirt wrote, post a list of what you bought and we can perhaps give you alternatives.

One big thing that will help though: Buy the loss leaders like Staceyy wrote: buy lots of what is on sale each week - maybe you will not use it right away, but you'll have it when you need it & will have paid very little for it. You may not save much the first week you start doing this, but by the end of the month you will notice a difference in your purchasing and your total cost. :dancing:

Let us know specifics so we can be of more help.:tom:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OK, forgive me for being stupid but what is a loss leader? I shop at Walmart and they do match prices (I always forget about that) so I find it crazy to drive all over town to save a dollar. Some of the things I buy that probably don't help

Organic skim milk, Walmart brand (from 11/4 to 11/9 went from 3.24 1/2 gallon to 3.78) YIKES
Orange Juice usually Florida's Natural plus Calcium (I checked out concentrated and it really isn't that much cheaper)
Chocolate Silk, I have tried store brand and it was YUCK
Juicy Juice
Organic Apples
Organic Spinach
Organic Flour
Go-Gurt for kids lunches they like them frozen
Dole frozen pineapple and blueberries for smoothies
Hormel Lunch meat occasionally
Block cheese-colby/jack and mozzarella (I shred myself & freeze)
Usually 100% whole wheat Earthgrains breads, I have tried other wheat bread but it tastes best
String cheese
Sliced cheddar cheese

I don't buy many snacks but the ones I usually will buy are Triscuits, Goldfish, Cascadian Farms granola bars. I do buy bottled water which I know costs a lot but our water sucks even with a water softener. It is just BLECH. Culligan told us, when they installed our softener, that water filters or reverse osmosis systems tend to clog easily in our town because there is so much silt in our water. As far as canned stuff, I do buy canned beans for chili (black beans), tomato sauce, mandarin oranges. I don't buy canned soup etc. I do buy chicken from time to time but we have beef in our freezer. Sometimes I buy salmon. We eat a lot of fruits such as bananas, grapes, pears and apples. Whatever is in season. Same with veggies. Cereal, we eat a lot of cereal and it acts as a snack sometimes. I have made homemade granola but the hubby and I are the only ones that eat it.:confused:

Cleaning stuff, I buy only Seventh Generation from Drugstore.com and also use vinegar and baking soda. I also buy Arm & Hammer Essentials laundry soap. We have a front load washer so you must half the soap. I buy Dr. Bonner's soap and dilute it for soap dispensers (it lasts esp. if you have foaming dispensers). We use a ton of lotion cause of my son's really dry skin. Our soaps and shampoos last forever cause of the water softener. A little goes a long way.

Maybe I don't spend as much as I think?

Today I browsed the sale adds and found several bargains that I could price match at Wally World!

Does this help?

Thanks!

Stephanie:bigsnow:
 

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hey stephanie, how much do you spend on average??

I buy alot of the same things you do - I buy organic milk, fruits, vegis, organic cheese, etc. only difference I guess is that I only clean with vin/water -
- and walmart does accept coupons!

so just start hunting for them - you can find them online sometimes - try a search for "organic coupons" - or try the specific brand such as "horizon milk coupon"
 

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oh, I forgot -

you could save your water bottles and refill them with water from a larger jug (such as the 2.5 gal jug of water)
It's less expensive that way. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have printed coupons online and even requested them via e-mail. I don't get the paper but maybe I should start getting the Sunday paper. Well I just added up what I paid to Walmart for the month of November. I spent $785.75. Oh my gosh! Maybe I should completely quit shopping there? Let me see, my daughter did have her birthday this month and we did entertain last weekend. That alone was $104. But what the heck. I am having cardiac arrest here. :smhelp: I am on a mission to get this amount way down. We just don't have grocery store that is as cheap as Wally Mall! From now on if it isn't on the list it isn't going in the cart period!

You know one that that makes me mad is, we live in a neighborhood loaded with kids. My kids have lots of friends and they always end up at my house eating my food for snacks. That is a big pet peeve I have. How do you kindly say go home and get your own snack! :shake:

Stephanie
 

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I don't have alot of suggestions but one thing I have is an air popper for popcorn. It makes a cheap snack when lots of kids are over.
 

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We only drink bottled water too. I take our empty gallon jugs and refill them from the Culligan machine at my grocery store (the Wal-Mart here also has one). You can find coupons for Cascadian Farms products.
 

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I have printed coupons online and even requested them via e-mail. I don't get the paper but maybe I should start getting the Sunday paper. Well I just added up what I paid to Walmart for the month of November. I spent $785.75. Oh my gosh! Maybe I should completely quit shopping there? Let me see, my daughter did have her birthday this month and we did entertain last weekend. That alone was $104. But what the heck. I am having cardiac arrest here. :smhelp: I am on a mission to get this amount way down. We just don't have grocery store that is as cheap as Wally Mall! From now on if it isn't on the list it isn't going in the cart period!

You know one that that makes me mad is, we live in a neighborhood loaded with kids. My kids have lots of friends and they always end up at my house eating my food for snacks. That is a big pet peeve I have. How do you kindly say go home and get your own snack! :shake:

Stephanie

What snacks do you feed the friends? I had the same problem a few years ago and got sick of it too. At the time I wa a sole parent on a pension so I coulodn't afford to be feeding the neighbourhood aswell. So the next time the kids popped around I said that we were on a health kick and there weren't any chips, etc so if they wre hungry to help themselves to the fruit bowl and there is rainwater in the fridge. The soon weren't 'that hungry' nor 'that thirsty' and went home soon after.
 

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Organic skim milk, Walmart brand (from 11/4 to 11/9 went from 3.24 1/2 gallon to 3.78) YIKES
Orange Juice usually Florida's Natural plus Calcium (I checked out concentrated and it really isn't that much cheaper)
Chocolate Silk, I have tried store brand and it was YUCK
Juicy Juice
Organic Apples
Organic Spinach
Organic Flour
Go-Gurt for kids lunches they like them frozen
Dole frozen pineapple and blueberries for smoothies
Hormel Lunch meat occasionally
Block cheese-colby/jack and mozzarella (I shred myself & freeze)
Usually 100% whole wheat Earthgrains breads, I have tried other wheat bread but it tastes best
String cheese
Sliced cheddar cheese

I don't buy many snacks but the ones I usually will buy are Triscuits, Goldfish, Cascadian Farms granola bars. I do buy bottled water which I know costs a lot but our water sucks even with a water softener. It is just BLECH.... As far as canned stuff, I do buy canned beans for chili (black beans), tomato sauce, mandarin oranges. I don't buy canned soup etc. I do buy chicken from time to time but we have beef in our freezer. Sometimes I buy salmon. We eat a lot of fruits such as bananas, grapes, pears and apples. Whatever is in season. Same with veggies. Cereal, we eat a lot of cereal and it acts as a snack sometimes. I have made homemade granola but the hubby and I are the only ones that eat it.:confused:

Cleaning stuff, I buy only Seventh Generation from Drugstore.com and also use vinegar and baking soda. I also buy Arm & Hammer Essentials laundry soap. We have a front load washer so you must half the soap. I buy Dr. Bonner's soap and dilute it for soap dispensers (it lasts esp. if you have foaming dispensers). We use a ton of lotion cause of my son's really dry skin. Our soaps and shampoos last forever cause of the water softener. A little goes a long way.
One thing I would do is stop buying juice, period. It's expensive, and even though it has vitamins it amounts to empty calories since our bodies treat it like sugar.

Organic anything is going to be expensive, no matter what. But if it's a priority to you, then it needs to be there.

Cereal...if I was looking to cut a grocery bill, I'd cut out the cereal too. Even buying Malt-O-Meal in a bag, it gets expensive, especially when it becomes a snack food. Also, it turns into a big milk consumer (if you eat it with milk rather than dry)...cutting out the cereal may reduce your milk consumption too.

One other small thing that might save some is to buy dry lentils instead of canned beans. Lentils are cheap, they cook quickly, and can be used in most any recipe that calls for other canned beans.

Even though groceries are an area where it used to be easy to cut corners, now it seems like an almost fixed expense :(. Good luck with it!
Lisa :)
 

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We keep costs down by planning out a menu two week at a time and doing our big grocery shopping only every two weeks.(We do have to go back for milk and fruits and vegetables, of course.)

--Michelle
 

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Try a store brand for the frozen fruit. I doubt you will be able to tell the difference.

And definately start getting a sunday paper for the coupons. They basically pay for the paper once you use the coupons. Just think of it as a game to see how much you can save each time you shop. And yes, sticking to a list really helps. The stores always try to get the impulse buyer.

Also if you can think about planting a garden.

Good luck.
 

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I've noticed the biggest thing that kept my costs down was buying more raw ingredients and plain items, and less already-made or even ready-prepared items. And I don't just mean something as obvious as frozen dinners, I mean crackers, chips, soup broth, cake mixes, trail mix, dried fruit, things that one might not think about at first.

I try to buy the plainest thing and then make what I need. For example, instead of buying shredded cheese and then sliced cheese for sandwiches or something, I just buy block cheese and prepare it the way I need it. Loose corn kernels instead of packaged, microwave-ready bags. I love whipped cream cheese, but when I'm disciplined I buy the much cheaper block cream cheese and whip it myself. And so on.

I like ingredients that I can use in many ways (sugar) instead of ones I can't (brownie mix).

I also never buy name-brand anything if the store brand is cheaper (sometimes the name brand is cheaper, like yesterday Domino sugar with a shopper card was cheaper than store brand).
 

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Frozen veggies are often cheaper than fresh, they store their nutrients longer, and there is less waste because they rarely hang around long enough to go bad.

I bet all that fruit is taking a toll on your wallet. I wouldn't buy ANY unless it was on sale, big time. Fruit, like fruit juice, isn't necessary, is sugary, and expensive. If you like it, make it a treat.

That organic flour would be a good thing to look out for on sale, and then stock up on big time. Perhaps someone has it on sale online. I think Amazon has a lot of Bob's Red Mill products in bulk, and they looked cheap.

How about making your own whole wheat bread? I bet that stuff runs $3-4 a loaf in the store.

Another thing you can do is take a look at every brand name you buy and find something cheaper. It doesn't have to taste as fabulously delicious-- it's only on your tongue for a short time.


I have to purchase water as well, but never ever small bottles! That's a huge waste of money and a strain on the environment. It also wastes a lot of water because people like to leave partial bottles sitting around and they forget whose bottles they were. The least expensive method for me is gallon jugs.

Sorry to hear that the neighborhood kids are eating you out of house and home. There's a reason why we never went to my house for a snack- my mom never had any cookies or chips or pop or koolaid or... ;) It's an idea...



I imagine that if you take just a few of the suggestions people have given and employ them, you will have big savings. I'd try a few out and see which ones have the biggest impact.
 

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Some ideas for you:

Bread: check to see if Hostess or some other bakery
has a thrift store in your location.

Snacks: raisins, carrots, celery

Coupons: I look in the Sunday paper to make sure there
are some in there before I purchase it, that way I don’t
spend the money unless I get the coupons. Also you might
let close friends and family know that you will take theirs
if they aren’t using them.

Also watch for you local grocery stores flyer in with the
junk mail, you can see what is on sale and if it’s something
that you use.

Good Luck,
leezza
 
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