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Discussion Starter #1
I'm new here (introduced myself earlier=) ) so I dont know exactly where to post this thread.-feel free to tip me off!

Ive notice some of you have grocery shopping goals. May I ask for any tips on spending so low? I have a family of 6 (plus a cat &dog) and we spend an average of $600 per month. Two of our kids are still in diapers. I noticed that the goals of some of you are much lower, so if I could get some ideas of how to spend drastically less on groceries, it would help a lot!

Again, I apologize for not knowing where to post this.
 

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Three important things are to avoid convenience foods as much as possible, use store brands, and cook from scratch whenever you can. Having a stockpile is also a great money saver. But I'm not nearly as good at it as I should be, so I'll let the Frugal Food Masters in the village answer in detail.
 

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~Someone else from South Jersey! Awesome! Welcome to FV. I spend about $200 month on food and less than $50 a month on home care and personal care products.
~First I SCOUR the ads for the loss leaders. (Shopping at multiple stores,as long as they're fairly close to each other, really saves money) These are items that are usually at below 1/2 price. I check my flyers for matching coupons. Sometimes by combining coupons and sales I can get items for free or for pennies. When the prices are rock-bottom like that I buy as many as they'll let me buy.That's "stockpiling".
~I also shop at a discount/generic store called Aldi. Check and see if you have one in your area. Prices at my Aldi are about 10% cheaper than generics at a grocery store. Save-A-Lot is a similar store.
~I stopped buying prepackaged snacks and baked goods. Even buying a $.99 brownie mix, baking it myself and wrapping the brownies for DH's lunches is cheaper than Little Debbies.
~We eat alot of meals than are low in meat or meatless; like potato soup and rolls, or spagetti with garlic bread, bean burritos, chili, mac&cheese, soups, ect. Lots of ideas in the Frugal Village Archives. We don't suffer! Cheaper meals are just as tasty the more expensive alternatives. Meals are for nourishment, not nessessarily to push happy buttons, kwim?(DH is still trying to adjust to this idea!)

There are so many tips and friendly people here at FV! Keep posting, OK?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks! I wasn't sure what stockpiling was at first! A friend has recommended Aldi's to me before, its a bit of a drive, but I will check it out! THanks for the advice!
 

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Two of our kids are still in diapers.
I don't know if you've considered it, but cloth diapers can be a HUGE money saver and they are not difficult to deal with at all. Styles have changed since the prefold/plastic pants days and there are many kinds of very convenient diapers. The ones we use I just stuff the insert "absorbant part" in diaper that's shaped just like a disposable and snap it on. No pins, no folding, very easy....let me know if you are interested in checking it out and I can try to point you in the right direction.
 

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The main things I think are coupons and store brands and shop around for the best deal. Also, make a shopping list before you leave, and ONLY buy whats on the list. Of course, never shop hungry;)
 

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I do like the others. I look through my ads, take a look at my coupons to go with anything on sale. But mostly I shop Aldi's or Sav-a-lot. Most generic items are about the same as name brand. Plan your meals for the week so you will know what you will need at the store and stick with it. If you make a roast one day, and have left overs you could use the meat for beef noodles, stew, stir fry or even make bean burritos. Everything you buy prepackaged you can make it from scratch. I have two dogs and a cat. For my cat I buy a big bag of cat food from Odd Lots, its call Rival. I pay $3.50 for it and it lasts for about 5 weeks. I buy Dad's dog food because it is cheaper. Know the only thing I do different for them is I save potato peels, carrot peels, any peel that isn't harmful to them, I usually grind it in my food processor and mix it with the dry dog food and they love it.
If you should ever order pizza out and have slices leftover, just wrap and freeze for your lunch or even for your kids.
Think of things your kids like and that you buy prepackaged. Then sit down and make a list of things you could make yourself. Like my kids liked the peanut butter crackers. I just used regular crackers with peanut butter, or used grahmn crackers with peanut butter. I also do like nuisance26, if I can get a box of brownies, cake mix or anything else under .99 I buy it and make myself. Because you get more for your money.
When my kids were babies I did use cloth diapers and the plastic pants. It will save you tons of money. Even if you just wanted to use them at home and use some other diaper when out, you could do that.
I think under kitchen basics there is a post that has a whole bunch of frugal recipes. Also there was a recent post about makeup, facial creams etc.
Good luck and Welcome to the village.
 

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I didn't have anyone to teach me to cook...so "from scratch" was intimidating for me. Not sure where you're coming from on this subject, but I'd highly recommend the book Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy. She has recipes that are SO easy...there's one that's a "cream of" soup mix (powder) that as soon as we tried we never bought another canned cream of soup! It's EASY and cheap!! :)

Also, we've started making our bread from scratch...it costs about 25 cents a loaf for ingredients and the gas for the oven. It's so simple...I thought it would be really hard to do...wish I had started earlier! Check out www.hillbillyhousewife.com. She has super-easy recipes for bread and more. :)

If you haven't read The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn (pronounced Decision) she has oodles of tips and tricks for cutting food bills...and just about anything else you can imagine! :D

You'll be amazed how quickly you can cut your grocery bill! You'll do great! :)
 
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All of the other posters have given you great advice, I just wanted to offer two things. First, consider making a price book - even if it's in your head. Basically you just know what and where the cheapest prices are. Around here, milk is cheaper at BJ's but butter is cheaper (on sale) at Stop & Shop. Some things are cheaper at CVS. So keep a running list of prices so you'll know what to buy where.

Secondly, some of the budgeting depends on how you categorize things. I'm like you and lump diapers and cleaning supplies and stuff into my "groceries" category, but a lot of people consider them a separate budget item. Sometimes when I look at someone else's post and think that the amount they spend on groceries is really low, I look and realize that my number is higher because I have other things (HBA, cleaning supplies, diapers) in my grocery numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you everyone for the advice and links, Ive been taking notes:thumb:

Sara, youre right, I didnt realize that I include cleansers, hygiene products, etc to my "grocery" shopping, so Ive taken that into consideration when coming up with my own goals.
 

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I just buy store brands, use coupons with store specials, dont shop hungry, Aldi's is actually a good place to shop, stockpiling is good is you have the money on hand at the time.

I dont spend much on food each month and we are fed and healthy!
 
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