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I feel so bad asking you guys for so much help when I haven't been able to help anyone else out...anyway I need you help again.

I have been trying to reduce the grocery bill for a couple of months now and I guess I just need a little help from the experts about where to start with the overhaul...

We dont have coupons here in Australia...I have a few options available to me, please advise if you beleive there are any more that you think I could be using :)

1. shopping at farmers markets/green grocers and butchers
2. shopping at aldi or other various discount shopping centers
3. shopping at main chain shopping centers
4. shopping at costco

At the moment I am going to farmers markets to get what I can of what I need, then I head to the discount stores, then I go to the main chain stores....

I am trying to work costco in to our shopping, trying to buy things in bulk...I really dont know what is worth buying in bulk and what isn't...its all very new for me...I will give you a run down of our weekly/month grocery list

Fruit and veg for the week (this covers all meals for the week and snacks for DD)
Meat for the week (we dont eat much meat but am starting to go for the cheaper meats)
We aim to make most meals from scratch but still need to buy things like oyster sauce and oil (grapeseed and olive)
Dairy (expensive because DD has to drink goat's milk) cheese (goats) and marg/butter (nut butters etc)
Cleaning products and household items like light bulbs etc
Animal food and litter
Extras (things we dont need but we buy anyway chips etc)

Any help would be greatly appreciated :)

I am going to Costco this coming Sunday and would love to start our grocery revolution!
 

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you may want to do a search on this as it has been asked and answered previously. you will find useful info here at FV.

keep in mind, costco is more about conveneience than cheaper prices. some like the convenience (like me) so that you dont run out and have to overspend on things. the prices are not always cheaper. in regards to aldis's - i have found that store brand bread is cheaper than aldi's. the dried beans at aldi's are 10 cents cheaper than the stores around here. now, i wouldnt drive to aldis to save 10 or 20 cents, but, if i am in the area, i will stop in, look around and buy a few things.
 

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With Costco, get a day pass, and price out the items you will buy. Price them per unit, and then do the same at your local grocery stores. Compare your savings with the membership cost at Costco. I recently did this, and neither Costco or Sam's Club was cheaper, without even taking into account the membership cost.

I don't know how well online works in Australia, but I've found it cheaper to order some things from Amazon, shipped free to my house.

If you really want to be cheap, lose the chips and whatnot. Or, only get them rarely, more of a treat that way.

Get dried beans and rice. It's good for nutrition and making you full, plus it's usually incredibly cheap.
 

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I think you really need to make yourself a price book so you can compare the various stores and their prices. My guess is that there are going to be items at each location that are cheaper/better value than at the others, and you just need to figure out which deals are at which location and shop them in rotation.
 

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Around here, I start at Aldi's because they have the cheapest prices, overall -- then I hit the farmer's markets, etc. . . then Sams/Costo last -- I generally do better shopping the loss leaders at the regular stores, than at Sams.

Probably the biggest thing to cutting the grocery bill is learning to make less expensive meals all around -- and cutting the waste. . . the most expensive food is that , that you toss. I save potato peels to bake with cheese and bacon for a supper meal. . . . celery leaves, turnip tops, etc. I dehydrate and powder, then add to soups for flavor/nutrition, etc.

Almost to go bad veggies go into soups, stews, shepherd's pie.

Almost to go bad fruits go into sorbets, smoothies, etc.

We use meat as a condiment (flavoring) and fill in with veggies, whole grain breads, etc.
 

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I agree with the price book. Meal planning around what you have in your pantry and what is on sale can also be a big saver.
 

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You have gotten some great advice. Price compare, shop in bulk, cook from scratch , build up your pantry with staples that you have bought on sale, as loss leaders and in bulk.

I look at my budget in terms of dollars for the month and stocking up rather then weeks etc. One month I might buy bulk honey, bulk olive oil, and some meat, next might be bulk grains like brown rice, oats to make my cereals, granolas, instant oatmeal in bulk . This saves me tons, of time and money letting me buy organic lots of times for pennies on the dollar.

There is a great blog from Australia with a forum as well that you might be interested in. Rhonda is fantastic, she does a lot of what I love doing scratch cooking , baking, bulk buying, making her own soaps etc. you can find her at :down---to---earth
 

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~Plan meals and stick to the plan! Buying cheap is great and a big part of the overall savings. But you save nothing if you let the items languish in the fridge, freezer and pantry until they're no good anymore.
Carefully and completely use up what you buy. I think it's better to under-buy items than stock up on too much of one thing. Not having an item you think you're dependent on will lead to some creative(and often cheaper!) substitutions that you'd have never thought of otherwise.~
 

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Can you grow any of your own fruits, vegetables, or even herbs? Even just one item would help.
Oh and don't think twice about asking for help. That is why we are all here, for help or to give help in one way or another.

Cat
 

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speaking of the farmer's market....One of the things we used to do was go directly to the farmers and ask if they had seconds for sale. Tomatoes that were just a little too ripe to sell were just fine for canning that day. Same thing with other veggies.
 
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