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Old 06-23-2002, 02:55 PM
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AR55 AR55 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: NC
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Frugal and healthy can certainly go together. Cooking from scratch is much cheaper than buying premade and processed foods and it's better for you. You know what is in the food you prepare and you've eliminated the preservatives, artificial colorings etc. It will cost you more initially to stock your pantry, especially if you haven't done much cooking in the past. Even so, it costs alot less than going out to eat!

Fresh fruits and veggies can cost more if they are out of season. However, if you try to stay with what's in season, your cost will not be much more. Also, I have found frozen veggies to be a good value. I think they are higher in nutrients than produce that has spent a few weeks in the shipping process and then waited to be purchased at the store. Really fresh produce (such as that purchased at a farmer's market) is worth whatever extra you might pay.

The key to frugal grocery shopping is to purchase what is on sale at a great price and purchase enough to last until that item goes on sale again. For instance, when hamburger goes on sale for $.99/lb, I may buy 10 packages. I do the same with chicken and all other regularly purchased items. This may sound really expensive but it's not. It saves money. I am always getting the food for the lowest cost. Some people use a price book where they keep track of the lowest unit price on foods they regularly purchase. This helps you know when something is really a bargain.

I also do many casserole meals to keep the meat cost down. This is also healthier. If I serve meat main dish, the portions are small. We fill up on fresh bread, veggies etc.
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