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Old 01-26-2002, 05:51 AM
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Question Speaking of saving on Groceries

I spend way to much money on groceries for a family of 4. Ready for this I go through $150 per week sometimes more . I could really use some great ideas from you guys (gals). How do you do it?

I would like to just cut out $25 and then go from there. I need some suggestions on some good recipies to put into the freezer too!

I work full time and have 2 kids so my time is precious. Hope this makes sense I think I spend to much because I don't have time to think of what to cook ahead of time. I also go away from my shopping list a lot. Convenience foods take up a lot of money this is a down fall for me.

I do try to use coupons as much as possible but it is hard when you don't have time to look at all the ads and go to all the stores drives a person crazy!

Well I hope I haven't boared you to much! Thanks a million for your help!
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Old 01-26-2002, 08:07 PM
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Jackied, I understand where you are coming from!

I work outside the home, usually 10 hours a day so I know how hectic it can be to find time to plan ahead for meals, but it can be done!

I shop every 2 weeks (thats how we get paid) so I menu plan for two weeks at a time. To make it easier on your self sit down and make a list of all meals your family will eat. Then make up a couple of different menus that you can just rotate around each week. If you can make 4 menus you could just rotate through a month and start over!

or try this to make menu planning easier:

Monday beef night
Tuesday pasta night
Wednesday ethnic food (mexican, chinese, italian, etc...)
Thursday Chicken
Friday Homemade Pizza night
Saturday Soup and Sandwich night
Sunday Casserole Night

Of course you would tailor this to fit your schedule and your family's preferences.

I work long hours on Tuesday and Thursday so I make sure those are easy nights for dinner in our house. I am off on Wednesday so I cook a big meal then. Friday is almost always Pizza night and we save a bundle by making it ourselves. (and we have fun too)!

Keep a well stocked pantry too! It helps you get through the tough times when you might be cash poor or time poor!

I hope this helps. I have managed to cut my grocery bill from $100.00 a week to $250.00 a month for a family of 4.

(And we don't just eat rice and beans at every meal)!
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Old 01-28-2002, 11:11 AM
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This is a good start and you should have no trouble meeting that goal. After you have maintained that $25 decrease for 8 weeks, challenge yourself to climb even higher in $10 increments. Go for $35 and then $45. It really isn't as hard as it seems once you are organized.

Question: what are you willing to eliminate from your current grocery shopping so that you can reach your goals? How about cutting your convenience foods purchases in half for a week to see if that will help you meet your goal?



You've already identified most of the problem here. You have to plan ahead. As uninviting as it may sound, you have to plan at least a week's worth of menus ahead of your shopping trip. Once you get to the grocery store, don't deviate from that list at all. Buying convenience foods is a budget killer. Been there, done that ... I am still amazed at how much $$$ I wasted when I was working and buying convenience food just to get a meal on the table.

Do you own a crockpot? If so, do you use it? I find I will stick to planned menues religiously if I use the crockpot. Getting supper started at 6:30 or 7 a.m. is a real help for me.

Don't be discouraged if you don't meet your goals right away. It takes a long time to change bad shopping habits into consistently good shopping habits, but it is well worth the effort.

Sandie
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Old 01-29-2002, 06:06 PM
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I buy in bulk too and love to pick up meat on sale. Our local Knetchels has chicken breast with a bone on sale for $1.79, skinless $2.09. Picked up a pacakge of hamburger, 6.5 pounds for $10! Thats about $1.53/lb instead of $2.69. Okay guys these are Canadian prices!!!

The one thing that gets me is buying the fresh fruit and lettuce. Knetchels isn't that great so I rather go to Sun Ripe (produce store), thats know for excellent top quality produce and buy it there. Though I did get some brussel sprouts for dh (a bag about 1 pound( for $0.59)

I have a fruit cellar too so that gets stocked with canned pickles and jams that I do and then I stock up on soups, juices, spaghetti sauces and anything else I like on sale. Also my freezer gets stocked too and my pantry too. Still spend alot of food. Okay maybe its the junk food and pop. Though I am using apple or orange juice in rubbermaid containers instead of the juice boxes.

In ds class there is a child with peanut alergies so nothing with peanuts can be packed in his lunch. So I read the labels for cookies, snacks and etc... Thank goodness he isn't a peanut butter fan, thuogh dd likes it.
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Old 01-29-2002, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Leigh33ca
Though I am using apple or orange juice in rubbermaid containers instead of the juice boxes.
Ya know I was just thinking about this today in fact. I buy juice boxes and only use them for lunches. I won't pay more than $2.00 for a package of ten. So that's 20 cents a piece. The kids can buy milk at school for 15 cents each. My son likes to have one of each

I haven't sat down and figured it out to see if I would really save anything doing it myself. How many ounces do those little containers hold anyway? I'd love to sit down and do a price comparison!
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Old 01-30-2002, 02:56 AM
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Sandie,

Sorry for the blank message see the next post

Last edited by Jackied; 01-30-2002 at 03:03 AM.
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Old 01-30-2002, 03:02 AM
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Sandie,

Thanks for your encouragement. Yes I have a crockpot but I am not real good with the recipes If you have any good ones please let me know you can send them to my email or post for others [email protected].

I have heard time and time again from many moms and working moms to learn to use the crock pot!! You would think I would listen wouldn't you??

I will try your suggestion I will start small and I will cut out by $10 at a time after that.

Do you make your snacks and lunch goodies for your kids lunches and afterschool snacks? Ex: Cookies, cakes, pies, granola (stuff). This is where it is hard for me (time). I don't know if I were to make some things such as choc chip cookies or oatmeal cookies if I could freeze them in individual packages and put them in the kids lunches each day.

The reason for freezing is not only to keep the freshness but to keep the little munchkins out of them, keep them from eating them all gone before the end of the week
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Old 01-30-2002, 04:21 AM
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Jackied, I totally understand. I had a hard time getting started and finding the time too.

For crockpot recipes and info, try these links:

Convenience in the Kitchen: Choosing & Using a Slow Cooker
http://www.thefamilycorner.com/famil..._cookers.shtml
The Benefits of Slow Cookery (Crockpots)
http://www.thefamilycorner.com/famil...crockpot.shtml
For a Fast Breakfast, Cook it Slow
http://www.thefamilycorner.com/famil...reakfast.shtml

For tons of recipes:
http://www.thefamilycorner.com/cgi-b...ck:Pot:Recipes

Cookbook Review | Slow Cooker Cooking
http://www.thefamilycorner.com/famil...low_cook.shtml

I also understand about the kids getting into the cookies! Homemade goodies never last in my house :P

I put a recipe for Oatmeal Cookie Master Mix in the Master Mix Forum under Food/Planning Ahead. That's a good one. YOu can make up the mix on the weekend or at night, then you have it all ready and just need to measure out a couple of cups to make a quick batch. There's enough in the mix for several batches of cookies! Freezing your cookies is also a good idea!

As for the snacks, you can do microwave popcorn, a bag of that will fill up several sandwich baggies. I also make my own granola, my three year old loves it! I haven't posted the recipe yet, but can if you like.
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Old 01-30-2002, 04:56 AM
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[email protected]. >

I would be happy to hep out here. I have literally hundreds although I would need to know what types of foods your family likes. No sense sending a fantastic Stuffed Green Peppers recipe for the crockpot if that is not something your family would eat.

A suggestion here on crockpot recipes: I peruse several crockpot lists and print off recipes I would like to try. I then three-hole punch the sheet of paper (already used on one side, naturally) and after trying then decide whether I will make it again. If no good for my family, it gets filed in the round #13 file in my trash can. If a keeper, then I file it in an old 3-ring binder notebook (huge!) I have in my kitchen. Dividers for sections (such as chicken, beef, pork, vegetables, fruits, etc.) I made from discarded used file folders. Works well.



Using a crockpot consistently takes practice to make it a habit. And it takes planning (yah, I know. Back to that again! LOL). I have to take meat from the freezer the night before and make sure I have the necessary ingredients or I won't be able to use the crockpot. If you ever get in the habit of using a crockpot several times a week, you will just love it!




My children are grown but I have 8 grandchildren living within 200 yards of me (both to the north and the south) so this grandma HAS to have snacks. Two of the granddaughters (and their parents) are currently living with us until they finish their house. I make EVERYTHING from scratch and use no convenience foods at all any more. Yes, I do the lunches and the snacks. I am also responsible for all meals except breakfast during the week so that means I do all the above. Snacks include fresh fruit, cookies, trail mix, fruit leathers, etc. One of the girls is ADHD and another member of the household is diabetic. And I have two very, very picky eaters to contend with, also.



With a fulltime job, it will take some time for you to acquire a "stash" of homemade items for snacks, but it can be done! Absolutely you can freeze them in individual portions and a word of advice : FIND HIDING PLACES! Portion control of snacks is important so find a couple of hiding places.

I have a rather large plastic container I keep in the deep freeze with individual plastic bags of frozen baked cookies. I put the meat items the girls HATE such as pkgs. of liver, pkgs. of frozen spinach, frozen bread, etc., on and around it so they don't know it is there. I also have a large metal container in my clothes closet with unfrozen individual portions of baked cookies, and I once again have this hidden from plain sight. I put out the cookie bags on the kitchen table before I leave in the morning ~ one for each girl. I accomplish portion control through this medium.

I do not leave the cookies in the kitchen, even for the adults. They know where to look for them if they want them.

Same system works for the other snacks except for the fresh fruit, which is in a basket on the counter in the kitchen. Somehow, it is never gone at the same rate as the cookies would be!

As for desserts, I bake something every other day, but even then, I take every shortcut I can. I make the pie shells and freeze (both baked and unbaked). If I need to make a filling for a baked pie shell, it normally takes less than 10 minutes and is then refrigerated for the day.

Any recipe that I can combine partial ingredients for in advance of preparation and store. is one that I am interested in. For example, I have a snickerdoodle cookie recipe that is combined ahead of time and then wet ingredients are added just before forming and baking. Huge time saver!


Sandie
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Old 01-31-2002, 12:05 PM
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Speaking of saving on Groceries

Hi! I was wondering if anyone could help me on this one: We go through snacks in our house like they are going out of style. I need snack ideas that will stretch a little further than most. I find I go through so many boxes of granola bars, cereal bars etc. Thanks
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