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Old 03-13-2002, 02:18 PM
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How do some of you do it?

If you have a family of 4-5 and only spend $150 - $300 a month? ?Buy in bulk? Use less meat? What are tips? Please share!! I so want to hear your secrets!
Thank you!
Myra
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Old 03-13-2002, 02:28 PM
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I personally think that most people who spend such little amounts have double and even triple coupon stores or great stores like Aldi and Save-A-Lot where they can get things really cheap. I have none of those here so my strategy is to shop loss leaders only (and pair them with coupons when possible) and really stock up on the great deals. I don't purchase my groceries based on making out meals/menus beforehand. For the most part I just concentrate on loss leaders and then make meals based on what's in the pantry and freezer.

Using less meat/preparing meatless dishes is definitely a great way to make cheaper meals. I purchase meats from Sam's when they are reduced items (for even more savings) and have been pleased with the quality.

I do shop at Sam's and BJ's Warehouse Club quite a bit just because I have been able to get a lot of what I purchase (peanut butter, bananas, apples, milk, pretzels, goldfish crackers, etc.) much cheaper there than at the grocery stores.

Another tip is to shop at produce stands/farmer's markets. Right now they are not any cheaper than the warehouse stores here, but during the summer that's where I buy the majority of my fruits and veggies.
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Old 03-13-2002, 06:00 PM
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There are a lot of great ideas already posted right here on the boards. Here are a few of the things I do to keep my food bill under $250.00 a month:

1) Use a menu plan

2) Shop with a list

3) Stock up on loss leaders

4) Keep a well stocked pantry (last minute trips = $$$$$)

5) Shop bakery thrift stores

6) Cook and Bake from scratch

7) Shop smart = if beef is on sale and chicken isn't- eat beef !

8) Eat Leftovers!
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Old 04-17-2002, 07:25 PM
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If you have a Big Lots in your area, sometimes you can catch GREAT deals there. Sometimes there's nothing....but we have been especially happy with finding water crackers on sale for .49cents a box.....we bought all they had and were never at a loss for something snacky. You can even make peanut butter cracker sandwiches and dip them in chocolate for a sweet snack. Sometimes their frozen food goes on sale and often their canned vegetables are cheaper than at the dollar store. If you have one nearby, give 'em a look.
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Old 04-17-2002, 09:25 PM
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Mom2twoboyz Big Lots is one of my all time favorite stores to shop!
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Old 04-18-2002, 06:24 AM
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I love Big Lots too. Now that they are doing more advertising I hope they don't get more expensive. I have gotten great deals on Parm. cheese and spices! I haven't found one where we moved that has the frozen food. Our old one had it.

I also check places like the Dollar General store. They have fat-free packets of gravy mix cheaper than anywhere else. Their sugar is also cheaper than the grocery.

My DH still drinks soda, but he does drink store brand (Krogers). He prefers to stick to the same store brand and chooses it over name brands now even when they are the same price. Drinks can hurt the food budget. I have switched to mostly water.
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Old 04-18-2002, 03:50 PM
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Kimmyo,

My first year as a single mom, I was working full-time as a waitress and I did all my Christmas shopping at Big Lots (except for stocking stuffers from the dollar store). The kids were great about it. This year a splurged a bit because I could and the boys truly were appreciative. A few hard times can teach us to be grateful ;-) Anyway, it's one of my favorites, too
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Old 04-18-2002, 06:07 PM
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Before we could afford to purchase a computer we bought a web tv from Big lots. It was a great bargain and we used it for many years before we got the PC.
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Old 06-08-2002, 06:30 PM
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blushing just a question

I am in Canada and i was wondering if BigLots was a store like Costco or something ???

Sue
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Old 06-08-2002, 07:39 PM
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Craftymom,
I don't think it is. We have Costco here too. Big Lots isn't a membership warehouse. They buy overstocks from other stores and have a few re-conditioned things. You can get Halloween and Christmas baggies there right now. They do have seasonal things in the correct season too! They have more than food.... like kitchen utensils, toys, health & beauty, cards, and some places have furnature amoung other things too.
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