Grocery Prices$$$$$$$$$$$$$
  Re: (...)
My hubby and I have been talking lately about how expen$ive groceries have been lately...

[Image: groceries.jpg]
Anyone else feeling like this???

I seems that everything has gone up!

My hubby seldom cooks, but when he does he gets out the cookbook and finds a recipe (where we have NONE of the ingredients) and goes out and purchases things 'ka-ching!' and makes a very nice meal. I always say to him, "I could cook like that too every day if I spent that kind of money!"

We have been looking at how to cut corners on the grocery bill and perhaps do something special maybe once a week. Okay, we all know you don't have to spend a lot of money to have a really great meal.

Do any of you have any money saving tips, or cheap but elegant meals that you make when you are pinching pennies?

[Image: Pennies.jpg]
"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
  Re: Grocery Prices$$$$$$$$$$$$$ by luvnit (My hubby and I have ...)
Right you are, Laura. And with oil approaching $100/barrel prices are going to increase more. We just joined Costco and I'm amazed at the prices, at least %30 below retain and many times 50% or more. Read your supermarket advertising circulars and shop the sales. Make chili as often as your husband will eat it. I can also get away with serving a hearty soup as a main dish. Do you have Splendid Soups? I made the black bean soup last year and I swear we at it every other night for 2 weeks, at which point I was informed that I was not to make it again until next season!
  Re: Re: Grocery Prices$$$$$$$$$$$$$ by lxxf (Right you are, Laura...)
Well, Laura, I hear you on this one!!! Here is what I do……

Every Monday, in the mail, we receive what the post office terms as “marriage mail” – that is all the “lovely” ad papers from all the grocery stores, specialty markets, beer and wine shops, and whomever else wants to toss in an ad paper!

During the week, #2 will throw out suggestions of what he would like to have for whatever meal and I have my desires. I either write all this down or make a mental note of it.

When these papers come, I sit at the kitchen table and READ them and see what is on sale. After going thru all the papers and seeing what is on sale, check our “wish lists”, I then start to put menus together.

We are 100% Italian so pasta is big in our house…..we know how to fix a pasta meal with practically anything!!! And pasta is not expensive, nor is it expensive to make. Versitile is an understatement! We will have a pasta dish of some sort 2-3 times/week, as a meal or as a side.

The Italian market I go to started as a fruit and veggie market and over the years they have expanded and now call themselves an “International Marketplace”. Having foodstuffs from around the world provides a tremendous variety for meal planning.

Another thing I have learned to do is COUPON CLIP! If I told you what I save each week in coupons you would call me a liar!!! One week my bill was $140 something…after all the coupons and rebates and free items….the bill was $37 and change. One time I had over $200 in coupons. One time the store OWED ME!!! THAT was fun!!! !!! I do not leave a store with less than $50 in coupons.

I also have put this computer to work and with it and the internet, I have saved thousands of dollars. What do I do, you ask? Well, you know the TV commercials which cannot be avoided….watch for the ones that show an internet address on them. Go to that site and print off their coupons. You will be AMAZED on how many FREE products – full size products – you can get!!! No, you just cannot go to “Kellogg’s” and expect a freebie – they have these weird named sites. THOSE are the ones you want!

This may sound like a lot of work but it really isn’t. Takes about an hour, maybe a bit longer, but I do it after dinner, with a glass of wine, and actually have come to enjoy it! I also like to see if I can “beat” last weeks’ coupons/freebies!!! It has become the “shopper’s challenge”! And if you are SERIOUS about wanting to cut your food bill, you WILL do it!

So now that you have my encyclopedia of shopping survival. . . .off the soapbox for me!!! Hope you get some ideas from this! I have cut my food bill by 68% and some weeks even more! That is a LOT!
Vive Bene! Spesso L'Amore! Di Risata Molto!

Buon Appetito!

  Re: Re: Grocery Prices$$$$$$$$$$$$$ by MUSICMAKER (Well, Laura, I hear ...)
Here's a few of the things I did while the kids were home/growing up that saw us thru.

The biggest cost item for me was meat/poultry. I always bought beef and/or pork roasts (the biggest that was offered) and portion them out myself. I could stretch a humungous chuck roast farther than anyone in town!! Also, if you buy whole chickens instead of cut up sections, you save lots of money.

Shopping day, I would devote the entire day to going from store to store with my list of what each had at a good price and bought ONLY what was on the list - sometimes I'd hit 10 stores in a day. Had a huge cooler in the back of the car with ice and just take off. The ads and special prices are offered to draw us in to buy them PLUS other items we want, but we beat them if we stick to the specials.

Also, hopefully neither of you object to leftovers - either as is or played with a little to become almost a whole different meal. I like to let one day go before using the leftovers - sometimes the same thing two nights in a row is just plain boring...

And lastly, I would suggest you look into the nice little cookbook, Share A Recipe - you won't find a book with more inexpensive ideas for wonderful comfort foods anywhere in this universe.......
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: Grocery Prices$$$$$$$$$$$$$ by lxxf (Right you are, Laura...)
I don't have Splendid Soups. I have been meaning to get a couple of C@H books. The Holiday one looks good too.

That's funny about the Black Bean soup... Have you made it again yet?
"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
  Re: Re: Grocery Prices$$$$$$$$$$$$$ by cjs (Here's a few of the ...)
Oh yes, And I am getting the Share A Recipe cookbook from you! I am very excited about that. I still have to send you my $$. Will do that this week.

When my oldest daughter (she's 17 now) was a little girl. I was on my own and on a VERY tight budget. I would take those circulars and go to a couple of stores, or the same store on different days to get the good deals and freebies.

I guess I need to go back to that a little bit more. Time is worth money too and it's been a good excuse to 'just buy it' rather than take the extra time and do more coupon clipping and budgeting.

We love leftovers... I also used to do that Once-a-Month (OAMC) cooking and it was GREAT! They really had some fabulous recipes. It did take a couple of days (3-4) for shopping, prepping, cooking. But in the end I had saved BIG $$.

MusicMaker, I will have to check the internet more and take sometime to clip coupons. I know stores have a lot of deals to take advantage of. I better get O-R-G-A-N-I-Z-E-D! Thanks for the tips!
"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
  Re: Re: Grocery Prices$$$$$$$$$$$$$ by luvnit (Oh yes, And I am get...)

We love leftovers...

Here's something a family at our church does. I've never done this myself, but I HAVE had the results of it (by having been to their home after church on a few Sundays), and it was very good.

Cathryn's Basic Soup
Choose one or more ingredients from each of the categories below:
  • Chicken
  • Hamburger
  • Small roast
  • Canned meat
  • Leftover meat
  • Canned broth
  • Homemade stock
  • Bouillon cubes of granules
  • Leftover gravy or sauce
  • Fresh - celery, onion, carrots, green beans, potatoes
  • Frozen - green beans, corn, peas, mixed vegetables
  • Canned - stewed or crushed tomatoes
  • Leftovers
  • Salt and pepper
  • Onion, garlic or curry
  • Packet of onion soup mix
Grain or starch
  • Potatoes (canned)
  • Beans (soaked or canned)
  • Rice (cooked)
  • Noodles (cooked)
  • Combine your choice of ingredients and heat thoroughly. Can be made ahead and reheated, adding the grain or starch during the final heating.
  • The ingredients I always start with are the last week's leftovers. On Monday, I start with a larg Tupperware container and put the few tablespoons or cups left over from dinner (casseroles, one piece of chicken, leftover rice, leftover sauce, etc.). I continue the rest of the week with other leftovers, including salads. I place the contents of the Tupperware container in a large pot, add a few cups of water and then follow with the above, five categories.
  • I keep a few cans of soup on hand and add one or two if I haven't quite got the spices right. Occasionally, I'll add some sour cream or milk to help the taste. If you need to increase the number of servings for any last-minute guests, just add another can of veggies, or a can of soup.
  • All you need with a good, hearty soup is a nice salad, rolls, and dessert, and you have a great meal.
If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?
  Re: Re: Grocery Prices$$$$$$$$$$$$$ by labradors ([blockquote]Quote:[h...)

I have noticed how expensive groceries have gotten - especially anything with dairy or wheat. Things I do to keep my grocery bill in check:

1. Shop at Costco. I get the 5 pound bag of frozen boneless chicken tenders (I like these better than breasts - they are more tender and cook faster). I can't remember how much the bag is but I don't think it adds up to more than $2.99 a pound. Pork tenderloin is $2.99 a pound there. Flank steak is several dollars a pound cheaper there than the grocery store. You get the idea.

2. I too clip coupons and go through the grocery store circulars. I stock up on non-perishables while they are on sale - everything from canned tomatoes to laundry detergent. Luckily I have the time during the week to make several stops wherever - 2 grocery stores, Target, Walmart. Our Targets and Walmarts are not the super type so only carry some grocery items but they are so much cheaper than the regular grocery store. Cereal is always at least $1-$2 per box cheaper at both places. Trader Joe's has awesome prices on so many things too. I feel like if I am saving $$ on the standard stuff, I can splurge sometimes on the fancier, more expensive ingredients then.

3. And thirdly - I'm really trying to make the most of out the ingredients I do have to buy for a certain meal. If I have to buy fresh basil and goat cheese, I'll try to come up with another recipe a couple of nights later so that stuff doesn't go to waste. Even if it's an 89 cent bunch of cilantro, if I can use it 2 nights later with something else, why not? Every little bit helps.
  Re: Re: Grocery Prices$$$$$$$$$$$$$ by Trixxee ([br]I have noticed h...)
A good hint if you live in an area with "ethnic" grocery stors is to shop at them for some of your needs. Examples:

At an Asian market "fillet million" is 5.99 a pound. It is a fantastic whole chunk of fillet, beautifully trimmmed usually about a 3 pound piece. Pork tenderloins are 2.99 a pound, fresh (on the "hoof" fish is cheap). The fresh veggies are dirt cheap and WAY fresher than at the big chain markets.

The Mexican grocery is the same way; limes were 10 for a buck, pork butt is 1.28 a pound, yellow onions 5 pounds for a dollar. Just examples. We also found dairy cheaper there too. And, again the produce is much fresher. A huge bag of still warm corn tortillas was cheaper than a bag of 12 stale ones at the grocery! Beans, dried chiles, etc are available in bulk - and because they are normal day to day foods they don't have "specialty item" pricing.

We also do Costco, and since I bake all our bread, cookies, etc. we don't have to spend the money there. Our local Safeway has a "clearance" bill that we shop whenever we're in there - everything is 30% to 50% off. We've found some amazing meat in there.
You only live once . . . but if you do it right once should be enough!
  Re: Re: Grocery Prices$$$$$$$$$$$$$ by luvnit (I don't have Splendi...)
I haven't made it yet this year. The weather only turned cold (I'm in Cleveland) last week, and I made beef stew. But I'm starting to think about soups. Split pea soup is cheap. I use a pound of dried split peas, a couple of smoked pork hocks carrots and onions and celery and I add a diced baking potato for body. The secret is to overcook the thing. I discovered this by chance when the kids were little and one of them got their teeth knocked out and we had a trip to the dentist. I forgot to turn off the range and let the thing cook for about 2 hours longer than recommended. The veggies had turned to mush, but the taste was fabulous. I serve it with croutons and a green salad. Yum.


Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)