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Food prices- any tricks?

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Tabitha

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I have noticed, over the past 6 months food prices in Tx have gone up 50-60%, but they did it a consistent 10% a month so no one could really pinpoint when the increase happened, it was gradual. In Jan I could get a cart full of groceries for $100.00, now those same items cost $150-160. They have raised prices in 2 different main ways.

A) A flat out price increase, items that used to cost $1.00 now cost anywhere from $1.50- $1.60.
B) Less content in a larger/same size container. The box of cereal That I paid $3.00 for in Jan had 20 servings, that same size box is still $3.00 but now has 16 servings. I just came back from a video store & the box of chocolate covered raisins that used to be fairly full, now contains a small cello bag inside that bounces around the box, same price as before.

What I am doing to cut costs:

I have been purchasing all of my fruits, veggies & eggs local. Cucumbers at the grocers are $1.00 ea, at farmers market they are 3 for $1.00.

I have been buying store brands on *some* items. There are some items I won't skimp on like cookies, bread, crackers, cereal, etc. but for pasta, rice, soups, and more, store brand works for me.

I have also been paying attention to inshote sales. I went in w/ the intention of buying 3 cans of Pillsbury crescent rolls, they are $2.29, but cans of Pillsbury french bread sticks were on sale for $1.00.

We have been baking our own snacks rather than buying snack cakes, etc & that both saves money & is for the kids.

Doing a quick inventory of the pantry before shopping helps too.

Just doing the above has knocked my bill down to between $80-100.

I have also found I can purchase the coupons that I will really use, on ebay in bulk. I just bought (20) $1.00 off per box of morningstar products. I paid $3.00, which will save $17.00 when I use them ($20.00 minus the $3.00 I paid).

I am wondering what tricks everyone uses to cut costs.
 

digit

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Stop eating - I need some more soap oils. :lol:

Seriously, I back off on "bad for you, but oh so handy" packaged stuff. Back when my budget was pretty much coins, everything had a place on a menu. Example: tops of green pepper goes into spaghetti sauce one night, next night, left over sauce with rice goes into pepper (stuffed peppers). I wrote my menu based on sales. There was no stocking up.

Coupons. Grocery store coupons to double your coupons on certain days. Sale items are often the ones in the Sunday paper. But can still cost more than a lesser brand. I occasionally lower my standards. :oops:

Really plain grocery store. No fancy stuff, cut open boxes of cans on the shelf. They bragged they had the best baggers in town - you. :lol: And that was in Texas.

Can vegatables in season when they are cheaper. Go at the end of the day to the farmers market to get produce that will not be viable tomorrow. But you have to be up to canning that night.

When things were real tight, I found that a bag of dried beans (about $0.40 at the time), some ketchup and mustard could last me a week. Chicken necks and rice. Chicken necks and dumplings (made with plain flour and water). Fried flat cornbread (no $$ for levening agents or milk). Fish a lot. We......uh......well, did not get a license. Secret spot deep on the river or a creek somewhere. Crawdads from the drainage ditch and rice. Mega berries in the summer time. Drink a lot of water, fills the belly for a short time.

Electricity was overrated. I had gas to cook on, got up with sun, down with the sun. Took 2 months to save up the deposit.

Some things about the old days I do not miss. :lol:

Digit
 

mare61

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You're on the right track with shopping local. I know, that sometimes it seems cheaper to buy canned food that came from "god knows where" than shopping for fresh produce. But in the end you get more for your money. Could you grow a garden? Try to find a local farmer, that sells meat off the farm. It's funny really! We are pig farmers here in Canada and for the last while pig prices were way down and we lost about $ 50 on each pig we shipped but this never registered in the grocery stores. Right now the prices went up about $ 40 but now the price for feed like corn and wheat have almost doubled so we are still losing a lot of money. But the prices in the stores just keep raising.

I know that I will try harder to stretch my groceries like digit suggested.
I have my own garden with lots of fresh veggies, apples and berries and most of my own meat (pork, beef and chicken) and eggs. I also bake my own bread and sweets and get my milk cheaper from a neighbour.
 
G

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I keep the local supermarket's weekly advertisement handy, and then when I'm planning my dinner I look at the advertisement for what's on special and I cook that instead of just deciding what to cook and buying it regardless of the cost.
 
G

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Have you tried shopping at the farmer's market? If you go last minute they are usually trying to throw food at you for very cheap
 
G

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I don't think we have any farmers markets here in big, bad Los Angeles. If so they'd probably be too far to drive to, spend more money on gasoline than the money I save on groceries. I'm buying and cooking for one person most of the time and I can't buy much food in advance or it spoils before I can use it. I usually just go to the supermarket right before dinner and get what I need for that day. My supermarket is only a few blocks away, just barely too far to walk carrying groceries.

Actually I should start saving money by eating less. I'm not the only one who is bigger than they need to be. :oops:
 

Lane

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Since trying to eat healthier, Our grocery bill jumped from $100 a week to $170 a week. :shock:

Last week, I finally gave up on cooking and got most of my items from the frozen food section. :cry: Less healthier, but our bill dropped back down to $98.

From what I am saving in time, just tossing a casserole in the oven and not buying separate ingredients, I think until money gets better, it's going to have to work!

My mom is HUGE on cooking, and just from her example, I've always made big involving meals. Prep time, cook time and clean time, added up, A meal would take me between 2 and three hours to complete. Something frozen, I pop in the oven and then toss the pan afterwards...

:shock: So it's a stack of frozen food and multi vitamins over in this house for the time being....
 
G

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I've grown to have an increased appreciation of beans and rice. I cook beans with sausage and eat over rice with chow-chow and hot sauce. The next day you can fry the rice with fresh vegetables and still eat it with beans. We raise alot of what we eat, though including meat, eggs, and dairy products. A meal at my house can range from anything as normal as fried chicken to anything as abnormal as yogurt and scrambled eggs as a main course.
 

zajanatural

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We shop at the local market and support the local farmers rather than buying those items in the stores. Things like fruits, veggies, lunch meats, dairy products, steaks, roasts etc are purchased at the local market. Things we cannot get at the market we get at the regular store. There is also a little Latin place that we go to that has things so much cheaper than the store does. We probably save $75 each shopping trip buying this way.
 

IanT

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see around me they have this place the red barn flea market, Ive been dieing to get over there theyve got every veggie you could imagine!!...


my food bill is nuts, for 1 person i ve been spending between $50 and $150 for a week or so.....eeek!


I have got to sit down and work a budget out one of these days...real soon since Ive got my apartment now..
 

IanT

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ooooh ! and I found a place today that will sell you a whole, half or quarter cow....all for 3.39 per pound...now THATS a good price...I wonder how much meat 1/4 of a cow is?? or if I get the half ....hehehehehe..(rubs together hands and licks lips)....meeeaaaaat.
 

IanT

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heyy....added protein!!


nooooo!! theres a lot of local farms that sell there and its all like...buy a box of this for $5...welll...Ill give you 2.99.....ooh ok...gracias!!:)
 

pepperi27

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I'm lucky. My ex-husband is in the military so my kids have gov't id's that allows me to shop on base. I spend $300 for groceries and the food lasts for a month. For the fruits and veggies I get them at the market.
 

coral

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I tend to be buying more in bulk now once a month and takeing advantage of savings that way especially tinned tomatoes for sauces or fruits.
I buy my fresh meat and chicken in bulk and my partner will prepare the different cuts for various meals and then I will freeze this until needed.
Off late I am making lots of soups with fresh vegetables and legumes.
I do not buy fresh vegetables at the supermarket anymore as they are to dear and prefer to buy local at the fruit shop which are almost half price.
Cleaning products are a bare mininum I use my own soap offcuts that does the job .
I find by buying in bulk I am not at the shops everyday buying things I dont need.
This has lowered my grocery bill considerably.
 

earthygirl

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I'm with y'all as far as the farmers market. Much cheaper
I bake my own bread and even though flour has gone up in price, its nothing compaired to teh bread prices. I also have the added advantage of know exactly whats in my bread.

We are in peach season right now, so I am making jam, and freezing and canning peaches.

I am trying the best I can to save my herb garden, but this drought is making it very hard. we are down to watering 2 times a week here. Guess its better than not at all.
 

digit

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Lane said:
My mom is HUGE on cooking, and just from her example, I've always made big involving meals. Prep time, cook time and clean time, added up, A meal would take me between 2 and three hours to complete.
What I used to do when I worked 2 jobs, had very little time and had yet to become friends with the microwave, is cook on Sunday. I would have dueling crock pots going and something roasting in the oven.

Then, divy it up, pop into the freezer, clean up dishes. During the week, I only needed to add a quick vegatable and starch, and voila, quickie meal.

Another thing I still do, is make frozen dinners. I use the divider plates. Often there is one portion of dinner left over. I make a plate, into the freezer. If it is just a side, I use small plastic containers. On lazy days or when I just do not wanna......pick a plate and into the microwave. You would be surprised at how fast your "freezer menu" grows.

Another idea, if you have kids, is a small garden. My friend home schools her kids and everything they do has a learning component. Most times the kids do not even realize it. Every year, each child selects a vegetable to grow and take care of, eventually harvesting and preparing a dish from it. Of course, this is all age appropiate for each child. (She has 9 :lol: ) Included is a science and econmonics lesson. The kids really do get excited each year about his or her project.

This project could be done in containers. On youtube and the net, there are dozens of sites about container gardening for vegatables.

How about swapping some wonderful soaps for veggies? "Pick you own" farms offer goods for good prices.

Digit
 

Woodi

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This is a great thread! I don't have much more to add except that I bake all my own bread, always. The breadmaker I bought paid for itself within a year. I also do most cooking from scratch, never buy convenience foods. Farmers' markets abound here, and egg farmers are everywhere. These aren't cheaper but they sure are fresh and nutritious.

We often eat eggs as a main meal, and lots of rice and peas or beans.

One dish my family raised me on was a mixture of mashed potatoes, split yellow peas, cooked, and saurkraut. Instead of butter in the mashed potatoes,they added lots of pork fat (they'd save the trimmings from roasts and chops). Better than bacon bits. Very tasty, nutritious and filling. One batch lasts a long time.

My Scottish DH isn't too fond of it, unfortunately.
 

earthygirl

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here are some of my babies


Rosemary Olive oil sourdough


Oatmeal Raisin

and breakfast goodies
Raisin and cream cheese snails
 

IanT

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YOU are awesome...I want to make berad so bad!
 
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