If you browse the shoestring meals forum, you'll find tons of tips, recipes, store recommendations and even a few shopping lists.
Even though our food budget isn't supertight anymore, we still use most of our money-saving strategies. I would use even more if hubby was a little more cooperative (he's very impatient when it comes to shopping, and I don't drive).
I could write a book, but instead I'll recommend one, The Complete Tightwad Gazette. It's cheap on amazon, but I'd recommend borrowing it from the library or looking for online money-saving sites using in your search terms such as frugal lifestyle, tightwad, cheapskate, conserver lifestyle, simple living...
Some of the tips may seem extreme (I wouldn't for example, add milk to an empty jam jar, shake to dissolve the jam residue into the milk and then pour into a popsicle mold to freeze).
However, I do save my pickle juices (especially from pickled jalapenos and pepper rings) to use in salad dressings and marinades.
I rarely buy salad dressing because it's much cheaper, and better tasting to make my own. Tons of recipes online.
If you have an asian grocery nearby, I highly recommend checking it out, even if only to buy a good quality soy sauce and rice vinegar. You can buy liter bottles of high quality brands for the cost of a few ounces of generic in other stores. Fish sauce makes a good and cheaper substitute for worcestershire sauce. Bean sprouts, cilantro as well as many fruits, vegetables, and herbs are fresher, tastier and cheaper, because asian customers expect them to be. We buy cabbage, bean sprouts, eggplant, oyster mushrooms, snake beans (foot long green beans), garlic, chives, cilantro, mint, green onion, chinese broccoli, lychee, mango, papaya, pomellos... because they're MUCH cheaper and higher quality than in traditional supermarkets.
We also shop Dollar Tree a lot. Their sweet potato fries are better than the $4 bags we've bought in other stores.
I'm picky about mayo, but Aldi brand is quite good. Also Aldi stores have a double your money back guarantee, so if you simply don't like something you've tried, take it back - it's like paying you to try their products.
We buy some items from our ACE hardware store, and Goodwill because they both have large dollar sections. Diced tomatoes with green chilies are 2 for $1 and makes a great pasta sauce if simmered until it thickens with some diced onion and minced garlic.
Fleet Farm ( or Farm and Fleet) have some really good bargains on nuts and jerky, abd their Wildwood brand orange diet soda is the best diet orange soda and it's something like $2.00 or $2.50 per 12 pack.
We also shop Big Lots and salvage groceries when we run across them (we no longer have such stores locally).
Last edited by kaplods : 08-13-2013 at 03:14 AM.