South Beach Diet - Can't afford it!




View Full Version : Can't afford it!


Loriann7
08-26-2008, 09:54 PM
On a fixed income and I stuck to my list yet once again! I planned to make the meatloaf, brocolli and ceddar soup, salads, bought some frozen veggies, ands a few staples like, salads, peanut butter and a treat for my pup. I walked out the store with a $90 bill!

I do not make this much on Unemployment and for just one person, for one week, this is outrageous!

I'm just ranting, sorry... but man, I thought with my son gone I'd see this bill go down, but NNNOOOOOOOOOo, not really!


murphmitch
08-26-2008, 10:00 PM
Sorry you're so frustrated. I could eat beans 3 times a day. They're cheap & easy. Some nights I just open a can and heat them up. Eggs are also a nutritional bargain. Hope things start looking up for you. :hug:

JellyBean32882
08-26-2008, 10:12 PM
On a fixed income and I stuck to my list yet once again! I planned to make the meatloaf, brocolli and ceddar soup, salads, bought some frozen veggies, ands a few staples like, salads, peanut butter and a treat for my pup. I walked out the store with a $90 bill!

I do not make this much on Unemployment and for just one person, for one week, this is outrageous!

I'm just ranting, sorry... but man, I thought with my son gone I'd see this bill go down, but NNNOOOOOOOOOo, not really!


I hear ya Loriann, I'm the same way, can't really afford it either.


Ophelia924
08-26-2008, 10:50 PM
My last grocery bill was $170 for a week worth of food and a few necessaries - laundry detergent...etc...- I am currently at home with my youngest all day long so I do cook 3 meals a day on most days but that is nutz. And I even watch for sales on meat and other more expensive items that can be frozen or prepared and frozen for later use. It has gotten to the point in which I made chili dogs using canned hormel chili and had half a can leftover and froze that for later. That is sad that the $.50 means so much to our monthly grocery bill anymore.

ladybugnessa
08-26-2008, 10:50 PM
Lori do you have access to Trader Joes or Aldis?

KO
08-26-2008, 10:52 PM
Lori I'm right there with you hon! :hug:
Ness I wish I had an Aldi nearby

Lor for veggies do you have an asian grocery? sometimes their veggies are cheaper

Loriann7
08-26-2008, 11:01 PM
Nessa, I do have an Aldi's, but I find that their foods aren't any cheaper than the local Wegmans! And I wouldn't trust their meats or veggies!

KO, I'll have to check for an asian place!

I did stop at a veggie stand and got a Quart of Tomato's (There's 8 HUGE Tomato's in there) for $3!!

carinna
08-26-2008, 11:05 PM
I feel your pain. The cost of food (especially healthy food) is insane these days.

oopsmyhalofelloff
08-26-2008, 11:05 PM
Where are you in NY? Just curious, i'm in Liverpool. I to find it difficult to buy healthy foods on a budget. :(

Suzanne 3FC
08-26-2008, 11:13 PM
I buy veggies at local farmers markets. Not the store type, but the ones where farmers pull up in their trucks :) I can spend 10 bucks and buy a HUGE amount of veggies! I buy dried beans and soak them, and do all sorts of fantastic things with them. I buy dried grains from the bulk bins. Cheap eats, but whole food and truly delicious! I also buy my herbs and spices from the health food store bulk herb jars. I can spend 25 cents on something that would cost 3 or 4 bucks at the supermarket. Plus it's much, much fresher.

zeffryn
08-26-2008, 11:39 PM
I just finished my shopping for the week for my family of 3.5 - 2 big eaters. I walked out of the store for 97.02 for 7 days worth of meals.

I'm not sure where my meals differ from yours....this week wasn't even exceptionally cheap as far as meals go. I think we're having meat as a protein for all but one meal. We buy heavy on the fresh produce as well.

Where do you shop? Maybe being in NY, the prices are higher?

kaplods
08-26-2008, 11:47 PM
My husband and I shop at Aldi's a lot. The value is fantastic. They also stand behind their double money back guarantee if anything disappoints you. Not everything is cheaper, but we buy what is. The meats are good, but usually Walmart's are cheaper.

Eating "whole foods," doesn't have to break the bank. Hubby and I are on disability and on a small budget. There are many South Beach friendly foods that are even cheaper than their SAD (standard american diet) counterparts.

Walmart matches other store's flyer ads (not gimmick prices like two for one, or buy one get one free, but any add with a clearly stated price). Some Walmart's have good meat departments, some not so much. We're lucky that our local Walmart has a very good meat department.

We do shop with a list - but we only make the list after we see and compare all of the flyers.

We start our shopping at a store similar to Big Lots, but privately owned. The sell out stock of stores that have gone bankrupt or who have discontinued a product. These items aren't "expired," or defective (well, sometimes they come straight from the factory because the box is misprinted, but there's nothing wrong with the food inside). We start there and pick up staples that don't spoil. Whole wheat pasta, canned tomato products and vegetables, seasonings, almost anything can show up.

Then we look at the flyers and make a list accordingly. We might shop Walmart and take all of the flyers (to get the matching guarantee) or we might go to the store that had the most sale items we wanted.

You can save money on meats by buying large packages and cutting down yourself. Or buying cuts that most people don't want (chicken legs and thighs, for example). Aldi's brand and Walmart brand of frozen vegetables are both AWESOME. Walmart's I'd rate as the best. They have for $1.50 frozen vegetable blends that are twice the price anywhere else (the asparagus stir fry blend is my absolutel favorite).

I buy tvp granules from the health food store in bulk (they look like grape nuts cereal and are soy protein to substitute for ground beef). One pound of dry tvp is about $2.25 per pound here, about the same price as mid-grade ground beef - except that a pound of tvp is the equivalent of about 3 or more lbs of ground beef (because you rehydrate it with equal volume of water). Instead of buying 95% lean ground beef, I buy the 80 to 85% (much cheaper) and brown ground beef with onion, celery, and maybe green pepper and dry tvp. I usually use about 1 heaping cup of tvp per pound of beef. So this brings down the cost of the mixture to the equivalent of about $1.25 per pound. When money is really tight, I add more tvp. When the ground beef is mostly browned, I add enough hot tap water to match the amount of tvp. So 1 cup of tvp, 1 cup of water (sometimes a little bit more).

I then freeze the mixture in a ziploc bag, and while it's freezing I smoosh the bag around every few minutes until it freezes in crumbles. Then I take out what I need, when I want to make any recipe that would use browned ground beef (spaghetti sauce, taco filling, sloppy joe's, shepherd's pie....).

I buy rotisserie chicken from Walmart ($4.50 - $4.95 - only about $1 more than frozen raw). And when I'm done with the meal or two we get from it, I save the carcases in freezer ziplocs to make chicken soup.

I shop farmer's markets for veggies in the summer. A farmers' market tip that can save you money (or if it doesn't, it'll still brighten your day), be friendly and chatty with the vendors. Ask them what they recommend, and how they prepare their produce. Ask about the unfamiliar stuff. Compliment them on their produce, and shop late if you can. If the vendors are closing up, they will often throw in free stuff, or make a deal so they don't have to carry it home (some vendors like to haggle, some don't; but if you're friendly about it few take offense).

The Tightwad Gazette books (I bought the book that combines all three editions, it sells cheap on amazon or you can borrow it from the library),
have tons of money saving shopping tips.

We bought a Sam's club $100 membership because it allowed us to save more than that per year on our medications (the pharmacist ran the numbers for us), and switching to the Sam's pharmacy, we were able to save hundreds of dollars each month on our prescriptions. We switched some of our prescriptions to Sam's $4/month $10/3 month prescriptions. I thought maybe that I'd find that the cheaper drugs didn't work as well, or had more side effects, but that wasn't true for me. In fact, two of the drugs I was on, work much better for me than the more expensive, newer drugs I had been taking.

We shop at Sam's for some things, but you've got to watch, because "in bulk" doesn't always mean cheaper. But I often buy Sam's organic baby spring mix (a gourmet lettuce mix that is only $5 for a huge box that is the equivalent of maybe 4 to 6 bags of the $3 - $5 version in the grocery stores. I also buy their bag of small bright bell peppers, snap peas, and haricot verts, because they're a significant savings.

Walmart has yellow sticker "reduced" meats. Sounds scary, but is perfectly safe - you just have to use or freeze the meats the day you buy them. In our area Tuesday and Thursday mornings are the best times to get them, but the secret is out, so if we get there after 11am, there's none left. Savings are usually about 40% - even more for the family packs. Talk to the meat department manager though to find out when your store markes down which meats, as it can vary from store to store.

Crock pots are great for cheap cuts of meats.

I also use asian groceries - some stuff is much cheaper and of higher quality. Gourmet soy sauces are about $3 a bottle - for a quart or more. Bean sprouts, greens, eggplant, cilantro, bokchoy, green onions, basil, mint.... are almost always cheaper, and usually fresher. I've never had bean sprouts so nice as those from asian stores.

Brown rice and beans - if you can buy in bulk and dry. I've cooked and frozen beans in bulk too. I boil rice like pasta and drain in a sieve. It's easier to not burn and the grains stay nice and seperate. I cook beans according to their directions. Whole grain pasta also. Each of these can be frozen using by "squish" method so as to freeze them in a way that you can scoop out just what you need. that way, you can cook once and portion out as you need to. Makes meals nice and quickly too.

I don't buy salad dressings or marinades, because there are so many wonderful free recipes online. I sometimes make freezer or fridge pickles, and would can and freeze if I have the space, but don't.

Fruit is cheaper in the bag, but often hides more spoiled fruit, so I don't buy in the bag unless it's an amazing deal (or it's a store that has a great reputation for returns like Aldi, because of the double money back guarantee).

There really are so many tons of ways to save money and still eat healthy. It does take extra work and preparation, and a bit of openmindedness.

WebRover
08-27-2008, 03:12 AM
Great post by Kaplods.

Just wanted to add that with just a little effort you can create a price book (google price book to find out how to set one up) where you basically have a page in a small loose leaf binder for each food item you regularly buy. Track the prices in the stores you shop - regular prices and sale prices. Within a short period of time, you'll be able to use the book to determine when something is a true deal. You can stock up on the item at that deal/sale price. You'll also find that items go on sale in cycles and you'll figure out how many to stock up on so that you run out right when it's available on sale again.

I keep a list of items that we typically buy at Sam's. When we're headed there, I pull the list out and see if I'm running low on any of those items.

Freeze meat items individually (lay them on a cookie sheet or small baking pan, separated - for a couple hours) then put in labeled freezer bags, remove as much air as possible (you can zip the bag almost to the corner and suck the air out with a straw and quickly seal it the rest of the way). Then instead of having a block of 5 chicken breasts, you have 5 individual chicken breasts that you can thaw more quickly and one at a time if you wish. This method works for individual servings of casseroles, lasagne, desserts, etc. You can also wrap the frozen item in plastic wrap before putting into the freezer bag.

Belle Mer
08-27-2008, 08:35 AM
I spend a lot of money on food. I can't buy too much produce or fruit in bulk because it's only hubby and me, unless I want to cook all of it and freeze, but that sort of defeats the purpose of buying fresh produce.

I have a small chest freezer and Food Saver, so I buy my meats and some frozen organic bagged veggies, bread and other stuff when things are on sale. I buy raw milk and free range eggs from a local farm. Not cheap, but you can't beat the nutrition. (Same prices as Whole Foods milk and eggs.)

We eat mostly organic food. Our friends who eat badly make fun of us because we spend so much money on food. But I budget like crazy and think about every purchase. I wouldn't touch the garbage that they eat, even though it's much more affordable.

I buy the Whole Foods store brand - 365, and The Publix store brand - Greenwise, when I can. I buy some things at Trader Joe's, but you have to be careful there and scrutinize labels.

We hardly ever eat out and we never buy processed or convenience foods.

We've cut out other things in the budget to allow us to eat whole food/organic food. It's a tradeoff. But still, it is very expensive and getting worse. I guess we're somewhat resigned to this problem of high food prices. I'm going to try a CSA next season. I've heard mixed things about it in this area. We'll see how it goes.

I guess I have no real advice for you, except to make a list, weigh every purchase, and hope the prices come down some day.

Pieinthesky
08-27-2008, 09:06 AM
I always by frozen veg - it still as a lot of nutrients in and yet much cheaper than fresh veg -also you don´t run the risk of any of it going off!!

weezle
08-27-2008, 09:44 AM
Dried beans (like lentils) are a great value and you can do so much with them (soups, sides, etc.) Maybe get a bag of split-peas for a soup too? Our Aldi's here have surprisingly good produce, but I don't know about their meats as I don't eat them.

Somehow I found that once I switched to SBD from eating the processed, prepackaged garbage that I was used to eating, I spent less, even though the items can be on the pricey side.

zeffryn
08-27-2008, 10:26 AM
Belle - what is it with people with crappy diets making fun of people with good diets? We get the same thing and have even encountered our two year old getting made fun of by our friend's son because he was eating broccoli.

luvja
08-27-2008, 10:29 AM
I hate how it's more exspensive to eat healthy - you would think it would be the other way around!

zeffryn
08-27-2008, 10:36 AM
crappy ingredients are cheaper to use...

GONNABE165
08-27-2008, 10:42 AM
dh and I went grocery shopping so we can do 2 clean weeks of phase 1 and we spent 180.00 I made the comment it is expensive to eat healthy and his comment was IT'S MORE EXPENSIVE NOT TO EAT HEALTHY

we don't have a aldis or trader joes here - very few farmer stands are around

Loriann7
08-27-2008, 10:48 AM
A lot of awesome advice! I NEVER go shopping without planning my meals, and shopping accordingly. I'll find about two or three main meals to cook.. for instance, Taco Bake, Old Bay Chicken, and a Soup... I then write all the ingredients down for each recipe, under what recipe it's too be used for. I venture into the kitchen to see if I have all ingredients, and usually only need the fresh veggies. I check them off if in kitchen, and as I buy them in store, I check them off then. This way I make sure to have everything I need to make my planned meals.

I always buy the frozen chicken breasts.. I like the fresh better, but for the price, I find these are cheaper!

I buy both frozen and fresh veggies. Sorry, but I can't make a salad from the frozen to easily! And nothing cheaper for snack than the green beans when in season and looking awesome! I got a huge bag from bulk section for a buck yesterday!

I shop at wegmans exclusively... I've ventured into walmart a few times, and when I need laundry soap and such, I stock up on canned goods as well. But for everything else, I steer clear.

Wegmans has their own brand of food, and of which most theirs is good quality. I LOVE their tuna, and I can get four pack, low sodium in water, for $3... Better quality and taste than the famous bumble bee and starkist crap!
Same with their cheeses, milk, and meat!

AutumnRose
08-27-2008, 10:50 AM
Maybe I am the minority but our grocery bill has gone down since doing South Beach! But we are a family of 4.5 and spend over $200 all in for a week. The kids eat what I make that is beachy with the exception of anything that would include Splenda (rare) or if they are home at lunch they will not eat a salad so they have cereal or a sandwich of some kind.
Prior to SB we were well over $250-300 each week. Most things we get at Wal Mart and everything else Trader Joe's. We also hit up Costco once every couple of months, and that is always over $300 but we only buy the things that we've price compared and are actually saving on.
We also eat organic as much as possible.

GONNABE165
08-27-2008, 10:56 AM
I agree with you Autumn on the Costco as it seems when we go there and buy in bulk we do tend to save money overall however we haven't gotteninto a steady habbit of a Costco trip

Loriann7
08-27-2008, 11:13 AM
There's no costco here, or a trader joes.

KO
08-27-2008, 11:17 AM
Lori when I'm runnig low on salad IO do a warm salad with frozen bagged leaf or chopped spinach sauteed in a little cookign spray and add white beans jarred garlic and whatever fun frozen/canned stuff I have

zeffryn
08-27-2008, 11:23 AM
A lot of awesome advice! I NEVER go shopping without planning my meals, and shopping accordingly. I'll find about two or three main meals to cook.. for instance, Taco Bake, Old Bay Chicken, and a Soup... I then write all the ingredients down for each recipe, under what recipe it's too be used for. I venture into the kitchen to see if I have all ingredients, and usually only need the fresh veggies. I check them off if in kitchen, and as I buy them in store, I check them off then. This way I make sure to have everything I need to make my planned meals.

I always buy the frozen chicken breasts.. I like the fresh better, but for the price, I find these are cheaper!

I buy both frozen and fresh veggies. Sorry, but I can't make a salad from the frozen to easily! And nothing cheaper for snack than the green beans when in season and looking awesome! I got a huge bag from bulk section for a buck yesterday!

I shop at wegmans exclusively... I've ventured into walmart a few times, and when I need laundry soap and such, I stock up on canned goods as well. But for everything else, I steer clear.

Wegmans has their own brand of food, and of which most theirs is good quality. I LOVE their tuna, and I can get four pack, low sodium in water, for $3... Better quality and taste than the famous bumble bee and starkist crap!
Same with their cheeses, milk, and meat!

Wegman's is a very expensive store....I wonder if you could find the same quality elsewhere for cheaper? I've done a ton of comparison shopping in my town - especially when we had our son and money became a bit tighter. I used to say "I only shop at _____", but after looking around and comparing prices and quality...I find that there are plenty of places that have great quality food for quite cheap. Before I go out, I check the local ads and make my lists according to those ads....therefore every recipe that I make uses produce that is in season and relatively inexpensive.

Walmart is very touch and go - we have 3 Walmarts in our town and each has a different quality level. If I go to the one that is just a few miles farther, I can get great quality -organic- produce at a very inexpensive price.

I buy our meats from a local butcher for the most part and he is much cheaper than the big grocery stores because he does it all himself.

I was whining a few weeks ago about the price of organic/natural food....and my dad told me this: Beggars can't be choosers. Simple. If inexpensive is what a person craves, then one might have to sacrifice in other areas.

Belle Mer
08-27-2008, 02:28 PM
Belle - what is it with people with crappy diets making fun of people with good diets? We get the same thing and have even encountered our two year old getting made fun of by our friend's son because he was eating broccoli.

Because people don't want to feel threatened to actually think about what they are doing to their bodies, so they take the focus off them and ridicule us.

Dried beans (like lentils) are a great value and you can do so much with them (soups, sides, etc.) Maybe get a bag of split-peas for a soup too? Our Aldi's here have surprisingly good produce, but I don't know about their meats as I don't eat them.

Somehow I found that once I switched to SBD from eating the processed, prepackaged garbage that I was used to eating, I spent less, even though the items can be on the pricey side.


Yes, beans are a great thing for the budget!

I buy dried beans or organic Whole Foods 365 brand canned beans every week. I use them in everything.

And I even use frozen veggies in salads (thawed)

My Italian side of the family has many ways of using beans, with (whole wheat) pasta, and beans with (brown) rice, adding egg and a little cheese to the pasta or rice for extra protein.

I could probably live on beans and dairy products with careful portions of whole grains, as long as I could have some red meat every once in a while. :D

zenor77
08-27-2008, 02:46 PM
I made the comment it is expensive to eat healthy and his comment was IT'S MORE EXPENSIVE NOT TO EAT HEALTHY


He's right! In the long run, if you eat poorly, you'll end up spending much more on health care and your quality of life could be diminished. Unfortunately most people don't tie health costs and missed days from work with their diet. Since eating healthier, I've gone from being sick once a month to being sick maybe twice a year. You can imagine how much I've saved on cold medicines!

uscarchie
08-27-2008, 02:53 PM
We've been going to the farmers market for veg/fruit.

We've also been going to Fresh and Easy here at CA. They give us $5 off $20, excluding milk and alchohol. So, we split our groceries into two piles, and use two $5 off coupons. Has saved us $10 a week. So I spend about $60 a week for two people and two kitties.

Someday soon the coupon gravy train may end, and then I'll be sad.

Belle Mer
08-27-2008, 02:56 PM
He's right! In the long run, if you eat poorly, you'll end up spending much more on health care and your quality of life could be diminished. Unfortunately most people don't tie health costs and missed days from work with their diet. Since eating healthier, I've gone from being sick once a month to being sick maybe twice a year. You can imagine how much I've saved on cold medicines!

True true true! We can't afford health insurance so we decided that we will eat as healthy as possible to prevent as much illness as possible. We hardly ever come down with anything, while the people who eat junky food are always catching stuff.

GONNABE165
08-27-2008, 02:57 PM
uscarchie i am a huge coupon clipper

Loriann7
08-27-2008, 02:59 PM
Never any coupons for fresh meat and fresh veggies, I've personally never seen any for frozen veggies. (not saying they aren't there)

But the money for the paper, and the few I'd clip, wasn't worth the time and effort, in my case!

zeffryn
08-27-2008, 03:02 PM
online coupon sites are awesome. click and print.

EofAZ
08-27-2008, 04:16 PM
Lori -- For the life of me I cannot picture more groceries in Canandaigua then Wagmen's and the P&C. Are those the only two you have to choose from? The Walmart is pretty small one, at least in comparison to the big super stores we have in AZ. I'm not sure I would enjoy shopping for my groceries at the one on 5&20 either if it carries any grocery items, it's a kind of dingy looking place.

Fortunately this is only a temporary situation for you. When my Ex was unemployeed we usually cut back to just a couple of meals that made the money stretch the farthest and lived off those until we could afford better. There was one year that we ate eggs 3 meals a day, I got to be quiet creative on how many ways you could cook an egg. Dried beans and brown rice really are nutritious way to keep yourself healthy and your budget in line. It will get boring due to the lack of variety but it will get you through the tough time until you can improve your situation. Right now I would be looking at your veggies as to what you can afford, canned, frozen or fresh and go with that. Fresh veggies are wonderful but you can get by with some canned if that is what your budget can support.

My heart aches for you, my ex was unemployed more then he was employed during the 25 years we were married and I know how tough trying to live off such a small income can be.

Loriann7
08-27-2008, 04:23 PM
eofz... um.... how long ago since you have been in Canandaigua? We have a HUGE WEgmans, a Tops (but I hate tops, and they are more expensive than weggies)... and a SUPER CENTER, the built a huge super center next to Lowes, the super center has been there, oh, three year? and Lowes has been there for four. P&C??? I think I know where your talking, they are putting in some sort of dep. store, can't thik of the name, but sort of like Ames.

This year a new plaza where the old chase pitkins is coming in.. they put a Bed Bath & beyond, next to that a Petco, and Michaels... soemthing else is coming in but we don't know what yet!

And did you know that the Roseland is back, in a different spot? That came back, oh 5 yearsor 6?

EofAZ
08-27-2008, 04:51 PM
Shoot, I never did understand why they closed down Roseland Park. The last time I was in Canandaigua I thought that it looked like it was reopened but I didn't go check it out.

I've been in Wegman's, that is where I typically go if I'm shopping because I just think it is such nice store but it was opened many many years after I left NY State. Most of my references are as an annual (ish) tourist walking down memory lane. The last time I was in the PC I got the feeling it was closing down but I can't remember why I thought that. Basically I was thinking you didn't have a lot of selection as far as groceries were concerned. Canandaigua, as wonderful a town it is, is still a pretty small place if you are use to being in major cities.

I use to work in the round glass bank on 5 & 20 way way back when. It was a savings and loan then but don't know what it is now.

JellyBean32882
08-27-2008, 04:53 PM
online coupon sites are awesome. click and print.

I've tried them online coupon sites, they don't accept them around where i live... which i think is bull****.

kaplods
08-27-2008, 05:31 PM
I've used budget saving tips everywhere I live, and the strategies do change from region to region. What works in some areas, doesn't work in another. Were we live now, there are more options. We have a U-Bake (a small franchise) that sells bulk baking supplies, spices and seasonings and fresh seasonal fruits (and some other bulk items). The spices are cheap and come in small plastic tubs. When we were in Illinois, we got our spices at a small health-food grocery. They were in bulk jars and you had to scoop your own into plastic bags. Cheap, but not very convenient (but worth it, any way).

The Tightwad Gazatte books and similar books, as well as cheap cookbooks and online bugeting and frugal sites have endless tips. Some of them, you'll think ridiculous, but others will work for you. You've just got to do a little digging and be open to doing things differently than you're used to.

I've found that most people think generics and store brands are inferior, but very often they're literally the exact same product as a nationally recognized brand(produced in the same plant, and using the same recipe - only the label is different).

Aldi's tomato and cream of mushroom soup (49 cents per can) are better than Campbell's in my opinion, a lot better. Not perfectly South Beach, but I still use them once in a great while as a cooking sauce for chicken.

Good Cheap Food by Miriam Ungerer is a wonderful classic cookbook, available inexpensively on amazon.com (several editions). While not a South Beach cookbook, many of the recipes are South Beach friendly, or can be easily adapted to be.

And while prices are variable, some foods do tend to be commonly cheaper than most. Foods that crop up most frequently in our diet because of their price are egg, dry beans and lentils, chicken legs and thighs, some cuts of pork, cabbage, onion, carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, canned and frozen veggies (the cheapest brands), apples.

I have a bread maker (and a whole grain bread maker book, I bought for $5 including s/h off amazon.com), a food dehydrator, and I used to have a "seal a meal of Food Saver" vaccuum sealer. I bought mine on a garage sale for $2, and loved it. New, they're very expensive though - so I'm debating buying new, or just hoping to stumble across one on a garage sale again. Vaccuum sealing really helps foods stay fresh longer, so they help avoid waste in the budget.

The biggest difficulty in being frugal, isn't the tips themselves, it's thinking to use them, because one tip doesn't usually save you much money, it's using as many tips as you can. It's a matter of saving pennies that add up, usually rather than saving tons here and there (although that sometimes happens too).

sarahyu
08-27-2008, 05:35 PM
The stores in my area don't accept the online coupons either. So sad because you can get the coupons you'll actually use.

My price cutting tips:
I buy the dried beans and cook up the entire 1 lb package, then freeze into the portions I'll use at one time.

TVP can be very economical if you can find it. Once you add seasonings it doesn't taste bad and it's very nutritrious. I've found it at an organic market nearby.

See if you can find a big asian market near you. If you only have a small one, the prices won't be as good. but if you can find a big one you'll see a huge difference in produce prices.

Good luck.
Sarah in MD

I shop the ads each week and when something is a great buy, go several times that week and stock up as much I can.

JellyBean32882
08-27-2008, 08:36 PM
The stores in my area don't accept the online coupons either. So sad because you can get the coupons you'll actually use.

My price cutting tips:
I buy the dried beans and cook up the entire 1 lb package, then freeze into the portions I'll use at one time.

TVP can be very economical if you can find it. Once you add seasonings it doesn't taste bad and it's very nutritrious. I've found it at an organic market nearby.

See if you can find a big asian market near you. If you only have a small one, the prices won't be as good. but if you can find a big one you'll see a huge difference in produce prices.

Good luck.
Sarah in MD

I shop the ads each week and when something is a great buy, go several times that week and stock up as much I can.


I shop the ads too, whenever I need my shampoo and hair dye which I can't afford full price, LOL

pamatga
08-28-2008, 09:26 AM
You can modify this to fit a tight budget. I have had to. The main thing is to focus on the fresh produce when you can. Also, there are Farmer's markets still and will be until fall.

I have found that apples stretch a long way even though they are a little high. That is my mid afternoon snack almost every day.

Also, you don't have to go for the more expensive cuts of meats. If you are fortunate enough to have or know someone who has a deep freezer you can shop the sales too. I understand some grocery store chains have some good sales on meats.

Someone asked me if this could be done as a vegetarian. I think, I might consider having more "meatless" meals moving forward. It couldn't hurt, could it??;)

Schmoodle
08-28-2008, 10:09 AM
I have been eating more meatless lately. It's just easier with DH gone, as he is the big carnivore in the house.
I also just found a good recipe for Top Round Steak, which is inexpensive and goes on sale frequently. It tends to be tough, so I don't llike to get it, but I had to cook one that was in the freezer that defrosted and I tried a new method that came out very tender. I'll post the recipe later.

kaplods, we have been reading the same stuff. I love my Tightwad Gazettes and the Good Food Cheap. I've got another I really like - the More-with-Less Cookbook: suggestions by Mennonites on how to eat better and consume less of the world's limited food resources, by Doris Janzen Longacre. I think Amy Dacyzyn recommended this one.

beachgal
08-28-2008, 11:01 AM
Loriann, it might be worth your while to take a trip into Ithaca every once in a great while. The Co-op there (Greenstar) has tons of great deals, especially on bulk foods. It's like an SBD candy store as far as choices, go, and some things are tree-mendously expensive compared to Wegman's nature's market, but others are incredibly good deals. Their bulk aisle is huge and they have tons of great deal on nuts, grains, granola, WW pasta (they even have WW alphabet pasta!), etc. I think it could be worth a visit, if it's not that far for you...I forget how far it would be from Canandaigua. :?: I truly think you should check out Wal*Mart for some things. I go there regularly though I am generally a Wegman's shopper. I get a big container of organic FF greek yogurt for about $4.60, while it's nearly $6 at Wegman's. We can get very fresh cilantro at WM for $.49 to $.79, while it's almost always $1.99 at Wegman's. At Sam's Club, I can get an absolutely ridiculous deal on boneless pork chops (i.e. pork tenderloin, cut into chops). They sell it sometimes for a dollar and change a pound in a very big piece. You can ask them to cut it for you in whatever thickness you want for the chops. I end up with weeks and weeks worth to put in the freezer for under $10. It's amazing!!! :love:

I do think eating on SBD can be more expensive some times. But I eat out less and that more than makes up the cost. Plus, I think it's worth it. Though, when I go to the local Weis store and see people shopping with food stamps and getting food that I know isn't really healthy, it makes me SO sad. :cry: I saw a man once getting two small pies for his lunch. We all know what that probably did to his blood sugar. It's just so sad that the cheap food is what's most likely to lead to bad health...though as our many bright Beachies have pointed out, there are lots of cheap ways to eat healthy.

BTW, I'm in love with beans...so I'm glad they're cheap! I made these crockpot beans (http://www.southbeachcenturyclub.com/recipe.php?id=54)the other night and just doubled the recipe, so it nearly overflowed my crockpot! But the beans are delicious and I had so much that I was able to save a huge portion in the freezer for later. Yum! :T

kaplods
08-28-2008, 02:02 PM
I made a cassoulet type dish (a french comfort dish, baked beans with some meats, usually including pork sausage and duck or goose), substituting one chicken thigh quarter and a link of chicken polish-style sausage for the pork sausage and duck. The dish was mostly assorted beans, slow cooked in a crockpot. It was so good, and extremely cheap, and South Beach friendly.

The pot was so huge, we froze half and still had several days worth of meals (and the whole pot had under $4 worth of ingredients).

Stews, soups, and casseroles can often be made very cheaply in comparison to "hunk o' meat and vegetable" meals. Old-fashioned oats are probably the cheapest breakfast, but eggs are pretty cheap too. There are alot of expensive South Beach friendly cold cereals, but alot of the old-fashioned "plain" cereals both hot and cold are much more economical.

I remember a recipe for "instant oatmeal" out of regular quick cook oats (like Quaker in the round box). I think that you put it (dry) in a blender or food processor and pulverized it. Another person (in Tightwad, I think) recommended putting milk or water and qick oats in a glass bowl in the fridge at night, and then microwaving it in the morning.

A lot of "cheap" foods require advanced planning, but not really a lot of extra time, really just more forethought. Once it becomes a habit, you hardly notice.

Loriann7
08-29-2008, 02:29 PM
thank you all for your help! I'll be looking at veggetarian meals for next week! I might be able to stretch what I have into next week as well, with only picking up milk!

Good news! I just called the auto loan company (capital one) to ask about rescheduling payments, lowering them. They couldn't do that, but what I DID find out, is I'm a payment ahead of myself! I don't have to pay this month! woo hoo! That couldn't of come at a better time! :). With the cost of The Dr,. and hospital, this is a blessing!

Ruthxxx
08-29-2008, 03:22 PM
:cheer: You needed some silver lining in your life this month! :grouphug:

camelia
08-29-2008, 03:25 PM
We are lucky to have a Sam's Club in our town and they sell these huge 4lb bags of mixed frozen veggies that are great. Somehow they never get freezer frost and cook up and taste like fresh. Many a day I put two handfulls of them frozen in a tupperware container and heat up in the microwave at work and throw a .5 cup of shredded cheddar on top or have a small dish of cottage cheese with them.

As far as protein, we also get 5lbs of ground turkey at Sam's club for $9 and when we find albacore canned tuna on sale, stock up on that. Tuna can be added so brown rice, or on top of a salad or made into a sandwich for lunch.

Beans, I use them a lot too; many morning I have a .5 cup of beans and shredded cheddar on top. Or leftover brown rice from dinner with 1/4 cup of beans and 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar.

Good luck, but I think you can find some ways to get most of what you need and not break your budget. Just think of the alternative ............. :D