LA Weight Loss - Frugal Tips Please!

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08-22-2006, 03:15 PM
Before I start, I did a search on "frugal" and only came up with 2 postings on this forum, so I hope I'm not doing something that's been done or overdone!

We are on a tight budget and being a SAH homeschooler and also a WAH mom, this diet is really putting our budget in shambles!

I'd love to hear any frugal tips on ways to do this lifestyle change.

I'm already making pasta sauce from tomatos in the garden and canning it and we've just started smoking jalepeno's (chipotle's) for me to can and also to dehydrate for spice rubs, mixes, and just seasoning in general. I even make my own laundry detergent, fabric softener sheets, etc.

I shop ads and buy what I can on sale and use coupons, but if you have some tips, I'd LOVE to have them!

08-22-2006, 03:59 PM
Hi Pearl;

I know what you mean. When my husband and I started dieting, our grocery bill went out of site.........but live and learn. This recipe is so good and you can use it for 4 different dinners.......When you make it, it will make 2 but you will have leftovers from the second time to use it in something else.

Better Than Moms Mini Meatloaf

2 tea. olive oil
1 med onion,finely chopped
1 # lean ground beef 7% or less fat (I buy @Walmart extra lean ground beef 97/3 in the green wrapper like sasuage is packed in)
1 # ground turkey breast (I buy @Walmart usually in 1# packs )
2/3 c quick cooking (not instant) rolled oats
2 eggs
2 Tbs. chopped parsley you can use dried
1 Tbs. Dijon style mustard
3 tea. Worcester sauce
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tea. dried thyme
1/2tea.season salt
1/2 tea. pepper
1/4 c ketchup

preheat oven 250. line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spay. Heat the oil in large nonstick skillet,add onions and saute until soft, about 8 mins.Set aside to cool slightly.
meanwhile, combine the beef,turkey,oats,eggs,parsley,mustard 2 tea. of the worchestershire sauce, the garlic,thyme seasoned salt and pepper in large bowl,stir in the onions and blend lightly with a fork. Let stand 10 min.
Shape the mixture into 2 loaves and place on baking sheet.
Combine the ketchup with the remaining tea of worchestershire sauce and brush over the tops of meatloaf. bake about 45 mins. Let stand 10 mins before slicing.

When you eat one that day, let the other loaf cool off while you are eating then double wrap in foil and put in freezer.
you can have another meatloaf or split it in two and use 1 for spagetti and 1 for tacos.........It goes a long way. Hope this helps

08-22-2006, 04:01 PM
Sorry Pearl, Change the temperature to 350 degrees instead of 250 degrees...Thanks Jane313

08-22-2006, 04:30 PM
I started buying our produce at a local open air veggie store/stand. Just to give you an idea of the difference in prices:

Stand Grocery Store
Watermelon .39/lb .59/lb
green peppers .59/ 2lb 1.00/lb
red peppers 1.29/lb 3.99/lb
peaches .69/lb 1.09/lb
green beans .69/lb 1.09/lb
pineapple 1.25/whole 5.99/whole

You get the picture. I've also started buying what produce is on sale and in season instead of what I may "plan".

I've found that other than diapers and very few other things, my coupon usage has gone down. Since we're not buying all of the processed food, there aren't many coupons for apples.

Also, if you have any ethnic markets near you (asian, hispanic), the meat and poultry is usually less expensive.

And for us, when boneless, skinless chicken breasts go on sale for $1.79/lb, I buy between 20-30 lbs and trim each one and wrap them in plastic then bag the individual packages in freezer bags so they are always ready to go.

I will try to think of more for you, because I could use some more savings too.

08-22-2006, 04:31 PM
Oh yeah... the rest of my family hates beans, so I don't usually cook with them that much, but vegetarian chili is good and cheap!

08-22-2006, 06:26 PM
Great tips Cassi - I need to check out the open markets!
Pearl - it sounds like you are doing all the right things; planning your menus, cooking from scratch.. Of course, they say cooking vegetarian is cost effective; buying things in bulk (tunafish is big for me and I now buy big bags of frozen veggies - store brand). I live within walking distance of 3 grocery stores and if I really wanted to be frugal, I'd check with the meat dept manager to see when the best deals are in his section (I know they discount meats at my local Kroger late at night and if I get there early in the morning, I can get some good deals on things that are still good, but need to get off their shelves.). The only thing I can think of to really reduce costs is to send your children off to the neighbors around suppertime everyday!
I know I spend more at the grocery store these days, but I spend a lot less at the fast food/restaurant places.

08-23-2006, 10:45 AM
I buy ground turkey instead of beef because it's so much cheaper in my store and they put it on sale a lot. I buy sliced cheese in the deli and ask for as many pieces as I know I'll need for sandwhiches or whatever. It is always cheaper than prepackaged and I don't end up throwing any away (or using any extra!!)

I stop at the store twice or three times a week to buy our vegetables. This way I know exactly what I am going to use for day or two and I throw out less veggies that have gone bad or that I decided not to use, etc. My store is on the way home from work, so it's convenient though.

08-23-2006, 10:56 AM
Thanks everyone for the tips. Keep them coming!!!

Sommer - Are you buying ground turkey BREAST or just ground turkey? I'm lucky if I can get the GTbreast for less than $2.19/lb. I can usually beat that with lean 93/7 ground beef on sale. I'm going out today to run errands and I'm buying beans and brown rice which we both love. Of course in HIS book, beans are highlighted by his counselor, so we can only have them on a tue. or thur. and with nothing else that is highlighted! (sorry, I got off on that again!)
Anyway, buying fruits at Sams, some veggies at Costco, the rest at Walmart.
Peaches are awesome right now and they're on sale so I'm getting those too. Might make some peach butter and can it for the winter... Hmmm. I need one more thing to do this week!!! NOT!

08-23-2006, 11:49 AM
Pearl -

Uses for peaches:

Broil or grill them for a dessert or side dish. Top with Cool Whip for dessert, or be REALLY decadent and add 1/2c FF SF Vanilla Ice Creamm to the grillled peaches (fr,s)

You can also bake or microwave them with a crushed graham cracker on top, sort of like a cobbler.

Dice a peach, tomato, onion and jalapeno for peach salsa. Put on grilled fish, chicken or pork.

Don't forget that green beans are in season now too. You can "saute" in pam with garlic and lemon juice.

08-23-2006, 02:10 PM
I am not on LAWL, but here are some of my frugal tips:

~Check the sale ads before you go to the store. I tend to buy the fruits and veggies that are in season (cheaper) and on special, and plan around that-rather than buying the same thing, just because I like it.
So-in the summer-peaches, plums, nectarines, and watermelon tend to be on sale a lot...apples of all varieties are on sale a lot during the fall...and so forth. If baby carrots are on sale this week-that is what I buy...and if bags of salad mix are on sale next week...that is what I buy then. :D

~If you have a discount/generic supermarket, you can get some staples pretty cheap there. (Such as Aldi, Save A Lot, etc.) I can get bags of rice, bran flakes, oatmeal, frozen vegetables, and the like really cheap.

~Plean meals around the meat that is on sale for the week in your store ads.

~Look for recipes that include "cheap" items in it-such as beans, rice, and oatmeal.

~Eggs are cheap as well, if your plan allows them. I can get a dozen for 69 cents at my Kroger.

~Use store brand replacements for the same product.

~Be frugal elsewhere when you can-rather than having the air conditioner/central air turned down to 69 degrees...have it set at 71 or 72. Be sure not to use electricity when not needed-such as turning off lights when you leave the room...only using lawn sprinklers when necessary, and avoiding unneccessary trips to save on gasoline. Rather than buying a case of bottled water each week-buy a filter like Pur to put on your kitchen faucet. If you have an expensive coffee habit-a bag of Starbucks brand coffee at the store is pricey compared to other brands-but much cheaper than going to the Starbucks for a coffee every morning. If you make small changes everywhere-it really adds up over time.

I could share frugal tips for days...I'd like to hear what everyone else's ideas are. :)

08-23-2006, 02:38 PM
Pearl - love the puppy pic. I read about this site on another link....I'm not suggesting you sign up for anything, but there is a sample menu on the website that may give you some just have to make them LAWL friendly...

08-23-2006, 09:37 PM
Don't know about other areas, but around here Safeway and Albertson's have 10 for 10 sales all the time... 10 items for $10.00. This includes things like Broccoli Crowns and Culiflower, etc. LOTS of good stuff on 10 for $10.00.

08-23-2006, 10:04 PM
Pearl- One of the biggest savings I have found is to buy the big tubs of yogurt and use your scale to measure out 8 oz. The individual serving containers which only have 6 oz. in them are so much more expensive when you figure out the cost per serving. Granted you can only get vanilla, strawberry, or plain- but the sacrifice is worth the savings.