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Shoestring Meals Budget friendly ideas for healthy eating

Share your best budget shopping tips!

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Old 07-09-2005, 01:48 PM   #31
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I buy mostly frozen fruits, veggies (unless it's summer in which case I go to the very cheap and abundant farmer's markets) and chicken breasts.

I make a list and stick to it. I run down the snack aisles only to grab my fiance his favorite chips, and me my 100 cal packs. that's it! I've found when I linger in the snack aisle I spend $30 more on average!!

I check all expiration dates and buy the milk/cheese/yogurt/salad/ etc that will be around the longest. I hate throwing stuff out!

The only sales items I buy are the things I NEED. In the past I've spent more money buying things that are on sale just because they're on sale and a bargain. A waste if you never eat or use them! lol
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Old 07-09-2005, 11:08 PM   #32
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Actually, I never budget. I buy the best of everything that I like because I think quality is the most important thing in getting value for money.
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Old 07-26-2005, 07:20 AM   #33
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the best way i've found to save money is to buy all my packaged foods (yogurt, soymilk, wine, condiments, dried fruit) at trader joes, veggies at the korean markets (half the price of ralphs), and meats on sale at the supermarket. i buy boneless skinless chicken if it's cheap, but otherwise, i debone it when i get home, and wrap it in saran wrap and freeze it.
i think we would spend twice as much at least on groceries if it weren't for trader joes. i love that place. two buck chuck forever!!
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Old 10-02-2005, 04:39 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by friendsforfitness
OMG! I just recently found this website and it has changed my whole way of thinking as far as grocery shopping goes. I used to HATE grocery shopping. I used to spend 600.00 a month on groceries ( I have a family of 5). At the end of each week I would be scrounging for whatever I could pull together. Since this site, I LOVE to grocery shop and even look forward to it. The best part is I am already spending 200.00 a month less on groceries and I have only been participating for like 5 weeks. And after all this the best part is my cabinets keep getting fuller every week even with us eating normally all week long. It's addicting. They will give you a one month trial for 1.00 if you decide to stay on and over 90% of trial memberships do there it will only be 10.00 every 8 weeks. It's very reasonable. You don't have to be some kind of super shopper either. I never cut coupons or shopped the ads before and Like i said I am saving 200.00 a month. I know it will get to be even more as the time passes too. Last week I saved 69% on my grocery bill and there are some people who save even more! Check it out for yourself. It's at www.thegrocerygame.com good luck and trust me it's worth it.

Lisa
ps I don't work for them either, I just really love it!

Thank you so much for the tip on this site! I checked it out and the grocery store in my area that I spend the most at participates so I'm signing up right away! Especially since this weekend our grocery bill was around $230 for 3 of us. The food should last us somewhere between 10-14 days if we're lucky, but still that's just too much.
I do have a question though: are the things you get on sale primarily processed, not so good for you foods or is there a wide variety?
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Old 10-02-2005, 05:15 PM   #35
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I have 3 sons, 2 teenagers and a kindergartener. They eat a lot! But I do have plans to deal with it. I shop 2-3 times a month. I get protein that is on special. If I am shopping for 2 weeks worth, I get enough for 14 dinners. I pick out frozen veggies for 14 days and 14 side dishes. And 7 or so desserts. (desserts normally last 2 days) Family isn't much into casseroles, so this works for us. I get lunch and breakfast stuff on special and our local store has double coupons. I shop at the bread outlett stores. I also have a membership at Costco. Occasioanally I sprlurge and spend 60 or so on me a month, but I figure it is a small price to pay to keep me on my diet. But normally I spend 250 at the regular grocery stores and an additional 100 at Costco a month. 400 is my max for the budget, sometimes staples all run out at once. Oh, and I stock up on canned fruit/pb/jelly ect when Smiths has their case load sales.
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Old 10-02-2005, 09:28 PM   #36
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Byebigbutt, (LOL)

I am finding out that I have to shop at walmart to stay on my diet and not use the list as much, check it out though, it's only a dollar for like 10 weeks or something. See if it's for you. I still am a member and I do use the list for the really great deals that I can't pass up.

Lisa
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Old 10-03-2005, 08:16 AM   #37
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I'm somewhat thrifty..however, I do not bend on my meats & produce. I only buy fresh..and prefer to buy from a particular supermarket. They are of a higher quality..when you are on a low carb, you notice this...lol.
Otherwise, I write my list, go thru the two sale papers...cut coupons..and hit walmart for canned goods if I have many.
I hardly go down the snack aisle, unless the kiddo is low..which will be a while. I snagged up on the sale last week :P
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Old 10-03-2005, 08:20 AM   #38
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oh yeah..and what helps with fresh produce prices..I live in the Sunshine State..lol..although not so sunny today..very runny
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Old 10-05-2005, 04:11 PM   #39
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One word: Aldi. I save so much money shopping there it's not even funny. True, they don't have as wide a selection as other stores, so I still have to buy a lot of my diet-type foods elsewhere, but it's dirt cheap, and they are always adding new products including LF, FF, and SF products. And here's an insider secret for you (my mom was a manager): a lot of their food is brand name food repackaged (e.g. Campbell's soup and Heinz ketchup), so the quality is still good.
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Old 10-05-2005, 08:52 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by friendsforfitness
Byebigbutt, (LOL)

I am finding out that I have to shop at walmart to stay on my diet and not use the list as much, check it out though, it's only a dollar for like 10 weeks or something. See if it's for you. I still am a member and I do use the list for the really great deals that I can't pass up.

Lisa
I checked the site, and it's $10 for 8 weeks for just one store, then an additional $5 for any other stores in your area that you want to add (so 2 stores is $15 for 8 weeks, 3 stores is $20, etc.). I was thinking about it, but since I live alone, I don't think it would be worth it--I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to save $10 a month on just things for myself, so it wouldn't pay for itself. Probably makes more semse for bigger families
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Old 10-05-2005, 09:30 PM   #41
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Default Sorry, I messed up.

The TRIAL membership is something like a buck for 4 weeks or something like that. You are right about the regular prices. If you have a big family like I do it's defintiely worth it.


Sorry for any confusion on that.
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Old 11-14-2005, 11:39 PM   #42
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I eat a lot less meat. That saves money.
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Old 11-30-2005, 05:35 PM   #43
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Since I live in a very small town we only have 2 stores to buy groceries. Well 3 if you count Walmart but there is very little there honestly. I shop the flyers all the time, we don't have a paper with coupons in it so if I have a coupon it's from the manufactor that the store put out. The best thing I can do to save some money is looking closely at the price tags. They usually have how much it costs per 100ml, kg, or item. I find that a lot of times the bulk size is cheaper in the end even though it will boost my total at the register. Plus when comparing brands it makes things really easy to. I also take a calculator with me in case I can't see the per price or if it's for something like laundry soap, 1 tag can say per load others say per ml. I don't usually plan my meals for the week but after reading so many of you doing it, I'm going to be trying it out again.

Another way I save is buying my meat from the farm not the store. We will be getting a half cow this year and get everything from ground beef to tenderloin for $2/lb. A HUGE difference in price when you consider that it's usually about $10/lb or more for tenderloin and is still a deal for ground beef. At least where I live. I'm going to be looking into finding a chicken farm also since we go through a lot. Mainly breasts though so not sure if it's going to be a deal or not it we don't get the whole chicken.
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Old 12-01-2005, 11:21 AM   #44
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Yesterday I realized how much I spent in -baby- carrots... regular carrots are much cheaper. And you don't have to do a lot to prep them... just wash/scrub a little, cut off a tiny bit of the tip and cut off where the leaves are. I don't bother to peel them, so I get the health benefits of the skin. Yum.

I also buy oatmeal/rice/grains in bulk at places like Whole Foods. (Everything -else- there is more expensive... but the bulk section is great!!)
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Old 12-01-2005, 12:37 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhysDom
Yesterday I realized how much I spent in -baby- carrots... regular carrots are much cheaper. And you don't have to do a lot to prep them... just wash/scrub a little, cut off a tiny bit of the tip and cut off where the leaves are. I don't bother to peel them, so I get the health benefits of the skin. Yum.
I've noticed that old-skool carrots have more flavor when they're cooked than the baby carrots do. I'll use baby carrots for raw, but I try to get regular ones at least half of the time (for half of the price).

Another thought on budgets - I am going to check out a program in Minnesota called Fare for All - once a month, you purchase a package of meat and vegetables for less than half its regular price if you prove that you've volunteered for 4 hours somewhere in the community for that month.
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