Saving money on food bills

Tricks for speedy prep, packing, food safety, freezing, organization, and saving money

Re: Saving money on food bills

Postby Corgi » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:17 am

I like the semi-warehouse stores - like GFS, which is restaurant supply open to the public. I got a case of very good hotdogs, all beef, for... I think the pricing worked out to US$.25/per, for a Hebrew-National-knockwurst-sized hotdog. Fattier, but definitely worth buying (there's ways to defat them somewhat during cooking).

(Hee, I was right - all the Florida Aldi's are up north, and pretty spread apart.)
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Re: Saving money on food bills

Postby elenacala » Fri Jul 31, 2009 5:50 pm

I cook everything I can from scratch. It saves me bundles of money each month. It is amazing the things you can make from pantry basics like flour, eggs, milk , salt, baking powder etc. You can make everything from your own cream of Whatever you like soup, to crepes, gravy, even home made tortillas, home made granola bars and home made fruit rolls ups. It may take a little time, but if you got it, not only will it save money but it will be healtheir for your family b/c you will be ommiting all they processed hydrogenated oils, HFCS, and food dyes that you really don't need. I also bought a bread maker, I make rolls and bread from it, and you cand also make pizza dough and freezer style jam.

I use a lot of coupons when I shop and plan my meals ahead of time and I try to plan meals using a single item. For instance if Pork is on sale i will buy a few pounds of it, adn then use it to make a pork roast one night, then egg rolls or asian fried rice the next night, maybe pork chops another night or taquitos etc. So all I have to do is cook up and buy one main item then plan my meals around it. I also stock up when things are on sale, of things that I use regularly. It may take me slightly over budget than what I had planned but b/c I know i will use it and am getting it at a better price than I would 3 weeks from now, it doesn't bother me much.

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Re: Saving money on food bills

Postby GypsyWagon » Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:38 am

Definitely a thumbs up for the meal planning. I sit down with my master calendar and plan around soccer practice, classes and long days...so, I can be realistic about how much work I'm going to want to put into dinner those nights. I cook once and we eat it twice...sometimes I "re-invent" the leftovers. But, I'm blessed with a DH who doesn't mind leftovers. I shop once every two weeks, and don't step foot back in the store. I can buy milk that will still be in date by then. If my budget is so tight it's squeaking, then I'll go through my pantry and freezer and plan around what's there. I use the little itty bitty paper post-it flag and tag each ingredient (ie. "Fideo Soup" on a can of tomatoes) so things don't get used for something else and leave me hanging. My husband knows that anything on the middle shelf of the pantry is part of the menu plan...and, he can't just go in and start eating cans of olives...or, whatever. With a three year old in the house, I try to buy the best I can. By that I mean no HFCS or additives, not the most expensive. Trader Joe's is an offspring of Aldi, and it's not the boutique market a lot of people assume it is. I hit the Farmer's Market for veggies, and rarely us a mix or convenience food. The crock pot has become my friend, too. I can prep it the night before, put the crock in the fridge and then set it in the warmer the next morning. By the time I come home, dinner is mostly done and I don't get the urge to do take out. The crockpot is also a great way to cook dried beans, and then you can freeze in "can sized" portions to save money, and stay away from the BPA lining in some cans. Resource: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10 ... ckpot.html Great website for crock pot cooking, and she has a new book out this Fall.

I do like to have a buffer of pantry stores that won't go bad quickly. Dried beans, canned tomatoes, pastas, rice. Veggies, fruit and a loaf of bread in the freezer. It makes me feel secure. ;) In case of an emergency we could squeak by for a week or two.
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Re: Saving money on food bills

Postby elenacala » Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:10 pm

GypsyWagon wrote: The crock pot has become my friend, too. I can prep it the night before, put the crock in the fridge and then set it in the warmer the next morning. By the time I come home, dinner is mostly done and I don't get the urge to do take out. The crockpot is also a great way to cook dried beans, and then you can freeze in "can sized" portions to save money, and stay away from the BPA lining in some cans. Resource: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10 ... ckpot.html Great website for crock pot cooking, and she has a new book out this Fall.



I agree! I love my crock pot its good for lazy days, hot days an really busy ones too. Its jsut me and my hubby at home, So we just use anything left over from the crock pot ( whihc usually makes a ton) for lunches and dinners later in the week. I also like ot use the crockpot to make up a huge batch of soup either pablano corn choweder or tortilla strip soup and then freeze half of it for a meal next week or the week after, and then I save the over half for diner that night and lunch the next day. Soup is so economical too. I'm glad to knwo I am nt othe only oen who frezes her loafs of bread. For a while there I thought maybe I was a little weird for doing it +)

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Re: Saving money on food bills

Postby TisiphoneNemesis » Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:23 pm

For those in the UK use http://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/ to make sure you are getting the cheapest shop. I used to shop at Asda (Wal*Mart) thinking it was the cheapest and I now use Ocado/Walmart. It costs on average around £2 more a week but the quality is much better and the ethics / seasonal / locality of the food stops my guilt trips. I also buy free range eggs 6 for £1 (normally around £3 for 12) at the market (Arndale Centre, Manchester) and visit the other markets, cooperatives etc.

For those who havent used it My Supermarket compares the prices at the 4 larges supermarkets in britain and allows you to either print your shopping list off or order direct as long as you can get delivery where you are.

I pay £9.99 a month for unlimied deliveries (I pay £5 for a taxi back from the supermarket) and it stops me from impulse buying. The site also lets you know if there are offers on items you normally buy and if BOGOFs or similar are available, it also encourages you to 'downshift' where you buy the next brand down to try (frequently items are made in the same factory but packaged seperately. For example Ariel, Persil and Surf all come from one factory but with slightly different recipes, Asda smart price is also packaged there and gets a mix of the three. here is a link that explains more
http://catherine.makes.it
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Re: Saving money on food bills

Postby smoke » Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:18 pm

As opposed to the list people, I let the store prices dictate what ingredients go into my food. It worked out well with the cabbage soup, and what was left of the cabbage made a nice rice seasoner. There has been a few vegetable casualties because I haven't learned how often I lose my appetite lately.

A habit I used to have when I didn't share food with my roomate, and what I need to start doing again for those nights that the hubby doesn't get to come home, is to start making my own freezer meals. I would take a family-sized package of meat, cook all of it, then seal it in portion-sized containers to thaw out as needed later. A handful of frozen veggies and some dry mashed potato flakes, and I'd have a meal. Right now, we have home made freezer-to-pan hamburger patties and I need to make another freezer-to-oven meatloaf.

I also take advantage of the crock pot. I'll take an entire chicken, strip off most of the meat after cooking it, then cook the carcass in the drippings until the bones start to crumble.

I've started signing up for Angel Food. For $30 I get a box of food that is supposed to feed a family of four for a week, and the distribution site gets a few spare boxes for their food pantry. Even with turning an unwanted item back over to them for the pantry, it's still worth it.

Another thing I do is keep an open mind about what is edible. My parents don't eat many pork chops, and they let their intake from Angel Food get a little out of hand. I rescued a freezer-burned package from them, and those will go into a bean soup.
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