How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?
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The Water Cooler
How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?
Discuss all things non-baking
I try to save using coupons and only buying things on sale.I have started making a breakfast meal at dinner time and also serving one meatless meal a week.I'm making oatmeal instead of cold cereals,wh
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Forums  »  Baking Forums  »  The Water Cooler  »  How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?

Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?

posted at 4/28/2012 11:10 AM EDT
Posts: 3406
First: 10/6/2010
Last: 4/15/2014
I shop the close out racks for the produce, vegetables also close out sections for meat as well as bakery items.
You just have to get past the imperfect fruits and veggies. 
I figure "we" are so lucky to live in a country where we can go through a bin of hundreds of apples to pick 1 or 2 that are perfectly shaped and colored and for what, to get it home and cut it up, remove the peal that is then discarded.  The potato that has a bit of a spot on it.  The peel gets removed and the potato diced up for the soup it does not matter if the spot is there, it gets cut off anyway.  Why pay full price for what you discard?

I am lucky enough to have an Aldi store near me and much of the grocery items I get are from Aldi.
I have also decided that 1 and possibly 2 days a week are no meat dinners.  I will do Tofu stir fry or soup.  I will do a bit of left over meat if there is any and do a baked bean dinner.

Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?

posted at 4/28/2012 9:14 PM EDT
Posts: 1819
First: 9/9/2008
Last: 4/16/2014
I agree with shopping the reduced bins in produce and meat.  Sometimes you can find some really great bargains, although they seem to be fewer these days.  Probably more people shopping them?  This is a good way to try something new too.  Leek costs quite a bit when it's regular price but I recently found a package for about 50 cents that had been trimmed down to the white part.  Since most recipes call only for the white part anyway this was a bargain.  With five large bulbs I had enough for quite a few recipes over a few weeks.

Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?

posted at 4/29/2012 8:05 AM EDT
Posts: 2515
First: 6/4/2010
Last: 4/17/2014
when the stuffed in the store gose up thats when we cut the coupons .

Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?

posted at 5/7/2012 4:38 PM EDT
Posts: 3718
First: 9/13/2011
Last: 4/17/2014
GRANA  here;
 I'm making  & serving more side dishes( made / less xpennsive ingredients( potatoes; pastas & rice); MOREWORK FOR ME  but it's easier & still satisfying to eat less of the more expensive dishes,like meat!
I'm actually serving less of our  much loved veggies, (until warmer weather makes them less expensiveMoney mouth

Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?

posted at 5/7/2012 7:25 PM EDT
Posts: 1856
First: 10/8/2010
Last: 2/12/2014
I always look at the weekly grocery ads.  Some weeks there's nothing or not much I want/need.  If there are some things I want I'll make a list and try to match coupons (unless they are store brands).  I have enough stuff stocked up so  if it isn't on sale I don't have to buy it.  Sugar is one item I only get on sale. (need sugar for cookies)  I think I have 8 bags of sugar stashed away.  It doesn't go bad and I don't have to pay high prices for it when I need it.
Also we don't eat a lot of meat, I have a garden so freeze extra stuff for later, and don't buy convenience foods.  We don't drink soda (water is better for you), buy tea on sale.
A while back Ann mentioned that she can't use sale shampoo.  I find it makes great liquid hand soap.

Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?

posted at 5/7/2012 11:50 PM EDT
Posts: 1417
First: 10/26/2009
Last: 3/15/2014
In Response to Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?:
I use coupons all the time.  I coordinate them with what is on sale.  I buy large packages of chicken, ground turkey, etc. since it is cheaper.  I put food in the freezer all the time.  If we have any leftovers, we eat them the next day or freeze them.  If there is a little of something left over, I freeze it and use it with more of the same down the road or combine it with somethlng else.  With the large packages of chicken or ground turkey, I make the large package which also saves on utilities by making it all at one time and then freeze the rest in packages.  I label them and date them.  I have a store card from the grocery store I shop at and check the store flyer to see what is on sale with the card and purchase the items, if I use them.  If there is something new that I want to try I wait until I have a coupon and it is on sale.
Posted by Marie F


Marie, your routines and buying savvy sounds identical to what I do! I rarely buy anything that's not on sale or I don't have a coupon for. It kills me to pay full price. lol   I've been using coupons since moving to California in 1975. The grocery stores used to double all coupons all the time, but they stopped doing that about 3 years ago. Now they only double up to $1.00, but it all helps.

Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?

posted at 5/8/2012 7:36 AM EDT
Posts: 939
First: 5/3/2009
Last: 10/4/2012
I have always tried to save money.  When we were first married, hubby got paid every 2 weeks & I did not drive so I learned to budget the money & to shop "once" every 2 weeks, years later he got paid once a month so it was easier to pay the bills & have the grocery money all at once ( I stillput the money & receipt in an envelope & subtract the amount each shopping trip, I know how much I have left & I know what I bought). Last week I bought corned beef for $ 1.99#, I had 2 in the freezer, but hubby likes it, so I bought 2 more (I buy small ones because I do not eat it). Kroger had the rye bread that he likes marked down so I bought a loaf. He used  it for Monday's corned beef sandwiches (Sunday I made him tuna melts on it) & I might make him patty melts with it ( I made some patties the last time I bought gr. chuck on sale & froze them).  The tuna melts were made with tuna left from Fri. dinner of tuna on toast. I made chicken fajita Sat. & made enough for him to have for a lunch & I used the rest to make myself chicken fahita nachos. When I make a roast (beef) I make gravy, potatoes, corn, carrots & green beans. That way he eats less meat & more vegs. & I can make him hot beef & French dip(when the rolls are on sale) & I will take a little of the roast & make myself a nice veg. beef soup. I rarely serve a whole chicken breast, I cut them like tenders or chunks for kabobs or bite size pieces for stir fry etc. (he got use to me cooking bite size pieces of meat when the kids were small= I found it easier to do it that way instead of cutting the food on their plates, plus they ate better because mom & dad got the same food). I usually make extra when I cook to use another way; extra taco meat ( cooked with onions & diced tomatoes) will be used in a casserole or for nachos. spaghetti with meat sauce (again alot of onions & bell peppers) will be used for baked spaghetti & a pasta salad for me, left over meatloaf will be serve with gravy (I freeze gravy from a roast) & maybe a cold sandwich for me. When I make mac & cheese (I double the recipe & use the coupons on here for the milk) I double the recipe & he gets a hearty serving with meatloaf, hotdogs cutup in beans, BBQ chicken or pork (all the main dishes are repeated with the mac & cheese so he gets mac & cheese almost every day till gone) I would make the beans with burgers & then use the rest with the hotdogs.  By the way, when I double the mac & cheese, I do not use twice the amt. of cheese or evap.milk, I also use a little reduced fat cheese so he does not know the difference.

Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?

posted at 5/8/2012 11:20 AM EDT
Posts: 2162
First: 8/8/2008
Last: 4/17/2014
Trying to use less expenice meat

Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?

posted at 5/8/2012 12:00 PM EDT
Posts: 652
First: 10/4/2008
Last: 4/16/2014
Search everywhere for coupons....dropping down to store brand instead of national brand....buying less junk, sticking with the necessities....make more meals from scratch as opposed to "ready from the freezer".....watching for sales (that seem to be few and far between anymore!)....and, last but not least....cutting back on the portion size.  We both need to drop a few pounds, and that seems to be working for us!  YES!!!

Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?

posted at 5/8/2012 2:13 PM EDT
Posts: 959
First: 1/20/2010
Last: 4/13/2014
I use coupons a lot more and have a big garden. I also buy in bulk
at Sams  club and divide and put some in freezer when I get home.
We have our own meat which helps a lot.

Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?

posted at 5/9/2012 4:44 AM EDT
Posts: 3718
First: 9/13/2011
Last: 4/17/2014
GRANA  here;
I hadalready been doing the:
less meat
 using coupons
 working from menus & sticking to them( no impuse items)
 things  for years  anyway; not much more I can do;
 so we eat less, drink more water &hope the "on ad items" are in stock(I call ahead; get  &  use rainchecks but have to be flexible about my menus:pork chops might become  a chicken item; still goes good w/ sweet potatoes.Wink

Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?

posted at 5/9/2012 3:58 PM EDT
Posts: 432
First: 2/2/2009
Last: 9/7/2012
I don't plan a menu usually there are only 2 of us so we are not picky about "what's to eat".  I use coupons and look for items on clearance or marked down.

Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?

posted at 5/16/2012 10:06 PM EDT
Posts: 3718
First: 9/13/2011
Last: 4/17/2014
GRANA  here;
 We're eating more( economical) soups ; more side dishes (less meats,poultry etc.
 Getting our protein from other sources( legumesl cheese; PB; yogurt.It's tough, tthe name of the game"is
"survival"Money mouth[w/o bankruptcy]

Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?

posted at 5/16/2012 10:26 PM EDT
Posts: 3718
First: 9/13/2011
Last: 4/17/2014
GRANA  here;
 Trying o doas ur ANCESTORS did( making lessexpensivehearty meals ( SOUPS;STEWS CASEROLES
)
less meat; morestarchy fllers(potato; bread; pastas. It is also the way people  eat  in most  other countries &  can be njoyable for  tose who are home & have the time to  spend making these meals.
Those people w/outide the home areers;  Have  a TOUGH TIME  trying to prepare meals like these... costs are up; knowledge & meal ideas are  not  common; wages, unfortunately do not keep up w/ higher  costs ( of nearly  everythingrything.I suggest getting new recipes/ meal ideas that while ake more time to prepare  can actually save you much  money over the years. Prices arenot  likely kely to go down so learning now will make things easier for the future too.!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?

posted at 5/17/2012 4:55 AM EDT
Posts: 4948
First: 6/4/2010
Last: 4/30/2013
I found ground turkey on sale for $1.99  # I bought  20# each in one pound packages .I froze them ,now when I want to make something containing ground beef I use the ground turkey.Meatballs,chili,tacos, burritos,meatloaf,etc.Ground turkey really is a great substitute for anything using ground beef,it's more economical,lower in fat and higher in protein.Adding bread crumbs and favorite seasonings it's make a great burger too! I found tomato sauce,crushed tomatoes,tomato puree and whole tomatoes in heavy puree for 80 cents a can 28 oz size I bought 20 cans,Ragu spaghetti sauce was on sale for .99cents for the 24 oz,size I bought 12 of those to stock away,there was a deal on those and other grocery items if you spent $20 on these certain items you get a bonus of an extra .10 cents off a gallon of gas up to 30 gallons.Now there are a lot of sales on these types of items because people don't use these items as much during the warm weather,stock up for next winter now.There are great deals on condiments now I buy enough of these items when on sale and I have coupons for the entire year..I have stocked up on crystal light drink mix I had coupons and bought on sale for $ 1 each,24 containers each container makes 4 gallons,thats 25 cents a gallon WOW!!! I bought a 2 # package of yeast for $4.99 I can bake bread all year and never use it all.It came in a 2 pak so I gave my brother a package and he makes great wine with it.I have never gotten into wine making but my parents always made it, now he makes it and it is awesome.I learned a lot about grocery shopping from my mom long before the coupon craze and have picked up other shopping skills from my customers while working in the grocery store.There are sites out there that will teach great couponing and shopping skills.We have a wholesale club here that offers a 90 day free membership.Hubby and I went there to shop and found good deals on vitamins,we stocked up for the year.Certain things there are great deals and they do allow manufacturers coupons.I do have to say not everything there is a good deal you have to know your prices.I find better deals at the other stores on most items.

Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?

posted at 5/17/2012 5:13 AM EDT
Posts: 4948
First: 6/4/2010
Last: 4/30/2013
I never throw out old bread,I make bread crumbs,croutons,french toast,bread pudding and stuffing out of it.I freeze the bread crumbs so they don't get moldy.Bread is so expensive today and to throw it away is a "sin".There are so many recipes for different bread puddings out there.

Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?

posted at 5/17/2012 6:33 AM EDT
Posts: 939
First: 5/3/2009
Last: 10/4/2012
In Response to Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?:
I found ground turkey on sale for $1.99  # I bought  20# each in one pound packages .I froze them ,now when I want to make something containing ground beef I use the ground turkey.Meatballs,chili,tacos, burritos,meatloaf,etc.Ground turkey really is a great substitute for anything using ground beef,it's more economical,lower in fat and higher in protein.Adding bread crumbs and favorite seasonings it's make a great burger too! I found tomato sauce,crushed tomatoes,tomato puree and whole tomatoes in heavy puree for 80 cents a can 28 oz size I bought 20 cans,Ragu spaghetti sauce was on sale for .99cents for the 24 oz,size I bought 12 of those to stock away,there was a deal on those and other grocery items if you spent $20 on these certain items you get a bonus of an extra .10 cents off a gallon of gas up to 30 gallons.Now there are a lot of sales on these types of items because people don't use these items as much during the warm weather,stock up for next winter now.There are great deals on condiments now I buy enough of these items when on sale and I have coupons for the entire year..I have stocked up on crystal light drink mix I had coupons and bought on sale for $ 1 each,24 containers each container makes 4 gallons,thats 25 cents a gallon WOW!!! I bought a 2 # package of yeast for $4.99 I can bake bread all year and never use it all.It came in a 2 pak so I gave my brother a package and he makes great wine with it.I have never gotten into wine making but my parents always made it, now he makes it and it is awesome.I learned a lot about grocery shopping from my mom long before the coupon craze and have picked up other shopping skills from my customers while working in the grocery store.There are sites out there that will teach great couponing and shopping skills.We have a wholesale club here that offers a 90 day free membership.Hubby and I went there to shop and found good deals on vitamins,we stocked up for the year.Certain things there are great deals and they do allow manufacturers coupons.I do have to say not everything there is a good deal you have to know your prices.I find better deals at the other stores on most items.
Posted by gale g


 Hi Gale,
 I too stocked up on the Crystal Light when I got it for $ 1.00 & have enough to last me the rest of 2012 & part of 2013 (I allow myself 16 oz. a day which comes to a whole $  .05) I always check exp. dates & some are good till 2014.  I figure that is less than $ 19.00 a year.
 Last week I bought $42.00 worth of meat & spent most of Sun. in the kitchen & the freezers are full. I have gone weeks not buying meat (I only buy on sale & if it looks good) & then there might be a week when I spend almost 1/2 the month's budget because of good sales. 
 Spaghetti with meat sauce (that had extra onions & bell peppers to stretch out the meat & get more vegs. into hubby),  (I always make extra to have for baked spaghetti & in warmer weather pasta salad) cheese bread (on leftover buns) & salad was Wed. dinner.  I have been shopping on a budget since 1968. The first time hubby & I went grocery shopping together, the bill was over $120.00, he almost passed out (this was 1967), after that he either stayed in the car or I went with a friend (I did not drive then). He had never been "grocery shopping" & when he saw something that looked good he put it in the cart.  I had to remind him that we had a tiny freezer & meat won over ice-cream sandwiches etc.  Good thing we had been married almost a yr. or I might not have had the nerve to "say no"Laughing.

Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?

posted at 5/17/2012 9:56 AM EDT
Posts: 2162
First: 8/8/2008
Last: 4/17/2014
Thanks for all the tips that you all do enjoyed reading and it gives me ideas

Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?

posted at 5/17/2012 10:32 AM EDT
Posts: 1952
First: 12/5/2010
Last: 4/16/2014
i try never to pay full price for anything------i purchase meats only when they are on limited sale prices-also can goods----rice pastas condiments whatever------i have a large ss rack in my computer room for extras---including soft drinks----freezer/storage bags, cleaning supplies, coffee, ----------i buy paper towels, t.p. and kleenex at sams

also i pre-cook and freeze a lot of meats so they can be used quickly to make a fresh meal----like beef stew or soup, spaghetti sauce, chopped bbq beef,   chicken and noodles , chicken salad (already chopped)  since i live alone i can cook a good home cooked meal  for me and not have to eat a lot of leftovers

probably the only things i buy when not on sale are milk, bread and fresh vegs and fruit although i keep a lot of frozen veggies that i've bought on sale----you can't freeze lettuce and tomatoes

Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?

posted at 5/17/2012 9:15 PM EDT
Posts: 4948
First: 6/4/2010
Last: 4/30/2013
In Response to Re: How are you saving money on meals with all the increases?:
I always look at the weekly grocery ads.  Some weeks there's nothing or not much I want/need.  If there are some things I want I'll make a list and try to match coupons (unless they are store brands).  I have enough stuff stocked up so  if it isn't on sale I don't have to buy it.  Sugar is one item I only get on sale. (need sugar for cookies)  I think I have 8 bags of sugar stashed away.  It doesn't go bad and I don't have to pay high prices for it when I need it. Also we don't eat a lot of meat, I have a garden so freeze extra stuff for later, and don't buy convenience foods.  We don't drink soda (water is better for you), buy tea on sale. A while back Ann mentioned that she can't use sale shampoo.  I find it makes great liquid hand soap.
Posted by JUDY O


Judy thanks for the idea for using the shampoo for hand washing.Whenever I get coupons and find a sale on the kids shampoo I buy it to wash my dogs,the no tear kind.There is conditioner in it and they smell so good after their bath.I use antibacterial dish soap for handwashing also.
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