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Help! Need to decrease the grocery bill

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14 years 4 months ago #63691 by plum
Oh ladies. So it is just me and my husband. And with groceries and household supplies (detergent, tp, kitty litter, etc) we easily spend 600$ a month. This seems ridiculous to me, but I am just going to the store every week and buying what we need for dinners and packed lunches. A friend of mine and her husband spend 290$! So any tips? I've started buying lots of chicken breast when it is on sale. I stopped buying pre-packaged pudding cups for my husbands lunches and started making it. I've stopped buying exotic produce. I am going to make the pizza crust dough in my breadmaker tomorrow night instead of buying the boboli prepackaged one for 4$. I bought cereal on sale this past week. I buy one bottle of wine a week, and I never spend more than 8$, usually I try to fine the best bottle on sale for 7$ or something. We've gone to frozen OJ. I buy all the Kroger Brand products vs the name brands. I really like to eat well but it seems I could do it for less. Any ideas? Does it really save money to join Sams or Costco and spend a fortune there a couple times a year? Next year after step one my hubby and I are moving for my clinicals and we are hoping to have a kid after we move and have him not work/work part time. So I am trying to train now for when money is tight. I'd love ideas on eating well on a budget

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14 years 4 months ago #63692 by lawtomd
It's just me and my husband too and we found an easy way to stop paying grocery bills: eat out every day. It sounds crazy but it saves us a bundle. Case in point: breakfast (cereal and milk at home, OJ (cheap)). Lunch at hospital for him, elsewhere for me: maximum of $7 each (we bring our own drink that we buy in bulk from Target). Dinner: I pick up something from Panera or a sandwich place like that: $7 each. No time wasted grocery shopping, preparing food, or cleaning up. We spend a total of $700 on food per month, including nice dinners out, but we don't waste anything, and we don't waste time making it. I highly recommend this system. When you factor into the lack of wasted time cooking and cleaning up, it really starts to look appealing.

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14 years 4 months ago #63693 by bg
wow, not cooking or cleaning up sounds awesome...but with 5 kids i don't think that plan would work for us :)

we spend $400-500/mo on groceries (yes, even with a teenage son!). we're both in school ft so we just can't afford more than that. i go to 4 stores each week and buy only what's on major sales (and i know my prices by now!). yes it's sometimes a pain but i only have to spend a few minutes at each store, and usually have one kid or another to send off and grab things for me. then once a month or so i get some basics from sam's--but there are only select things that are worth it there--the rest of the stuff you could find for the same (or less) price on sale at the store and not feel obliged to eat 14lbs of pickles at a time before they rot.

BEST investment--an extra freezer! we buy tons of whatever's on sale or in season and freeze as is or make double batches of casseroles, soups, pasta sauce, etc and freeze. which is nice b/c homemade foods do take quite a chunk of time. i've even frozen jugs of milk (but gotta shake it when it thaws). there are also "outlet" type of bakery stores in most cities (such as hostess, entenmann's, etc) that sell excess and slightly older (e.g., sell-by date in the next few days) bread/muffins/snacks, etc for about 1/4 what they cost in the store--so eat right away or freeze.

only complaint we get about food in our house is about some of my "veggie-licious" dinners, as my son sarcastically calls them. well, they're definitely all well-fed and healthy!

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14 years 4 months ago #63694 by flashMD
You know what...we were actually at a residency dinner party last night and were talking about this exact subject. One of the couples SWORE BY Sam's Club and using a vacuum packer. I guess you can buy LARGE quantities of meat for unbelievable prices, take it home and vacuum-pack (or just ziploc) it, and store it in the freezer. That way, you can take out your servings in the AM and BBQ/cook it up for dinner.

We're going to try it ASAP...

B/C I tend to think that no matter what, you can eat much healthier (nutrient rich) and cheaper at home than going out.

Good luck! I'm all ears for other ideas too!

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14 years 4 months ago #63695 by Flexdox
If you have Aldi's in your area..go there, even drive if you must. www.aldi.com
Veggies are .33 cents per can. It's mostly off brand..but a bag of chips are .69 cents..and it's the big bag. They have loaves of bread for less than a dollar, including your hotdog/hamburger buns at around .50 cents. We were really tight on our budget a few weeks ago and we went there, my kids feel like they are on a shopping spree, because it's so cheap we do get the extras that we don't buy even at Wal-Mart. I have yet to be disappointed, we have groceries for 2 weeks at a fraction of the costs. They only take cash and debit..so be prepared. No glamour, and you bag it yourself..but the savings are well worth it! We use our foodsaver daily, freeze the meal... then pull it out at another time from the freezer for a ready made meal. Saves time, and is cheaper than going out... Good Luck!

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14 years 4 months ago #63696 by bg
we gave my in-laws a foodsaver for xmas, which appears to be gathering dust.
i'd love one, but i'm wondering how expensive it is to buy the special rolls of bags all the time?

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