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Reducing expenses


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53 replies to this topic

#26 katwoman

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 11:30 AM

Clip coupons

Use sites like cutouthunger.org and thegrocerygame.com

Get on couponing boards like dealagogo.com for info on how to do deals

If you have an Aldi, shop for some items there

Shop at bread thrift stores once a month

Do the Walgreens rebates every month

Do the CVS extracare deals

Try growing some veggies and definately the herbs. Herbs do well right on your kitchen ledge year round.

You can eat out - restaurant.com There's always a discount code for 50% off and sometimes 60% off



#27 Jen23514

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 12:59 PM

I found this as an easy way to plan ahead - they make the menu and shopping list for you:

savingdinner(dot)com

#28 livingfree75

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 02:21 PM

I found this as an easy way to plan ahead - they make the menu and shopping list for you:

savingdinner(dot)com



Great idea, except it kinda defeats the purpose of saving money on the grocery bill, when you have to pay for that service.


recipecenter.com has lots of great recipes. You just put in some of the ingredients or type of meat you want to use and it brings up a list of a ton of stuff. All for free.

#29 stephv710

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 11:05 PM

Have to chime in on grocerygame. I thought I was a really good shopper and coupon clipper. I was hesitant to spend the money, but I am amazed every week on the money I save. I spend about one third less than I used to and have also stockpiled TONS of stuff. If necessary, we could probably live off of what is in the house for over three weeks. If you are really looking to cut the bills, this is a great way to do it!

#30 mjtsd

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 03:36 PM

Have to chime in on grocerygame. I thought I was a really good shopper and coupon clipper. I was hesitant to spend the money, but I am amazed every week on the money I save. I spend about one third less than I used to and have also stockpiled TONS of stuff. If necessary, we could probably live off of what is in the house for over three weeks. If you are really looking to cut the bills, this is a great way to do it!



Ditto on the grocerygame. I have to get better with clipping coupons but even if you dont you will save money using them. I live by myself so my grocery bill isnt too high but I plan on introducing my bf to the site :)

#31 pastpolls

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 04:55 PM

We do the coupon thing.

Something else we did was to stop nickel and diming. If you are not going out to buy more than 5 things, don't go. If you are out "shopping" and not out "buying," take no money. It drives me nuts to look at the statements and see $5-$25 dollar purchases clear the bank en-mass. Also, take your lunch to work...

You will be suprised how often you "forget" about the thing you "needed" when you have to wait to get 5 needed items to go buy them.

#32 BBQ123

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 06:22 PM

If you vaccum seal and freeze... just it taste the same as the freshly-prepared meal when you heat it up?

#33 angeleyeskkhr

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 06:51 PM

I have a hard time finding foods to take to school with me as I just don't like PB&J and can only take so much of it. Whatever I take has to stay in my backpack all day (no refrigerator/cooler/etc) and I end up either not eating at all all day long (don't eat breakfast) until dinner, or getting something during my break or when fi comes to pick me up...I dunno what to do (I usually just go without, buyin' rarely happens and even then usuallys it's water or a drink).

#34 Nemeweh

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 04:34 PM

I have a hard time finding foods to take to school with me as I just don't like PB&J and can only take so much of it. Whatever I take has to stay in my backpack all day (no refrigerator/cooler/etc) and I end up either not eating at all all day long (don't eat breakfast) until dinner, or getting something during my break or when fi comes to pick me up...I dunno what to do (I usually just go without, buyin' rarely happens and even then usuallys it's water or a drink).



Hmmm you could use a Vinyl lunchbag and use those reusable "coldpacks" to keep whatever you want cold. I know I got a few free from Simulac when I had DS. Just freeze them and they should keep your sandwhich cold until lunch. The lunchbags can be gotten for a few $$ and the coldpacks shouldnt cost ya much either. DH refrigerates his lunchbag overnight (food inside) and throws the coldpack in with his food in the morning. it stays cold til lunch. It shouldnt take up much room in your backpack either.

I also buy snacks in bulk at Costco. Not the cheapest route but it gives them snacks to go with lunch and are easy to toss in. 10$ for prepackaged crackers and cookies, and they come in variety packs, and should last at least 2 weeks. Probably longer.

Also, with DD and DH , I make their breakfasts for the week by toasting some english muffins, throwing either ham, bacon, or sausage on them along with a fried egg, and cheese and a little butter. Put each one in a sandwhich bag. In the mornings they just pop one in the microwave and theyre set.

HtH

#35 c1d1v3a4

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 02:06 PM

I agree! It all depends on how you use it, may not work for some, but I saved almost $82 last week and spent $120 for 2 weeks worth of groceries.

Debbie :angel:


[/quote]

JMO but I disagree about coupons doing almost nothing. Some stores will offer double coupons, and then if you use them on top of sale items, they sure add up.
[/quote]

#36 angeleyeskkhr

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 02:27 PM


I have a hard time finding foods to take to school with me as I just don't like PB&J and can only take so much of it. Whatever I take has to stay in my backpack all day (no refrigerator/cooler/etc) and I end up either not eating at all all day long (don't eat breakfast) until dinner, or getting something during my break or when fi comes to pick me up...I dunno what to do (I usually just go without, buyin' rarely happens and even then usuallys it's water or a drink).



Hmmm you could use a Vinyl lunchbag and use those reusable "coldpacks" to keep whatever you want cold. I know I got a few free from Simulac when I had DS. Just freeze them and they should keep your sandwhich cold until lunch. The lunchbags can be gotten for a few $$ and the coldpacks shouldnt cost ya much either. DH refrigerates his lunchbag overnight (food inside) and throws the coldpack in with his food in the morning. it stays cold til lunch. It shouldnt take up much room in your backpack either.

I also buy snacks in bulk at Costco. Not the cheapest route but it gives them snacks to go with lunch and are easy to toss in. 10$ for prepackaged crackers and cookies, and they come in variety packs, and should last at least 2 weeks. Probably longer.

Also, with DD and DH , I make their breakfasts for the week by toasting some english muffins, throwing either ham, bacon, or sausage on them along with a fried egg, and cheese and a little butter. Put each one in a sandwhich bag. In the mornings they just pop one in the microwave and theyre set.

HtH



That's what I'm doing...I just hope it works (I HATE soggy sandwiches :blink: :aggressive: )

#37 TinaP

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 02:50 PM

That's what I'm doing...I just hope it works (I HATE soggy sandwiches :rofl: :( )


oh man, me too.

this is how I prevent a soggy sammich: Make sure the ice pack is nowhere NEAR the sandwich. Pack your "dressing" seperately. For instance, save your mayo/mustard/ketchup packets you get at the fast food joint and pack those in your lunch. Moisture = soggy. I've taken it so far as to pack even the meat and bread seperately to avoid sogginess.

I've NEVER liked PB&J, so I'm limited. These will also work for your "main course" lunches: wraps. Get large tortillas and use mayo or salad dressing and wrap turkey and cheese or ham and cheese along with lettuce or whatever you like.

I also like egg salad or chicken salad sandwiches. Plenty of pepper. Mmm.

Bagel & cream cheese. More special if it's a flavored bagel or flavored cream cheese of your choosing.

#38 TinaP

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 05:11 PM

oops.

Edited by TinaP, 06 September 2006 - 05:12 PM.


#39 Alivecomic

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 03:42 PM

Great ideas, all! Thank you so much! :rofl:

I bring my lunch to work, but bring a bunch of frozen dinners in a bag and toss them in the freezer. That way, I don't have the excuse of forgetting to grab it while I'm on my way out the door, and avoid the temptation of fast food because I don't have lunch.

I make it a point to try to buy on sale. I've gotten Lean Cousine for $2 each, and normally it's $3.50, and Skinny Cow for 4/$10 (normally $5 each). I swear by Super Target, and as it's been said--coupons, coupons, coupons, baby!

Switch up brands. On a whim, I grabed some cheap Lean Banquet trays this week (about $1.75) and they turned out to be decent. When I got to the checkout, I had spent $80 on 3 weeks of lunches, as opposed to the $140 I was expecting.

Also, I bought a reusable water bottle, and have tap water refrigirated overnight with flavoring (like the Crystal Light envelopes, but Walgreen's has some that are $5 for a BIG pack of [I think]30 in a "generic" brand), as an alternative to soda.

If you live in an apartment or condo, you can save HUGE by handwashing your laundry. It takes a couple times to get it right if you're not used to it, but it pays off.

...and gave up my daily Caribou Coffee. :rofl: However, once I found out just how bad they were for me, it became a LOT easier and saved $5 per day. There was a great suggestion here about making one's own mochas with a $20 espresso machine from Wal-Mart. That could pay off bigtime!

Hope this helps out somebody. :rofl:

#40 preezie

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 05:44 PM

I buy all my veggies and fruit at the local farmer's market. 10 dollars a week can buy a TON of fruit/veggies as opposed to buying at the grocery store.

#41 AntiPlastic

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 12:35 PM

This thread has been around for a while, but it still has relevant information

#42 loch_ness

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 03:57 PM

I buy all my veggies and fruit at the local farmer's market. 10 dollars a week can buy a TON of fruit/veggies as opposed to buying at the grocery store.


The farmer's market in my town is expensive. Very expensive. I think it's because it's an "upscale" town (a lot of rich people). The farmer's market that's about 15 miles away has good prices, but then I have to drive 15 miles. Loose-loose so I just buy what's on sale at the local grocery. Wish it were different, but what can you do? I've never understood why organic costs so much more than non-organic. Organic farmers have fewer out-of-pocket expenses than their more traditional counterparts (though their hands-on time is more). Seems to me it should all wash-out. Maybe as more farmers turn to organic the ol' supply-and-demand will even out prices.

#43 JohnP

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 08:13 PM

I searched through the thread and didn't see that anyone else posted the link...

This site helped me, you can subscribe (For Free) and get menus sent to you each week:
http://www.menus4moms.com

Now, I'm not a mom (Dad) but I'm a subscriber. I get the menus, and they provide the shopping list. Usually we end up spending ~$100 per week (A few weeks are $60 and some are $150 - lowest/highest) and have pretty good meals every night of the week - weekends we do usually order a pizza or eat out. That's for 3 of us.

#44 cooliojones

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 11:10 AM

This kinda fits here, and hopefully it can help someone, but this is what I've started doing:

I wanted to learn how to cook new dishes and pickup some new cooking tips, so I decided to become an assistant at a local cooking school. You have to do the orientation and pay for one required class, but after that, you can assist in almost any class you want, taste and take home the recipes, and be up close and personal with the chef, all for free! On top of that, when you assist in a certain number of classes (I think it's 6), you earn a gift certificate that is good for anything that they sell, including the classes themselves. You can also give these to anyone as gifts.

Knowing how to cook professionally can also save you money on your food bill, because you are more cognizant about how much you need to buy to prepare a meal. Plus, with different recipes under your belt, you don't have to eat the same things over and over again. Finally, two of the locations where they teach the classes are right by the local train station, and the other location is accessible by bus, so I don't waste gas trying to get there. For those in Metro Atlanta, here is a link to some local cooking schools:

http://www.ajc.com/l...od/schools.html

The one I attend is Cooks Warehouse. They have extremely good and helpful people there.

#45 GizmoCat

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 06:36 PM

I agree with those who say that a garden will not necessarily save you money.

I grow a couple of items each year in a container garden...I always do tomatoes (usually cherry tomatoes) and herbs. I have also tried green peppers, but they are tough in a container.

As for groceries....I do not buy meat in grocery stores. I go to a local butcher shop. I go once every 3 or 4 months and find that I spend a lot less and get far better quality. I just went a week ago and bought:

12 boneless/skinnless chicken breasts
1 lb Wild Alaskan Salmon
1 1/4 pound Tenderloin steak
2 lamb shanks (I will use those in an Italian Ragu)
1 lb ground pork (for the ragu)
1 2 pound pork butt with spice rub
1 pound of sliced deli turkey (which I divide up and freeze)
1 pound of sliced deli corned beef (which I divide up and freeze)
1 pound cole slaw

$65.44. I felt pretty good about that. I still have 6 1/2 pound packages of ground beef that I bought from them in December.

I have to say that I am guilty of shopping at stores that are expensive. While I do shop at one of the stores with lower prices, I do a lot of shopping at a local chain with higher prices....but great quality. So, I do pick and choose what I purchase at each store. I could save money doing all of my shopping at the lower priced store, and if I found myself in need of cutting back...this is the first place I'd make a change.

#46 MistakeOfPast

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 10:56 PM

I looked at that grocerygame site...but you should not ever spend money to save money...well, in my book anyway.

Get a list of all the stores in your area....

sales flyers- do what that site was going to have you pay for... go online on the day the sales paper is released. Their site has the flyer in catalog form where you can browse, flip pages, even 'add to list' features so you can print them out.

It's easy to compare one store with another because after you have your lists...cross of the one with the more expensive deal.

I go once a week to all these stores:
Albertsons
Smiths
Walgreens
CVS pharmacy


And Albertsons may have milk 2/5.99 where Smiths will have it at 2/5.00.

Edited by MistakeOfPast, 23 June 2008 - 10:59 PM.


#47 DragonFlyer

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 11:05 PM

In our house, we have FOUR adults, one 17yo and two smaller children who eat a ton of food. That's a family of seven...not easy to keep costs down.

I went to the hillbillyhousewife(dot)com website after doing a search for low-cost menus. They have a $45 menu and a $70 menu that feeds 4-6 people for the entire week. This includes a full breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack.

While most low-cost menus assume you have staples in your cupboard to work from, this one assumes you have NOTHING in your cupboard and you buy the entire menu for $45 to $70. It has the shopping list and recipes included in pdf format.

I have tried both menus and actually enjoyed most of the recipes. It was surprisingly easy and we cut the cost down tremendously with the garden and having stocked up at Sams for a lot of the staples that were on the shopping list.

You might want to try that. I went from spending $1400 a month for food down to $250 a month for a family of seven with four adults included.

ETA: If I did coupons, I would save even more! I gave up on the mess of clipping/hunting/finding coupons that didn't mean squat when my time was factored in. ;) I'd rather spend my time gardening and having plenty of veggies and herbs to work with.

Edited by DragonFlyer, 23 June 2008 - 11:07 PM.


#48 Onwards

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 01:08 PM

I won't make any specific recommendations on how to save money in incremental amounts - folks here know much more about that than me, that's for sure! :rofl:

However, I will make one general comment: you've just taken a step to making your life more enjoyable. Don't trade those hours in the office with a similar amount of hours obsessing over coupons and saving, because you will simply be trading one irritation with another, and your decision (which I applaud) would backfire.

To put it another way, I'd focus on finding a few lifestyle changes that can have a relatively big impact. When starting out on being more cost-effective, these are always available, and you can usually trim about 10% of your expenses with simple behavioral changes that do not require any effort beyond an upfront analysis, commitment and follow through.

If this doesn't generate enough savings, then instead of trying to squeeze every last penny out of everyday operations - which to me takes much of the fun out of living - you may want to look into creating alternative income streams, that is, generating income by not going back to a five-day workweek. There are plenty of things that can be done out of the house that, while being work, may fit your personality better or get your creativity going or make you feel better while doing them and also pay. My advice would be to start looking around your existing area of expertise - the stuff you do for a living - but seeing if you can help others by doing it on a part-time basis. Funny thing is, you may end up deciding this is a lot more fun than working your full-time job. Many a small business was created in this exact fashion.

#49 mstarot

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Posted 18 July 2008 - 12:56 AM

I also have started buying my meats at a buther shoppe. They have specials like meat for a week as well as larger deals, like for cookouts, steaks, etc.

I'm fortunate to live near alot of fruitstands, farmers markets and Amish families who sell great bakery btw. Always like to help the local economy as I can.

Also try Angel Food Ministries--here you pay $30 for a regular box and you can add toyour order with Monthly specials provided you buy the $30 box first. There is a deadline to buy/purchase ahead and then usually the last Saturday of the month you go pickup your order. The one I go to is run out of a Church.

Hope it's ok to post their website: www.angelfoodministries.com

#50 Carl Smith

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 12:55 AM

To reduce grocery bills, my wife follows the ff. rules:

1. She always buys enough of the basics like rice, potatoes, oatmeal, flour, eggs, etc.) to last the amount of time (week, two weeks, month) for which she is shopping.
2. She then adds food that will complement the basics and she buys fresh produce when she can. It's healthier and cheaper.
3. She uses her coupons wisely. She buys the smallest package the coupon allows. She doesn't purchase groceries that come under the heading of convenience foods unless you get them practically for free. She buy only items that are on sale, unless it is a basic item that we are completely out of. If she runs out of coupon, and it is not marked down, she usually waits until it is on.
4. She cooles the most common ethnic foods, whatever the nationality, because finds these foods inexpensive but contain the most vital nutrients like Mexican food, Italian food or Oriental food.

We're able to save a considerable amount of money because of my wife's simple techniques.




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