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Old 07-26-2011, 12:32 PM   #11
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True, and if you have the time they are great. I use generic/discount brands of canned beans because I'm always short on time right now. Didn't even think of the dried ones. I find frozen veggies (again the generic brands) to be cost effective too and I throw in fresh veggies as available.

The best cost saver I found though was to slowly build up a good dried spice collection and to buy my favorites in bulk. When the hubby and I both spent a year unemployed due to layoffs, being able to spice beans and rice and tomatoes twenty+ ways kept us sane. Being creative with ramen noodles also helped.

Also watch the sale adds and if you can, start practicing coupon cutting.
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purple.alien.giraffe
Cans of beans are also inexpensive and very filling.
Nice. I've packed a can for my lunch tomorrow. 69cents! It's a big can too.
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:33 AM   #13
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Also check all of the supermarkets in your area. Some will discount dairy products - usually 50% off - after the expiration date, while some will either toss them or return them to the distributor...then make it a point to go shopping the day/time they do the discounting! I used to be able to get the gourmet type yogurts for 1/3 the cost. As a single person, I find that I can save money when I can pare down a recipe to cook for one instead of the normal which serves 4-8. - much less spoilage. As part of a way to save money as well as to improve nutrition, I am going to try making my own sprouts - can do as many as you like at one time, and if I have 7 sprout bottles going at the same time I can plant enough for one day's use so there is no waste but also optimum freshness. Be careful about canned and dried things because of the amount of salt and other preservatives used in them. I don't buy instant noodles but I will buy the plain noodles that are put in the instant noodle pack (with no soup package) and then use them to go with spaghetti or making salads to give them crunch.

One thing my friend does in Portland, OR is buys one of those books that is loaded with two for one coupons and plans meals around that. It is usually cheaper to cook for yourself but when things are priced 2 for 1 the extra cost is usually worth the convenience and enjoyment of eating out of your home - make a date night out of it :)

I buy some things six months at a time, some 3 months at a time, some monthly and then some weekly. Things like oil and noodle have a long shelf life so I can buy them a couple of times a year. This way also, I can buy in bulk and save some $$ It also makes it worthwhile to do some phone calling around - and googling - to find the lowest price.

I would mega-ditto the comment made earlier about planning meals carefully. Even if I have folks over for dinner, while I am planning that meal I will also be planning on what to do with left overs, and pay attention during the meal to put more perishable things into the fridge as soon as possible to keep them from becoming questionable.
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Old 10-01-2011, 05:54 AM   #14
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Ounce for ounce, I doubt you can get nutrition (not just "food") more inexpensively than dried beans, split peas, etc. Plus you use a bone that is leftover from another meal. Making your own stock is a delicious and nutritious thing to do as well. For example, you eat the chicken, save the bones, and boil them. Voila! You have another meal.
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:39 AM   #15
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Buying things that are in season also helps. I plan my meals around what is in the freezer/pantry or on special. If I run out of something, I will buy that, but I only grocery shop when I'm out of something or if something, e.g., turkey, ham, etc. is on sale. When turkeys are a good price (like they should be this week), we'll buy as many as we have freezer space. Turkey is a great meal. You can take all the meat of the carcass and make stock, freeze the meat for casseroles, and enjoy hot turkey sandwiches or add turkey to a tossed salad for lunch.

Like others, we stay away from canned or processed food. It takes planning and more time to cook from scratch.

Having a garden and laying hens helps. We don't buy veggies in the summer and usually have enough frozen veggies to get us almost to the start of the harvest season the next year.
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Old 10-01-2011, 01:40 PM   #16
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Not really a recipe, but this will save you lots of money over the long haul.

Create a "Pantry" for yourself. It can be as small as a cupboard or as large as a room.

Take advantage of really good sales on canned goods and packaged items that you normally buy. Buy ten instead of one. Each time you eat from those items, you'll be saving money.

It also saves you money by saving you trips to the store, with the gas prices as high as they are.
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Old 10-02-2011, 03:13 AM   #17
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Timothy is absolutely right. Stock up on non-perishables when they are on sale, and always have a full fridge, freezer, and cupboard. Then, if you suffer a more lean than usual week or month, even, there's always food. I notice that you live in Florida, Timothy. The full freezer is also great insurance against tornadoes and hurricanes. A full freezer stays frozen longer than one that is half-empty. When I lived in Florida and in Hawaii, I'd fill pop bottles with water and toss them in so that every available square inch of the freezer was full during hurricane season. In both places I lost power for a week or longer. Believe it or not, I never threw out food, the extra ice kept it cold so that I could just feel around and find what was starting to thaw. Plus I always had clean water to drink.
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:00 AM   #18
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Filling the freezer with bottles of water also conserves on your power consumption if your freezer is not full. If you can afford it and have the freezer space, buying 1/2 a steer or 1/2 a pig is a great way to buy meat as well.
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Old 10-28-2011, 02:58 PM   #19
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If you have a warehouse club membership (eg Sam's Club, Costo) then you can save a ton by buying stuff in bulk. For instance, Sam's sells 25 lb boxes of converted rice for less than a 3 lb bag of Uncle Ben's costs at the local markets- and it's just as good. Same goes for basmati, etc. Dried beans are much cheaper than canned and also far better tasting, although they require a bit more planning. Some of the best deals are on the larger #10 (restaurant sized) cans which admittedly can be problematic for two but they needn't be. A gallon jug of may will last you a long time but it keeps well. Ditto for canned black olives. Pickles will also keep almost indefinitely.

Another trick you can use is to make batches of stuff and freeze or can it. Chili and other soups can be stored both ways. Canning takes a small investment in supplies but can be a lot of fun and save you money. It's also nice if you garden or have friends that do. Freezing of course costs you nothing, and keeping your freezer fuller will reduce energy use (plus give you a buffer in weather or financial emergencies).
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:45 PM   #20
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i have a six cup slow cooker. in it today , i made chicken soup. knorr's chicken broth, drained can of white beans, and a couple chicken thighs. add whatever ever seasoning that you like. i like, garlic pwd, paprika, and lots of black pepper. i also do thighs in it with bbq sauce. it will hold four. serve on rice. next month chili and french onion soup will be made. just make four servings. leftover are just wonderful.
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