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Old 10-20-2010, 06:05 AM   #11
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We buy very few prepared foods or "meal kits". Cooking extra "main ingredients" when you prepare a meal helps take advantage of sale items. I smoked 10 or 12 pounds of the "on sale" split chicken breasts and a few pounds of sausage over the weekend. I portion them out for meals later in the week.

Entree:
Smoked Chicken and Sausage
Dirty Rice with smoked chicken
Caesar Salad with smoked chicken
Baked ziti with smoked sausage
Red beans and rice with smoked sausage

Sam's Wholesale bulk items are good but you have to watch closely and do the math.

Best values I've found are:
Peanut Butter - two 40 oz Jars $7
Pasta - several varieties 6# $5
Rice - 25# $7
Flour - 25# $6

The biggest challenge with saving money by buying bulk items is storage. To avoid waste, contamination, and spoilage containers are a must. Where would you store 25 pounds of flour at your residence?

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Old 10-20-2010, 07:24 AM   #12
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I've changed some of my buying habits but I still don't buy organic unless I am very sure about the source since there are no established rules about what is or what isn't organic. Whatever I buy, I'm careful to wash it well. Also, we have cut down on the amount of meat and I would be happy to have one or two meatless meals a week, but dh wouldn't go for that. I try very hard to eliminate waste by making just what we need for a meal or using leftovers in a new dish. Cooking for two certainly isn't as easy as cooking for a family and I still overdo it at times. Also, I've started putting the amount saved on my grocery receipt in to my savings account - that adds up.
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:56 AM   #13
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By being keenly aware of the markets in my area.....
Buying bulk/quantity when feasible....
Having a Zero tolerance attitude for waste....
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:41 AM   #14
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Uncle Bob, you are way ahead of me on zero waste. I try not to have any waste, but must say my compost pile thrives from some things overlooked. I don't have as many "experiments" in my fridge as I used to. I hate the fridge I have and would love to have one of those with french doors that open all the way across and have slide out drawers for each shelf. That would help!
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:08 AM   #15
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I like to price match at Walmart - they will match competitor ads from stores within 3 miles.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snickerdoodle View Post
Kudos to you! My husband is a stay at home dad too! We love it! Taking the kids to market is such a good experience too. Very educational and fun! Our market is very kid-friendly.
Thanks, but it wasn't by choice.
I am however ejoying it and my wife is too.
We are going to do it as long as we can.My career is closely tied to construction and the market is still a mess.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:04 AM   #17
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We have our own garden, and each year it gets a bit bigger, and we get better at using or freezing some of it - there's a huge amount of waste when you garden, and it's not cheap if you are taking good care of it - but there are many advantages to it.

We also have an old upright freezer that's always filled: 1/4 for meats & fish bought on sale; 1/4 for garden surplus; 1/4 for leftovers; and 1/4 for holding breads I bake for short periods.

Garden stuff and meats all get vacuum sealed before going into the freezer - 10 years ago I bought a $99 Simbo vac sealer (the kind that uses cheaper un-ribbed bags), and thousands of bags (I still have a bunch!). It's not much to look at, but it's a workhorse - that alone has saved $100s of dollars!

But I think our food budget has profited most from our decision to deemphasize protein in our meals - we average only 3-4 ozs of meat or fish at dinner, and more veggies. And we now do a better job of eating all leftovers before making something new (this is VERY hard!).
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:09 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by licia View Post
Uncle Bob, you are way ahead of me on zero waste. I try not to have any waste, but must say my compost pile thrives from some things overlooked. I don't have as many "experiments" in my fridge as I used to. I hate the fridge I have and would love to have one of those with french doors that open all the way across and have slide out drawers for each shelf. That would help!
"Experiments" ...I can relate! ~~~ I think I need a walk in cooler sometimes ~~~~ Please understand, I said a Zero Tolerance for Waste Attitude...Which doesn't always equal Zero waste....but it does help!
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:19 AM   #19
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I keep an eye on ads like others.

We eat a lot of boneless skinless chicken breast and I wouldn't dream of paying $5 a pound for it, it goes on sale for $1.99 or less per pound.

We also eat lots of boneless pork loin chops, these tend to be at least $5 per pound here, so I buy the 1/2 pork loin when it goes on sale for less than $2 per pound and cut the chops myself. I use any small pieces in stir-fry so there is very little waste, maybe just a few scraps of fat.

We eat steak once in a while usually when it is on a good sale.

I try to cook from scratch and pick up bargains whenever possible and stock up (if it is something that I use regularly).

I don't buy organic for most things. I have found that eating good quality foods doesn't need to be expensive, you just have to shop smartly, and stock up when the prices are good. I have a freezer and a vacuum sealer and that helps a lot.
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Old 10-20-2010, 12:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by licia View Post
I've changed some of my buying habits but I still don't buy organic unless I am very sure about the source since there are no established rules about what is or what isn't organic. Whatever I buy, I'm careful to wash it well. Also, we have cut down on the amount of meat and I would be happy to have one or two meatless meals a week, but dh wouldn't go for that. I try very hard to eliminate waste by making just what we need for a meal or using leftovers in a new dish. Cooking for two certainly isn't as easy as cooking for a family and I still overdo it at times. Also, I've started putting the amount saved on my grocery receipt in to my savings account - that adds up.
Actually, there are established rules about what is and isn't organic. They just depend on who is doing the certifying. It's good to do some research about the various certifying bodies that certify foods as organic in your area.

There can be wide variations in how reliable a certification is. It can vary from just trust the farmer's word (and collect a membership fee) to documentation of strict compliance to good standards and testing.

Organic certification - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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