Again, there were no ads yesterday.m there were no holidays, so I don't know what the problem was this time.
It's the first of the month again... Almost ... So I think well talk about the basics.
Groceries on the cheap was started because it came to my attention that people on snap weren't making it through the month on their allotments and needed help. I knew how to make that happen. I realize no everyone needs or wants to economize, but I also have found that people read the blog for new recipes or to find new ways to get out of the kitchen faster. Hey, and everybody can use a little jingle in their pocket ever now and then. We just paid the property taxes. My guess is that others have too.
Groceries on the cheap takes a three disciplined approach to shopping and getting food on the table.
1) planning and organizing
2) smart shopping
3) cooking from scratch ( fast and efficient)
PLANNING AND ORGANIZING
1) the first exercise is probably one you have done already. Identify the economical sources of protein that your family will eat. Now, identify seven to fourteen dinners that call for these ingredients.
2) now identify the things that you need on a regular basis to make these dishes. No boxes here. Were talking scratch cooking.
In our house, that would be beans, refried beans, canned diced tomatoes, cheese, some canned veggies, instant mashed potatoes,tuna.
3) start a price book, or spread sheet that tracks the prices of the few items that you use on a regular basis. In most homes, that is ten or so items.
Name the product and the size of the package.
Date, where bought, price. Coupon?? Net.
Pasta, 16 ounces
3/12./13. SAFEWAYS. .38. Coupon
4) when the item is the lowest price you have seen ( rock bottom price) RBP, buy
A) as many as you can afford
B) as many as the store will let you buy ( limit)
Or C) as many as you need to fill in your supply.
Whichever comes first
If I use something once a week, I keep 24.; if I use something once a month,mi keep 6. Things like catsup and mayo, I keep one ahead. When I open my backup, I start looking for a sale.
This is a six months supply. I keep six instead of three months because we don't know how long we will be able to work, and need a cushion to keep us long enough to adjust to a 25 percent cut in income. Stores operate on a 8-12 week cycle for sales. 3 months should be enough, but a little extra safety net would be nice.
You don't want to be caught with that dreaded F word....Full price, or what my mother used to call top dollar. I want to pay 1/2. That is doable with some planning. I only buy at RBP . I stock. I don't hoard, I stock. I don't buy 93 bottles of hot sauce because they are on sale. I buy what I know we will use and enough so we don't have to pay full price. By doing so, we eat well on an average of 65.00 a week for three adults. That is less half the USDA stats for the thrifty plan for our family. Now, my daughter does buy her own lunches, and we do go out once a week. But, still, we are well under the stats.
Keeping a stock means that you are prepared for an emergency, be it you are too sick to go to the store, that ugly S (now) word in this part of the country, or any other thing that may crop up. There is a certain sense of security knowing you van feed your family,no matter what! It kind of like when our great grandmothers put food up for the winter on the farm. It's not much different concept than the people that play the stock market, you want to buy low and sell high. You buy when food is at it's lowest, and eat when it is at it's highest.
When the sale ads come out, divide a piece of computer paper in sections. ( ours is four ) put the name of a grocery store on the top of each section. Now, write down the good buys for
A) a protein that is RBP . Usually the stores will rotate a meat on what they call a loss leader. They want you to come into the store and buy all the rest of your groceries at high prices. Beat them at their own game. I only buy what is on sale, and the few things that I have to have.
B) perishables, fruit, and veggies in season, dairy and bread.
C) what is on your stock list that is RBP.
If you buy a meat in bulk quantity , enough to cover yourself for four meals, and batch cook it, portion control for your meals, label and freeze it, you are getting RBP and saving money, no waste.
Rotate the four weeks of the month. You have variety at the lowest price you can get.
Now cross off anything that is a higher price than elsewhere. Pick the TWO BEST STORES. Plan your trip to use the least gas. If the stores aren't close together, plan the stops near some other errand. The kids school, the gym, the doctors, grandmas house,whatever!
Now check the coupon matching web site on your area. In Seattle it is couponconnections. You can google coupon matchups and your town, and get the one on your area. They match the sales with coupons and tell you where the coupons are. Many are on the Internet to print. A few are in the Sunday paper. I get the Sunday paper at the dollar store. I have a friend that saves the inserts for me too.
When you go to the store, take, your ads, your list, your coupon book,
Make meal plans after you get home from the store. You can pencil in your ideas for 7 main dishes, but nothing is etched on concrete until you get home. Too many times have I gotten to the store to find the meat is gone, in too huge of a package to be doable, or just looks like something I don't want to bring home. One time, the apples were soft. one time the pork roast was like 15 pounds and had already been frozen.
That's about it.
Thanks for stopping by
Please share, I am not advertising on my blog, I'm doing this solely to help people stretch their food dollars because they need or want to. No child should live on top ramen and potato chips, and no child should wake up to no food on the house. That is a terrible insecurity no child should bear!