Saturday, November 30, 2013

Part 2: shopping

Every month I write the same blog; every month  I write off the top of my head.  Please feel free to read back blogs, some are better than others.

We have talked about identifying the foods that we use often to cook our meals and finding the RBP for them.  Basically, we might buy six cans of pasta sauce this week, because we don't have to buy the pasta that we bought last week.  The difference is that instead of paying 2.19 for pasta, we have paid fifty cents.  You actually have a stock of food, and have paid less than you paid before.m

I would be remiss if I didn't address the issue of not buying boxes and premades .  When you buy ready made and mixes, you are paying for someone else's labor and feeding your family a bunch of chemicals they don't need to eat.  If you are on a very limited budget, you just can't afford it.  There are ways to cook just as fast from scratch.  There Re a few things that are cheaper to buy in a can or box than to make  from scratch, especially of you match a sale with a coupon.

Let's talk about prepping for your shopping trip.  When buying 1/2 price groceries, you are spending more time shopping, and less time cooking.  You get paid for shopping.  When you figure your savings over going to the nearest store and buying food, sometimes the savings divided by the amount of extra time is like earning 75.00 an hour.  LOL.

When you get the ads , take a piece of computer paper and divide it into quarters.  Top each section with the name of a store.  Now go through the ads and write down anything on your stock list that is a RBP.  Write down any produce and dairy that is a good price.  Look for the meat item that is the lowest price that is on your list.  Every week, the stores pick a meat that is their featured  item and give it a RBP.  If you pick one a week, buy enough to cover that meat for a month and rotate the meats, you virtually buy your meat at the lowest price, portion control it for no waste, and cook once, eat many times.

Let me rephrase that to make more sense.  When I plan meals, I use a outline or matrix.

2 beef
2 chicken or pork
2 vegetarian
1 fish or shellfish
Your matrix may be different. This one os what works for us.
One week, if whole chicken is a buck or less a pound, I will buy enough for us to have 2 chicken Meals a week for two weeks.  I usually cut up a chicken into  2 breast portions. dark meat, and soup.
I usually buy ham cubes or a pork loin roast.  You can slice off pork chops from the pork loin and freeze.  We can still get it for 1.79 sometimes.  When good ground beef is under three dollars a pound, I get it and marathon cook crumbles, taco meat, and meatballs enough for the 8 beef meals.  We used to have roast and roast beef a jus sandwiches before beef took a double hike.
Bulk cooking is a way to cook once, divide the meat into meal sized portions with no waste and clean up once.  The meat takes the most time to cook, so precooked meat means that your mealtime os less hectic.

After you have your list of things that are on sale , cross off anything that is more expensive elsewhere, and anything you don't need .  Now pick the TWO best stores.  Check the coupon matching sites on your area for coupons.  I buy ONE paper a week for a buck at the dollar store.  I save the coupon inserts in a binder clip by month. is a good web site to get printable coupons.  There are a lot of premades to weed through, but you can still find coupons for dairy and other necessities.

Plan your trip, bring the ads, your list, your coupons.  Plan your trip to maximize gas.  Of the stores are far apart, break it down to two trips that tag along with other errands.  Maybe one store is near your mother that you visit with every week, the gym, the doctor??? Whatever works.  If you have no big grocery stores on your town. Consider  arranging a carpool with neighbors or family and go once a month, or twice a month.

You don't have to buy your food just at the chain stores.  You so have to avoid the specialty big bucks stores.  If you are on a rock bottom thrifty budget, sorry, there os no room for ready mades unless they are cheaper than scratch, and there is no room for special fancy stores.  You are paying for that fancy store every time   you walk onto it.  LOL.

There are alternative stores to the chain stores.  Warehouse stores like Costco and Winco sell so,e things cheaper.  Over stock s gores like grocery outlet and big lots sell select merchandise cheaper.
The bakery outlet is cheaper on some things unless you happen onto a real sale.  We go every six to eight weeks.  Sometimes  the drug stores have food a lot cheaper.

The biggest thing to remember is to know your prices.  My mother used to have the expression,
Some people could have a bargain get up and bite them in the butt and they wouldn't see it!

It's all about knowing the best prices and. Uh ing on moderation, just enough to last you until the next sale.  It won't happen overnight.  It happens one can at a time.

Thanks for stopping by
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Next time cooking


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