I'm not going to write a book. Grocery outlet has a free one that does the job quite well. I write this blog free of advertisements. I'm not in this for the money, I just want to help real people get reasonable nutrition on a small budget. My premise is that if you spend more time on the FRONT end of the dinner on the table train, and less on the BACK end you will be better off. Getting your real food half off or more means you can have enough food and a variety of food and still maintain an emergency stock.
It's just a different frame of mind, Why pay 1.59 for a can of green beans, when you can pay .33 or .50 and get three times as much! Then, you eat three times, not once. You can rinse the food and reduce salt. Don't put salt on your food. Don't salt food while cooking it. There are ways to reduce salt , sugar and fat without paying someone not to put it on your food in the first place. . It like going to the gas station and paying someone not to put gas in your car. Doesn't make sense to me. They leave out an ingredient in your food and then charge you more because they saved money not putting the ingredient in there. Really?
It's a different way of grocery shopping. The net results is you pay 1/2 price for your food, you have a stock in case of an emergency, and you always have food on the house. There is a certain sense of security in that idea. And it has saved my behind more than once.
This takes time. It doesn't happen overnight. Even of you had a great influx of money, low prices don't happen on everything everyday. I make up the time I spend on management by spending less time in the kitchen. We are not foodies. No one in this family would appreciate the fact that I spent all day in the kitchen. I have done the food management thing for years, even when I had three children at home and held down two jobs and maintained the housework.
- Never pay full price know the RBP on the things you use on a weekly basis. We are talking shelf ready staples. For us that would be diced tomatoes, canned beans, green beans, frozen veggies, refried beans, black olives, instant mashed potatoes , rice, pasta, pasta sauce. Pretty soon you will instinctively know who has the best prices on those products and can watch the ads for the RBP. Favado isn't always accurate, but a good benchmark. Ads come in the mail and Fred Meyers is in the Sunday paper. You can buy the Sunday paper on Saturday before at the dollar tree.
- When something is at a rock bottom price buy whichever comes first of a) the amount the store will allow ( limits) b) as many as you can afford, or c) as many as you need to fill in your self imposed limit. ( I keep a three- six month supply of anything that isn't perishable and on my stock list or as many as I think we will use until the next sale . This is especially true of typical holiday sales. Like catsup in the summer.
- Use coupons wisely. I wouldn't spend more than ten to twenty minutes a week on coupons I date inserts, look quickly through them for things we eat on a regular basis, and file the inserts. in a monthly file folder. I keep back three months. Favado will match coupons for you and tell you where to find the coupons . I don't buy anything with a coupon that I wouldn't buy anyway, unless it's free and I can use it or know someone that can I have been finding four dollar off dog food. We don't have a dog, but my SIL has three. I love that word free. It goes a long way to enhance your quality of life of you don't have to pay for something you need.
- Ibotta is a rebate ap. when I get home from the store, I match up anything that I have purchased with their list for that store I watch a quick video while putting the food away and snapshot the bar code and sales slip and they put money in my account, get to ten to twenty five dollars and they will give you a gift card that you want, Anything from Starbucks to wall mart or Amazon it's a way to get fresh food discounted.
- Sign up for store cards. They give you better prices QFC also gives you free things and coupons based on your purchases
- Dairy perishables I buy yogurt wherever it is less than fifty cents there are always coupons to go with it too. Milk is cheapest at Fred Meyers about once every three weeks or so. It's a buck a 1/2 gallon. Other dairy is cheapest at Costco. The large cartons have about a month pull date Eggs are cheapest at Fred Meyers or Costco. Five dozen lots are the cheapest, but you may have to split one with another family, we found we don't use that many eggs .
- The only way I have found to save on fresh produce is to watch for a 5 dollars off of 15 type coupon at some stores. Or using Ibotta Not all stores are the same on produce I'm really picky at grocery outlet and Winco That being said, I got oranges at QFC that were moldy in two days We did bring them back for a refund. That didn't happen at grocery outlet. I was told I had to talk to the guy that was running from the building! lol. Produce at a low cost is only good of it is edible . You can pretty much have quality control with buying the same name brands of canned or boxed goods. That doesn't happen with produce.
- Know your prices, when buying protein, pick one loss leader of the foods on your meal plans, and buy enough to feed your family for the month of that particular meat or..... In other words, if we eat beef twice a week, I will buy enough for 8 meals of ground beef when it is really cheap. I got four percent hamburger for 2.99 a pound last week. I also get whole wa grown chickens for a buck a pound I've got them for as cheap as .50. Grated cheese is cheapest at grocery outlet or Costco wholesale buy one thing a week, buy enough for the month, cook it in bulk and portion control it onto bags in the freezer. This saves time and money. Rarely have to spend more than a half hour or less cooking dinner ( non passive time) .
- I use forms to manage it all. Simple concise fast forms!
That's it on a nutshell. I go into retailers dirty little secrets and other things in detail on past posts.
That book: feed a family of four or more on 200 dollars a month.
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