Sunday, January 24, 2016

Quality or quantity -- ?

 Quality or quantity ?.... Why not have both.    If you shop wisely, you can have both on a meager budget.    It takes time.    I make up the time by being very efficient in the kitchen.   I don't believe that you have to sacrifice meat to keep on a small budget.    I'm not convinced that eating no meat can give you proper nutrition.   I am hearing if too many people that have iron deficiency .  It is very hard to get enough iron and not eat meat. There is iron in turkey, but more in beef.    We do not eat the beef  we used to eat when it was cheap.    We still eat beef once or twice a week.   We also eat fish and chicken and pork.

Skimping on quality is not something I'm going to do.  You can still eat inexpensive cuts of meat and buy the best quality.  There are some things I am very picky about.  

  •  I only buy NW chickens.    I buy whole usually.  It gives you the most meat for your buck.    
  • I buy hot dogs occasionally, mostly in the summer.  I will only buy Nathan's or Hebrew national.    
  • Kirkland albacore tuna is the best I have found. 
  • I buy seven to nine percent hamburger.   I de-fat  it as well as sausage.   
  • Sausage is jimmy dean,   
Staying in a limited budget doesn't mean you have to eat lesser quality.   You, obviously aren't going to buy a lot of lobster and beef tenderloin.   But, you can eat well.    

I don't believe that you have to spend hours on the kitchen baking your own bread and making your own tortillas to save money on groceries.   Now, if you have the time and you enjoy that, by all means I think you should do that.   Personally, I don't have the stamina to do that and I always had more than enough to do when the kids were all home -- like 17 loads of laundry a week, cleaning house and working sometimes  holding down two jobs.    lol   I do have a quick and easy pizza dough recipe that doesn't take hours standing time,   I found one in the Bisquick cookbook too, but we haven't tried it.   

My answer to buying quality and quantity is to know your prices and buy quantity when the price is low.   Most people have a list of ten to fifteen things that are non-perishables and they use on a regular basis,     By tracking prices, you can find a RBP and buy a quantity when it comes on sale.  This means you are not going to buy just a days worth of food, or even a weeks worth of food at a time,    You keep a stock and when you shop you are looking for perishables: dairy, fruits and veggies,  a loss leader protein and anything that is a RBP on your staple list.   Decide  how many you are going to keep ahead. Some people try to second guess the sale cycles.  I tend to try for a three to six month stock of key things,   Things like catsup and mustard go on sale on the summer,   I keep one ahead on mustard and two on catsup to last us the year.    I buy canned beans because rice and beans have a very short storage life.  Never hold rice or beans out more than two hours.   And keep on the fridge no more than three days.   Saving money doesn't make sense if you are taking a chance on making family sick.    I can get beans for as low as fifty cents a can.   I cooked a whole pound bag of rice.   Most of it went in the garbage.   Rice and beans don't freeze well- back to the quality issue.  

I average seventy -five dollars a week for four of us.   My daughter supplements their food with the alternative things because she is vegetarian,    Still, the stats for my husband and I are almost a hundred dollars for actual food eaten,    I spend 75.00 and maintain a stock,   I haven't deviated from that in years except for the time this last year when Haggens took over Albertsons and Safeways and prices rose remarkably.    It's not good for the consumer when two grocery chains dominate the marketplace.   Winco dropped my grocery budget remarkably.   I am not seeing a lot of good buys at Safeways and Albertsons lately and both have almost the exact same ad.    Fred Meyers and QFC haven't been too good lately either.    

Grocery outlet is good for certain things.    They are carrying more alternative foods - or foods from
IMars as I call them.   They have good prices on cheese and have unusual ones at good prices.     Find frozen Foster farms chicken, and sometimes bulk French fries cheap.   

The dollar tree is another resource.  No, everything isn't from China or Mars.    There are a lot of snack foods that I don't touch.   Snack foods are one of the best ways to jack up your food budget and not get much nutrition for your buck.   There is still a few things that are a good buy.   They sometimes have a seasoned frozen fry for 1.5 pounds.  They have a chocolate striped shortbread cookie that is good.    Hunts  pasta sauce is .75 with a store coupon at times.   Gnocchi is from Italy. 

Big lots has a few things.    A couple of times a year they out the entire store on twenty percent.  On right now.   

Costco is my go to for laundry detergent if I can't find free, toilet paper, bananas, bacon, sausage, over the counter meds, sometimes refried beans, oatmeal, soda, salt , better than bouillon, butter and sour cream.   Costco has the cheapest price on grated cheese unless grocery outlet does a two-fer. 

Spending a limited time going over the ads and checking favado for coupon match ups will save you a few bucks a week.   Ibotta helps also.   It gives you money  back on some fruits and veggies, milk etc that you never get a coupon for.   QFC and Fred Meyers have milk for a buck at times.  

Gotta go..........



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