Saturday, June 25, 2016

Facts of life.....

I was watching a untie last night...couldn't sleep.... A lady was talking about why she stocks and doesn't coupon.    I disagree.  You can look for sales and still coupon,,,,double dipping discounts is great.    But, she said something really profound......they were trying to pay off debt load.  She could either work more, or spend less and spending less seemed to be easier.    Working more when I was a single mom would have been finding more daycare, paying more daycare , amd not giving my child my quality time.

Despite the fact that the congress doesn't think the COL went up this year, our mandatory expenses have gone up sixteen hundred dollars.   On our budget that's a lot of money.  That is almost my husband's entire pension for the year.    Since we are getting too old to work amd we have a four year old we are responsible for every afternoon, the only thing left is to spend less.  

Because I have already cut our food bill in half, it is a real adventure to cut in more.    But, cutting it more will give readers more ideas to cut their food bill.  If you are on snap, it might afford you the luxury of a stockpile or the opportunity to have a special treat some of the time.    Having a stockpile gives you the satisfaction of a job well done as well as the security of knowing there is food in the house im case something goes south......and you can't get to a store.  

A lot of grocery stores have been closed because of Safeways and Albertsons merging.   Fortunately, it was because there was another store close buy, but that give you less competition or choices .   Both stores are keeping their names, but the ad prices are the same.  I've taken to calling it alberways .  I don't see the benefit of the redundance of posting both stores ads.   LOL?

 My next step is to cook from scratch efficiently some of the things that I bought ready made previously. I have tried  and succeeded at refried beans that are not fried.    I started making or bread.
It's a lot cheaper even than the bakery outlet.     I made breadsticks in the bread machine. It still took several hours. Pizza dough was almost as long  I was able to put the raw dough in the refrigerator and  Roll it out later.

 It is still possible to get some mixes and barbecue sauce cheaper then cooking scratch. I got barbecue sauce for $.55  memorial day weekend with coupons. Picnic supplies are best stocked on summer holidays.   Using coupons cuts the cost more.    I have got catsup for as low as .75 with no preservatives.   BBQ sauce, the best brand was .55.   Mustard is on sale at Fred Meyers.  You can get these for a dollar at the dollar store year round.    They even have the designer types  of mustard.  

I am sure that scratch cakes are cheaper than mixes, even though I lay a dollar or less for mixes.  I do keep a yellow cake mix on hand because I want the capability of a easy fast desert.     Apple dump cake from Betty Crocker is easy, fast, amd less sugar than other dump cakes.    I'm not fond  of the sugar or price of canned pie filling.    It bumps up the price and plain apples are more desirable,   There is plenty of sugar in the cake mix.

There are recipes for your own cookie and cornbread mixes on the Internet.   I have not priced them, but I would assume that you can buy the ingredients for less money,  

Prices are strange.   Sometomes logic doesn't hold true,   Case in point,  bulk pinto beans are more expensive at Winco in the bulk isle  than the two pound bag at the dollar store.    That price is even cheaper than buying a twenty five pound bag at Costco.     Save your storage space for the things that pay you to buy in bulk.  Rice is cheaper in bulk at Costco.  I , fortunately saved pickle Lars from way back when they came in glass.   We used to have a second big fridge and could keep a gallon of pickles.   With three kids in the house, we went through a lot of pickles.    Now they come on plastic and you probably couldn't get the smell out of it.

You can't always assume that  bigger is better and a calculator from the dollar store can be your best friend,   Costco breaks down unit proces  in ounces.   That makes it hard to compare cans of things.
It's great for dry goods and dishwasher pods, but not much help with cans,   I, constantly doing the math,

One last note.  Proces on cherries are per pound usually, not per bag and weight can tricky,   The bags I checked were almost ten dollars.    Buyer beware!  

Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspective. 
The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until ot goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen j) by cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending more is not difficult and you still get more nutrition for your buck. 

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