Friday, August 26, 2016

Freaky Friday!

Recap  in a nutshell.    The basics of groceries on the cheap in bullets.  

  1. Spend less, eat  more 
  2. Stock the things that you use on a regular basis when they are at a RBP. 
  3. Know your prices on the things that you use in a regular basis and how much you typically use. 
  4. Base your stock levels on when things go on sale Hor pick a time- based limit.   If you use two cans of tomatoes a week, and you want to keep a three month supply, you need 24 cans. 
  5. Identify the proteins your family likes.    Ours are eggs, cheese, chicken, pork, beef, rice and beans.     
  6. Buy the amount you will use  of that protein on a rotation basis based on grocery chain store sales.    In other words, if chicken is .77 a pound, and you eat it twice a week, you need enough chicken to feed your family 8 times.    In our case, that's two chickens.   
  7. If  appropriate, when you get home or shortly after, batch cook if needed and portion control in freezer containers or bags , label and freeze.    A standard refrigerator freezer will hold a small families month of food,   It's hard to look at a three pound hunk of ground beef and do something with it frozen.   Conversely. Taking a small bag out of the freezer and making tacos is a lot easier and there is no waste.    
  8. Waste not, want not,   Try to use every bit of something,  look for recipes if you are stumped. Berry Crocker on line cookbook is free and you can plug in what you have, and  find recipes when you are bored with the same old. 
  9. Set limits.    Don't buy something just because you are hungry for it or it looks good    Have a top dollar you are willing to pay for something : 1.00 for fresh veggies, two dollars for meat, have a target amount on basic things and try to stick at or lower.    .50 for tomatoes, beans, pasta can be had for under a dollar-  with coupons closer to .50.   
  10. Food is everywhere.  At overstock stores, and chain stores, and warehouse stores.   Know which ones on your area have the cheapest price on the things you buy.  Our Costco has bananas the cheapest and the price doesn't fluctuate.    Usually a three pound bag has more than three pounds    Look for a bag without single bananas on it. 
  11. You No one store has the best buys on everything,   Shop two stores a week if possible,   Some parts of the country inky have one store, so consider carpooling with a friend or neighbor and getting the store flyer on line or sent to you. 
  12. Learn your stores layout so you can get in and get out.   Taking another family member is a mistake the more people you take with you the more money you will spend.  Children  are a distraction .   You can't do math with a screaming kid.    When we have grandchild, grampa takes her in a car cart and looks for the sale plus coupon things at one me of the store while I work the produce and meat section.    
  13. Use every available means to legally to  reduce your bill.    Sales, coupons, Ibotta, store reward cards, basket savings coupons.   Matching a sale, manufacturers coupon, and basket coupon and spending just the top amount in the basket coupon is the best way to stretch your dollar and  maximize your percentage off.   By using every available means, we had dinner for two of us for .....05.    No typo there, a nickel.    It pays to pay attention. 
  14. Percentages off are deceiving,   At a high end store, it will look like you are getting a lot off, but you could be spending what amounts to your regular price   It boils down to the bottom line again    Only buy something if the bottom line is at or less than your target price.  Target price has no relationship to the store with the red balls.    Obviously, you can't skip eggs and a few things, even if the prevailing price is high.   Then your best bet is to use less   This, we eat less eggs on the winter, and more in the summer  After doing this for a while. It doesn't take a lot more time than if you buy weekly for daily groceries paycheck to paycheck and you always have food in the pantry.    We have actually has  bouncing  pay checks before.   Any amount of things can go wrong and a stock of food can bridge a lot.    No child should suffer the insecurity of having nothing in the house to eat.  
  15. Make up the difference in time management by using kitchen management.    Cook efficiently. Try to get appliances that help you.   Some things can be bought at garage sales or estate sales, or you can let it known in your circles that you are looking for them.  Someone might find one and tell you about it.   It doesn't happen overnight, but the right equipment really helps.   Save up for it.   More time planning your meals and planning your trip, picking the right stores to shop in and less  time in the kitchen pays off in big savings.    
  16. There is something very satisfying about knowing you don't have to rush to the store of you don't feel like it, you can pull ingredients out of the pantry and put  a meal on the table.  

I have read and studied all I could find about cooking and shopping strategies to lower food bills.   I am passing them in for people that may need them.   This isn't a ploy to make money on the Internet.   I'm not getting our food on the backs of someone else that may need it worse.    I, in fact, give to the 
food banks and share information so others can feed more for less.

Why?   Some people may not get it.   The classic answer came from a sweet, pleasantly plump African American woman . She was on the Today show talking about couponing.    Matt Lauer asked her what she would say to Naysayers.  Her reply will stick in my mind forever.   She said , paraphrasing, if you don't understand, you ain't been broke  enough !   

My mother always  said everybody pays  their dues sooner or later.    No one gets throu live life with a free card.   Learning to cope is the key.    I decided when I was a struggling single mother , I was going to write a book entitled. " Cope  is a four letter word spelled HELL.   

Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspectives

The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until they 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 )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

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