Author Topic: Saving on Groceries - Recipes/Tips/Advice/Links  (Read 1563 times)

commodore perry

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Saving on Groceries - Recipes/Tips/Advice/Links
« on: November 10, 2016, 08:30:03 PM »
I'm the wifey of Commodore.  Often read these posts as well. 

Hoping this forum can advise on any recipes related to saving on groceries.  For me, this is a monthly expense that always exceeds what Mr MM & his family have found possible. 

I would sincerely appreciate a team effort on tips/advice/links/recipes.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Saving on Groceries - Recipes/Tips/Advice/Links
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2016, 10:06:17 PM »
A couple links for you!
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/the-ultimate-mustachian-food-guide/
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/i-need-help-from-fellow-frugal-healthy-eaters-groceries-are-killing-us!/
http://www.budgetbytes.com/

If you list specific areas of concern, we'll be able to help more.

Just like with money, you need to track to have an idea where the cost is coming from. I recommend tracking by category for a month. You'll have a lot more to go on then!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Saving on Groceries - Recipes/Tips/Advice/Links
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2016, 08:02:45 AM »
I don't have any handy recipes, but if you have a Sprouts nearby and never shopped there - give them a try on the next Wednesday you have available.  Wednesdays they have their prior ad and new ad overlap and many times their produce prices are unbeatable.

While Walmart will price match ads, Sprouts has many "normal" prices that are not advertised that undercut walmart.  I frequently fill up two reusable grocery bags (equivalent to about 4 plastic store bags) at sprouts with a 3-3.5lb pack of chicken breasts, plenty of fruit, plenty of veggies and spend less than $25.  However, I think their melons and pineapples are sub-par most of the time (shopped at stores in Denver area and Phoenix area and find this to be the case in both areas).

+1 in Phoenix, Sprouts is definitely the "regular" store with the best produce. Every Albertsons and Safeways I've been to is AWFUL. Sprouts though has pretty good veggies most of the time. Not quite PNW standards ;) But what can you expect in the desert.

But extrapolating to the rest of the country: figure out what stores are cheapest for what sort of items, and plan accordingly! If you stagger the trips, going to 2-3 stores per week is not a big change for most people, but can save major money.

Consider looking online for dry goods likes rice and oats. Or if you have a Costco membership- I buy their 25lb bag of rice and their 10lb boxes of oats.

mountains_o_mustaches

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Re: Saving on Groceries - Recipes/Tips/Advice/Links
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2016, 09:27:45 AM »
Another Sprouts shopper here - they're awesome!

In terms of saving $$ - what works for us is cooking at home, eating lots of vegetables (meat is only a few times a week or used as flavoring).  And although this goes against what has been drilled into a lot of our minds over the last few decades we tend to use full-fat options.  We do this for a few reasons - 1) higher fat content means that smaller portions fill us up 2) Research is no longer supporting the low-fat hypothesis and in fact fat is an essential part of our diets 3) Full fat is usually less processed with fewer weird ingredients (what does it mean to use non- or low- fat half and half?!) 4) Since we rely on eating lots of veggies, fat is often essential for absorbing nutrients and it's not like we're sitting down eating burgers and fries :)  I believe MMM addresses this as well (can't remember and don't feel like reading back through his posts).

Things I don't do:
*Set budget each week - some weeks our grocery bill is laughably small ($25-$30) and other weeks it's bordering on luxurious ($150).  We buy the ingredients for the dishes we want to make and are excited about.  It means that we look forward to the fun meals we're going to prepare during the week and will eat at home.  The average comes out to probably about $50-$70/week - very reasonable
*Coupon clip / scour the circulars for the best deals.  This really takes the joy out of cooking for me.  I shop at the stores that most consistently have the lower prices (and good quality).  It probably means that some weeks I'm paying $0.50 more for my tomatoes or whatever, but mostly I'm coming out ahead.  I also think couponing/deal scouring would over focus me on $$ rather than the quality of food and the fun of cooking.
*Buy pre-packaged / convenience things - most people are on board with this for meals.  We make this true for snacks as well.  If we want snacks we make them or eat straight-forward snack items like roasted nuts. We also don't buy bottled water, etc.
*Consistently buy organic (I know some people will roast me on this)
*Buy name-brands unless the quality is actually appreciably better (this is true for the tahini and the cottage cheese that we buy)

This is not the only way to shop, but it works for my family and we're never feeling like grocery spending is getting out of hand.  I'm realizing you also asked for recipes.  I use the internet a lot.  We usually cook 1 new recipe a week.  Some are duds, but many end up in our rotation of yummy recipes.  It takes time, but you'll start to accrue a catalog of recipes your family loves.  Start off with dishes you know you love and go to trusted sources for a good recipe (I love Cooks Illustrated / America's Test Kitchen; Free blogs are also good sources - especially if they have ways for readers to rate the recipes - that way you can get a sense of whether it's a potential dud). 

Wow wrote a lot - hope it's helpful!