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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Cooking on a Budget: OAMC, Make Ahead, Freezing & More / Could you spend only $100/month at the grocery store?
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    Could you spend only $100/month at the grocery store?

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    Momto3
    Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:42 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I found a great website that might help you it's www.couponmom.com and in my area there are several grocery stores plus the national chains (Walgreens, Walmart, Target, Rite Aid, ect). The site generates a list of sale items each week and matches it to the appropriate coupon insert. Example would be this week my list included Ragu Pasta Sauce on sale for $1.67 at my local ShopRite and told me to go to the specific date insert (ie: Red Plum 10/1icon_cool.gif to find the coupon.

    This has saved me so much time and frustration. I spend maybe 15 minutes each week going through the lists on the website and another 15 to 20 minutes clipping coupons. I do end up shopping at several places each week now to get the best deal but I don't mind at all. I have cut my grocery budget $150 per month just doing this. I have been getting extra coupon inserts from family members that don't use them to up my savings even more. I have always been a sale shopper and shopped once a month for a big order and then would pick up milk, fruit/veggies, eggs, and juice each week. Now I shop weekly and am saving money.

    Cindy
    Cinisajoy
    Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:32 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    To the coupon user that reaches print limits; there is another way around that. If you can afford it make your next printer a printer/copier. They sell for around 50 bucks at walmart and target.
    Print out your coupons cut them out, put the ones you want to make copies of in the printer and hit copy or whatever you hit to make copies. My HP you hit either the color or black button.
    Chef #1408849
    Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:22 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Cinisajoy wrote:
    To the coupon user that reaches print limits; there is another way around that. If you can afford it make your next printer a printer/copier. They sell for around 50 bucks at walmart and target.
    Print out your coupons cut them out, put the ones you want to make copies of in the printer and hit copy or whatever you hit to make copies. My HP you hit either the color or black button.


    I am honestly not trying to cause a stir BUT this is not legal in most cases. Manufacturers etc put those limits on printing for a reason. In most cases, copying is explicitly prohibited in the fine print of the coupons. I am a very avid couponer but you do have to play by the rules. I hate it just as much when there is an ill informed cashier not letting me use coupons in the intended manner.

    Just don't want anyone going up the river for 50 cents. icon_lol.gif
    the80srule
    Sat Oct 31, 2009 4:05 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Usually in the fine print on most internet coupon it says "void if photocopied".

    I'm all about being insanely cheap and trying to bogart as many coupons as possible, but unless the coupon comes from a PDF where you can print unlimited copies I'm pretty sure it's illegal to use photocopies of a coupon that has a print limit and you can be found out. Something with the bar codes not setting right.

    Since most retailers are wary of this, there's quite a few don't take internet coupons. Morton-Williams Associated doesn't and I'm pretty sure C-Town doesn't either. Stop & Shop and Whole Foods do take them though.

    What I love about using the self check-out at SS? Even the printable coupons that say "do not double or triple" get doubled anyway.
    Stitchensu
    Sat Oct 31, 2009 9:27 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Most,if not all of the stores in my area do not take Internet coupons, period. although I haven't tried them in the self check out. But there ususally is a clerk standing around that area.
    But except for toothpaste, and similar stuff I can't usually find coupons for the stuff I tend to buy. Well, I could be more dilegent about cereal. But it always seems that the coupons are for cereal that isn't on sale and is higher priced so the sale stuff is cheaper.
    Gooshbaby
    Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:17 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    i lost my job and my fiance got his hrs cut so we're barely scraping by. so any little tip will help us out.

    when is season pick berries, freeze them on a cookie sheet. you can then use these on your ice cream. after thanksgiving cranberries often go for a good price to get rid it, you can freeze these also.
    On all you usual things like razors, tampons, etc check out ebay. My razors cost over 10.00 for 3 blades. i went on ebay and got 10 pkgs of 6 for under 30.00!
    check out walmart and samz club website. they have free samples and usually get them pretty fast. you can always use tampons, pads, tp, etc. I was lucky enough to get 2 full bags of dog treats.
    Write an email to your fav. products, more than likely they'll send you some coupons!
    drink more water, its better for you anyways. pop costs alot and that is one of the things we cut out.
    one thing we do when we get hungry and are out of town, we stop at the steak house. They have these huge onion bloom appetizers for 5.00, and a loaf of fresh bread for free. This is all we get and we dont even eat the whole onion bloom becasue its so big. our bill is no more than 5.00 because we get water as drinks. we come out full and not broke! icon_smile.gif its still a treat to us too.
    i also shop at aldis alot and walmart. they are the cheapest stores around here. You can buy a tub of butter at 1.39 at aldis, and at festival they're almost 4.00! big difference!
    Jenisnuts
    Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:39 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    Typically I spend about 100 dollars a week on grocerys for a family of 5, but considering my 4 month old uses formula which i don't count it puts it to four. If I had to make it on 100 dollars a week this is how i would try to. 5 dollar 10 lb bags of chicken quartes you can split thesse into at least 2 meals or possibly more a week. add a bottel of bbq sauce or a can of soup and make a sandwhich with the 69 cent bread from aldi's also aldi's has the 99 cent bottel of lemmon pepper marinade that you could marinde with. Rice is a small priced item that make a ton! so use it as side dishes or bake your chicken on top of it and have chicken and rice. 79 cent hot dogs from Krogers and hot dog buns for 88 cents. My friend siad that she has used tofu stuff from the health store it only cost 1 dollar a pound she says if you brown your hamburger with it you can double your hamburger for a lot less of the cost so you could buy a 5 lb roll and make ten pounds for about 10 dollars.... could use for sloppy joes,tacos, some kind of cassarole throw it in some macroni and make your own hamburger helper. Turkey is really cheap bake a big one and and have turkey sandwhiches or grind it up and look for a turkey loaf recipie just saw one on some tv thing the other day. Check out local food pantires lots of churches and other places give out food once a month and some even give you laundry soap or toothpaste even soap and shampoo. Being resourceful is the only way i could possible make it on 100 dollars a week oh and Raimen noodels are a must when your on tight budget!
    Gooshbaby
    Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:24 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    when i get low on bottled soap or shampoo i put alittle water in to last me a few more trys. my fiance goes threw 4 bottles of body wash compared to my one! he uses alot!
    I also buy broasted chix and have that for supper day 1. day 2 i make chix noodle soup w. it. day 3 is chix potpie, day4 is chix sandwiches w/ mayo, onion,sugar.
    I've also learned that you can freeze rice. We also eat alot of venison- it saves us alot of money for groceries. theres alot of yummy recipies on here for venison and some of the marinade makes it taste like its not even deer meat. theres also duck, geese, etc recipes on here too. why let that meat go to waste???
    the80srule
    Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:31 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Add Foodtown to the list of grocery stores that don't take internet coupons!

    Lately I've just been hitting Stop & Shop because they do take them, and pretty much have the best prices in my area on most goods. I get most of my fruit and veg from a family business down my block because she has better prices and produce...my only problem is I typically don't see squash! icon_sad.gif
    farmchick #2
    Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:58 am
    Experienced "Head Chef" Poster
    I think I could, but I don't. I think to do it and still be eating healthy foods you would need to garden. Last year we put up 100 quarts of corn for our family, 50 quarts of salsa, froze tomatos, made tomato sauce, ketchup, paste, and pizza sauce. Froze about 70 quarts of onion, and 25 quarts of beets (harvested to early and didn't get the best yeilds). We had about 25 quarts of zucchini (and the neighbors give it away and had all the fresh we wanted). We had some peppers (didn't keep track, but am still using them) We also had greens from the garden all summer, and fresh green beans. Oh, and winter squash...a ton. Yes an actual ton. Gave away ALOT, but have 60 quarts downstairs. and a bunch to still cook off. Anyhow, we did well even though we lost our tomato crop early in the season (my mother-in-law had them almost to frost before they blighted down there). Anyhow, we eat a lot of veggies. I make homemade bread. Buy beef from our family (still expensive but better than anything you can get in a store for twice the cost). We make our own mixes (recipes from here), and don't buy "convience foods" even with coupons, because the ingredients tell you a lot. If it increases your health bill, is it a good deal even if it is free? Anyhow, we do organic mostly so I don't stay under $100 a month, but I have cut about $200 a month off last years bills. 2010 will be even better I hope. Anyhow, buy directly from farmers when you can, garden if you have a yard, buy in bulk (if you can eat it soon enough), educate yourself. Do you know you can eat wild plants if they haven't been sprayed...this spring I will pick nettles for my tea (they need to be picked early), harvest mushrooms from my parents woods, and pick wild berries this summer. To do this you need to know what your doing because even a lot of plants have simular plants that are poisonios. Also stay off private property if you haven't asked permission...at least here in WI farmers no longer have to put up no tresspassing signs...they can just call the police. It's their land,they pay the taxes (all the way to the middle of the road...). If you hunt or fish GREAT. Rice, and beans are great stretchers. You can cook up huge batches of both and freeze. Quick and easy, just plan ahead. Add a little less of expensive ingredients.
    Chef #313827
    Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:41 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Try to live in the country, or make friends with someone in the country! I currently have 10 pheasants hanging in the garage (shot on Saturday), which my husband will pluck and clean Wednesday or thursday. They cost 1 a piece. I also have the freezer stocked with massive salmon trout from a fishing mad friend (2 per 1.5 kg fish), large wild rabbits (ferreted, so no shot wounds or lead!) at 3.50 a piece, lots of own grown frozen and bottled veg...
    Pheasant makes a great meal for two, and the carcass and any leftovers make stock for delicious soups (don't forget to strip the meat of the carcass after making stock, bottle and sterilize or freeze stock with the meat). The same goes for any other meat/game/chicken etc. Salmon trout offcuts and bones/head make great stock too!
    Use onion and other vegetable peelings to flavour and colour stocks. Learn to make simple, nutricious soups.
    Also, why buy beans in cans? A can of garbanzo beans (450 grams) costs 1.32, but a 500 grams bag of dried beans costs 0.85, and will make 4 kilo of cooked beans. The same goes for all other pulses@! icon_biggrin.gif
    Torri77
    Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:20 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I would LOVE for you to let me in on your game. I have tried figuring the coupon thing out, and it seems I just don't have the time! Where do you get your coupons? How do you know which stores do the dbl or triple coupon days?
    Torri77
    Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:23 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I think it could be done, and I think you could still buy fresh produce. Just see which produce is going to be on sale the weeks you decide to grocery shop, and plan your meals accordingly. I do however think that all snacks and any extras would have to be eliminated unless there was an amazing sale! I think it could be done, but the question would be more of would you want to?
    MommyCheryl #345095
    Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:41 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    farmchick #2 wrote:
    I think I could, but I don't. I think to do it and still be eating healthy foods you would need to garden. Last year we put up 100 quarts of corn for our family, 50 quarts of salsa, froze tomatos, made tomato sauce, ketchup, paste, and pizza sauce. Froze about 70 quarts of onion, and 25 quarts of beets (harvested to early and didn't get the best yeilds). We had about 25 quarts of zucchini (and the neighbors give it away and had all the fresh we wanted). We had some peppers (didn't keep track, but am still using them) We also had greens from the garden all summer, and fresh green beans. Oh, and winter squash...a ton. Yes an actual ton. Gave away ALOT, but have 60 quarts downstairs. and a bunch to still cook off. Anyhow, we did well even though we lost our tomato crop early in the season (my mother-in-law had them almost to frost before they blighted down there). Anyhow, we eat a lot of veggies. I make homemade bread. Buy beef from our family (still expensive but better than anything you can get in a store for twice the cost). We make our own mixes (recipes from here), and don't buy "convience foods" even with coupons, because the ingredients tell you a lot. If it increases your health bill, is it a good deal even if it is free? Anyhow, we do organic mostly so I don't stay under $100 a month, but I have cut about $200 a month off last years bills. 2010 will be even better I hope. Anyhow, buy directly from farmers when you can, garden if you have a yard, buy in bulk (if you can eat it soon enough), educate yourself. Do you know you can eat wild plants if they haven't been sprayed...this spring I will pick nettles for my tea (they need to be picked early), harvest mushrooms from my parents woods, and pick wild berries this summer. To do this you need to know what your doing because even a lot of plants have simular plants that are poisonios. Also stay off private property if you haven't asked permission...at least here in WI farmers no longer have to put up no tresspassing signs...they can just call the police. It's their land,they pay the taxes (all the way to the middle of the road...). If you hunt or fish GREAT. Rice, and beans are great stretchers. You can cook up huge batches of both and freeze. Quick and easy, just plan ahead. Add a little less of expensive ingredients.


    Wow! I am impressed. How large a garden do you plant? You're screen name makes me think it would be huge. I'm curious because we are in a subdivision, so we don't have a lot of land, but we had to clear down some trees and are planning to make that area a garden.

    What kind of tomatoes do you plant to use for the tomato and pizza sauce? We go through a ton of pizza sauce so I would love to make my own.
    Ma Field
    Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:12 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    We can tomatoes but I do still buy paste and some occasional spaghetti sauce (when the deal is right). I think gardening does help a LOT when trying to get to the bottom of the grocery budget. I have always struggled with the math on my budget because some weeks we spend a ton and some weeks hardly any. And of course I try to count only the food so as to keep it more accurate.
    I'm challenging myself to stay out of the store as long as possible in January just to see how far my pantry will get me. Last summer I did the Walmart grocery challenge (and was actually a finalist), but I still have a pantry overflowing with all sorts of goodies. Can't wait to see how long I can go...
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