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Thread: Cost cutting the grocery bill tactics

  1. #1
    cshenk Guest

    Default Cost cutting the grocery bill tactics

    Hi all,

    Been a bit since we have had a thread on this and the scene has changed
    a bit in both produce and items we may be finding. I'd be interested
    in what items the rest of you are using now that you enjoy.

    One item almost out of our purchases is beef. Thats not a good sign
    for our economy in the USA but the cost is now radically higher than
    pork, often $2 a lb or more. Fresh seafood is generally cheaper now
    than beef.

    Major brands are reducing sizes in small increments while store brands
    and 'off brands' are not. Salt and sugar addition to major brands
    seems to be increasing while store brands overall seem stable.

    Thoughts?
    Carol

    --


  2. #2
    George Shirley Guest

    Default Re: Cost cutting the grocery bill tactics

    On 6/22/2011 5:37 PM, cshenk wrote:
    > Hi all,
    >
    > Been a bit since we have had a thread on this and the scene has changed
    > a bit in both produce and items we may be finding. I'd be interested
    > in what items the rest of you are using now that you enjoy.
    >
    > One item almost out of our purchases is beef. Thats not a good sign
    > for our economy in the USA but the cost is now radically higher than
    > pork, often $2 a lb or more. Fresh seafood is generally cheaper now
    > than beef.
    >
    > Major brands are reducing sizes in small increments while store brands
    > and 'off brands' are not. Salt and sugar addition to major brands
    > seems to be increasing while store brands overall seem stable.
    >
    > Thoughts?
    > Carol
    >

    One thing I've done for years is to buy the store brand of canned
    whatever, usually they will stock canned goods with a prominent label,
    "No Salt Added." Since I try to avoid oversalted foods that is what I
    buy. Where the major brands cost in the seventy to ninety cent range,
    the store brands usually start at forty-nine cents per can and up. Even
    those prices in store brands haven't risen and the cans are still the
    same size whereas the major brands are down sized and over priced.

    Reasonably priced meat can still be found. I frequent the "used meat"
    bin at the local Kroger. Stuff going off the "best by" date on the next
    day is marked down 20 to 50 percent dependent upon the cut. A couple of
    months ago I bought several large ribeye steaks that had tags indicating
    that the regular price was over eighty bucks. I spent forty-seven bucks
    for them. One steak feeds the wife and I a meal so it works well.

    I had been buying bison meat from Kroger, packaged by Maverick Ranch in
    Colorado. A few months back it was cheaper than store brand chuck, at
    about $5.99 a lb. Two weeks ago I found it for $7.99 and last week it
    was $9.99. I think that probably reflects the transportation cost what
    with diesel and gasoline going up a lot.

    I occasionally find seven-bone chuck steaks, four to five lb ones, on
    sale in bulk. I buy them cheap and then repackage in vacuum bags for
    later use. When some of our large family comes to visit we have a big
    pot roast with lots of veggies, home made bread, and some sort of
    dessert from fruit we've canned ourselves. Feed eight or ten people a
    good meal for a reasonable price.

    You have to shop smart. Wife drinks canned fruit juice, used to buy one
    specific brand, name slips me at the moment. Nowadays we buy the twelve
    ounce cans of Jumex, various fruit juices including some we never heard
    of before we started buying that brand. Get them two for 89 cents routinely.

    Of course we're both retired now so we have the leisure to shop wisely.
    A friend hops from store to store buying stuff listed in the weekly
    grocery flyers. He spends more on gasoline than I would do but seems
    happy with it. I shop the one store and know where everything is and go
    straight to whichever aisle my computerized list tells me to go. I don't
    shop Walmart, they change the blasted aisles every other week to
    encourage impulse shopping. Don't shop Sam's anymore because we don't
    need bulk groceries just for the two of us. We do use coupons whenever
    we can find some for the things we use, don't use them for things we
    ordinarily don't buy. I don't buy Sam's or Walmart meat because, due to
    labeling laws, the ingredients include "WATER."

    The best part is we have a small vegetable garden, about 17 X 25 feet,
    plus several dwarf fruit trees. Unfortunately we've been in a deep
    drought for about two years and our city now rations water. Fortunately
    we've gotten over an inch of water in the last three days, that helps.

  3. #3
    Kalmia Guest

    Default Re: Cost cutting the grocery bill tactics

    On Jun 22, 6:37*pm, "cshenk" <cshe...@cox.net> wrote:
    > Hi all,
    >
    > Been a bit since we have had a thread on this and the scene has changed
    > a bit in both produce and items we may be finding. *I'd be interested
    > in what items the rest of you are using now that you enjoy.
    >
    > One item almost out of our purchases is beef. *Thats not a good sign
    > for our economy in the USA but the cost is now radically higher than
    > pork, often $2 a lb or more. *Fresh seafood is generally cheaper now
    > than beef.
    >
    > Major brands are reducing sizes in small increments while store brands
    > and 'off brands' are not. *Salt and sugar addition to major brands
    > seems to be increasing while store brands overall seem stable.
    >
    > Thoughts?
    > * * Carol
    >
    > --





    I got coffee today - 2 lb. 4 oz. bag was 3 bucks off regular price,
    plus I had a coupon. No more silly 12 ouncers for me.

  4. #4
    Goomba Guest

    Default Re: Cost cutting the grocery bill tactics

    cshenk wrote:

    > One item almost out of our purchases is beef. Thats not a good sign
    > for our economy in the USA but the cost is now radically higher than
    > pork, often $2 a lb or more. Fresh seafood is generally cheaper now
    > than beef.


    I only compare beef prices to beef, pork to pork, etc. If I want beef,
    why would I compare its price to pork??

    We tend to pay whatever it costs when we want particular cuts for family
    meals. For example, we do a lot of flank steaks when we can get all the
    kids together, and I get good meat in larger quantities at Sam's Club.
    If I see a sale price, I'd scarf it up and freeze extra.

    I get excellent deals on really nice lamb loin or rib chops by paying
    attention to the "used meat" shelves. So few people eat lamb around here
    that they're always having to mark it down and we swoop in and buy all
    we can find then. Obviously we have to have the resources to buy
    whenever it comes up, but in the long run we end up saving money this way.

  5. #5
    sandi Guest

    Default Re: Cost cutting the grocery bill tactics

    "cshenk" <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:[email protected] :

    > Hi all,
    >
    > Been a bit since we have had a thread on this and the scene
    > has changed a bit in both produce and items we may be finding.
    > I'd be interested in what items the rest of you are using now
    > that you enjoy.
    >
    > One item almost out of our purchases is beef. Thats not a
    > good sign for our economy in the USA but the cost is now
    > radically higher than pork, often $2 a lb or more. Fresh
    > seafood is generally cheaper now than beef.
    >
    > Major brands are reducing sizes in small increments while
    > store brands and 'off brands' are not. Salt and sugar
    > addition to major brands seems to be increasing while store
    > brands overall seem stable.
    >
    > Thoughts?
    > Carol


    75% of the time I buy items that are on sale and that I have a
    coupon for. (Lots of double coupon stores in my area.) Day old
    bread, marked down meat that is at the expiration date or a bit
    later. And by the store brands for staples like flour, sugar, salt
    etc. Right now, one of the local grocery stores has White Rain
    shampoo only sale for 69 cents! Chicken tenders and boneless
    chicken breasts for $1.88 # are on sale this week at Albertsons.

    If I am lazy... I'll take all the ads to WalMart and have them
    price match. And WalMart ususally has GREAT sales on chips and BBQ
    items around the 4th of July.

  6. #6
    critters & me in azusa, ca Guest

    Default Re: Cost cutting the grocery bill tactics


    >
    > The best part is we have a small vegetable garden, about 17 X 25 feet,
    > plus several dwarf fruit trees. Unfortunately we've been in a deep
    > drought for about two years and our city now rations water. Fortunately
    > we've gotten over an inch of water in the last three days, that helps.


    Here in the San Gabriel Valley, in SoCal, a new player came into town
    about four years ago. This is the Fresh & Easy chain, owned by Tesco
    the big British retail company. I usually get to the local store
    (about 1/4 mile away) either at around 11:00 AM or a bit later after
    the staff has pulled all of the stuff that will be out of code within
    the next two days. Excellent buys on the majority of stuff that I
    eat/ Lots of produce packed in "3 fers" @ .98 cents per package,
    apples, onions, pears, etc. I like to get the small salads that
    usually retail for $3.99/ea for about $2.75 that are about one day
    out; the bread that I prefer is the ciabatta loaves, regularly priced
    at $3.99, go for $2.89/ea, etc. The markdowns include the meat &
    chicken items also. Dairy is fair-traded in California to 15% of
    retail price, but that's a good deal.

    Since Azusa is a university town, (Azusa Pacific University and Citrus
    Community College) both across the street from the geezer park where I
    live, there are lots of students shopping along with the geezers, and
    everyone is looking for the best deals. Two doors down is the $.99
    cent store that I sometimes shop at for the dried noodle soup
    packages.

    Harriet & critters in Azusa

  7. #7
    critters & me in azusa, ca Guest

    Default Re: Cost cutting the grocery bill tactics

    On Jun 22, 4:56*pm, Kalmia <tweeny90...@mypacks.net> wrote:
    --
    >
    > I got coffee today - 2 lb. 4 oz. bag was 3 bucks off regular price,
    > plus I had a coupon. *No more silly 12 ouncers for me.


    I saw several of the "new cans of coffee" at 10.5 oz, I believe. The
    12 oz can has gone the way of the 16 oz can.

    Harriet & critters in Azusa.

  8. #8
    Polly Esther Guest

    Default Re: Cost cutting the grocery bill tactics



    "sandi" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:4e02955b$0$12449$[email protected]..
    > "cshenk" <[email protected]> wrote in
    > news:[email protected] :
    >
    >> Hi all,
    >>
    >> Been a bit since we have had a thread on this and the scene
    >> has changed a bit in both produce and items we may be finding.
    >> I'd be interested in what items the rest of you are using now
    >> that you enjoy.
    >>
    >> One item almost out of our purchases is beef. Thats not a
    >> good sign for our economy in the USA but the cost is now
    >> radically higher than pork, often $2 a lb or more. Fresh
    >> seafood is generally cheaper now than beef.
    >>
    >> Major brands are reducing sizes in small increments while
    >> store brands and 'off brands' are not. Salt and sugar
    >> addition to major brands seems to be increasing while store
    >> brands overall seem stable.
    >>
    >> Thoughts?
    >> Carol

    >
    > 75% of the time I buy items that are on sale and that I have a
    > coupon for. (Lots of double coupon stores in my area.) Day old
    > bread, marked down meat that is at the expiration date or a bit
    > later. And by the store brands for staples like flour, sugar, salt
    > etc. Right now, one of the local grocery stores has White Rain
    > shampoo only sale for 69 cents! Chicken tenders and boneless
    > chicken breasts for $1.88 # are on sale this week at Albertsons.
    >
    > If I am lazy... I'll take all the ads to WalMart and have them
    > price match. And WalMart ususally has GREAT sales on chips and BBQ
    > items around the 4th of July.


    We've been really surprised since we retired at how much our cost of living
    dropped since we don't do so much eating out. Grabbing a sausage biscuit
    and OJ on the way to work and for lunch, even a soup/salad sort of quick
    meal really added up to a lot of money. Just a few at a time, I've checked
    out store brands. Some have been real duds but some are happy winners.
    Blackberry preserves, cereal (really) and lots of items are just so much
    cheaper as well as superior to a name brand. The worst test was just plain
    old wieners for hot dogs. Store brand? Waaah, yuck and phooey. The gators
    wouldn't even eat them. There are 8,500 alligators here in our county (more
    or less and probably more) and we do not offend them. Polly


  9. #9
    Julie Bove Guest

    Default Re: Cost cutting the grocery bill tactics


    "cshenk" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected] ...
    > Hi all,
    >
    > Been a bit since we have had a thread on this and the scene has changed
    > a bit in both produce and items we may be finding. I'd be interested
    > in what items the rest of you are using now that you enjoy.
    >
    > One item almost out of our purchases is beef. Thats not a good sign
    > for our economy in the USA but the cost is now radically higher than
    > pork, often $2 a lb or more. Fresh seafood is generally cheaper now
    > than beef.
    >
    > Major brands are reducing sizes in small increments while store brands
    > and 'off brands' are not. Salt and sugar addition to major brands
    > seems to be increasing while store brands overall seem stable.
    >
    > Thoughts?
    > Carol


    We're back to using coupons and trying to combine them with sales. There
    aren't a lot of coupons we can use given our food allergies and the fact
    that we don't buy much prepared food. But we use what we can.

    We have cut back on the variety of what we eat, especially with produce. I
    buy greens, onions of all kinds, sometimes potatoes, baby carrots, sliced
    apples, tomatoes, and once in a while something else. I get the apples and
    carrots at Costco.

    We are eating less meat. I actually have a good coupon for money off of any
    pork product but aside from bacon, I don't eat pork and daughter doesn't
    much care for it any more. She used to like pork chops but no longer. If
    it's still good when my husband is home I will buy something for him. He
    eats it.

    We do eat beef but rarely and mostly ground beef.

    Daughter likes chicken but mostly I don't. When I fix it for her I usually
    just eat peanut butter or beans.

    I have discovered Winco Foods. I can save a ton there! I wouldn't say that
    they have the highest cuts of meat, particularly beef. They do have some
    chicken that looks good.

    Mainly we buy stuff like rice, canned goods, produce, cheese, lunch meats
    and some gluten free items. Also has the cheapest price on beverages.

    It is in another city so we mostly go there once every two weeks. I try to
    buy enough to last the two weeks. On alternate weeks, we get what we need
    at Costco.

    I do shop at some other stores around here which means sometimes going every
    other day to some store. QFC sent me coupons for money off and free items.
    I got free eggs, yogurt, chips and whatever the other item was now escapes
    me. Whatever it was, I got it. Albertsons puts out doubler coupons every
    few weeks. You get three in Sunday's paper and they have to be used by
    Tues.

    I now take the paper to get the coupons. I get whatever coupons I might use
    from my dad who does not use them. I have also bought some from Ebay.

    I have asked for a chest freezer for my birthday next week. Currently we
    have a side by side and the freezer portion doesn't hold much or large
    items. I will be able to use more coupons once I get that.



  10. #10
    spamtrap1888 Guest

    Default Re: Cost cutting the grocery bill tactics

    On Jun 22, 3:37*pm, "cshenk" <cshe...@cox.net> wrote:
    > Hi all,
    >
    > Been a bit since we have had a thread on this and the scene has changed
    > a bit in both produce and items we may be finding. *I'd be interested
    > in what items the rest of you are using now that you enjoy.
    >
    > One item almost out of our purchases is beef. *Thats not a good sign
    > for our economy in the USA but the cost is now radically higher than
    > pork, often $2 a lb or more. *Fresh seafood is generally cheaper now
    > than beef.


    Here fresh fish costs more than Filet mignon. (Not counting swai,
    basa, or tilapia). Shrimp is dirt cheap though.

    >
    > Major brands are reducing sizes in small increments while store brands
    > and 'off brands' are not. *


    House tuna comes in a 5 oz can.



  11. #11
    Tommy Joe Guest

    Default Re: Cost cutting the grocery bill tactics

    On Jun 22, 6:37*pm, "cshenk" <cshe...@cox.net> wrote:

    > One item almost out of our purchases is beef. *Thats not a good sign
    > for our economy in the USA but the cost is now radically higher than
    > pork, often $2 a lb or more. *Fresh seafood is generally cheaper now
    > than beef.
    >
    > Major brands are reducing sizes in small increments while store brands
    > and 'off brands' are not. *Salt and sugar addition to major brands
    > seems to be increasing while store brands overall seem stable.



    I love giving opinions. On this subject my opinion is that food is
    relatively cheap compared to the cost of other things. So far at
    least. I suppose it's all relative. If some person is accustomed to
    eating 12 ounces of filet mignon every day and the price suddenly
    soars, that might be a major incident in his life. On the other hand,
    if that same guy is out in the desert with enough water to last two
    weeks and no more, but he also has no food - at that time lizard mean
    could take on an appeal he never knew existed. I do not concern
    myself with the cost of food. I am an animal. If it comes down to
    cannibalism, I am ready to eat. But so is everyone else. That will
    be true capitalism, when people work not for pay but for food - when
    the day comes when all other animals have already been killed off and
    all that is left are humans.

    TJ

  12. #12
    sf Guest

    Default Re: Cost cutting the grocery bill tactics

    On Wed, 22 Jun 2011 19:32:05 -0700 (PDT), "critters & me in azusa, ca"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Two doors down is the $.99
    > cent store that I sometimes shop at for the dried noodle soup
    > packages.


    I hope you get more than one for $1.99!

    --

    Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.

  13. #13
    sf Guest

    Default Re: Cost cutting the grocery bill tactics

    On Wed, 22 Jun 2011 16:56:10 -0700 (PDT), Kalmia
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I got coffee today - 2 lb. 4 oz. bag was 3 bucks off regular price,
    > plus I had a coupon. No more silly 12 ouncers for me.


    YAY! You should know by 10AM if you like that coffee or not.
    Hopefully you got what you paid for (and more).

    --

    Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.

  14. #14
    spamtrap1888 Guest

    Default Re: Cost cutting the grocery bill tactics

    On Jun 22, 4:21*pm, George Shirley <gmshir...@suddenlink.net> wrote:

    > One thing I've done for years is to buy the store brand of canned
    > whatever, usually they will stock canned goods with a prominent label,
    > "No Salt Added."


    We buy practically zero canned foods other than tomatoes for sauce.
    Black beans if we're going to make burritos or something. Evaporated
    milk for quiche.

    > Reasonably priced meat can still be found. I frequent the "used meat"
    > bin at the local Kroger. Stuff going off the "best by" date on the next
    > day is marked down 20 to 50 percent dependent upon the cut.


    This is good but pickings are slim. I bought some beef shanks the
    other day, roasted them, and made beef stock in the slow cooker. And a
    rump roast to cook rare and slice/marinate into Italian beef.

    > I had been buying bison meat from Kroger, packaged by Maverick Ranch in
    > Colorado. A few months back it was cheaper than store brand chuck, at
    > about $5.99 a lb.


    If store brand chuck isn't less than $4 a pound there is something
    wrong with America. No idea where to get bison by me though. Even lamb
    is scarce nowadays. Lamb stew meat sells for the price of top sirloin
    beef.

    > Two weeks ago I found it for $7.99 and last week it
    > was $9.99. I think that probably reflects the transportation cost what
    > with diesel and gasoline going up a lot.


    Every meat was considerably cheaper in February/March than today -- I
    just cleaned out the stack of reading material on my side of the bed.

    >
    > I occasionally find seven-bone chuck steaks, four to five lb ones, on
    > sale in bulk. I buy them cheap and then repackage in vacuum bags for
    > later use. When some of our large family comes to visit we have a big
    > pot roast with lots of veggies, home made bread, and some sort of
    > dessert from fruit we've canned ourselves. Feed eight or ten people a
    > good meal for a reasonable price.


    I grind chuck roast into hamburger meat because I have no faith in
    what they put in it.


    > Of course we're both retired now so we have the leisure to shop wisely.
    > A friend hops from store to store buying stuff listed in the weekly
    > grocery flyers. He spends more on gasoline than I would do but seems
    > happy with it. I shop the one store and know where everything is and go
    > straight to whichever aisle my computerized list tells me to go.


    There are four supermarkets in a half-mile strip by me, including
    Trader Joe's and Whole P. (which carries the bread I like). I get the
    sale flyers and circle the things I want. I cherry pick what I want.
    Bing bing bing. My wife shops one of the farmers markets on Sunday.

    One of our weekend destinations is close to an Asian store with dirt
    cheap, medium to good quality produce. There we'll get a stir-fry
    vegetable, bean sprouts (good for the liver) and a Vietnamese baguette
    for sub sandwiches. The bread keeps well in the freezer if we're not
    going to eat it right away. I used to get cheap chicken legs at a
    different Asian supermarket, but my wife thought they smelled too
    gamey. So I avoid the meat section.

    > I don't
    > shop Walmart, they change the blasted aisles every other week to
    > encourage impulse shopping.


    I checked out the closest Walmart supercenter but there was nothing
    special there.


  15. #15
    sf Guest

    Default Re: Cost cutting the grocery bill tactics

    On Wed, 22 Jun 2011 19:35:02 -0700 (PDT), "critters & me in azusa, ca"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I saw several of the "new cans of coffee" at 10.5 oz, I believe. The
    > 12 oz can has gone the way of the 16 oz can.


    Time to raise the price of a pound or lower the can to 8 oz.

    --

    Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.

  16. #16
    sf Guest

    Default Re: Cost cutting the grocery bill tactics

    On 23 Jun 2011 01:22:35 GMT, sandi <[email protected]> wrote:

    > (Lots of double coupon stores in my area.)


    Lucky you! I can't remember the last time I saw a double coupon...
    maybe it was back in the days when we got green stamps with gas.

    --

    Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.

  17. #17
    sf Guest

    Default Re: Cost cutting the grocery bill tactics

    On Wed, 22 Jun 2011 21:52:43 -0500, "Polly Esther"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > We've been really surprised since we retired at how much our cost of living
    > dropped since we don't do so much eating out.


    Oh, man.... I wish that was the case for me. I have to concentrate on
    lowering my cost of living now because my income is less.

    --

    Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.

  18. #18
    Steve Pope Guest

    Default Re: Cost cutting the grocery bill tactics

    sf <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Wed, 22 Jun 2011 21:52:43 -0500, "Polly Esther"


    >> We've been really surprised since we retired at how much our cost of living
    >> dropped since we don't do so much eating out.

    >
    >Oh, man.... I wish that was the case for me. I have to concentrate on
    >lowering my cost of living now because my income is less.


    I'm not retired, but I alternate between working at home and working
    at a jobsite. When working on site I really have to proactively
    concentrate to not eat a lot of meals out. But I've been getting
    much better about it (yeah, bad consumer, feeding the recession
    by under-spending).

    Steve

  19. #19
    Giusi Guest

    Default Re: Cost cutting the grocery bill tactics


    "cshenk" <[email protected]> ha scritto nel messaggio
    > Been a bit since we have had a thread on this and the scene has changed
    > a bit in both produce and items we may be finding. I'd be interested
    > in what items the rest of you are using now that you enjoy.


    Carol, I doubt I know a thing about economising that you don't already know.
    The only thing I can think of that applies to both of us is using less of
    the condiments and seasonings that are not usual to where we are, but that's
    often how to use something cheap, isn't it?

    I am cooking with much less flesh and using yogurt to make up proteins by
    having just yogurt for my lightest meal. I would use grains and beans if
    there were not only me, but I hate eating the same dishes over and over so
    much that I know they'd go to waste if I made them, and it isn't practical
    to cook 1/2 cup servings of either.

    Summer allows the possibility of big salads with small amounts of cooked
    fish, poultry, cheese, etc. and seems like just the thing to eat many times.



  20. #20
    jmcquown Guest

    Default Re: Cost cutting the grocery bill tactics


    "Polly Esther" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..
    >
    >
    > "sandi" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:4e02955b$0$12449$[email protected]..
    >> "cshenk" <[email protected]> wrote in
    >> news:[email protected] :
    >>
    >>> Hi all,
    >>>
    >>> Been a bit since we have had a thread on this and the scene
    >>> has changed a bit in both produce and items we may be finding.
    >>> I'd be interested in what items the rest of you are using now
    >>> that you enjoy.
    >>>

    (snippage)

    >>> Thoughts?
    >>> Carol

    >>
    >> 75% of the time I buy items that are on sale and that I have a
    >> coupon for. (Lots of double coupon stores in my area.) Day old
    >> bread, marked down meat that is at the expiration date or a bit
    >> later. And by the store brands for staples like flour, sugar, salt
    >> etc.

    (more snippage)

    > We've been really surprised since we retired at how much our cost of
    > living dropped since we don't do so much eating out. Grabbing a sausage
    > biscuit and OJ on the way to work and for lunch, even a soup/salad sort of
    > quick meal really added up to a lot of money.
    >

    It always amazed me (when I worked) how much money people spent grabbing a
    fast food lunch. They'd pay close to $10 a day for some crappy food (think
    a burger, fries and a cola drink) five days a week. Then they'd bitch about
    not having any spending money. Meanwhile I'd be enjoying nice tender chuck
    roast, mashed potatoes with gravy and green beans. Or spaghetti. Or
    sauteed chicken with rice. Real food I saved a bundle cooking at home
    and taking leftovers for lunch.

    > Just a few at a time, I've checked out store brands. Some have been real
    > duds but some are happy winners.


    Store brands - it depends on what you're buying. Things like canned goods
    are all the same. They come from the same processing plant and just slap a
    different lable on them. I buy store-brand frozen veggies all the time when
    buying I'm buying veggies that aren't in season. I can't tell any
    difference between (for example) store brand broccoli florets and Green
    Giant... except for the price. I use coupons whenever possible. I check
    the weekly sales fliers (which often come out on Thursday and prices run
    through the weekend). Sales fliers are available online for lots of grocery
    stores. Also look for "grocery" items at odd places. I got a dozen eggs
    yesterday at Walgreen's (which is a drug store for those who don't have them
    in the area) with a coupon for 99 cents. The last time I bought eggs
    (anywhere) they were almost $2 a dozen.

    Jill


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