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Lowering The Grocery Bill

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I admit that I love having pasta once a week, and I really enjoy having some nice toast a few times a week with breakfast. The prices however, I do not enjoy. I have started coping by looking like a hawk for coupons and sales on the foods I love the most. I discovered the new schar bread, the kind from the freezer not the shelf stable kind. It was amazing! I made turkey sloppy joes the other night (I mix in chopped carrots and onions) and had a side of steamed green beans. It was even more awesome because it was one sale for $2.29 and schar's website had a $2 off coupon. I hope these companies continually offer coupons for their products. Is there a coupon thread im missing? We should have one. I have also started purchasing some of my vegetables frozen to save money and to ensure they stay 'fresh' throughout the week. I also make my own white bean dip, the nutribullet is amazing for that, but i have not found a recipe I like for making my own crackers yet.

 

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I buy my pasta in bulk. I don't buy it from the bulk section of the store because of the CC risk, I just buy the 10 pound unopened boxes of pasta. I get my penne and macaroni this way. My exception is spaghetti, which I buy Barilla brand. It's quite good and is something like $2.25 a box. Sometimes I find coupons, sometimes I don't but I got sick of having penne all the time.

 

One of my local stores sells Udi's bread on the shelf instead of frozen. So instead of buying frozen bread for $5 a loaf, or fresh for $6, I wait until it's marked down two days before its sell by date and buy it for $3 a loaf and freeze it myself separated into 2's by parchment paper to make my life so much easier.

 

Since it's summer you could try farm stands and farmers markets for produce if you want fresh. You'll get local, in season produce and the best prices you're likely to find year round. You can even freeze it yourself, just be sure to look up how for each type of veggie first because different veggies have different rules.

 

The most simple rule to keeping the bill down will be not to buy a bunch of prepackaged food. That's where a significant portion of money goes for some people and why they say it suddenly becomes so expensive to eat. Instead, sticking to meats, veggies, fruits and other "real foods" you'll find that the prices are far more reasonable.

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Oh, you must live in the western U.S. No Winco's out here in the Midwest. How much does it cost for 10 lbs?

 

I agree, the naturally gluten-free food is a good way to go for a majority of your food. I buy white basmati rice in 20 lb bags, gluten-free oatmeal in 25 lb bags, gluten-free millet in 25 lb bags, etc. We do a farm share box every week for most of our fresh veggies and buy more of whatever fruit is on sale or in season for the week. I also tend to buy at least 6 dozen eggs at a time (I buy Eggland's Best at Sam's Club), so that I always have eggs on hand.

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Wegmans has their gluten free pastas for $1.39(everyday), which is pretty darn cheap. They have spaghetti, elbows, penne, rigatoni. That's like the only ones anyone really eats! So all bases are well covered as far as I'm concerned. I really do need to get to the farmers market more often, they have great stuff. I make most everything homemade for dinner and lunch, it's snacks that get pricey. I am also going to give homemade bread a try soon. I really love bread.

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I pay about $15 for my pasta. (Something like that, it's been a long time because it lasts forever!) The bonus to buying in bulk is not only are the prices great but at many stores when you buy the unopened boxes you get a 10% discount off the shelf price.

 

If you're in the west or midwest there is something called Bountiful Baskets that may be in your area. I think it may be like that farm share Ruth is referring to? You pay $15 plus I think there is now (in some areas) a fuel fee of something like a buck or two and you get two baskets full of produce. One veggies, one fruit. I've done it, but can't right now because pick up time is Saturday mornings while I'm at the farmers market where I'm a vendor. I'll start again in the fall when the market closes. You never know beforehand what you'll get, but every time I've done it it has been at least double, and often 3-5 times what I would get at the grocery store for $15. And I've gotten things I've never had before which was exciting. So that's something that could be worth looking into.

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Yes, I love the variety in my FarmBox every week! We have gotten to try a number of unfamiliar items. Ours costs a flat $30 per week for their standard box. Everything is organic and grown on a farm just a couple of hours from us and thus picked at the peak of freshness. Their produce is exceptionally good quality!

 

Custom boxes are also available, but I would rather just take whatever they give me. More variety and less hassle that way!

 

I've found that Aldi's is a great place for cheap thick skinned produce. This week they have great deals on honeydew melon, cantaloupe, bananas, and oranges. Aldi's also has organic apples now that are cheaper than anywhere else in town.

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My boyfriends grandmother shares her organic produce with us from her community garden, but she lives over an hour away and we rarely have time to visit. When we get produce from her, its usually veggies and then we just buy like rice and some meat and base the meals around the veggies. I need to check out Aldi's for fruit, we have one right in town but kind of the bad part of town. I have heard that they have a lot of great produce for cheap, but i have heard their packaged foods aren't so great.

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I try to look up the unfamiliar veggies that we get. a couple weeks ago, it was pattypan squash. It is a little different than zucchini, we just chopped it up cooked it and used it with a turkey and veggie chilli we made.

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Mmmm...patty pan squash. You can use it anywhere you would use yellow summer squash. Steam it, or for those of you (unlike myself) who can eat corn - dip slices in egg and then dredge in corn meal. Fry it up in a pan and then put it on some gluten-free bread with melted cheddar. Maybe a little mayonaise. Almost enough to make a person become a vegetarian. :lol:

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I like to use my yellow squash with onions. Any ratio works really, but I usually have twice as much squash as onions. Just a little butter in the pan melted, throw in the squash and onions, sprinkle on a pinch of salt and a tablespoon or two of brown sugar then put a lid on it. Cook it for 20(ish) minutes. (probably stir a couple times) It's perfect every time!

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Another thing that's good is mix some gluten-free bread crumbs, sage, salt and pepper, then put your suqash slices and some mushrooms and onions in a casserole dish. Stir some melted butter and the bread crumb and spice mix in until everything is coated. Bake it in the oven until the veggies are soft.

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ok you people are killing me. Making me very hungry with these delicious ideas. I need to try all of the above! I just realized the other day that we eat pretty damn good around here. I made like a spanish rice tonight with chicken fajitas with tons of onions and bell peppers. So good.

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Problem I have is the various tortilla shells and rice and whatever are LOADED with calories.  It's great if you are trying to gain weight, but for those of us that gained weight due to Celiac can't eat much of that stuff.  I'm dreading winter and the food bill when all of the cheap veges and fruits are gone...

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Don't even remind me about the prices going up! I will probably be eating all frozen, all winter. The tortillas I get are corn and they are like 100 calories for 2 and i usually double them up and make one big fajita and eat stuff from it, before i fold and try to eat. I am one that has lost weight and then gained weight (both for no apparently reason) now i know it was probably from celiac disease. I started to bulk up my rice dishes with veggies so i eat less rice, but it feels like more.

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