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Lowering Food Costs

Last post 08-17-2013 8:42 PM by Gayla57. 24 replies.
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  • 07-27-2011 8:38 AM

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-28-2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Lowering Food Costs

     When we begin trying to control finances, lowering the food expense can be the easiest place to start and the one we can quickly see results. 

    What are your best tips to making a food budget and sticking to it to help someone starting out with better finances?


    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager

  • 07-27-2011 12:28 PM In reply to

    Re: Lowering Food Costs

    Stick to a list and stay out of the stores unless you really need to shop lol ..my two downfailings!

    plus use up leftovers and not have a picky family.

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Hobbies and Crafts
  • 07-27-2011 1:21 PM In reply to

    • Lee
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 07-23-2009
    • Texas
    • Posts 1,356

    Re: Lowering Food Costs

    Never shop hungry and leave the kids and in my case, hubby, at home.

  • 07-27-2011 2:36 PM In reply to

    Re: Lowering Food Costs

    Eat less meat.  Plan meatless meals around seasonal vegetables, beans and grains.  When you do have meat, you can use less in most recipes and it's not noticable. 

    Make your own food from scratch (it's not as hard as some people would have you think) instead of buying expensive, unhealthy prepared foods. 

  • 07-27-2011 3:19 PM In reply to

    Re: Lowering Food Costs

     In my kitchen cheese is an expensive item.

    So I changed to extra sharp cheddar. Same cost, use less, lasts four to five times as long.

    My struggle is keeping the CSA veggies good. They only offer one size box. I do get it alternating weeks, but it is still a lot to deal with.

    For now, I'm roasting an freezing what I don't use in three days.




  • 07-27-2011 5:43 PM In reply to

    • Lee
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 07-23-2009
    • Texas
    • Posts 1,356

    Re: Lowering Food Costs

    Good point Stacy, even though I'm not at home during the day I'm still able to do a large amount of cooking from scratch with meal planning and weekend prep. I've found that convenience foods maybe easier however not always, but they are always more expensive. 

  • 07-27-2011 8:06 PM In reply to

    Re: Lowering Food Costs

    I second the "cook from scratch" method.  That cut my costs dramatically.  Started with just one meal per week, made big enough for left overs.  After about 6 months I had transitioned to cooking almost everything from scratch.

     It's also good to double check the pantry and fridge inventory when writing a grocery  list rather than just writing down things as you eat them up or notice that you're out.  It helps me plan the purchases so I use up what's in the pantry or about to go off in the fridge.  That makes less waste.

     And of course, thinking through the meal plan for the week or month or whatever, before finalizing the list.


  • 07-27-2011 9:02 PM In reply to

    Re: Lowering Food Costs

    noodles and rice noodles lower priced rice up in price sick huh???

  • 07-27-2011 10:25 PM In reply to

    Re: Lowering Food Costs

    Crockpot yogurt saves you $$..$10 for 4 quarts usually cost $2.49 each... but if you make it yourself for whole milk usually around here costs $1.79 a gallon yielding 4 quarts..Plus plain yogurt culture to start cost me $1.00 so for less the the cost of 1 quart you get 4...:O). I also think purchasing meats and items on clearance also saves you $$...


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  • 07-28-2011 11:05 AM In reply to

    Re: Lowering Food Costs

    • Form a game plan using weekly circular sale ads to scout out where the best deals are that week. I shop multiple stores according to sales in order to save money.
    • Use coupons - paper, net print off, electronic .... sign up for free grocery memerbship services that offer additional sales. Use coupons on sale items to save additional money!
    • Make a list and try your hardest to stick to it. Do not shop hungry or emotional. Shop alone. Bring your headphones and lilsten to inspirational music if you need distraction to stay on track. Better to boogie than to blow out!
    • Do home inventory as much as possible and grocery shop from home from your stockpile - fridge, freezer, shelf
    • Buy discounted/markdown items and freeze to prolong usage. This works exceptionally well for meat which can get pricey.
    • Buy seasonal produce, especially from your local farmer's market. Some discount their items the last hour before closing in order to ensure they get used and not wasted. If you are unsure of this - ask the vendors. Also, join CSAs or local food programs.
    • BARTER as much as possible: food for food, food for misc. items, food for services, etc.
    • Grow as much of your own as possible. One packet of seeds under a buck can yield you a garden of green good-luck!!! Even indoor and patio planting works if you know what you are doing and care for it well.
    • Sign up for email newsletters to your favorite grocery stores, restaurants, etc. for sales, special deals, coupons, free birthday meals, event deals, promotions, etc.
    • Have/attend group events that are potluck style where you can bring one dish and take home leftovers from others
    • Make food from scratch. Buy things like dry beans/legumes, grains, potatoes, apples, onions, oranges, carrots, etc. in bulk. Example: a can of peas might cost you 80 cents and give you 2 servings but cooking a bag of dry peas yourself might cost you the same price or up to 1.00 and give you 8 servings = cheaper to make yourself
    • Use meat bones for broth. Reserve water from steaming veggies for broth
    • Turn leftovers into new creative meals
    • Menu/meal plan or have a list of meal ideas on hand and make according to what you have in stockpile
    • If a store is too pricey get together some loud and proud activists and throw a huge strike in front of the store... HAHA JOKE!!! I had to throw in a funny one after all this seriousness... wink wink!!!
    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." ~Chinese Proverb~
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