In these times when we're trying to get more out of our grocery budget, I thought I'd offer these suggestions (Please feel free to add yours).
1) Our local "el-cheapo" grocery store here saves me between $50-75 per cartload (Food Basics) over the Independent Grocer (Loblaws)
2) Read labels...you don't want to buy the el-cheapo version of whatever only to fill your family full of salt, sugar and additives. There are some things you just don't want to compromise on. I once compared the ingredient labels on no-name hamburger helper and the real hamburger helper, the no-name instant potatoes and the brand name instant potatoes and quickly decided to go with the brand names. They were a little more, but I felt better about what I was feeding my family. I typically don't buy these things, though, unless they're on sale.
3) Purchase coupons off ebay. Look for those coupons that have the products you normally buy and purchase them. At the same time, as you go through your grocery store, check the "use by" date on the coupons there. If you have a good year or six months to use the coupons posted take a bunch of them, not just one (I used to only take one to make sure that "everyone" got one). But, I have been a little more selfish lately, particularly on things I buy a lot of. Remember these coupons may be good for a year, but they'll only be up on the shelf for a couple of weeks.
4) Meat is often the most expensive thing to buy (like toilet paper, coffee, and laundry detergent you know if it's on your list you're going to spend more). Try to land at your grocery store when they have the most meat marked down, usually Tuesday or Wednesday. That's when stores will be clearing out stuff left-over from the weekend in preparation for the arrival of the next order (usually Thursday). I get most of my meat this way and usually pay up to 50% less than I would normally. It's a good time to stock up.
1) Bulk pack of bone-in, skin-on OR bone-in, skinless chicken breasts: Once the meat is separated from the bone, into breasts, muscle strip and bones, you can - a) split the breasts (butterfly them) you get two meals from each breast; b) make soup using the bones and the bits of chicken left on them; c) make stir-fry from the strips. You want at least 5-6 breasts in each pack...if you can find them. Here's four meals for about $5 per meal.
2) Pasta - Not only is pasta loaded with good carbs, but it is quick and easy and ready to eat in about 20 minutes.
3) Tomato soup and Grilled cheese sandwiches - This is a favorite quickie meal in our house. Ready in 10 minutes or less. You can also use toasted cheese sandwiches instead of grilled cheese. Tomato soup is loaded with B-complex vitamins. To feed us three we need two cans usually about .69 cents each, which is about the cost of the grilled cheese sandwiches. Not bad for a fully rounded meal.
4) Hamburger stew - This can be ground beef, pork, chicken, veal, turkey (whatever), fried up with potato chunks, onions, and veggies. Quick ready to eat in about 30 minutes and relatively inexpensive.
5) Quick-oats oatmeal - Ready between 1 and 5 minutes in the morning. Loaded with fiber. Good fuel for the morning - for those of us in colder climes.
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