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Topic: Need Money Saving Ideas for Healthy Foods

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Subject: Need Money Saving Ideas for Healthy Foods
Date Posted: 7/14/2011 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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With grocery prices increasing, do any of you have money saving ideas for healthy foods?

I am already a coupon queen, so know about all that.  Most coupons seem to be for prepared, processed foods, and not for healthy foods.  Seems as though most families can eat cheap IF they're not concerned with how healthy they are eating.  I get a lot of stuff cheap/free through coupons, but recently looked at WHAT I was getting, and found it somewhat lacking in the nutrition department.

I know a garden is one way for fresh veggies, but our yard is not really suitable for that right now, and it's too late in the season to start one at this point.  Maybe next year.  We live in a suburban neighborhood, so chickens and the like are not allowed (though would love to have them!).

What are your ways of saving on fruits, fresh veggies, meats, etc. that there usually aren't coupons for?

Date Posted: 7/15/2011 9:32 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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the only thing I know to do is check the weekly sales and stock up on meat when it's on sale - where I live one store frequently has boneless skinless chicken breasts for 1.60/lb and another for 1.99/lb - without the sale it's around $4 or so per lb...same with drumsticks - one store 88 cts and another 99 cts(I got the 99 cts today since that store was convenient) but usually they're 1.40 or so per lb. I don't keep a lot stocked since its' just me and my freezer isn't that big(the one that 's with the fridge) but for a big family might be worth getting another freezer and stocking..think someone called it 'loss leaders'. I also do canned or frozen vegges/beans and just rinse the frozen ones before using if I don't want all the salt. not as good as fresh but still not that bad I don't think.

I'm wanting to find a good farmers marke that's not so expensive - seems some are 'organic' and in the ritzier neighborhoods and cost a fortune - I'd like just a plain simple farmers market.

thre's a forum I like on frugalliving.about.com and there area f ew blogs I frequent - one has the mother eating healthy and her hubby not - but her kids fall in-between. can't think of the name.. If I catch it I"ll post it for you. there are several different blogs I like to read fo rinspiration.

Date Posted: 7/17/2011 12:27 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 7,381
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Have you thought of freezing or canning?  Many fruits and veggies do well with both processes.  You can sometimes purchase larger amounts of fruits and veggies from farmers markets or local farm stands for much less than from the grocery store.  I've not had a lot of experience with drying foods, though we do dry and then grind hot peppers and herbs from the garden.  Not so much because they're healthy, just because we like them.   :)

We don't purchase shredded cheese anymore.  We buy blocks of cheese and shred it, the volume almost doubles. Most cheeses freeze well.

If you have the freezer space, have you thought of going in with a friend or friends to purchase meat in larger quantities?  Like a side of beef or pork?

Date Posted: 7/17/2011 10:32 AM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2010
Posts: 301
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I joined a CSA.  It stands for community supported agriculture.  Basically, I give money up front to support a local farm and in turn, I get a weekly supply of whatever they grow that's in season and freshly picked.  I get produce, fresh herbs, beans, etc.   It breaks down to about $17 a week.  The first week I got it, I only spent about $30 additional at the grocery store for a total of $47, when I normally spend around $100 a week at the grocery store. 

I plan my meals around what I've gotten, so it does take some prep and planning.  I spend more time cutting and washing vegetables, but it's worth it. 

Date Posted: 7/19/2011 3:45 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 10
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the thing we have always done to save money on fresh things is don't be too picky w/what you're going to get in the produce section.  if apples and spinach are what's on sale this week then thats what we're having, if its squash and pears then so be it. 


if you always go looking for avacodos then sometimes you're going to get a deal but most of the time you're going to pay full price.

Date Posted: 7/20/2011 10:16 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,357
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Beans!  Dried beans are wonderfully healthy and really cheap and yummy. 

Date Posted: 7/21/2011 8:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 460
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Kayote beat me to it!  Dried beans are a great cheap way to eat healthy.  Brown rice is another favorite in my house.  Eggs are a great source of protein and  relatively cheap. 

The cheapest cuts of meat, when cooked in a crockpot, are tender and juicy.  If you've never tried crock-potting, get a book or find a website for crock-pot recipes.  We make soups and pot-roasts in the crockpot a LOT, then freeze the leftovers.   The easiest thing I make is to place a turkey breast in the crockpot.  Dissolve one or two chicken boullion cubes in 3 or 4 cups hot water and pour it over the turkey breast, put the lid on the crockpot, turn it on low and let it cook all day.  The meat is tender and unlike traditional roasted turkey, it won't be dry.  Freeze leftovers with a little of the 'broth' for some other night when you don't feel like cooking.   Brown rice is a great side-dish with turkey!

My husband and I invested in an upright freezer many years ago.  It has more than paid for itself.  We stock up on meats, bagged frozen veggies, and bagged frozen fruits.  I usually use the fruit to blend with milk and a dollop of yogurt to make smoothies.  Smoothies are yummy and VERY filling.  If you dislike milk, try using soy or almond milk and a dab of honey instead.




Date Posted: 7/29/2011 12:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/24/2008
Posts: 310
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Check the reduced for quick sale bin for produce.  A lot of the times it is just a minor flaw that can be cut out.  At a small store that sells organic produce they reduce the bruised and abused as they call it to 25 cents a pound.  I get apples there all the time where it is just a spot or flaw that can be barely seen.  One time they got in  a fresh shipment of carrots.  They had to greatly reduce the stock that had to 50 cents a pound to make room for the new stock.  I got six bags that day.

At the grocery store they are always reduced the meats that are about to expire, usually by 50 percent.  For some reason the best day to go is Wednesday morning.  I can always find ground beef.   I don't ususally find roast because I think they can turn roasts into ground beef but a couple of weeks ago I found a $20 roast marked down to $10.  We ate on that thing several days.  I never pay full price for steaks since I can usually find good cuts in the reduced for quick sale bin.  Pork chops and chicken can usually be found there too.  They put out the reduced meat in the morning and it goes pretty fast.  Everybody else has the same idea.  They are wanting to save money and get that reduced meat.  I immediately freeze what I am not going to cook that day.

Date Posted: 7/31/2011 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 335
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In the summer and fall, we have local farmers markets. Near the end of their day, rather than lug all the produce back to the farm, vendors typically bag whatever they have left and sell it drastically reduced. So I get whole bags of farm fresh veggies for $1.


Subject: tightwads reinvent
Date Posted: 11/6/2011 6:54 AM ET
Member Since: 3/15/2006
Posts: 119
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I have saved a fortune with the tightwad gazette book, re use is a new way of life now.food in the fridge is money.So 1$ frozen veggie is healthy as a salad & much cheaper in the winter.keep a tally on outside of fridge,last nights pot roast shredded for tonight's burritos or reseason ground beef & add rice to make stuffed peppers, always keep a ziploc with room to add leftover veggies in freezer-end of week its pot pie with only a crust & can of cream of mushroom soup, so you made dinner for four for a 1.50, plus what was already on hand,even just a few casseroles will positively affect budget, make soup of leftovers with homemade bread,that food you throw away, is really found free cash if you get to it a few days sooner,muffins pancakes cheaper than cereal.casserole is only 2 cups starch,1cup meat,1 cup veggie, add seasoning to liven it up, & do u really need to buy all those varieties of cheese,and snacks.popcorn-home popper & colby jack work for my family, we order variety when we eat out.

Date Posted: 11/8/2011 3:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2006
Posts: 2
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I love that tip about muffins & pancakes being cheaper than cereal!  The same would be true of waffles, if you already have a waffle iron.  Nobody in the family will feel deprived with this switch!

Date Posted: 11/8/2011 3:43 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2006
Posts: 2
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Also -- get on your grocery store's mailing list.  I get coupons from Wegman's for meat, produce, any drugstore item, etc.