Post # 1
Okay bees, need some help. FH and I have to really stretch our food dollars because we are trying to buy a house. So, who here has some really budget friendly meal ideas? I usually try to spend only $50 bucks a week on food for us but if I can go lower, I will. I have thought about couponing but it seems silly to buy the Sunday paper for the coupons only. Are there realiable websites for coupons?
Post # 3
I have many many many many ideas that may help you… My DH and I spend around $20 a week on groceries (with couponing)… we set a budget for $150 a month, which would equal $35ish a week if we need it…
Is there anyway that you can get a paper at a discount if it is delivered to your home?? I don’t get the local paper, I actually get the Chicago Tribune (which has higer value coupons since it is based in Chicago, compared to the college town I live in) and I only pay 50 Cents per copy..(we get 2 copies, one in my name and one in hubbys). We just pay our subscription on our credit cards, like $6 every 3 months, and I do save that much and more…
I would say with couponing, you need to do some research and figure out which grocery stores (if any) double any coupons… I know 2 of my stores here do, Meijer and Kroger (not sure if you have those) but they double any coupon that is 50 cents or less… which actually helps save you SO much more money 🙂
Websites to print coupons from:
Also to find coupons that match the ads:
http://www.Krazycouponlady.com (she has matches for the bigger chains like walmart, target, walgreens, CVS, etc.)
Not sure if you have a Meijer but if you do the site I use for matchups for that store is http://www.meijermadness.com
If you have ANY other ?’s about couponing or meal planning (it is a lot to take in at first, I have been doing it since November and just getting my groove of things the way I like it) just email me at [email protected]
Hope that helps 🙂
Post # 4
@Jatelynn- I wonder about this too.
@MaxToRoss- Do you have any advice for me? MA doesn’t seem to do double coupon days and the store brand are cheaper than buying the name brand and using the coupon. With a baby on the way I would love to be able to save more on food.
Post # 5
EatingWell.com has some good ideas for cheap meals (look under the header “cheap”) http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections
I’ve found coupons for food are usually for junk. Occasionally there will be a coupon for milk or eggs, but it’s usually unneccesary and unhealthy food. (DH likes to coupon, we use them for stuff like toothpaste, shampoo, razors, etc. and get great deals on those things!)
Post # 6
Do you have any discount grocery stores around? I shop at Aldi and LOVE it. My crazy schedule doesn’t allow much time for meal planning/couponing. I usually spend less than $35/week. I cook every week night and we have the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Post # 7
@jatelynn: FH and I are on a tight budget as well. We’ve been doing alot of vegetarian meals, not just beans and rice either.
I’ve found that making a menu and buying ONLY what is on the menu really helps us. We used to go to the grocery store and jsut grab potatoes, pork chops, chicken, ground beef, potatoes, carrots, etc. Then try and figure out what to make. THEN I would have to make special trips during the week to pick up *this* and *that* I was getting sick of it. So I signed up for Allrecipes, got a 2 year membership, and I now have access to their menu planner.
It’s easy and it’s been a lifesaver. Now we always know what we’re having for dinner and I rarely have to make special trips to pick up other ingredients.
Post # 8
@roxy821- We aren’t TTC yet or anything but we have talked a lot about how to save and be greener when the baby comes…(some options aren’t accessible in our apartment, but we are planning for when we have a house and yard) Do you have space for a small garden anywhere??? We actually use window boxes that my father made to fit in our windows and we grow small veggies that way…. (when we do TTC and have baby, we plan on making our baby food) So we are practicing now… but growing veggies or even just some small herbs saves money!!!! With couponing, I would look at the KrazyCouponLady because she does the matchups coupons with the stores ad each week, and that helps 🙂
What grocery stores do you have there?! Maybe I can help if I knew that better…. I know that at first with couponing some stuff we still buy store brand because the name brand wasn’t on sale but after about 2 months, I had some stock (not crazy amounts or anything) of the staples and I am able to make meals that way and you don’t have to buy as much!!!!
E-mail me anytime anyone at [email protected] (That goes to my cell phone, and I am not on the Bee as much anymore)
Post # 9
I’m not much for budgeting, but I love coupons just because they’re fun!!! We have Publix here in Florida and they have BOGO free deals every week, which we try to take advantage of….we also combine these deals with manufacturers coupons and in store coupons to get the items for free, or money back, so they pay you for buying it. I did this with Finish detergent a couple of weeks ago…it was like $6.99 each, BOGO = $3.49 each, $2.00 off coupon manufacturer X 2 = 1.75 off publix coupon X 2 = they pay me a quarter to take it home….
We also try to recycle our meals….for instance, Monday night = Taco night….whatever leftover taco mean that doesn’t get eaten for lunch, (theres always a ton when you use 1 lb + of ground beef/turkey), gets added to spaghetti sauce for baked ziti or pasta the next night, and voila, marinra with meat sauce.
I also think stew is a great bang for your buck because you could feed an army with mine & it lasts for days! Good Luck! 😉
Post # 10
I’m an avid couponer and couldn’t recommend couponing more if you have a budget. We spend $60.00 a week using coupons for an average of $150.00 worth of groceries, and nearly all of it is name brand, fresh, and normally what we’d eat, anyway. It’s totally worth buying a Sunday paper (or two) for the amount you’ll save, as well as printing coupons from the internet.
Post # 11
Like a PP mentioned, I found making a meal plan, and then sticking to that plan (a grocery list) REALLY helped us save money. We were often going to the store and buying random things that sounded good, but then never really had a real meal to make with it…once we made a list and stuck to it, our grocery cart looked rather empty and boring but we would have actual meals and not junk food or things that we couldn’t make a meal out of.
Post # 12
I find that using the crockpot saves me a lot of money (and time!!).
Buy a large cut of meat, a bag of potatoes, a bag of carrots and onions, throw it in with a bunch of spices, and you have a stew.
take some of the meat out, use it on bread for a sandwich.
next day, add broth, beans and tomatoes, you have chili.
Be creative with what you have and that alone will save you money.
And most of all, the freezer is your best friend!
Any produce that you wont use? chop it and freeze it!
Finally, always buy in season produce
Post # 13
FI and I are going to be in the minority here but the healthiest and cheapest meals you can make don’t involve coupons. We buy from bulk bins (various grains, beans, legumes, nuts, etc) and fresh fruit and veggies. Spend $100 a month and love it. Just don’t buy things in oxes. Coupons or not.
Post # 14
We don’t coupon, but we try to just “shop the perimeter” of the grocery store — the fresh fruits and veggies and cold stuff.
Post # 15
@abbyful: I’ve noticed the same thing with most coupons being for junk.
We don’t buy hardly any snack stuff, and we only buy limited boxed things. I feel like all the coupons I see are for chips, cereal, and the like. I try to pay attention to sales, but I rarely have much luck. Meat and produce make up the bulk of our grocery budget, and it seems like they have the fewest coupons by far.
I saw that PP mentioned spending $35 a week or even $100 a month on groceries. How are you doing this? We easily spend $100 a week, and that’s a good week. Please teach me your secrets. 🙂
Post # 16
Plant a garden (I’ve got three indoor Aerogardens, got one of the setups for free from my local freecycle). If you can grow even some of your veggies and herbs then that’s going to help save money.
We make a lot of soups with beans, more for the nutrition than for the cost per servings but it’s hard to beat bean-based soups on either count. A bag of beans, two links of your favorite sausage, some chicken broth, onioins, carrots, and green peppers only costs about $6 in raw ingredients and can make about 6 really good-sized servings (at about 320-400 calories per serving you really can’t beat it).