Frugal Shopping

Australia
May 18, 2008 9:42pm CST
When times are tough, what sort of things do you buy when you go grocery shopping? Cans of baked beans? Tins of soup? Do you have a guaranteed cheap but yummy meal that never fails? How much different does your shopping trolley look when you've got a smaller budget to stick to?
5 people like this
15 responses
@gemini_rose (16193)
19 May 08
A few weeks ago, I started to notice that my shopping was beginning to exceed my weekly budget. I usually do the shopping once a week. This was a bit worrying because I did not want to have to put my shopping budget up because it would meant that the money would have to come from money that I am saving. I therefore decided to do an experiment, based on something that I heard on the television, instead of going shopping weekly go daily. The theory then is that you only buy what you need and just make sure that is all you buy. I thought to myself, OK I will give it a go. I started my experiment last week, it is hard to have to go daily, but I am out every morning anyway as I take the kids to school, but I have done it for one week and so far I have saved £20 GBP which is about $40 and that is in just one week. I am on the second week of it now and I am going to do it this way for a month, any money that I have left over from my shopping budget is going into a tin and I will count it up at the end of the month and see how much I save.
1 person likes this
• Australia
20 May 08
Wow that's a new concept. I think I will give it a go. Thanks so much for your input!
@gemini_rose (16193)
20 May 08
Anything that involves saving money is worth giving a go!! I am in the second week of my experiment and so far I appear to be doing better than last week, really exciting. It is becoming more of a challenge now to save as much as possible on my shopping!!!
@callarse1 (4793)
• United States
20 May 08
I can't say as I don't buy all the groceries in the family, but you can get good deals on frozen vegetables. In fact, they are 10 for $10 this week and since my dad works for the store he gets 10% off which makes it 90 cents. Well, I think growing food in a garden would help. Some users said they cooked all their food, that's good too. You can find good deals at Sam's Club/Coscto. For example, they have lots of premade dinners. They actually aren't too expensive for example 8 or 9 dollars. That's not too much. There are good stand-by such as Boca Burger dinner (for example I just make two boca burgers on bread....maybe cheese, ketchup, mustard, onion, etc) then a salad. Another idea is Tuna/Hamburger helper or mamwich...you can use turkey meat instead of hamburger which makes it a little healthier. Sometimes Michlean's are very good...their cheese lasagna and buffalo chicken bits are very good. They are often $1. I was thinking how you could make it for less than a $1 and you really can't unless you make a big portion of cheese lasagna or you make lots of buffalo chicken bits. Then there's the frozen section they frequently have big bags of frozen pasta (like ravioli) and all you do is boil the water, add the sauce, maybe make some side dishes and there your done. I love salad personally as a side, but you could make something else like baked beans. Aldi, Sam's Club, and your local grocery store has many things on sale so you should work your meals around which things they have on sale. Pablo
1 person likes this
• United States
19 May 08
I'm pretty used to paying less for things and not buying as much at the store. We buy a lot of our food from stores that get food that is almost outdated or the boxes were damaged from trucks or whatever. It saves us a lot of money and we only have to worry about getting the fresh ingridients that go into those foods. We also take advantage of membership cards for a store that sells goods that they've bought out and what not. Because we're members we get cards in the mail for percentages off or even dollar amounts off of any product purchase at those stores. It really helps out a lot. And it helps that my mom works manufacturing all types of chicken. She can purchase large amounts of chicken for small prices. It helps make our meals.
1 person likes this
@hcpoirot (1562)
• Indonesia
19 May 08
This was called Rantang, where you put food and de - This was called Rantang, where you put food and delivery them to the customers.
When I had tight budget, my trolley became a basket. But usually i just bought ramen noodle or noodle cup. But because I used tantang delivery (see my topic discussion about rantang service) I pretty much saved lots of money compare to cook for myself.
@stephcjh (32328)
• United States
19 May 08
I am always a frugal shopper. Our money is always tight here and we have to watch what we buy and how much we spend all of the time. Our cart is hardly ever full because we cannot afford to buy a whole lot of items all at one time. We buy things in bulk quantity to last us for as long as possible though.
1 person likes this
@drannhh (15044)
• United States
19 May 08
Yesterday I bought some ten cent seed packs (uhhh, and a Helio Ocean smartphone, lol). Well it has been a few years since times were tough for us, but we still have frugal habits. Beans from a can? Excuse me? No, if times were tough I would not buy anything in a can, because dry beans are cheap and yield a huge pot of delicious food, without the unhealthy salt they put in the canned ones. Some so-called convenient foods are not all that convenient when one considers what poor nutrition they offer. The same with soup. I hardly ever buy soup in a can. There are a lot of stories about families eating spaghetti 3 weeks in a row and probably for very good reason. Pasta is yummy and inexpensive, so that is one I have resorted to over and over in a pinch. My main tactic though is to simply shop at cheaper stores. It is amazing what a huge cart of food can be gotten at some dollar stores for very little money. The one we shop has milk and eggs and potatoes and fresh fruit. That giant grapefruit I uploaded in my recent discussion was one of 3 in a bag that cost 99 cents!
1 person likes this
@skinnychick (6907)
• United States
19 May 08
Topping my list: Ramen soup. Soup of noodle dish, you decide but it's hard to pass up at 16 cents a package. I also stock up on pasta and Sauce when it's on sale or get it at Aldi, which is where I do most of my shopping so the prices are pretty low. I always buy stuff to make casseroles as well. Those last a few days and can be frozen. Macaroni and Cheese is always good to have around as well as ground beef.
1 person likes this
@faith210 (11233)
• Philippines
20 May 08
Hi coffeeshot! I could easily carry my grocery shopping nowadays unlike before that I could buy a lot since prices are not that high. I have a really tight budget and I have to really be wise in choosing what I buy. I really don't buy can goods since i could buy fishes in the market for a cheaper price. We have at the moment plenty of supply of fishes and they cost less. So, I stick to fishes and vegetables at this time and with my groceries, I just buy the essentials. Take Care and God Bless! Happy Mylotting!
@jer31558 (3683)
• United States
20 May 08
Generally, we don't buy can goods such as soup, my wife usually makes that. We Keep ramen noodles around for those times when you don't want an entire meal, and I could just about eat those anytime. We do get more stuff like rice or dried beans that can be made to stretch meals.
@dodoguy (1297)
• Australia
19 May 08
Hi coffeeshot, It's sobering to see that frugality is more widespread than the politicians would like to have us believe (of course, the pollies don't ever have to personally confront such things, being blessed with mega-fat salaries and super-generous superannuation packages funded by the taxpayer). I tend to think in terms of "the means of production" when stocking the larder. It makes sense, I think, to purchase only the non-perishable stuff (like maybe coffee, and pasta, and rice, and sugar, and milk powder, etc) to store in the cupboards. Most anything else that one needs can be grown, even in a small garden or even in pots. Or even without any pots at all - sprouting seeds in the kitchen is really simple, and furnishes very nutritious salad greens all year round at minimal, almost negligible cost. Dried peas, lentils, garbanzos, mung beans, and probably lots of others if you can find them, are relatively cheap and last forever if stored properly in the pantry until you need them. Eggs - a very handy menu item - store for a very long time if not washed, even at room temperature, and longer in the fridge. And they're way cheaper home-grown, as well as probably being more wholesome. But if there's eggs on special, it pays to bulk up on them - they CAN be frozen and stored for many months when necessary, if prepared properly. Anyway, I agree that a bit of extra effort during the shopping rounds can pay big dividends. It's a lot cheaper to pick up loaves of whole-grain bread near their "use-by" date for $1.00 than $4.00, and ditto just about any other perishable on the shopping list. All it takes is maybe a little more effort in preparing and maybe freezing produce that is cosmetically not quite 100% or near it's "use-by" date, but that little bit of extra effort makes the grocery money go a long way further. I also agree that economies are going to have to collapse before any real change comes about. Until then, we're just going to get squeezed more and more.
• United States
19 May 08
a lot of pasta,veggies,potted meat maybe. depends on the sales and the scratch and dent area. cheese macaroni with a bit of canned meat and peas go a long way,and my family loves it. although..the price of mac n cheese has been going up.i think they noticed more people on a budget have been eating it.greedy stores
19 May 08
Cheap nutritious and filling meals for me are usually jacket potatoes with cheese and baked beans. When money is tight I go for the cheaper brands- like Supermarket crisps instead of Walkers. I also like gettig rice and pasta, and frozen veg is a lot cheaper than fresh. Which kinda sucks as I love fresh fruit and vegetables.
@Ldyjarhead (10159)
• United States
19 May 08
I've always shopped very frugally and eat mostly chicken and hamburger for meat, but even that I'm stretching further than I used to. I would usually use one large package of chicken to make two meals and now I'm stretching it to three meals. I make a lot of things with rice or noodles, so I'm using more of those and less of the meat. I'll probably be using more beans too, as they are still cheap (for now!).
@whittby (3073)
• United States
19 May 08
My shopping cart doesn't have convenience foods in it. No cans of soup - I make it from scratch with leftovers and some chicken or stew meat. I use more pasta and rice in our meals - but get whole grain usually. I don't buy the donuts and the bakery items. I buy cheaper lunch meats if I buy any at all. I do use the canned baked beans and add corn muffin mixes to the meals if I don't make it from scratch. I don't buy juices, but do get fresh fruits and vegetables.
@slickcut (8141)
• United States
19 May 08
I started way back before food started getting higher.I usually fix meat meals with ground turkey,i add a little steak seasoning,onions,garlic ,bell peppers, and celery,and it is very good.i make goolash,soups,meatloaf,and burgers, all from ground turkey,even spaggetti and meat balls..The 1 1 lb tube cost $1.27 each at walmart...I also cook beans and rice more along with stews and it cuts cost...I do not have a certain budget really i just get the things we eat the most..We also have a dollar general and they also sell foods,like can foods, juice etc at a lower price that the grocery stores....