Hi

Jennifer - posted on 10/15/2008 ( 32 moms have responded )

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Hi my name is Jennifer & my family is on a very tight budget. Any money saving ideas for groceries etc. would be great. Also how to save on Christmas... Thanks

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Rachel - posted on 06/03/2011

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I save money on groceries by shopping with coupons and getting stuff while it is on sale. Also I use surplus outlets to buy my canned and oxed items and I make alot of food from scratch. Another great way that I save money is by making my own laundry detergent, firestarters and fabric softner. all these things help and leave a little extra money for those groceries

Cynthia - posted on 11/03/2008

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I agree that meal planning does help a great deal. We have stores here that double coupons every day up to 99 cents. Also one store here has triple coupon days once every other month. That is why I stock up. I usually get things that I just have a coupon for and I end up getting a lot of things for like 25 cents. I then make a meal out of whatever I get.



Not sure if everyone knows this but you can buy coupons on eBay. I know a ton of people that do this.

Brandye - posted on 11/03/2008

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I really like all of this info. I am new to the group and cannot wait to see if I can save even more w/new ideas. We have two EXTREMELY picky boys and I feel like I waist so much money on JUNK! I have tried everything to get them to eat healthier. They gag w/pasta. Crazy, huh? Meatless meals would be great, but what about those meat and potatoe husbands (like mine)?



Also as far as toys new or used...has anyone heard of www.freecycle.org ? You can join a group in your area. You give away or get new or used unwanted items. It is an online orginization dedicated in keeping more and more items out of the landfills. Check it out. My husband and I got a new Total Gym and several ride on toys for the kids, as well as getting rid of things we no longer wanted. It is great, check it out!

Michelle - posted on 11/02/2008

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Like many others, I look at the store ads before I shop to see what is on sale. I also use some coupons and buy as many store brands as I can I shop almost exclusively at Super Target using a Target Visa for payment. This allows me to track all grocery purchases together, plus after accumulating 1000 points (1 pt for $1 at Target) you get a 10% off shopping day. I also participate in Target's Take Charge of Education program where Target donates 1% of my Target Visa purchases to the school of my choice so the kids' school benefits as well!

Sarah - posted on 11/02/2008

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I shop my local Target for a lot of things. Not only do they take manufacturer's coupons, but they also offer Target coupons on their website (plus you can combine the two for extra savings). I also make sure that I always have my coupons in the diaper bag so they are always with me since I never know when my newborn is actually going to be patient enough with me to go to the grocery store!

Teresa - posted on 10/28/2008

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Hi. Try cooking home cooked meals that are meat free for one week. :) You can make meals like pasta, mac and cheese, cheese enchiladas, chinese stir fry...etc. Experiment with different variations of rice and beans. Then add a side vegetable or salad. You will be surprised how much your grocery bill can shrink if you don't buy any meat. :)

Also, if you make it from scratch it is alot less expensive that buying it prepared.

And, keep the meals simple. :)



Good luck !

Melinda - posted on 10/28/2008

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My family buys half a cow and a whole pig and gets it butchered and then rent a freezer locker at the butchers. (live in middle of Nebraska) We do this when our taxes come in and then we have meat purchased for the rest of the year and it's so much cheaper than paying for it according to market price, but you have a bigger expense at the beginning. Also I shop at our Hy-Vee store instead of Wal-Mart. I've found that Hyvee has two or three non name brands that compete with each other making them way less expensive. But i have to agree Wal-Mart does really well for name brands with there price matching.

Jennifer - posted on 10/28/2008

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Thanks for the great ideas everyone. I have already saved tons of money on my son's clothes. I buy everything second hadn & it is all name brand stuff. I will put some of these ideas to work. Thanks again.

Amanda - posted on 10/27/2008

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Also I plan my meals based on what is on sale that week and what is in my cupboard. Only about once a month will I just pick a recipe and buy whatever ingredients are needed for it.

Amanda - posted on 10/27/2008

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I'm not sure where you live so I don't know what stores are close to you. My family is also on a very tight budget (less then $1500 a month for husband, myself and 19 month old son and that's including son's baby bonus). I have found Costco is a life saver for big purchases like diapers and wipes. It's cheaper there then anywhere else, although you do have to buy a big box at a time.

The thing that has saved me a lot of money over the years is knowing what you should be able to get something for. For example, I never pay more then $1/lb for bone-in chicken legs or thighs because that is what it comes on sale for. I don't pay more then $1/lb for medium ground beef either....even though that often means waiting for months for a sale to come on and then stock piling like crazy. Also, try out store brand foods. While some do have a noticeably different taste then the name brand, you will often find that the taste is the same and you generally pay much less. But pay close attention because sometimes you can get the name brand for the same price or less on sale!

Tia - posted on 10/27/2008

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It sounds like a lot of money at first but it truly does save in the long run. Try to by a deep freezer..if ur a meat eater by a 1/4 or 1/2 a cow, and what ever frozen food u choose, and I just got into caning foods like apples, pears, tomatoes and salsa. Apples are great for ne thing i swear i just put them on a great pork chop recipe and it was yummy. And defenitely if u have an Aldes grocery store that place rocks it's saved me hundreds.

[deleted account]

the only supermarkets round me r wollworths,coles,foodworks&iga, but i will have a look at that website for cheap xmas presents thanks heap.

Carrie - posted on 10/27/2008

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If your town has an Aldi store. I would check that out. Aldi saves me a bundle of money each week in groceries. For Christmas, I have went to the Shutterfly website to purchase gifts with a personal touch. Photo calenders, brag books, fun items that grandparents and immediate family loves. Ebay and clearance items are a must as well.

Sara - posted on 10/27/2008

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so you just show the walmart checker the other places ad or how does that work?

Heather - posted on 10/27/2008

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I don't know if any of you are aware of this...or if you do any of your shopping at Walmart, but Walmart has a policy where they will match any competitor's adds. If your local grocery store is having a really great sale on certain items...take that add into Walmart and compare the price. If the add has the cheaper price, Walmart will match it. I have saved TONS of money doing this. I also buy the Sunday paper and use coupons whenever possible. It does take a little bit of time prior to going shopping to sit down and check the adds, but it makes it worth it.



I usually write out my list FIRST, then check the adds...otherwise I end up seeing tons of stuff for sale that I don't really need...that get added to my list.



A great way to save money on Christmas or even school shopping...check for some second hand stores. REALLY they aren't what they used to be. I have a 9 month old son and I would say 95% of his clothing have come from either second hand stores or name brand outlet stores. He hardly has anything that is not name brand...and i guarantee I didn't spend over $5 on most of it. I shop ebay, too, for his clothes.



If you plan ahead you can catch the outlet stores having HUGE sales on their clothing at the end of each season. I have went to the local Children's Place clothing store in Fremont, IN and gotten TONS of clothes for $3.99 or less. I think I got my son's winter coat for $4.



Hope this helps!! =D

Danielle - posted on 10/26/2008

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I use a great website, myrecipes.com. You can find recipes, add them to a menu and then add them to a shopping list. If you do this in conjunction with the store circulars or websites you'll save a good bit. Of course, the coupons are key! (Sorry to our friends in Australia and other places that don't offer coupons.)



I like the idea of a couple meatless meals a week. And we only do dessert 3 nights a week. It's a little something we all look forward to.



Menu planning is a huge help too. Some of my girlfriends have a stock menu that they don't have to change too much, but is varied enough to keep the family happy. For example, Mon/soup & sand, Tues/Mexican, Wed/crockpot meal, Thurs/leftovers, Fri/pizza & salad night, Sat/meat & potatoes, Sun/big meal that will provide leftovers or ingredients for the week (ex. ham or turkey).



I guess it all boils down to planning. It's hard at first, but once you get into your groove it makes everything better!

[deleted account]

i'm in QLD Australia we dont get things like coupons, well not that i'v ever been aware of. so we pay full price on groc but we can get a .4cents a lt of fule after we spend $30 or more on groc.

User - posted on 10/25/2008

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http://fiddledeedeeblog.blogspot.com/ -- This is a great website for Publix shoppers and she has it all layed out for you. I've been saving an average of $25 a week in groceries. My Publix will accept competitor coupons (including the walgreens $5/$25 coupon) and will double manufacturer coupons up to $.50. There are some great deals to be found on this website!!!

Jill - posted on 10/24/2008

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coupons, coupons, coupons!! I have recently started clipping coupons and then matching them with what's on sale and have cut our grocery bill in 1/2 plus have eliminated our target/walmart/bj's costs!!! i use couponmom.com and clip clip clip or print coupons online! Not sure where you live but i get great deals at kroger, publix and cvs. sometimes i walk out of the store saving more than i've spend or sometimes they OWE me for my purchases!! it's amazing! there are a few tips n tricks but i'm off to bed right now...email me and i can tell you more!

Sara - posted on 10/24/2008

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Walgreens has a coupon today for $5 off if used Fri or SAt. Go print one off their website!

Erin - posted on 10/24/2008

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in my community Walmart is cheapest, and they will price match from competitor's ads (from your newspaper). i look at the paper and make my list based off the sales. i save anywhere from $10-20 per wk if i plan well, depending on whats on sale. the other thing i do to save is i joined costco, my mom joined sams club, and we buy what we can in bulk and split it up. costco has some great products for great prices.

Sara - posted on 10/23/2008

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we share a membership at discount clubs [sams, costco] with family members and all take advantage of buying in bulk. but i do compare prices and often times w/a coupon walgreens is the cheapest place for toilet paper and toothpaste.

I NEVER SHOP WITHOUT MY COUPON NOTEBOOK. You never know if you find something on clearance AND you have a coupon for it, sometimes its free!

Maureen - posted on 10/22/2008

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i buy all of my snacks and a lot of other foods at Walmart and Target. It is cheaper than the supermarket but they also take coupons.

Terri - posted on 10/22/2008

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Plan a menu, if you don't you'll be going to the store more and spending more! I plan my menu based on what's on sale or what's in my freezer. I always look for marked down specials too. I've figured out about what time the marked down meats are put out. They are still fresh, I just cook or freeze right away. I stock up on good meats when I can get them at a good price. I also found a great website www.hillbillyhousewife.com It kinda sounds corny but she has great recipes that know you are saving money with! We just tried a couple of the salad dressing recipes and loved them. Also invest in a easy to use coupon organizer and use it. I don't save a ton, but I figure I save more than minimum wage for one hour of investing in organizing coupons so it's worth it. I shop for Christmas year-a-round, and yes my son who's nine knows my mantra "if it's not on clearance we don't buy it" when it comes to toys etc. Most stores are making it easy to find their clearance, Target puts in on the end of the aisle on the outside of the store for the most part, clothes are in clothes. We also shop yard sales, ebay and thrift stores. We love to make it an adventure and teach our son about "recycling" which is really what it is in addition to a bargain!

Jessica - posted on 10/22/2008

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Hi. I agree with the other posters. Look at the store's ad before you go shopping. I also do a kind of 'inventory' of my pantry and make a weekly menu trying to use as much as I already have, also considering what's in the ad. I then head to the grocery store with a list (and hopefully some coupons to match the list!) and stick strictly to it. If there's a staple food that's on a great sale that I can freeze, I try to stock up.



For Christmas, we share an Amazon Prime membership with other extended family members. Amazon (in most states) has no tax and free shipping on most things over 25.00 but with prime you get free 2 day shipping on most things! If I remember correctly you can split the membership w/ 4 other people and a membership is 70.00. Amazon has some great deals on toys (if you watch 'deal' websites) and housewares, which make great gifts. I also agree with Dina--small kids need very little in the way of THINGS to make a good Christmas for them. :)

Amanda - posted on 10/21/2008

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sorry, but what is the circular? is that like an add for your local grocery store?

Dina - posted on 10/21/2008

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I find that if I use the circular to make a list, then actually add up how much I'm going to spend if I buy everything on the list that I tend to spend much less money. Also, I leave my son and husband at home. When my son is along I can't concentrate - I tend to throw things in the cart to get out as soon as possible! When my husband is along I find lots of 'extras' that weren't on the list appear in the cart.



Another good tip I just read is to buy something like a ham or turkey (or whatever meat is on sale that week). Cook it at the beginning of the week and then use it in different ways for the rest of the week.



And, the last thing I can think of sharing meals with another family. Each family makes double the portions. It's cost-efficient to buy the ingredients in bulk and it saves time during busy weeks. If both meals had enough for leftovers, that takes care of 3-4 nights of dinners.



Good luck! We're a family of 3 and when I take the time to plan ahead, stock my pantry with good sales and buy only the items that are actually a 'good' sale, I almost always spend less than $100/week!



As for Christmas - my son just turned 2 and at his birthday he opened his first present and wanted to play with it - and wasn't interested in opening the others. So, we'll keep the number of gifts for him very reasonable otherwise it will take days for him to decide to open them all! Also, if you don't mind second hand stuff - you can find great kids toys at yard sales - I got my son a good-as-new battery powered Jeep for $10 - they usually go for $100+!

[deleted account]

hi my name is Toni & i spend to much money on everything need some good odeas to stop, my groceries are bout $350 a fortnight my son is very fussy eater so am always spending money on new things to try to get him to eat, would love any help, thanks

Stephanie - posted on 10/19/2008

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For groceries, we try to shop what's on sale. My supermarket has their weekly circular online, so I make my list from that before I get to the store. We plan out what we're going to have for the week ahead of time, so that keeps us focused. I use coupons and often buy the store brand instead of name brand.



It also helps to have a couple of meatless meals per week.

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