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  #1  
August 15th, 2007, 10:45 AM
Mjp121212's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 8,065
I need to save money! But I can't! When I go to the grocery store---save a lot, a local grocer, and walmart----I spend sooooo much on food! Now in my defense: My son is on the autism spectrum so he is sooooo picky with what he will eat so he has to have all separate meals and he is even brand specific on some items such as ketchup. I also have to vary up his brands and foods he will eat---example is 3 different varieties of popcorn chicken and 1 chicken nugget. I can't use all of one bag before the next since if I do that he will ONLY eat that one particular kind and that's it. We can't let that happen. I try to clip coupns but for the most part the generic brand is still less than the coupon brand WITH the coupon! Even with getting the generics and doing all I can I am still spending around 400$ amonth on food and cleaning supplies....maybe a bit more. That's mainly jsut for my son and me! My dh tends to eat out most times since he is working and its more practical----but he uses his spending money and nothing is taken from my son and me. I just need to start saving more!

Typical grovery list for around 2 weeks:

Bag of Frozen popcorn chicken (5$-6$)
2 bags Shredded cheese (4$)
Chips or cheesepuffs (4$ for both)
Crystal light (generic too if I can find it) 2$
Seasoned fries 2 bags (1.77 a bag)
mini frozen pizzas (only thing he will eat at times) (.57 if they are on sale, .75 if not)
Michellina's pop-n-chicken or chicken littles (.88 cents each and I get around 10-12)
3 pk tomatoes 1$
Green lea lettuce 1.38
potatoes 3$ for 10pound bag
frozen chicken breasts 6$ for large bag
cereal bars (oat free since he has an intolerance to oats) 1$ per box at the dollar store
cookies (to divert from breastfeeding) .94-1$
fresh meats: roasts, ground beef and chicken as it comes on sale (usually 1.29 for chicken-2.49 for roast per pound)
Condiments as needed usually no more than 5-6$ per month here
Yogurt (drinkable and regular) 8-10$
Cranberry juice 3$
Toilet tissue (I get the cheap kind) 3$
Papertowels if needed (5$ for 8rolls)
Frozen meals for myselfand dh in a pinch (12-14$----2$ each)
Boxed dinners and sides for myself and dh 6$
Frozen meals (such as family sized entrees since with my son it is VERY difficult to prepare homeade lazagna and the like) 4$
Frozen veggies (less waste) .99
cereal 3$
We do get wic for my son, but the only cereal he will eat from their list is OAT and he can't have that....but we do use it to get his milk and cheese
Lactaid pills 9$
Baggies (generics) 3$ we use them for everything!
Clorox wipes 5$---these are must haves for medical reasons
laundry detergent---usually around 8$ for the whole month
misc cleaning usually around 10-15$ for the whole month
Therapy aides such as finerpaints and washable crayons and pads----25$ or so for the month, more some months than others depending on what is requested.
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  #2  
August 15th, 2007, 11:04 AM
paganempath
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The thing that would work best for you are Buy One, Get One Free's. We call them BOGO's around here. The chain grocery stores are where you find the majority of your BOGO's. Check out the weekly flyers for your local chain grocery stores (you can even do this online) and see what you normally buy that's on sale for BOGO. That will save you money in the long run since even if the sale price is a bit higher than what you'd spend at Walmart, you're still saving by getting the second for free. Most of the ladies on here don't do Walmart for groceries but I do so I know that it IS cheaper on most products but they don't have sales or BOGO's.

Shopping the sales will allow you build up a stockpile which will cut your grocery bill down since you won't have to buy the full list every time you go. Spending a bit more now to save a bit more later is a great way to shop. Another thing you can do is plan menus. I know it's hard to do this for your son but you can do it for yourself. If you don't mind eating leftovers, you can make an inexpensive casserole and have enough to last for several days.

Try to get your hands on as many coupons as you can. Join a coupon train (we have one here on the board) so you can get a large amount of coupons coming through. If you have any friends who coupon too, you can get together and do trades for what you need. As for the WIC situation, do you know anyone else who is on it? You could work out a deal where you get the cereal that you can't use for them and they could trade you cheese or milk that you need. With a little investigation and a little ingenuity, you can twist anything around to make it do-able. That's what we all do to save money.

Have you posted on the board before? Your screen name looks familiar but I can't remember. If not, welcome to the board!

P.S. Tickers from the ticker factory don't work on JM. Try lilypie.com
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  #3  
August 15th, 2007, 08:20 PM
Bug-n-Ed's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I saw this post in your profile when I was going to pm you so I figured I'd respond to it. Anyway, if you shop at Wal-mart for groceries make sure you scan all the big chain ads before going and take them with you to Wal-mart. Anything that is on sale at the chain store and is cheaper than the Wal-mart price, Wal-mart will price match it. Normally you just have to tell them, but it's good to have the ad on hand to prove it.
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  #4  
August 15th, 2007, 08:35 PM
mommyinky's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Location: Kentucky
Posts: 4,249
Teri had some great advice! I would definitely join the coupon train if I were you.

Quote:
Anyway, if you shop at Wal-mart for groceries make sure you scan all the big chain ads before going and take them with you to Wal-mart. Anything that is on sale at the chain store and is cheaper than the Wal-mart price, Wal-mart will price match it. Normally you just have to tell them, but it's good to have the ad on hand to prove it.[/b]
I've been doing this a lot here lately. They always just take my word for it. The only grocery I shop at other than Walmart is Kroger, and that's because they double coupons up to $.50 and it's not out of my way at all. I don't think the other ones double coupons, and they are out of the way, so I just let Walmart match it for me!


And I saw you buy Clorox wipes. Would Lysol wipes work? If so, you can go to lysol.com and print off 2 coupons for $1 off 2 Lysol wipes. The wipes are on sale for $2 this week, so after coupons you get four of them for $6, and then you can do the Walgreens Easy Saver Rebate for $3 when you buy 3 Lysol wipes, so in the end you are just paying $3 for four canisters of Wipes. If you have a Walgreens or a CVS, they will be your new best friends for your cleaning products and toiletries, and sometimes food.

Good luck!
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  #5  
August 15th, 2007, 09:06 PM
donomama
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Here are my tips for you:

2 bags Shredded cheese (4$) - Instead of getting pre-shredded, could you shred it yourself? It is usually a bit cheaper. If you hate shredding (I do) you could just shred a bunch at once and freeze it in a ziploc. You can stock up when it is on sale, and cheese keeps frozen practically forever
frozen chicken breasts 6$ for large bag - It is usally a lot cheaper to buy it in the fresh cartons than those big bags. Where I live, those bads run around $3-4 per pound, but if you buy it on sale, you can get it for under $2.00 per pound. Stock up and freeze it.
fresh meats: roasts, ground beef and chicken as it comes on sale I never pay more than $2.00 per pound of meat. I stock up when it comes on sale and freeze it all.
Condiments as needed usually no more than 5-6$ per month here Combining coupons and sales, and stocking up before you need it, you can get these things for free or nearly free
Papertowels if needed (5$ for 8rolls) See condiments
laundry detergent---usually around 8$ for the whole month I think you could probably cut this down by combining coupons and sales. There are some ladies on this site that even make their own for some ridiculous price like 2 cents a load!
misc cleaning usually around 10-15$ for the whole month See condiments
Therapy aides such as finerpaints and washable crayons and pads----25$ or so for the month, more some months than others depending on what is requested. Do you know more or less what will be on this list? If so, you could stock up in advance. Now is a fantastic time to get school supplies for very, very cheap!




You seem to have a lot of convenience/frozen foods on your list. Making stuff yourself would save a TON - probably cut your bill in half or more. I know you said that with your son's autism, it's hard to have time to prepare meals. Could you take time, maybe on the weekend when both you and your husband are home to make up a bunch of stuff and freeze it? That is what I've been doing lately, and it has been saving me oodles of time and money!
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  #6  
August 15th, 2007, 09:23 PM
~Jess~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: Central California
Posts: 16,959
Do you have a Walgreens, RiteAid, or CVS near you? They have AMAZING sales & rebates each month. Most of us get our toiletries and cleaning products for free, or next to free.

Can you fool your son by filling the name-brand bottles with off-brand product so that he thinks he's getting the brand he likes? For example, fill the Heinz ketchup bottle with Hunts ketchup?
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  #7  
August 16th, 2007, 06:15 AM
CBMS
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Quote:
I saw this post in your profile when I was going to pm you so I figured I'd respond to it. Anyway, if you shop at Wal-mart for groceries make sure you scan all the big chain ads before going and take them with you to Wal-mart. Anything that is on sale at the chain store and is cheaper than the Wal-mart price, Wal-mart will price match it. Normally you just have to tell them, but it's good to have the ad on hand to prove it.[/b]

Will they honor BOGO's? I just wonder... I don't do WalMart, but I may make the horrible trip if they honor competitor BOGO's. I'll take all the ads, get all the BOGO's in one place, and be done with it!


My first and most important tip would be less convenience food. I hate to say it, but that's the biggest budget wrecker. Make more things from scratch, and you'll automatically start saving more. I do my husband's frozen things myself and put into little freezer containers for him. I recommend taking a look at the site hillbillyhousewife.com for the homemade convenience foods for some recipes. I make all my own shake n bake (and you could do your chicken fingers with it), bisquick, tortillas, etc. That alone saves TONS!
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  #8  
August 16th, 2007, 06:25 AM
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i agree with putting homemade things in the brand name containers so that he doesnt know the difference
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  #9  
August 16th, 2007, 07:04 AM
mommyinky's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 4,249
Quote:
Will they honor BOGO's? I just wonder... I don't do WalMart, but I may make the horrible trip if they honor competitor BOGO's. I'll take all the ads, get all the BOGO's in one place, and be done with it! [/b]
I have told them "So-and-So has this on sale 2 for $X," which is really what a BOGO is, and they give it to me for that.
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  #10  
August 16th, 2007, 07:37 AM
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I will definately start doing that
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  #11  
August 16th, 2007, 08:49 AM
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Location: Jonesboro, Indiana
Posts: 500
I completely understand your son only eating certain foods. My ds has Autism and he will only drink chocolate milk. I have to buy the already made choc. milk too, cause if I try plain milk with some choc. syrup in it, he will throw it back at me. The same with his chicken nuggets that he likes.

I think eveyone else already gave you good advice with buying on sale, using coupons BOGO"S ect. But I just wanted to let you know that I totally understand having to buy the same things.
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  #12  
August 16th, 2007, 01:39 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Mars
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Quote:
I completely understand your son only eating certain foods. My ds has Autism and he will only drink chocolate milk. I have to buy the already made choc. milk too, cause if I try plain milk with some choc. syrup in it, he will throw it back at me. The same with his chicken nuggets that he likes.

I think eveyone else already gave you good advice with buying on sale, using coupons BOGO"S ect. But I just wanted to let you know that I totally understand having to buy the same things.[/b]
A quick suggestion for the chocolate milk. Buy a big cn of the Nestle powder and one bottle of nesquik mix the chocolate milkin the empty bottle and shake it really well, the syrups and powders do not taste the same because we moms usually go, he doesn't need that much mix and they shake and process the chocolate milk over and over until it doesn't separate. I had an adversion to plain milk while I was breastfeeding, I had to make it another color or else! I love the Nesquick, but they have too much sugar, one day dh made it in an bottle and shook it instead of stir and it tasted the same!

I agree with all these moms, cut down the convience foods. With the yogurt, do you have an Alberstons? They put gogurt.yoplait on the 10/$15 sale all the time, you have to buy 10 to get the sale, but the dates on those make it well worth it, add the 75/2 coupons and you can get it for 10/$6.25

My local Associated food store does this twice a year sale on the bread chicken that is the same chicken they use in the deli. You have to deep fry it, but it is super cheap 25/20lb box and the best chicken. I have siggys disabled, how old is your autistic son? I don't know how severe his autism is, I have a 13 yr old brother that I frequently baby sat when I was growing up (he is 9 years younger than me) I found that when he was little and I was cooking dinner, like mac n cheese or whatever I could include him and then he would try new things and even eat them without dumping and entire bottle of ketcup on it. Try to include him in cooking and brag to the fam at dinner than everyone better try the _____ because he made it. I can almost guarentee he will expand his menu.
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  #13  
August 16th, 2007, 08:34 PM
Mjp121212's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I have tired the ol switcharoo with him with the brands....he doesn't fall for it he will even go one day or week eating one thing and love it then the next day or week he will gag over it....only to love it again the next time.

We ahve tried the cooking thing too. It helped then, but then afterwards he wouldn't. He's 2 by the way lol.


Cooking a meal is a totaly pain really.....honestly. I LOVE to cook LOVE IT but he grabs on to my legs and pulls me away from the stove and dh tries his best but jsut can't do anything. I'm always afraid that when I freeze the meal I'll do something wrong and get food poisoning! Are there rules to freezing premade meals? I could whip up lots of casseroles and freeze in individual servings and be happy as could be! Chicken cass.....broccoli.....potato.....mmmm....sounds good.....but I'm jsut afraid I'll do it wrong! What sort of dishes do you use to freeze in? Or would I place it in a freezer bag...but then itd be all mush lol.

clorox wipes have different ingredients that lysol....though I use them too. He has an immune deficiency so we have to wipe off EVERYTHING when we go out no matter where we go from the grocery store to mcdonalds....everything gets a good cleaning!
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  #14  
August 16th, 2007, 08:38 PM
mommyinky's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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The only thing I've ever really pre-made and then froze was meatloaf. I froze it in one of those aluminum pans, so that I just have to pop it in the oven and then if I feel like cleaning it, great...if not, I can toss it.

Oh, I did make meatloaf to freeze once only to realize I had thrown my pan away the last time. I have one of those red flexilble mini-loaf baking pans (you know, the rubbery ones). I made four mini-meatloafs, and then once they were frozen I popped them out and put them in zipper baggies.

Someone may have some tips for you. I know some things freeze better than others, and some things should be slightly undercooked when you freeze them to keep them from getting mushy when you re-heat. I always just froze my meatloaf raw though.

ETA: I was looking at your siggy, and your little boy is too cute! (Picky as he may be )
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  #15  
August 16th, 2007, 09:28 PM
donomama
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You can premake and freeze almost anything. You can do it one of 2 ways. You can either make all the ingredients for a casserole or something and then put it into those foil containers, cover them up and freeze them. Or, you can make it and cook it in advance, and then freeze them in something like those ziploc reusable containers. I have done both and both work great. When you precook them, it works great for lunches. You just pull it out of the freezer and put it into the fridge the night before. It should thaw out enough that by lunch or dinner the next day you can put it in the microwave and reheat it in a couple of minutes. Don't worry too much about food poisoning. As long as you freeze it right away, that shouldn't be a problem. The only thing to consider is that it takes much longer to cook things from frozen than it does when they are fresh. So you might want to invest in a meat thermometer, that way you can be absolutely sure that it is all the way done.


Things I have done in advance and frozen:

Soups, chili and stews - they are great for dumping into the crockpot and simmering all day - you literally have to do nothing
Practically any type of casserole - the possibilities are endless and it's really easy to just freeze before cooking, or cook and separate into idividual containers
Stir fry - I have put everything together and then frozen it in a ziploc without cooking. Then, when it's time to make it, just dump it into the wok. It's easier if you take it out of the freezer and put it into the fridge the night before. With precooked stif fry, it is easy to put into indivicual containers, freeze, and reheat at work.
Grilled piece of meat with a side of veggies - this works when you pregrill the meat and then heat it up in the micro, I don't think I'd try doing it raw
Fajitas - these work really well if you make a huge batch and then freeze smaller portions. You can either take it to work with some tortillas, or dump it into a skillet and heat it up that way
Taco meat
Grilled chicken plain - I usually have some just plain grilled chicken on hand. It comes in super handy for throwing on salads, using in casseroles, tacos, etc. I just grill up a bunch at a time, chop it up, and toss it into the freezer. Super easy!
Pancakes, french toast and waffles - I make a ton at a time and freeze them. We eat them for breakfast, and sometimes dinner. You can reheat them in the toaster, micro, or oven and it takes all of about 2 minutes.


I know there are more things I have done, but I'm having a brain freeze at the moment. There aren't many things that won't work. I've even done it with grilled cheese! I'll try to think of more and post later.
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  #16  
August 17th, 2007, 05:34 AM
Mjp121212's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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hmm.....I love chili! And I make it a lot but then I feel obligated to sit and eat the whole thing since no one else does! That would save me a lot of well.....days spent on chili hahahaha! Do you just use your plain ol freezer on your fridge? I have a side by side....but the freezer part is quite large----about 2 or 3 inches wider than my mom's.
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  #17  
August 17th, 2007, 10:41 PM
mommyinky's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I've used my regular freezer and my chest freezer. I don't see why it would make any difference.
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