Money Stretching Ideas

I’m adding some ideas from some Facebook friends –  Most center around buying the most economical sized packages of food, whether meat of dry goods, and using them in many different ways.  Buy in bulk with a friend to save money, or buy one or two items in bulk each shopping trip.  Just make sure you REALLY like and will use those products.  There are so many money stretching recipes online, that you can really save money while still having good food, that you like.  No one wants to eat the same thing every day (except my son who ate chicken sandwiches for 4 years, every day of high school)  Another hint – buy a crockpot at a yard sale!

It really ‘boils’ down to buying less pre-prepared, packaged food,  using what you do buy, and being creative.  Coupons help, but its harder to find coupons for fresh foods.  Try coupons.com or couponmom.com for a decent selection of coupons in general.  One of my favorites is www.freebieshark.com.  That site posts the latest coupon releases, and other info for saving money.

I’m going to start a recipe section with some simple, money saving recipes.

Talk about a new, old thing – saving money on food when resources are tight.

How can you eat well, and stretch a limited budget?  There are some foods that may not appeal to you, or your family – don’t buy them, just skip over them – wasted food wastes money.

Don’t buy in bulk if you can’t use it before it goes bad.  Repackage in smaller containers and freeze if you can.   Can you split a large package with someone else?  That way you both get a price break.

What foods do you and your family like?  For now, skip the ‘treats’ and junk food.  (not completely, we’ll add them in at the end.

Buying whole chicken, beef or pork roasts is less expensive than buying pre-cut, pre-cooked or frozen.  Look at the local sales fliers, to find the best deals.   For example, but a beef roast on sale for $2.49, cut in cubes, and make a pot of stew, or soup.   Bake a whole chicken, and you will have a couple meals – baked chicken, then shredded chicken over mashed potatoes, and the rest for chicken sandwiches.  Put the carcass in a large pot, and simmer until the meat falls off the bones.  Take out the bones, add vegetables and noodles, and you have chicken soup.   Pork loins go on sale for under $2/lb sometimes, have no bone and can be cut like pork chops, baked whole, or cut in strips for stir fry.

Vegetables are usually a bit cheaper fresh (quantity-wise) but spoil more quickly than canned.  Watch for sales where canned veggies are less than 75c a can.  You can by the mixed veggies and put them in soup, pot pies, stews, etc.

What is the one treat you and your family loves?  Can you make it from scratch?  That is always less expensive.  If not, buy the most economical package, and then come up with a system to make it last.  Friday night TV time treat?  Sunday night treat before going back to school or work?

Rice, pasta and potatoes stretch meals.  Sauces help up the flavor.  My go-to has always been cream of mushroom soup.

Coupons!  If you can print them, you can go to www.freebieshark.com and click on his coupon link.   A lot of coupons are for things we don’t normally use – but sometimes there are some for cheese, butter (watch for sales), soups and sauces.  Watch the sales for everything and try to match them up with coupons.

Check your local store for ‘day old’ bread and bakery items.  Our local Shaw’s has a whole rack in the back of the store, along with marked down meats (check to see if they really are less expensive than the fresher meats)  Also, sometimes canned goods or other items are marked way down, especially in the dairy section – look for the red tags.

If you have a close friend or family member with the same needs, maybe take turns cooking, or sharing a meal.  Few people want to eat the same thing all week, so if you make a pot of soup, sharing helps it go farther, and more quickly.   Cooking in quantity is much less expensive, if you cook from scratch.

This could be the chance to try new foods.  It helps to look at is as a challenge – which it is.  How far can you stretch your food $?

Here are some money saving apps you can try.  They usually require you to send pictures of your receipt, or connect to your shopping cards.  If there is a referral bonus, I donate it to our food pantry.

iBotta    My code is: jjyjia

Checkout 51   You receive $5 in your account, as a new member.

 

I’d love to hear your ideas – please feel free to comment an idea, or recipe.

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4 Comments

  1. denahli says:

    Big meals cooked In The instapot, then freeze. Biggest waste I found with big meals is just getting bored eating the same thing day after day. You get variety this way and no leftovers in the trash

  2. Real food, not processed and packaged junk. Shop local farmers markets and be prepared to haggle. Buy on sale and with coupons. Look for local salvage markets. You can get stuff for pennies on the dollar. Buy all your clothes at thrift stores. Name brands for pennies on the dollar. OH! And grind your own meat. You can get old meat grinders on eBay for a few bucks. You can save money grinding your own meat and making things like chili out of leftovers.

  3. Pam Wyant says:

    The main way I save is to plan meals around whatever is on sale. Avoiding buying convenience foods and instead buying the ingredients and cook it myself saves a considerable amount and is often healthier. Learning to can has provided long term savings, since I can buy in bulk and preserve it for later, eliminating things going to waste, and gives me a steady supply of various foods. For those who are able to grow a garden, this would provide even more savings.

  4. Chris Ritter says:

    I like to purchase for example a spiral sliced gamut it as a meal, then ham sandwiches, ham salad, ham & scalloped potatoes & finally ham & somekind of bean soup. A similar thing can be done with turkey as a meal, turkey sandwiches, turkey salad, turkey pot pie & turkey vegetable soup.

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