Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Looking at Things From a New Perspective (when shopping)

 We all have our tricks and ways to save money at the grocery.  I have done a lot of posts about those many things.  Today let us talk about a few different things to think about.

When you buy less, you waste less!
I know we are all on a binge to stock-up, but think about some other things.
Don't get more fresh produce than you can reasonably use before the next store visit.  Eat it, freeze it or can it - DON'T waste it!
There is no good reason to dump food in the trash.  Keep those frigs organized and cleaned out - so you know what you have and make sure it is used!

                                                                                TRUTH


Most cheap food is unhealthy - yet a lot of healthy food is cheap
I can still find some healthy foods for a decent price.  Often the produce department has markdowns and Kroger has their .99/bags.  Sometimes the items are even organic.  I like places like Fresh Thyme - as they have some great weekly specials on sale fresh and real food.
Keep you eye on those kinds of places - Trader Joes, Fresh Thyme, any whole earth markets or farm stands or farm markets (even barter).  I know many farm markets are costly - they have transportation to get there and things just cost a little more (but they are super fresh).  It all depends on what is important to you!!!!
Fresh and healthy food - or buying packaged goods and chemical laden items.


Have a cultural experience.
Look at shopping at ethnic stores.  You can get so many items cheaper than a normal grocery.  There is usually less expensive produce and variety!  Many new things to try.  Beans and rice of all types.  Pasta's that are different.  Spices galore. 
Make it an adventure.  Learn something new, try something new and get some great prices!


Just because the item is a great price - doesn't mean it is a great buy!
Don't buy things just BECAUSE it is cheap.  Remember that saying - buy what you use and use what you buy!!!!!!!!
I have been guilty in the past of this - saw a super price and bought many.  Not necessarily something I would use - and didn't.  Shoot, if we do this, we might as well just drive down the street and throw money out the car window!!  Make sure those deals are things you will use.


Being frugal takes too much time!
Eeeeekkk!!!  I hate when folks say that.  Is your hard earned money not worth a little work to save it???
Think about it.  All good things are worth waiting for.  I find that spending a little extra time reading the ads, looking for the clearance and deals well worth the few minutes it might take.  Once you get into a habit of looking for deals - it becomes much easier.  Saving your hard earned dollars is never a waste of time!


Try the cupboard special!!!!
Yep - go through that pantry thoroughly.  Clean that freezer.  Find those things that have been pushed to the back and the bottom and USE THEM.  You may be amazed at the amount of time between shopping trips if you use what you have!!!  Don't let things go to waste.
Use it up, use it all, get creative and have meals without spending a penny!


Just a couple of things to think about.  We all know the basics, sometimes the obvious just seem to be ignored.  There are so many options to save a dollar or two at the grocery.  Excuses are not on the list!!!!!  Get creative and pay attention.  Know your priorities and have fun.

What creative ways do you use to find a bargain and save?

31 comments:

  1. Good points and eating healthfully is important. Some healthy Vegas and fruit are the least expensive - carrots for example. Using up every last bit you bought is very helpful too. I find that the internet helps tremendously with this in that you can find recipes to use almost anything and substitutes for ingredients you might not have. I just made a red pepper quiche that was delicious because we had one frozen pie crust, eggs, most of a red pepper, milk from granddaughter’s visit and a bit of onion. True there were less red pepper and onion than the recipe said but oh well. The recipe also called for sour cream but we had leftover cream cheese which can be substituted with a bit of extra milk.

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    1. Absolutely - some things are cheaper than others. Carrots, radish, and in many places at the moment summer squash. Certain times of the year you can get cabbage cheaply. Apples in the fall. Shopping by season helps get cheaper fresh food.
      Your quiche sounds wonderful and a great example of using what you have. I love that!

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  2. When people complain that being frugal is too time consuming, I ask them how much time they spend watching TV or staring into their cell phones, and whether that time might be put to better use saving money. Unfortunately we have too many grasshoppers and not enough ants, and the grasshoppers just assume that someone will always bail them out of the consequences of their behavior. It's all about priorities, and too many people prefer to live for the moment rather than saving for the future.

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    1. Boy oh boy, did you hit the nail on the head!! Yep, people just ASSUME things will always be and they will get by. Well, we all know what assume CAN mean!!! LOL
      I want to know I can take care of myself - and I intend to. We sure do need more ants!!!!!!

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    2. Debby in Kansas USAAugust 24, 2022 at 2:09 PM

      I'm laughing here because Frances, you're my kind of lady lol!!! One Christmas, I made some special gifts and one of my SILs commented that "You have too much spare time! You should go get a job. I'm just too busy to do such frivolous things.". She had made cracks like that before, but I was just so annoyed that day!! I told her that she'd have plenty of time if she'd turn off her TV. She gaped and then I reminded her that she had just spent half an hour dissecting every popular TV show, she only worked PT and had a cleaning lady! What did she spend all day doing?!
      She ignored me the rest of the day. But I think I made my point. We do what's important to us. I had no issue with her choices...right up until she insulted me about mine.

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    3. Debby I hear that. Sme people are so self consumed that they just can't see good old common sense! Good for you standing up to her.

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  3. Good tips! Overall, pre-planning seems to save me money and time. Yup. Time. If I know what it is I'm after (on sale), I can be in and out of a store pretty fast. No need to go up and down aisles. Also knowing what stores have what shelf prices on basics saves time for the same reason. There are certain places I buy cereal, for example, because the weightier boxes cost less than other stores' sale prices. Some generic brand prices always beat name brands.

    When you're a Bargain Queen (as my sons dubbed me years ago), the problem can be with non-food items. We continue to make donations to a local thrift store. I'm embarrassed by how much is new with tags still on, most of it $10 or less. Some that was "free" using coupons stacked with rewards "cash". A waste for me. Hopefully a benefit to someone else. Thanks, Cheryl.
    --Elise

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    1. Yes, know your prices and who has the best and when. I am fine with 95% of generic goods. I am not a pre-planner on meals, but I sure do plan a shopping trip.
      Well, if someone is being blessed - then money well spent.

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  4. Our garden and amazing farmers market supply our summer veggies and I love Fresh Thyme for our winter, spring veggies.
    I will always spend more money on healthy veggies and local meat. We do not eat processed foods.

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    1. I just love all the fresh I am eating of late. It sure is tasty. Fresh Thyme for those who have never been - is really great.
      Good for you and doing what you believe in. I admire that!

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  5. You are so on the mark...I waffle from should I stock up more or be eating down the pantry/freezer. My current plan is buying only needed items plus loss leaders. So busy putting up the abundance the garden and orchard are yielding..so thankful! As I told a friend today...I will be glad tomorrow that I made grape jelly today. Sometimes my Today Me has to remember my Tomorrow Me will be glad I got it in gear and took care of the abundance God has blessed us with! I get frustrated as my husband always raises more than we can use or put up. But, alas, most people are too complacent to bither with fresh goodies. They don't have the time?? Yet, they run thru the drive thru or grocery daily...that's pretty time consuming if you ask me. Sorry, got on my soap box. I just feel things are skewed with how people have gotten so far away from using what the Good Lord let's grow for us...too homogenized. Oops...I'm full of it today. Thanks for listening!

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    1. I agree 100%. Sure, they can waste who knows how much time in a drive through getting garbage, but can't walk in the store and pickup a few healthy things. CRAZY!!!!!!
      You are so right - when we get ourselves in gear today - it makes tomorrow so much nicer!
      We agree totally on this.

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  6. One thing I've discovered is that, if it's a brand I don't know and the price is exceptional (to the point that I might stock up), I'll buy one and try it first. If it's great, I'll add more on my next shop (or when I see it on sale again). There are some store brands that I actually PREFER for my holiday casseroles, and others I'd never use again. It's been through trial and error that I've discovered the ones I like and dislike.

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    1. I have always done that too. Buy and then we liked it. G used to say - I bet you only bought one!!!! Well, I wanted to see first what it tasted like. Of course that man liked about anything! LOL
      I do have some non-brands I like better too. Yes, we live and learn!

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  7. Great tips! A bag of potato chips at the store this week was 6.19! Ten pounds of potatoes are $5.29 at our Aldi. Thinks of all the delicious potato dishes that can be made with those ten pounds of fresh potatoes.

    Produce keepers really help us save on and not waste any of our produce. We don't buy more until we are almost completely out and even then it is amazing what those last bits will make.

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    1. Debby in Kansas USAAugust 24, 2022 at 2:13 PM

      Lana, I just made a comment yesterday about my stunned reaction to seeing a bag of chips for $5.29. You saw $6.19?????? Holy fried potatoes, Batman!!!!! That makes springs pop out of my ears lol.

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    2. That is crazy fr a bag of chips. I only buy when there is a super good sale or I get them at Aldi (much cheaper). Aldi is smaller bags as well, so I will eat less - I like to make them last.
      Yep so many things a bag of potatoes will get you. Snacks and treats (make your own chips) and lots of good meals.
      All about decisions!

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  8. Debby in Kansas USAAugust 24, 2022 at 2:24 PM

    I envy those of you that can go menu free. I've tried several times and I always crash and burn! I end up defaulting to hot dogs or a sandwich! Or food gets wasted. I always start with what we need to eat and the sale items from the market.
    For example, shredded cabbage was on sale so I planned fried rice and Bierocks for this week. That ensures all the cabbage gets eaten and half doesn't get forgotten. Plus, my kitchen is way too hot in the afternoon so I try and cook in the morning.

    I'm very good at not wasting anything. I throw any wilty veggies into the freezer soup container for broth when it's full.
    Before COVID, I turned a couple of less than appealing apples into the most delicious crisp! I can't imagine wasting food normally, but at these prices?! Egads.

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    1. I use what I buy - I just don't menu plan at all. Never have. I am usually one day ahead if that, only because something needs to come out of the freezer.
      I can not discipline myself to make a menu plan and stick to it.
      I envy those that can.

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    2. Like you, Cheryl, I figure out what needs to be cooked, but generally plan for what I can next make from leftovers, too.

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  9. I get it! It is an excuse and NOT a very good one. You are right - it is so easy to use what you have and to eat what you grow. Tastes a whole lot better too!

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  10. For us it would be quicker to cook than to decide where to eat out! That is a monumental decision here!

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  11. Great column and comments as well, Cheryl. I went to Aldi today and the produce was beautiful. Also got chicken breasts 50% off...sell by tomorrow's date. Fine...I will toss them in the crockpot with some broth tomorrow and shred when done, Then freeze!

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    1. Thanks. What a good deal!!!! You will be well prepared!

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  12. It might be that being frugal does take time when you first start, but as you get more and more into the lifestyle (and it is a lifestyle) it takes less and less time. You learn the best prices to purchase things at, and the best places to find the lowest prices. Eating out is a treat and not something we do very often.

    God bless.

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    1. You may be on to something. It does become a lifestyle - it is just the way you are. I guess that is why it is hard to understand those that say it is too much trouble. We all had a learning curve - it took time.

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  13. My excuse for wasting food is that I have been ill for a month. I wasted 3 boxes of mushrooms that way. I am sad because I love mushrooms. I cannot meal plan. I just have cooked proteins and cooked or prepped vegetables. Tommy goes in and gets a piece of meat, salad and some of the chopped vegetables for the salad. Or, we have meat and some of the baked vegetables, whole bowls of them to choose. I think it is easy to be frugal unless I am ill. However, not having to shop was easy when I was/am ill because all the food is here, no having to go out and shop or think.

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    1. That can be understandable. Sometimes we just can't!
      Hoping you are feeling better. I do believe all things are easier when one feels good.

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  14. Shopping and eating wisely is a matter of priorities. When the Urban Farmer and I decided to avoid certain foods, chemicals and processes, that changed how we shopped. We became label readers and learned to avoid "the bad stuff". Now it is easier to stick to real ingredients and thereby not waste money on something we won't or can't eat. Overall it is less expensive to eat right than waste money on unhealthy junk. There is a lot that can purchased for what you would spend at Starbucks. It helps that we are retired and do not have time constraints for shopping.

    Yesterday for lunch I made a spaghetti sauce from fresh tomatoes and roasted chunks of eggplant. We will certainly miss the garden when colder weather arrives. The Urban Farmer read that if you cut back the green beans when they are done producing instead of pulling them up, they will grow again. It appears to work as the bed he already cut has new leaves.

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    1. You make a good point about healthy foods keeping us healthier. Doctor visits and medications are expensive - thus staying as healthy as possible.
      Lunch sounds yummy and fresh. Great - hope the beans produce well again!

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  15. Us, too, Lana. I expected we'd eat out more when we retired. The opposite has happened. It's pretty rare now.

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