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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

FRUGAL (Grocery) Shopping - For FIVE!

You could say that I have a LOT of mouths to FEED...besides the hubby + kids, I have 2 dogs, assorted cats, pigs, turkeys, chickens, ducks, geese...etc. A local farmer grinds our organic feed for us, so that, with pasture, takes care of the animals + birds, except for the cats + dogs. We buy them a BIG 36 lb. (used to be 40 lbs, gotta love those cutbacks!) bag of cat food twice a month, for $20 from Tractor Supply. We also buy GALVANIZED "garbage" cans at T.S. to store the pet food, bulk flour, and bulk sugar. Cat food for the DOGS, you say? YES!!! It has more protein, and they eat less, which saves me $$$. We also save them the gizzards, hearts, etc. from the chickens when we get them butchered, and I cook up a big pot with rice, and portion it out for them.
SO what about my humans? Here, in order, is where I shop on the CHEAP:
>>>1. local BULK FOOD store <<< Ours is Mennonite-run, and has great prices on large purchases. Here, I buy: *5 lb. bags of cheese, for around $10 - $12 *25 lb. bags of flour (and sugar, if around $.50/lb - otherwise, I buy it at WALMART, in 10 lb. bags, for around $.50/lb.) *SPICES, for canning + cooking, in small and large deli containers *CEREAL, in bulk *CANNING LIDS, for "putting by" our garden's bounty *bulk YEAST, for around $3
>>>2. local PRODUCE STAND <<< The more quantity you buy, the cheaper the price per piece. Find the cheapest, best quality stand in your area, and score: *BUSHELS of APPLES + TOMATOES, BAGS of POTATOES *PECKS of PEPPERS, PEACHES, and CUCUMBERS *PINTS of BERRIES, GRAPES and GARLIC *INDIVIDUAL PUMPKINS, CABBAGES and SQUASH
>>>3. DOLLAR TREE <<< If you shop here, you'll find super buys for $1 like these: *tortillas *tortilla chips (serve with homemade salsa or picante sauce) *lunch box drinks (save + reuse the lidded bottles!) *3 lb. bags of rice *2 lb. bags of pasta *bagged dry beans *salad dressings *olives + pickles *soaps, cleaners, household items *and more!!!
>>>4. ALDI's, SAVE-A-LOT, discount grocery store <<< The best place for low-priced DAIRY, BREADS, and CANNED GOODS. TIP: Shop the PERIMETER of the store for the best deals. Also, look for their little CLEARANCE signs + bins, and save even MORE! My stock-ups here are: *DAIRY: MILK, BUTTER, SOUR CREAM, COTTAGE CHEESE, TUB YOGURT, HOT DOGS *CANNED GOODS: TOMATOES, BEANS, TUNA, CORN, MIXED VEGGIES, RAVIOLI *BREADS: If I'm not baking it, I buy it here, or on BAKERY clearance racks (Walmart, Big Grocery stores) - ENGLISH MUFFINS, WHITE + WHEAT BREAD
>>>5. DOLLAR AISLES at BIG Grocery Chains (TOPS, JUBILEE, etc.) <<< LOTS of stuff here, like: *MICROWAVE POPCORN *SPICES + FLAVORINGS *CLEANERS *SALAD DRESSINGS *PAPER PLATES + CUPS (for parties) *SAUCE MIXES ****************************************************************************************************************************************** So that's it! I try to shop only TWICE a MONTH, the LESS I shop, the LESS I SPEND! We raise our own MEAT: beef, pork, turkey, chicken + eggs. I've been able to spend UNDER $200 in a month! ****************************************************************************************************************************************** >>> MORE THINGS WE DO TO SAVE CASH: (and who doesn't like SAVING CASH?) <<< ***BAKE!!! Save tons by baking at home, make quick things like: MUFFINS, COOKIES, CUPCAKES, QUICK BREADS, PIES, CAKES, CRISPS - and take them along for lunches + snacking! ***CAN!!! GROW your own produce, or buy it in QUANTITY, and can it for later! ***FREEZE!!! Buy MEAT from a local farmer, and freeze FRUITS, VEGGIES + HERBS! ***RE-PURPOSE!!! We shop at garage sales, resale shops, Salvation Army, Goodwill, and church THRIFT stores, save the MALL and RETAIL stores for LAST! Ebay, Craigslist, and Freecycle are great sources for CHEAP and FREE! ***BOOKS!!! Learn to DIY, there's a BOOK or YOUTUBE video on How-to-do MOST ANYTHING! Save yourself a FORTUNE! ***HOMESCHOOL!!! No more fundraisers, expensive kids' clothes, or adds-up-fast lunches - and there are TONS of free classes/groups/sports/events available in your community! Check out "yahoo groups" for ones to join, and your local college bulletin boards. Buy textbooks at thrift stores, ebay, abebooks + amazon. Take classes too, and learn alongside your kids!


  1. Love the cartoon ... I think that is how my critters look at me ... to some I am a hay bale others a bag or can of food.

    There is a new 99 cent store opening in town, right next door to Dollar Tree, they are selling food also, I think I will avoid their food section, either there is something wrong with it or big grocery chains are mulitplying the price for the same item X 4.

  2. I'm really careful about canned goods, I ALWAYS check dates, and don't usually get them at the dollar stores. Of course, big grocery chains can have outdated cans too - have to watch those labels!