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Old 09-30-2004, 01:43 AM   #1
MooglyGuy
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Default Supermarket Shopping On A Budget: Tip For 9/29/2004

Lately, instead of just going shopping with my family, my parents have been urging me to do my own shopping with a $50/week stipend. Believe me, one thing that you learn quickly is how to find good deals when you're limited to about $7/day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That said, here's the first tip in what will hopefully be a series, for 9/29/2004:

When in doubt, minimize your costs by getting an equal volume of food at a lesser price, provided you know you would enjoy either of the two choices.

For example, I was shopping on Monday, and the Banquet TV dinners have been on sale for $1 each for the past few weeks, so I've found myself getting a lot of their chicken nugget meals. However, one thought that kept lingering in the back of my mind was that as I did not eat the corn portion of the meal, perhaps it wasn't necessarily the best amount of food for the money. Thusly, I looked around a bit, and I hit upon the Banquet beef pot pie dinners. Ultimately, they're about as filling as the TV dinners were, but here's the best part - they're 45 cents apiece at my supermarket. I was able to put back the five chicken nugget meals I had in my cart, grab six of the beef pot pies, and still have a net savings of $2.30, which I then put to good use treating myself to a few 32-ounce bottles of Gatorade. As I said, I like both meals equally, both of them are about as filling, given my disposition to not eat a portion of one, but one is 45% the cost of the other. A good deal? I think so.

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Old 09-30-2004, 01:57 AM   #2
The 9th Sage
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Default Re: Supermarket Shopping On A Budget: Tip For 9/29/2004

I love a good deal...one advantage of working at the store I work at is when there's a deal, it spreads quickly through the employee population. Like this one time, there was soap with an instant (at the register) rebate of like 1 dollar, then a coupon, and the price of the soap came out to be 1 dollar...and this was for like....8 - 10 bars of soap.

You can get fantastic deals buying the display models as well...like I got a pretty good Panasonic stereo for more than half off of the retail price because it was the display model, and it works fantastic. Never had any problems whatsoever with it.

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Old 09-30-2004, 02:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Supermarket Shopping On A Budget: Tip For 9/29/2004

I'm a very good shopper also. I almost never buy a brand name unless it's less expensive or the non brand name just sucks totally.
I usually end up buying a lot of stuff like prepackaged bologna and filling stuff like instant mashed potatoes or spagetti. <img src=smilies/magbiggrin.gif>

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Old 09-30-2004, 03:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Supermarket Shopping On A Budget: Tip For 9/29/2004

Prepared foods will generally cost you more in the long run. I'd suggest learning some basic cooking skills. Try getting 'fresh' foods as often as possible.

Brandname plays a large role as well. If you can deal with (or even like more) the non-namebrand variety go for it. I find this is the case with certain items, where I enjoy the bargain-brand flavor more than the namebrand flavor.

I found that I would generally spend somewhere between 50 and 75 a week on my own groceries (my house-mates and I just pool 50 each now, and fill the fridge with the $300 every so often, which works worlds better for us), so if you can't afford enough food for yourself, just talk to your parents about it and I'm sure they'll understand. If you're not buying crap.

Some suggestions:

Eggs, Bacon, Bread, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Pancakes are good breafast foods, and can often last more than a single week, especially in the case of PBnJ and Pancake mix.

Deli meats and cheeses are a good example for lunch-stuff. Not terribly expensive, and easily last a week. Grilled cheese is yum for lunch.

Dinner is probably the big problem. Meats are generally rather expensive, prohibitively so on a low budget, though you could probably afford a pound of ground beef that will suffice for two meals. Pastas are cheap, as are some sauces. Vegetables of course for salads. Rice is crazy cheap, its like a dollar for 50 pounds, or something. X:

I think the key is learning how to cook, at least minially. If you can cook, you can make a meal out of a minimum of things that tastes great.

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Old 09-30-2004, 04:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: Supermarket Shopping On A Budget: Tip For 9/29/2004

<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

I think the key is learning how to cook, at least minially.
If you can cook, you can make a meal out of a minimum of
things that tastes great.

<hr></blockquote>

That is especially important. You can put together some pretty tasty dinners for under $3.


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Old 09-30-2004, 04:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: Supermarket Shopping On A Budget: Tip For 9/29/2004

> I found that I would generally spend somewhere between 50
> and 75 a week on my own groceries (my house-mates and I just
> pool 50 each now, and fill the fridge with the $300 every so
> often, which works worlds better for us)

Or just take my approach.....stop eating....it fucking wastes money. I bought 15lbs of spaghetti for like $7 months ago, and its still going strong. Point being, I just get one thing in huge quantities and spread it out over months. Now, I do occasionoally get other stuff....like for this week I had actually bought some bread and deli meat for sandwiches for dinner. I dont eat breakfast, and drink coffee throughout the day to stave off hunger (hell, its free, why not), and occasionally get a large box of crackers or pretzles or something to lightly munch on at work every couple of weeks or so. All told, I MIGHT spend $5-$10/wk on food for myself.


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Old 09-30-2004, 06:26 PM   #7
Mr. Saturn
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Default Re: Supermarket Shopping On A Budget: Tip For 9/29/2004

Hot dogs, 8 for 99 cents. Along with buns, you have one day worth of food for only $2. Buy a pound of deli-style lunchmeat. Along with two loaves of bread, and a bag of pretzels, you have at least three days worth of food for only $6. As has also been said, rice and spaghetti are extremely cheap, and can be used in tons of ways. Chili is also inexpensive, and makes a whole lot. I'll also mention crackers and cheese for snacks.

My family used to spend around $150 a month for six people. And we're a family of fat-asses.

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Old 09-30-2004, 10:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Supermarket Shopping On A Budget: Tip For 9/29/2004

> You can get fantastic deals buying the display models as
> well...like I got a pretty good Panasonic stereo for more
> than half off of the retail price because it was the display
> model, and it works fantastic. Never had any problems
> whatsoever with it.

I would be careful about that. I got a scanner that was a display model. Buttons where a bit torn or broken, but that wasn't so bad. It was when I plugged it in. I hear a POP. Then another POP. I was like what the fuck is that. Look at the scanner and it was smoking.

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Old 10-01-2004, 03:07 AM   #9
The 9th Sage
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Default Re: Supermarket Shopping On A Budget: Tip For 9/29/2004

> I would be careful about that. I got a scanner that was a
> display model. Buttons where a bit torn or broken, but that
> wasn't so bad. It was when I plugged it in. I hear a POP.
> Then another POP. I was like what the fuck is that. Look
> at the scanner and it was smoking.

I could return it if that happened. I tested my stereo out quite a lot when I got home, and to this date it's absolutely fine. Actually, uh, technically this laptop is a display model as well. Got me an extra free year of warranty for that one. And obviously it works great or I wouldn't be using it to type this, heh.


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Old 10-01-2004, 07:10 AM   #10
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Default Re: Supermarket Shopping On A Budget: Tip For 9/29/2004

Would you like some sugar with that coffee and scurvy, captain malnutrition?
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