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Cutting calories has cut my grocery bill

Has anyone else noticed this. I've got a few dependable staples that I buy for the most part that are cheap,delicious, easy to prep, and low-cal. Then smaller portions means that everything last longer. Then cut out the expenses for alcohol, snacks, fast food, buying just the deli sandwich instead of the deli sandwich meal....it's really adding up to a nice bit of savings.

Tue. Aug 9, 8:18am

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A bag of chips or a basket of

Since I'm a poor student, I never have much money to spend on groceries but I've also noticed that I get a lot more for my money now. Instead of spending 6 or 7 bucks for a bag of chips and a pint of ice cream, I can buy a whole basket full of fresh fruits and veggies.

I like to think of that extra money as money I've EARNED, not just SAVED. It's definitely a result of all my hard work dieting and exercising. When I reach my next weight loss goal, I'm going to spend that money on a new outfit that shows off my new fit and healthy body!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005, 4:26 PM

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Ha. Mine went up

Because now I buy more meat and veggies at home. My meals out are also more expensive because I'm skipping the pizza and getting the salads with meat.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005, 6:19 PM

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I agree - mine went up as well. Vegetables add up quickly. There are things I love to eat that I now choose the lower fat or fewer calorie alternatives - which they always charge you more for. Example - Baked Doritos - never on sale - always have to pay $3.49 for them as opposed to $2.50 for the regular kind when they are on sale.

And since I no longer eat at McD's - I can't exploit those "value meals" - it's been 3 years since I "supersized" anything.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005, 6:33 PM

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Try farmers' markets for veggies - they're often fresher, not as picked-over (especially if you go early!) and often way cheaper than at the grocery store! Also, they're just fun!

Thursday, August 11, 2005, 8:11 AM

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Healthy food is more expensive

When I am buying healthier foods, it gets more expensive. It's always more expensive to buy the low fat or fat free versions of food. Skim milk is more expensive, fat free mayo is more expensive, egg substitutes are more expensive, low calorie bread is more expensive and all this stuff tends to add up.

Friday, August 12, 2005, 9:05 AM

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Where do you shop for grocerys?

Im wondering where exactly you shop!! I find produce and healthier cuts of meat much more expensive than processed foods. Dairy is way up. A gallon of skim milk is now $4!! I spend at least $20 more a week at the store buying fresh, than if I was buying processed, fatty foods. Fat is cheap. I am wondering though where the original poster shops for her grocerys!!

Friday, August 12, 2005, 9:13 AM

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I think it all depends on where you live and where you shop. I too find it cheaper because I can hit the farm markets and local produce stands. I rarely buy beef but chicken, turkey etc. when it's on sale is also cheap. You just have to stock up when you can on the sale prices.

Friday, August 12, 2005, 11:38 AM

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What is "healthy"?

It seems like there are 3 "stages" of eating here at PEERtrainer... The "newbies" who are trying to cut out things like chocolate bars or potato chips, the people who tell themselves that "substitutes" for junk food are healthy food, and the people who actually eat healthily.

If what you eat is mostly fresh veggies, beans, chicken, brown rice, whole grains, etc., your grocery bill should go down. If you're busy buying "low fat" or "low carb" varieties of junk food, like the Baked Lays that were mentioned above, it is expensive. However, that's not really eating healthily, because it's still eating food that is entirely made of empty calories and simple carbs. That seems to be the difference in this thread. People who eat "fake" junk food have expensive grocery bills, and probably aren't losing much weight; people who eat whole, real foods only have lower grocery bills, and are probably losing weight quickly.

Food for thought!

Monday, August 15, 2005, 8:20 AM

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I think a lot of this really is regional - my grocery bill is mostly the same because I'm cutting out some food that I just don't buy anymore; however, produce adds up quickly as does meat. The biggest change I see is that I have switched from buying white bread, tortillas, and pretzels to buying whole wheat bread, whole wheat tortillas, and organic whole wheat pretzels which are all about 3-4x more expensive than the white/flour varieties. Also, I live in the DC metro area and I find that produce from farmers markets is of better quality and more tasty; however, is also about 3-4x more expensive than in grocery stores.

Monday, August 15, 2005, 8:36 AM

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It's not particulary where I shop...but how much I buy.

Your right the healthier cuts of meat are more expensive. But now I eat smaller amounts and leave the cakes, cookies, and chips in the store. Instead of buying a twelve pack of beer plus soda for the week. I drink water (good ole' tap) with my meals.

When I do buy fast food, instead of buying the whole meal...bacon cheese burger, fries, and coke; I just get a plain hamburger and a cup of water.

It's not that the things that I suddenly do buy are cheaper, it's all the things that I don't buy anymore.

-O.P.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005, 11:31 AM

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I agree with healthy food being more expensive

however, it all comes down to how much of it you get. Also, organic versus non. Lactose-free versus regular. Location also matters. Specialty grocery store in an upscale neighborhood or a regular Safeway/Albertsons in a modest subarb.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005, 9:47 AM

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finance help

I decided to post this here because it relates, sort of, to the topic.

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http://www.mechcad.net/products/acemoney/index_lite.shtml

It's a really great program for those who want a detailed budget and expense-tracking system without having to do all the hard work yourself. And, the support people (via email) are helpful and respond quickly to questions. Check it out!

Link

Wednesday, August 17, 2005, 1:02 PM

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My Five Basic Rules for Healthy Food Shopping

i saw the following on Care2 about basic rules for Healthy Food Shopping and thought they might work for some of you! they help me most weeks!!

Link

Wednesday, August 17, 2005, 3:13 PM

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AND......

When my 6 year old son and I eat out together, instead of ordering two plates, plus soda/tea/etc. We order one plate and split it. Plus we order water.

Sometimes I wonder if they think I'm just being cheap but that's not my problem. I just be sure to tip as if we had ordered two meals. So instead of spending more than $20 plus tip we tend to spend $10 or less plus tip.

-O.P.

Thursday, August 18, 2005, 7:32 AM

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RE: what is "healthy"?

I never said Baked Doritos are healthy. But I love Doritos and want to continue eating them - the baked versions allow me to do that. I'm realistic about that. I realize some people are not. But it's still frustrating when I go to buy a can of Fat Free Pringles and they are twice the price of the regular Pringles. (I know, you are going to tell me to not buy them at all, get real!)

I've lost a lot of weight by including some substitutions like baked chips, diet sodas, no sugar added items. I'm not a fan of the frozen dinners, lean cuisine, smart ones, etc - but I eat them sometimes because they are cheap, quick and easy. At the same time, I've added more fresh veggies and fruits to what I eat. I also focus on getting whole wheat bread/pasta in as well.

I realize it would be better for me to eat all "healthy" food - as you define it - but I'm a realistic person - I'm not giving up things I really want. If I do that - I'd end up binging on "real" Doritos and double stuffed oreos and gain back the 45 pounds I've lost!

Thursday, August 18, 2005, 1:52 PM

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Just checked the Lay's website... Not sure if this'll make people happy or not... But, Original Lay's potato chips are 150 calories for about 20 chips, with 10g of fat and maybe 15g carbs. Original flavor Baked Lays are 110 calories for 11 crisps, with 1.5g of fat and 23 carbs. Both have 2g protein per serving. Baked have 150mg sodium, and regular have 180mg.

I'd say, with the serving sizes what they are (20 chips vs. 11 crisps), nutritionally, they're not very different. The only reason I could see to eat the baked variety is if you're on a low-fat diet. Otherwise, if you can use portion control, neither is all that bad, and if you can't, well, they're both awful!

Fat free pringles, however, are only 70 calories in 15 chips. Still awful if you eat the whole can, or even half, but, the whole can isn't nearly as big as a bag of Lay's or Baked Lay's, so... That's a tough call. The fat free have that Olestra stuff though, which, according to the package, could possible cause "anal leakage"!!! It doesn't have that effect on me, personally, but, I wouldn't recommend eating them for the first time unless you plan on being at home for awhile and not seeing anyone!

Friday, August 19, 2005, 8:29 AM

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Re: AND....

Splitting a plate with your child is a great idea! It saves money but you also won't be tempted to pick at your child's french fries or other bad foods that tend to always come with kids meal (And your son is probably eating healthier as a result too.)

Friday, August 19, 2005, 9:39 AM

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grocery bill

while i've been buying less food (no cookies, chips, etc.) i've saved money there - but produce is so expensive that i don't see a savings on my bill - i actually see an increase!!!!

Friday, August 19, 2005, 1:23 PM

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I can't afford to be healthy!

I feel that fresh foods and healthy options are much more expensive than junk foods. When a box of cookies costs $3.49, and not-whole-milk costs the same, something's up.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005, 10:04 AM

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You can also buy an entire chicken for $3.69! Not skinless boneless chicken breasts, though if they're on sale, you could probably get at least 3 of them for that price, but, the whole cut-up chicken is ALWAYS cheap! And it's great for roasting b/c the skin keeps it moist, and then you can take the skin off before you eat it.

Lean Cuisine meals go on sale for 5 for $10 all the time, you just have to wait for it and stock up. Then a whole lunch is $2 if you add a bottle of water, or maybe $2.50 if you add an apple too - that's hard to beat.

And if cookies just plain aren't an option (which should be the case), you have $3.69 to spend on something that is an option.

If you stick to whole grain bread, eggs, chicken, and fruits/veggies, you WILL lose weight and it will be CHEAP!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005, 11:01 AM

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I've found a produce stand in my city which has much lower prices than the regular grocery store. I also try to purchase what is in season as the prices are much lower when you purchase in season. I also watch the paper for sales and will hit whatever grocery store has good sales that week.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005, 1:17 PM

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In the Atlanta area, skim milk is the cheapest. You're best bet is to take the time and do some price comparison.
Also, look for a bread store. I live by an Entemmans and can get whole wheat bread, bagels, pitas for $1 a loaf/package. Yes, it'll expire in a day or two, but if you refrigerate it, it stays good for another week or so.

Thursday, August 25, 2005, 10:16 AM

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You can also freeze bread, buns, and pre-sliced bagels. Then you almost have to toast them to eat, but, if you like toast, your bread will stay good forever! (Buns can go in the microwave - somewhere from 5 to 20 seconds should defrost them just fine!)

Thursday, August 25, 2005, 12:14 PM

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Buying meat

Here's a tip I use to buy meat. My local grocery store regrinds and repackages the ground beef from the day before and marks it down substantially each morning. Its still good and I have found it to be better quality than the regular ground beef, because at the end of the day they have lots of the very lean ground beef, ground sirloin left over and not much of the really fatty hamburger meat. And I get it for less than half price of the "fresh" stuff. Its usually in a larger package and I take it home and divide it and freeze it. I also look for marked down chicken, roasts, pork, etc. Its good stuff, people and it really saves money!!
I realize everyone can't get out to the grocery store at 9am, but check with the meat person in your grocery store and ask when they put it out. They even do this on the weekends. (Sunday mornings are sometimes great days for great deals!) I have been doing this for years in every city I've lived in. Give it a try!

Friday, August 26, 2005, 4:55 PM

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