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Old 03-19-2009, 11:10 AM   #1
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Tips to avoid grocery store runs

I live about 45 minutes away from the grocery store (there are some general stores for milk and such, but they usually have lousy produce and cost more) and here are some tips I use to make my food last longer so I can buy more and avoid trips. I live alone, so it's harder to use things up. Not as sexy as pulse and glide, but it still saves fuel if your commute doesn't bring you close to a store on a regular basis.

1) Bread Maker - easier than trying to keep the bread fresh
2) Vacuum sealer - 4 to 5 times longer life, no lie!
3) Buy a mix of things that keep a short and long time and plan your meals accordingly
4) Dried fruit - good for the tail end of the shopping cycle
5) Salad spinner (makes lettuce really last)
6) If you find yourself near a town for another reason - stock up! Obvious, but effective.
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co de pen den cy
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:50 AM   #2
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What my wife and I have been finding is that we spend about $75/month less when we make more trips to the store throughout the month to get the bare necessities opposed to trying to stock up for the week.

It's bad on the gas-log but good for the wallet!

The vacuum sealer is something I should look into.
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:52 AM   #3
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What do you attribute the savings to?
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Main Entry: co de pen dence - see codependency
co de pen den cy
Pronunciation: \kō-di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē\
Function: noun
Date: 1979

: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin) ; broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:08 PM   #4
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Less food to go bad... budgeting food supply... eating in smaller portions... getting creative with leftovers... laziness in going to the store... etc.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:11 PM   #5
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I had a fair bit of waste before the salad spinner and vacuum sealer. Mostly because I am living alone and some things (like lettuce and cherry tomatoes) only come in one size.
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Main Entry: co de pen dence - see codependency
co de pen den cy
Pronunciation: \kō-di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē\
Function: noun
Date: 1979

: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin) ; broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:16 PM   #6
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I've noticed that savings too. I wouldn't really call my grocery store visits 'trips' tho. More like a stop on the way home since it's right there and the parking lot is so easy to get into and out of. I just buy what I need for dinner either that night or for the next two nights and it does keep my grocery bill down. There is a small downside to that, I can never seem to remember if I have cheese or other stuff sometimes so I end up buying it again without needing it because I didn't make a list but I don't think I've ever accidentally bought it to a point that I have an excessive amount of any one thing.

A big saver that I can see is that I buy less junk food (damn girl scouts). I know what I want to eat and I buy only that. Weekends are so unpredictable for me that I usually just eat out.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximilian View Post
I had a fair bit of waste before the salad spinner and vacuum sealer. Mostly because I am living alone and some things (like lettuce and cherry tomatoes) only come in one size.
It's a brand new game with a family.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:20 PM   #8
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I hate cooking and am cheap, so I'm pretty seriously into batch cooking and freezing. There are recipes optimized for that approach. I just cubed and browned 40 lbs of chicken last week (big sale). Made more than two months of meals with some of it and froze the rest for future recipes. Variety suffers a bit (only four recipes for that 2 months). Need to find someone to trade with.
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Main Entry: co de pen dence - see codependency
co de pen den cy
Pronunciation: \kō-di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē\
Function: noun
Date: 1979

: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin) ; broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:24 PM   #9
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I can understand buying in bulk when it makes sense. I just bought a 20 pound bag of California grown long grain brown rice for $16 at the Korean grocery last week. Yeah, its a lot of rice, but it won't go bad, and it sure beats buying the little 2 pound packs for $3/ea. I keep my bread in the fridge. It will go at least a week beyond the date without molding or drying out if tightly sealed. If there's a really good sale on bread I stock up, and keep it in the freezer. When it take it out of the freezer I write the date taken out on the bag w/ a sharpie marker so I know how long its been out of the freezer. I've thought about the vacuum sealers, but I've had good luck just buying what I need and freezing any extra. The korean grocery is only 1 block from my office, and Safeway, Big Lots, and Bottom Dollar are only 1/2 mile from the house. I pass a grocery store every day so if there's something I need I'm not spending any extra gas to go get it.

There's going to be a lot of rice in my future, I just bought a brand new, in the box rice cooker at a thrift store a month ago for $5! Plus, the rice cooker is a lot more efficient in cooking than cooking rice on the stove, and its automatic as well! I was saddened when I couldn't find the lid to my old cooker when I moved out of my old place. I'm sure the lid is somewhere in that kitchen.

Fresh herbs & spices are cheap at the Korean grocery, and produce is as well. I usually buy extra onions, peppers, etc, and just chop & freeze it so its ready the next time I want to cook.

-Jay
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:31 PM   #10
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I just bought 22 lbs of basmati rice on sale. It's gotten so expensive!

I didn't grow up with rice, and I love it. My mother thought that rice was what "poor people ate". Yeah, well, so was lobster at one time. Such craziness.
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Main Entry: co de pen dence - see codependency
co de pen den cy
Pronunciation: \kō-di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē\
Function: noun
Date: 1979

: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin) ; broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another
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