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grocery shopping, clueless.... help!

alright, well i pretty much dont know how to shop successfully. what i mean is my family doesnt have a lot of income and we pretty much rely on food stamps for our monthly groceries. i'm always excited when we get the food stamps because we get to have food, sad i know. we dont really eat a lot we just dont seem to have enough to get us through the month. i've gotta eat healthy, because i breastfeed. and it seems like all the cheap meals are too expensive. any suggestions?

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 1:09 AM on Jan. 2, 2009 in Food & Drink

Answers (12)
  • You really need to go through your local circulars and look for things on sale. Then you can look for coupons for those things.
    I need to shop 2-3 places to make my budget work out. Get meat in large packages and break it down and freeze it.
    Frozen veggies can be inexpensive and Healthy. At the wegmans around here the store brand is only .89. Watch things like sodas, snacks and single serving packages. It is likely that you are losing money there, because we are used to having those things and they are yummy. But trust me you can live without them.
    When we were looking into going on foodstamps when DH was unemployed last year, I remember thinking I wouldn't know what to with that much food money. If you want a little more help and recipes drop me a line. I'm happy to help. Also, have you looked into wic- they will help with cheese eggs milk and cereal.
    lovinangels

    Answer by lovinangels at 1:51 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • make sure you make a list before you go shopping plan a few easy meals with only a few ingredients like casseroles! and really try to stick to your list! our family can have a tator tot casserole one night and left overs the next night so one meal lasts us two meals and for lunch we try to stick to sandwiches, hot dogs, fruits and off brand snacks when we are broke also adding a roll with butter to your dinner goes a long way too! spagetti can feed a family of four for only about $5 plus if you buy ground turkey at about $1.45 per lb instead of ground beef that can be around $4 you will save lots of money!
    let me know if you want some good simple recipes :)
    Riosmommy

    Answer by Riosmommy at 3:02 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • Shop the perimeter of the store first - produce, meat ,dairy, and bakery. The higher priced, less nutrious foods are in the isles.

    PrttyMstng

    Answer by PrttyMstng at 6:43 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • i agree with all the above. also its been said that the more xpensive stuff is eye leval and the cheaper deals are lower to the floor. i go for the 10 for 10.00 sales but only on things we use like gravey or scollop potatoes even bread. ( i freeze most. ) also coupons so grab a sunday paper sometimes they have good coupons. and dont go hungry. you buy more. i make a 4 day menu and when i go shopping i buy whats on the menu if needed and a few odds and ends ( toilet papaer. ) i also write down whats on sale and if i need it. if i dont need it i wont write it down.
    tabbys4

    Answer by tabbys4 at 8:44 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • plan your meals. I have found that when I don't plan what I'm going to make, I buy more b/c of it. I kind of do this "well, I might make chili so let me buy the stuff for that. Oh, but I might make lasagna, so let me buy the stuff for that." and they I won't make either of those things. And I'll forget I have the stuff, so next time I do want to make those things, I buy the stuff all over again. So, plan what you want to make, right down to the veggie. Buy store brand. Stock up when stuff is on sale. If your family loves mac & cheese, stock up on it when it's on sale. Learn how to make stuff homemade, for example mac & cheese. The box of Kraft serves my family of 3 one time, but if I make it homemade, we get 2 or even 3 meals out of it. Same thing with snack foods. con't...
    tropicalmama

    Answer by tropicalmama at 9:10 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • The ingredients seem like they cost more than buying prepackaged or premade, but when you break it down, you'll get more cookies/brownies/cake from a homemade batch than a boxed mix. Make sure you use your leftovers. That's where a lot of people waste money. They have enough leftovers for another meal, but don't use it. If you don't want to eat it right away (within 4-5 days, freeze it. Then you'll have a frozen meal you can just throw in the oven another night when you're in a hurry. If there's not enough leftovers for a meal, take it for lunch to work. Or, again, freeze it, and then take out 2-3 different frozen leftovers and do a potluck one night. Hope that helps a little!
    tropicalmama

    Answer by tropicalmama at 9:13 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • You need to learn to cook as much from scratch as possible. Dry beans and rice are very inexpensive and there are tons of dishes to be made from them. Bean and rice together make a perfect protein and are loaded with fibre and vitamins. Pick up the meats that are maked for clearance and put them directly into the freezer. Use them as soon as you defrost them. If you aren't much of a cook, go to the library and take out some good, basic cookbooks like Betty Crocker or Fanny Farmer. They will teach you how to make just about anything. Once you know how to make basic things like pie crusts, gravies, stock, white sauce, etc, you can make endless healthy and economical dishes. I buy inexpensive chicken and make a ton of stock that i freeze in quart containers, then I make chicken soup, chicken and dumplings, chicken pot pie, casseroles and all sorts of things.
    Marwill

    Answer by Marwill at 11:12 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • you got some great responses here!

    I am on food stamps also, and make almost everything from scratch. I usually have money left over at the end of the month. I allow myself one pre-prepared meal weekly--that we usually eat on the same night I went grocery shopping. The rest of the week I make everything. Instead of buying boneless skinless chicken breasts, buy a whole chicken. That in itself is several meals! Learn to use veggies as your base, instead of meat (like for soups, use mostly veggies and only a bit of meat). Veggies are much cheaper than meat. When there is a deal on chicken or beef, I buy enough for the month then freeze the rest. Next week, another meat is usually on sale, and I will buy that so Im not always eating the same meat.
    epoh

    Answer by epoh at 3:52 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • Use coupons and any discount programs the stores offer. I dont know how large your family is but I buy meat buy the case we are a family of 8.
    Saved_by_GOD

    Answer by Saved_by_GOD at 4:28 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • Maybe you could also stop by a local food bank, and then stuff you get there, you can scratch off your list. My friend goes to one and there's no shame in it. You have to feed your family and you so you can give your baby good milk. If you're not eating healthy, than your milk will be lacking. And also, just to help things, you should all take vitamins. You probably already do, but I definitely feel much healthier when I take a daily vitamin. My dd will be 6 months old on the 8th and I still take prenatal vitamins . . . why not? I want to have another baby in a few years and I'm already 30, it can only help. You should also definitely look into WIC. Milk and cheese are expensive, I used WIC when I was pregnant and LOVED it. We hate having to buy our cheese, but we bought a house now, so I had to report his income.>>>Waa . . . Good luck Mama!!
    BridgetC140

    Answer by BridgetC140 at 4:55 AM on Jan. 3, 2009

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