Canadian mamas - grocery thrifty thread

Discussion in 'Mama's Simplifying and Thrift forum' started by Champagyne1, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. Champagyne1

    Champagyne1 New Member

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    Ok USA mama's.... you need to understand that we don't get double and triple couponing, or major deals like you do. Food costs more, coupons get you $1 off maybe on a $5 item sometimes and we struggle for it.

    What are you doing to reduce your household grocery bill? I am finding with the week of Dec 24-Jan 3, having Rob and I, my 3 kids, his 3 kids... HOLY CRAPPOLA the groceries were through the roof.

    I have one dairy free child (Rob's 7 yr old DS), one who hates tomatoes, one who has Aspergers and is PICKY (no beans, cheese, or things that are unidentifiable :lol: ).

    I am doing more homemade soups and was STUNNED that my DS ate Tortilla Soup. Granted he picked out the beans and the corn (WTF he liked corn!!) but he ate some of it. I was floored. :lol:

    What do you do? I am going to start an eating out of the pantry challenge for the remainder of the month... anyone else jumping in? Thread to be started shortly for that. ;)

    2011 is the year that I take control of my financial tornado and get it in order. ;)

    Andrea
  2. alexismom

    alexismom Lovin Life

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    Andrea, I don't have any stores even remotely close to me that do double or triple couponing. The key for coupons for me is waiting to use the coupon until the item goes on super cheap, then stocking up with as many of the coupons as I have (I use a lot of printable coupons). i.e. There has been a $1.00 off any brand of cheese coupon printable available every few weeks for the last several months. I print two (the limit) every time they rerelease it. I wait until cheese goes on for a killer price, then load up. I freeze it. it works great. No one can tell the difference. The only way for me to cut my grocery bill drastically was to build up a huge stockpile for cheap or free. Now, i don't HAVE to buy anything really except milk and produce. I still do, because the sales cycle, so I buy enough of a sale/coupon item to last me until the next time it goes on sale, then I stock up again. Make sense?
  3. golden

    golden Active Member

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    I don't mean to derail your thread, but Angie, I didn't know you could freeze cheese. Can you freeze shredded cheese or does it clump together and get wet as it thaws?
  4. alexismom

    alexismom Lovin Life

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    I have frozen both shredded and blocked, and actually find that shredded tastes much better. You can't even tell a difference, it thaws out normally. I haven't noticed any clumps and I have been doing it a long time. If blocks are cheaper, I just spend a few times grating it all at once, seal it with the Food Saver and throw it in the freezer. I will say though that if you do not have a food saver, then only freeze shredded cheese in it's original package with the original seal or it gets freezer burn and tastes like crap. But, with the FS I can buy blocks, grate them, seal and freeze.
  5. golden

    golden Active Member

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    no FS here. And yes, I was talking about the shredded bags. I bet it's the potato starch or whatever they coat the preshredded cheese with that makes it freeze better than block cheese you shred yourself. Good to know!
  6. Champagyne1

    Champagyne1 New Member

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    Ok so do you think it is worth it to buy one of those food saver things? I have seen them in the stores, do they work? DOes it keep it from freezer burning? I lose a lot to freezer burn. *ugh*
  7. alexismom

    alexismom Lovin Life

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    Well, it was worth it to me, because I picked up a broken one at the thrift store for $4 and my grandpa fixed it for me and it works fabulous. I'm not sure what they run new, but I do know mine has really saved us a lot of lost food due to freezer burn, and really makes it so I can stock up on things. The bags can get pricey, but if you watch foodsaver's website they have some really good deals, I was just able to get rolls for $4 each which is an amazing price ;)
  8. Slightlycrunchymama

    Slightlycrunchymama New Member

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    I dont know about the food saver thingy but I do know about the high cost of groceries! We have 8 people for dinner every night and its a pitb to feed everyone now that im working. My Dh and kids hate soup, my sister and nieces and I love it, one kid hates veggies, one is dairy free, dh hates pasta ect.... its a never ending struggle lol. I just try to mix it up a lot so that theres something i know everyone will like on the table. eg always a veggie, meat, and other. I have hear numerous times superstore is the cheapest as far as prices but I dont know the layout so rarely go there, i also tend toget sidetracked by thenon-food items and buy too much 'other' I find that by watching the flyers at the tinystore by me, planning meals based on that and pre-planning are the tricks to making it work budget wise. If I dont plan meals, im tired and we splurge and get pizza or eat out, both not good options for the budget or the waist.
    Ive always wanted to do a cook ahead day and freeze some stuff for the week, lmk if you wanna get together one weekend and do this.
  9. Mama2miracles

    Mama2miracles Active Member

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    It's not just the couponing- MANY items are double the cost they are in the USA - everytime I get back from visiting my parents in Maine I'm AMAZED at how cheap food is in the states then there is our sales tax. ugh.

    I've pulled a eat it or starve on mine and that includes picky and aspergers as well as I have to accomodate for food allergies plus everyone can pick ONE food and one food only they refuse to eat. Melissa's IS tomatoes. Not eating beans is NOT an option they are a staple here. I do find doing them as refried and pureed helps and I try and look for discount tortilla's when I can find them at the McGavin's bread outlets. They do a discount 10 items for $10 on bread and I go there and freeze - so menus get worked around what I find there.

    Superstore is cheapest for bulk stuff like flour, sugar, dried beans, pasta, pasta sauce and caselots of things like canned soups. Their produce is awful and you do have to avoid the non-food items.

    I do a lot of soup as well and a ton of pasta, Mr noodles (one thing all my kids will eat w/o complaining - try and add veggies to it and sometimes break eggs into the boiling water for protein) and mac n cheese.

    My deep freeze is a must - I freeze veggies and fruit in the summer and the bread I get discount. Also I try and make double batches and freeze when I can for stuff like soups and casseroles as well as muffins. i make double (or quadrouple) batches and freeze in bigger bags for breakfasts and individually to go into school lunches.
  10. Mama2miracles

    Mama2miracles Active Member

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    adding about the beans - so I don't sound like a total horrid mama - I'm a lifelong vegetarian. My kids eat meat (because their dad did) and I will occasionally cook meat (moreso when I was with my ex as he ate meat) but most of my cooking is vegetarian because I'm vegetarian. So beans are a main protein staple for our family and have always been throughout my kids lives. I didn't suddenly impose beans on them - though when finances are touch - definately meat is one of the first things to go (esp as I have to have different food for me if I'm doing meat for the kids)
  11. Champagyne1

    Champagyne1 New Member

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    Aubin, I have a cookbook for mass meal cooking and freezing... um.. beer brie and loud music? oh... and a kitchen full of groceries? We should talk. ;)
  12. marjen

    marjen Go!

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    In Ontario, and yep, I've basically given up on coupons....PITA really....anyway, I do the "eat it or starve" thing too. I cook from scratch and a BIG thing here is portion control. Mind you, normally there is myself, my husband and my two younger girls - NONE of us are big eaters. Over the holidays though, I had 6 extra people here - some of which are very big eaters. My grocery bill for two weeks was VERY high. But normally, the #1 way I have cut down in groceries is to shop every day. I have to take the kids to school everyday, so I'm out anyway and the grocery store is 2 blocks from their school. So I never have a list, I just go, see what's on sale, including (and especially) clearance meats and veggies. With no list and no plan, I really can capitalize on clearance.
  13. xt

    xt Active Member

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    Can you do bulk ordering from a natural foods place? I don't know if that's available up there, but I order from a natural foods place for things like 25 pound bags of organic brown rice and other stuff. I order enough to have a truck come, which makes much cheaper shipping. I never buy rice, beans, wheat, nutritional yeast, etc at a grocery store, which means I could get by with never leaving the house for months if I didn't want to. We're sort of well stocked, though not like Angie!

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