reply to post by Melissa101
Oh, honey, I feel your pain!!! We are out about 60k a year as well and the unemployment is going to run out eventually. I had to get a second job as
my salary got cut as well. Let me give you a few things.
First of all, I live with a hunting, fishing redneck, so yeah, we eat alot of deer, some rabbit, squirrel and fresh trout. Here's the key. Don't
have anything to do with it other than to take it out of the freezer. Don't look at it when it was alive, don't watch it die, don't have anything
to do with skinning and trimming it, don't even wrap it up to freeze it, just take it out of the freezer and it looks like any other kind of meat you
buy at the store. You can also soak it in milk for a few hours before cooking it to get the gamey taste out of it.
Okay, now for the groceries. It takes some practice, but I have gotten the hang of saving money. I work part time at a grocery store also, so I find
alot of deals. Cut coupons or print them (fast draft option on printer to save ink) from on line and go the websites for brands, you can get coupons
and free coupons for alot of stuff and watch the weekly sales at the store. I buy 4 lb packages of ground chuck that are marked down to $5 the day
before they expire. You have to go early or ask the meat dept what time they mark it down, it's usually early. The other day I bought two packages
of whole cut up chicken for $3.30 a pack, which divided and frozen is two meals for us. Make some gravy out of the fried chicken grease and biscuts
and whatever fresh veggie is around. I also bought a marinated turkey breast marked down from 9.98 to 5.98, it was a good size, so cut in half and
frozen, that makes two meals. Regardless, start shopping in the mornings and checking meat prices. If it expires the same day or the next you can
freeze it and it will be fine. My grocery store had hamburger helper on special a few weeks ago 10 for $10 and I had two coupons for 80 cents off
three boxes and one for 75 cents of three boxes, so it was 2.20 for three boxes. We have alot of hamburger helper and chicken helper in the pantry.
Ask people for coupons, I buy a Sunday paper and also get them from my mom who would otherwise throw them out.
Soft drinks. If it's the caffiene, start making sweet tea it's a whole lot cheaper and the tea is good for you. Cut out the splenda (expensive)
unless for some reason you can't have sugar, then it's warranted, but google them and see if the website offers coupons. I quit buying soft drinks
long ago, except when they are on sale. For instance I bought pepsi products 5 boxes of 12 cans for 12.00. We don't drink pepsi, but they like Dr.
Pepper, Sierra Mist and Mountain Dew, so those counted. Needless to say, I ended up with 10 boxes of soft drinks in the basement. Coke has sales
too, but usually not as good at least at the store where I work, so just wait and stock up. When the large jugs of folgers or maxwell house go on
sale for 5.98, I buy two or three, especially if I have coupons. Some stores have a cart full of reduced stuff. I stumbled on 100 oz (something huge
like that) jugs of All detergent that they were discontinuing (the scent) which wasn't bad for $2.50. I bought three. Something I'll use but never
find that cheap. I also found before that you can use a less expensive detergent and throw in some baking soda and white vinegar (cheap, it's all
the same) in the wash cycle and cut out fabric softener.
I buy canned goods at Aldi or one of the other grocery outlets or Walmart. I have a stash of them in the basement and rotate that stock, but this
time of year I haven't bought any as I get veggies from neighbors and people from work and the farmer's market. Usually a tailgate market has
better prices than the farmers market or grocery. My neighbor and I planned our gardens, so we grew different things then share.
You have to take a month or so to get the hang of it, but you can do it. Just start stocking up on non perishables and once you get a rotation, you
will have extra money to be able to stock up on more of one thing one week and other things in another week. Now, I'll never be one of those people
who buys stuff we won't use just because I have a coupon for it and then says I saved 80 dollars on my grocery bill. That's BS. I've never seen
it done since I've been cashiering at the store. Another hint is alot of things go on sale in cycles, usually in six week cycles. If it isn't on
sale, it probably doesn't make it into my cart.
Also, no one in my house will eat leftovers so I do portion meats and freeze them into packages that will make one meal. I invested $6 in a ziplock
vacuum and bought the freezer bags and they really work well, much better than regular freezer bags.
And, lastly, google angel food ministries. They sell groceries through the churches (you don't have to go to the church and they also take EBT).
You can usually get a good sized box of drygoods and after you get that, you can purchase additional packages of different meats or frozen meals, but
it's always different things. I have never bought that because I work and can never get to any of the churches when they are there to pay and order
the food, but I know alot of people that do and they says it's all good.
Sorry for such a long post, but hopefully it will save you and others. I used to be frugal, but since my other half lost his job, I've really been
careful and working at the store helps because then I see how that works and have the mark down schedule down pat. LOL!