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TIME & MONEY SAVING IDEAS - Thanks Staff cblessum on 8/27/2008
Never shop on an empty stomach.

Make a meal plan for the week. Check your grocery ad circular and plan your recipes around it. Make a shopping list based on those recipes, checking what you already have so that you don't purchase unnecessary duplicates.

Look for spices and canned goods in the ethnic food aisle; they tend to be different brands than those found elsewhere in the store, at cheaper prices.

If you have children, hire a babysitter. What you save on junk food and impulse purchases will more than pay for the babysitter.

If you shop at a butcher, look for 10 lb. combination packs of meat and poultry that they need to move; freeze what you don't immediately need. Regular grocery stores often offer value packs; break into 1 lb quantities, wrap each in plastic wrap, then package in ziplock bags and freeze for later.

Double recipes, especially if using bulk or sale ingredients; freeze half for later.

Shop farmer's markets for fruit and vegetables.

Buy produce that is in season.

Consider buying a CSA (community supported agriculture) share: http://www.localharvest.org/.

Consider cheap non-meat sources. Eat high-protein beans and grains such as kidney beans, black beans, and chickpeas, paired with brown rice, quinoa and barley.

Rely on bags of frozen and canned vegetables when possible. They are a convenience that is surpisingly the same price (or less) as the fresh counterpart, with less spoliation issues.

Buy grains in bulk, from the bins at your health food store. These are cheaper than packaged.

Eat out less often. A family of four spends, at a minimum, $45 for one meal out. For $45 you can buy at least 12 chicken breasts, 6 cartons of broth, 6 heads of romaine lettuce, and 6 boxes of whole-wheat pasta.

Look for cuts of meat that are marked down for sale that day. If they are large cuts, then divide them into one-meal sized portions and freeze them for later, or use them that day.

Buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs in bulk. They're great for using in salads, soups, and just for grilling. As soon as you get them home, throw most of them on the grill. You'll have grilled chicken to use the rest of the week.

Bone-in chicken is cheaper and sometimes more flavorful than boneless and skinless chicken. Just remove the skin prior to eating to keep it Core.

Buy the store brand when it's not a compromise on quality. It's always cheaper and often you can't tell the difference. Use coupons for whatever brand names are necessary/desirable.

Waste nothing. NOTHING. Freeze bits of tomato sauce, tomato paste, broth, etc. for later and then wind up using them. Freeze about-to-spoil fresh fruit in bite-sized chunks for smoothies.

Use chicken and turkey carcasses to make homemade chicken stock; shells from shellfish and fish bones and skin fo seafood stock.

Stock up when things are on sale.

Oatmeal and eggs are cheap.

When fresh fruit is on sale, buy it and freeze it.

Freeze homemade meals in single serving containers. It's easy.

In a baking tray, use aluminum foil to make sections. Put raw chicken in each section. Cook one with a red sauce/mushrooms/onions; the next with lemon and spices; the next a barbecue sauce etc. Most chicken is cooked the same except for the topping. Cook 3-4 meals at one time, and freeze it. It also saves money on oven use.

Buy a water bottle with a built-in filter instead of buying water, or use a Brita pitcher to fill your WW bottle.

Buy in Bulk and bag your own 100 cal packs.

Here we have Aldi and Savalot stores to shop at

When you shop take all sale flyers to Walmart where they will match all competitors ads.

Buy fruit that is in season.

Use debbie myers green bags to keep fruit and veggies from going bad so quickly.

Cut back on treats like Starbucks etc.

Pack your own lunch instead of eating out.

Share a meal when you dine out.