Win $500 from Libby’s!!!

by Janice

libbys-cans.jpgLibby’s wants to save you money in the grocery aisle and help get your family back to the dinner table!

Last night, Jennifer and I were talking about the “good old days.” Both of us married over a decade ago when we were young (read: poor) and lived on so much less money.

Back then, Phil and I had a combined salary that was less than half of what we live on now, (and trust me – we still are living on a tight budget,) but we were able to make ends meet.

Even though it was only a decade+ ago, it seems like a different era.

It cost only eighteen dollars each for us to fill up our two-door, second hand cars. And our grocery bills were a fraction of what they are today. Granted we now have kids and all the costs that go along with raising hungry, growing monkeys, whom we shuttle around in a minivan. But seriously – things are getting crazy!

Honestly, I feel like a financial failure most days. I look around and wonder, how is everyone else doing it? What is wrong with me? Why can’t we live on less? Why can’t I get my grocery bills down? How can I cut back even more on our driving?

But the truth is – it just costs more to live now. Gas, milk, eggs, chicken… everything costs more. And with incomes not raising to match these inflating prices, many of us are stuck looking at a budget that doesn’t add up.

Libby’s is responding to people’s concerns with their new campaign, Get Back to the Table. With a helpful website that gives cost-and time saving tips, Libby’s wants to save you money in the grocery aisle and help get your family back to the dinner table!


Get Back to the Table
features:

  • A recipe database featuring nutritious and tasty recipes that take just ten minutes to make for under $10 or less to prepare for a family of four
  • Downloadable tools for managing grocery budgets and planning out the week’s meals
  • Expert advice from Hannah Keeley, mother of seven and author of The Total Mom Makeover: The Six Week Plan to Completely Transform Your Home, Health, Family and Life, whom we featured here at 5 Minutes for Mom last year.

What about you?

Do you have any tips or tricks that help to keep your family on budget despite life’s soaring costs or help you to get your family to spend time around the dinner table?

One of Susan and my survival tactics is to team up for dinner time. (Yes – Susan and I team up a lot in life!) Since we are both busy WAHM’s on tight budgets, dinner time can be a stress both financially and time wise. So once or twice a week, we crash dinner time at each other’s houses. We get the benefit of pooling our resources, and the kids get the added fun of having dinner time together. Granted in our small houses, it is loud and chaotic – and at Susan’s house there are not even enough chairs to go around – but it is fun and it saves us time and money!

Share one of your family’s tips – or simply hang out with the rest of us trying to scrape by (misery loves company right?) – in the comments below, and we will draw one lucky winner who will receive $500 courtesy of Libby’s to help ease their family’s budget pains.

We will draw the winner July 18th. (So sorry to our fellow Canadians, we have to limit this contest to US shipping addresses.)



Email Author    |    Website About Janice

Janice is co-founder of 5 Minutes For Mom. She's been working online since 2003 and is thankful her days are full of social media, writing and photography. You can see more of her photos at janicecrozephotography.com.

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{ 1039 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah Galbraith June 27, 2008 at 4:06 pm

the biggest thing that saves us money is meal planning…if I don’t plan well, I end up WAY overspending!! I am so excited about this giveaway…this is something that would help a lot of people!! thank you~thank you.

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2 We are THAT family June 27, 2008 at 4:08 pm

I do the same thing with my parents. I’ll fix a big pot of beans and invite them over and they will fix a pot of stew and invite us over. It helps!

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3 Kim June 27, 2008 at 4:09 pm

I agree that menu planning is a must. It helps me stay on track and not spend money on eating out. I also have learned how to save time by cooking extra on one night in order to do a quick meal on another.

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4 Celeste June 27, 2008 at 4:10 pm

Yep, meal planning here too. And I only plan a week in advance, so I can base it all on that week’s sales.

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5 Naomi June 27, 2008 at 4:10 pm

We live a block away from my parents and my mom loves ordering food in and cooking for us so we’re there a lot. They have a pool, too, so it makes it even more fun in the summertime!

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6 Beth June 27, 2008 at 4:11 pm

I menu plan and coupon in order to save us money. It helps a lot-that way I’m not buying everything that looks good at the grcoery store!!

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7 Nodins Nest June 27, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Sharing meals and shopping with my mom really helps alot!

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8 chyk June 27, 2008 at 4:12 pm

we have stopped driving, joined a csa, are growing our own food and eat rice sand beans three times a week. saves a boatload

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9 Gretchen June 27, 2008 at 4:14 pm

We share meals with friends…at least once a week, we have another family over (usually after church) for lunch….they bring what’s available, we bring what’s available, and we always end up with a great throw-together meal! Better than the food, though, is the opportunity our families get to interact with other adults and kids older than them….we all sit at the table and discuss politics, church, hobbies, etc.

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10 cheri June 27, 2008 at 4:15 pm

I remake leftovers rather than letting them go bad in the refrigerator. Rice with fish, then leftover rice in a casserole, stirfry, or added to refried beans and meat for burritos… Cook it once, use it several times!

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11 Allison June 27, 2008 at 4:17 pm

What a great giveaway!

We always menu plan, and stick to it! When we don’t stick to it, we regret it because food ends up going to waste! So, we plan a menu based around sales, stick to it, and most of meals are very cheap!

Another thing that we have started doing is eating more vegetarian dishes. It is healthy and much cheaper!

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12 Michelle Pendergrass June 27, 2008 at 4:18 pm

We shop sales, clip coupons, and buy our beef (1/2 to a 1/4 at a time) from a local farmer–that saves tons of money when it comes to groceries.

I also plan leftover days in my meal plan.

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13 Linda Kasper June 27, 2008 at 4:22 pm

I just started looking at cost of our grocery bill and discover we spend way to much. I started cutting back by making things homemade. Menu planning is always a big help too.

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14 Jen June 27, 2008 at 4:25 pm

Buying whole fryer chickens is one of my favorite ways to stretch my grocery dollar. In my area, you can usually find them for less than $1 per pound–I just bought some on sale today for .58 cents per pound! I roast them one night, and our family of 4 usually eats at least half the meat that night. I pick all the leftover chicken off the bones and use the cooked chicken meat for a second meal, like chicken enchiladas or chicken stir-fry, the second night. I even use the bones by stewing them with vegetables and seasonings to make delicious home-made chicken broth. It’s a really good bang for your buck.

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15 Nancy June 27, 2008 at 4:25 pm

I only “big” shop once a month.
I then only go for produce, bread and milk, etc. about bi-monthly.
I buy as much in bulk as I can (canned goods, powdered milk, canned juices, condiments, baking supplies, canned meats, pastas, soups, etc), I cook large quantities at one time and prepare meals to freeze. I have found that buying lots of what is on sale and just having a marathon cooking day saves me both time and money. I can just pop a frozen meal in to heat up and add a side salad or bread and we are set. I think it also saves energy since I am only heating the stove and oven one major cooking/baking day. With summer here, that is less time to over work the air conditioning as well.

I also stock pile. For instance, with the Iowa floods, I anticipated corn products going up so I stocked up on as many corn related items as I could before the prices sky rocketed. I have cases of canned corn, bags of cornmeal, boxes of corn muffin mix, oil, etc. I have a large utility room and have two floor to ceiling shelf units that are almost full of stocked canned and dry goods that I rotate and restock. Most were bought on sale. I also have a small second refrigerator that is full of dry goods wrapped in plastic wrap to keep out pests and maintain freshness. I also use a small chest freezer for shrink wrapped meats that go on sale.
My sister gives me home canned produce and it is added to the inventory.
Every little bit helps!

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16 Jen-The Mom June 27, 2008 at 4:29 pm

Casseroles and lasagnes go a long way for lunches the next-day reheated…or making a few at a time and freezing the others.

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17 Jessica June 27, 2008 at 4:33 pm

Coupons, coupons, coupons! And I only buy what we need for the next 2 week menu (unless there is a great sale!)

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18 Rachel V. June 27, 2008 at 4:36 pm

Stocking up when you run across that great deal is the best tip I have. We try to plan our menus based on what we already have in stock that was bought mostly at sale prices.

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19 Paper Bridges June 27, 2008 at 4:38 pm

shop the circular that comes in the paper for the sale items. prepared foods and frozen is always more expensive – unless you can get a great deal on bulk. do less trips to save gas.

monica

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20 Heather June 27, 2008 at 4:40 pm

I try to have a meatless dinner one night a week, featuring baked potatoes or beans. We also have breakfast food one night a week, such as eggs, pancakes, etc. Soup is also a big staple at our house, especially in winter. A little meat goes a long way in soup!

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21 Jackie W June 27, 2008 at 4:40 pm

Saving left over hamburger from tacos or meatloaf. Most people would throw it out. I am talking like half cup or less left overs. Simply save it in sandwich bags and throw it in the freezer. Now you have a great add in for soup, mac and cheese, stew. I do it all the time. Plus it’s already cooked when your running late.

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22 Pam June 27, 2008 at 4:42 pm

well,the things we do are use coupons, buy in bulk when possible, and buy the generic brand when possible. Problem is- I was doing those things before the cost of everything increased. So….I am not sure what to do now to help even more. I could give up eating I guess- that would help my weight loss goal too ;) That doesn’t work for the kids though.

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23 LisaAnniePants June 27, 2008 at 4:43 pm

Anything to help with the cost of groceries would be a huge help.
I am loving all the tips.
Mine is “buy when it’s on sale. Stock up :)”

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24 Sarah VM June 27, 2008 at 4:51 pm

I really try to buy things when they are on sale. I hate for food to go to waste so I try to really use up everything in my fridge.
I wish I had more money saving tips!

This is a great giveaway! It will really help with the grocery bill!

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25 Liz June 27, 2008 at 4:52 pm

I like to buy a lot of fresh foods but find that half of it goes bad before I can use it, so my tip is, just buy what you need for that week. Make detailed shopping lists and stick to it so your not overbuying, overspending, and then wasting food.

I just wish I could follow my own advice more often.

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26 Tammy June 27, 2008 at 4:54 pm

I don’t have anything new to add – coupons and sales are a must!

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27 Lori June 27, 2008 at 4:54 pm

I only shop once a month so I MUST buy in bulk. I try to use Sams and I always use coupons. A dollar, a dollar there saves a bundle in the end!

What an awesome thing Libby’s is doing. Everybody could use this the way the economy is right now. Good luck to all:)

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28 Jennifer H. June 27, 2008 at 4:56 pm

I’m a big believer in coupon clipping, sale watching & buying items at places that offer “bonus bucks” or money off your next purchase (i.e., CVS). You really can save A LOT of money that way.

Another way that I save money is not spending coins. I always break bills (even if the total is only $5.01) and put the coins in a jar. One year, I rolled over $500 in coins. You never miss the change and at the end of the year, you’ve got Christmas shopping money or whatever you want to use it for. I’d love to win this AWESOME giveaway & appreciate the chance.

Have a great weekend!

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29 Lachelle June 27, 2008 at 4:58 pm

I joined a local produce co-op that allows us fresh vegeables and fruit in our home every other week at a fraction of the cost. Then I carefully plan out my meals and a list and combine it with coupons. We eat a couple of meatless meals each week and that helps a ton also!

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30 Sarah June 27, 2008 at 4:59 pm

I have a few suggestions that I like to do. FIrst I make a big pot of bean maybe several pots of diferent kinds and freeze them into individual serving in bags, it really helps.

I also love to shop the sales or fruit or produce that is in season!

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31 Kel June 27, 2008 at 5:05 pm

One of our big savers is having a family garden. Not only do we enjoy fresh fruits and veggies, we get to spend a lot of time together taking care of it. I also love to fix brown rice with a lot of my meals – inexpensive and healthy.

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32 Nicole (SAHM Ramblings) June 27, 2008 at 5:14 pm

We split the purchase of a side of beef with a few other families. We purchase the cow from a local farmer then pay the butcher fees and get to select how we want the meat sliced or prepared. Then what %fat we want the ground beef to be.

We all stock our freezers with a variety of beef and it pretty much lasts the entire year. It might not be overall cheaper because we end up with steaks, etc whereas if I watched the sales ads I would just be buying whatever is cheapest. But it’s quality and it’s a good price if we were planning on buying steaks, roasts, etc anyhow.

“Fresh” beef…One of the benefits of living in Iowa.

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33 Tim June 27, 2008 at 5:18 pm

We do plenty of meal sharing in our house with frequent neighborhood BBQs and smaller parties. I don’t think it is a big saver for us, however, since we seem to do most of the cooking. It’s plenty of fun though!

We always freeze our leftovers though so that saves us money down the road. And meat is still relatively inexpensive here in TX (Brisket, Pork, etc) so it pays off.

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34 ~Lana B~ June 27, 2008 at 5:19 pm

About a year ago I decided to replace any light bulbs that blew out w/ the new compact flouresent bulbs. So far I’ve managed to lower our monthly electric bill by a consistent $31.50 !!!!!!!!! An additional $500 would ROCK!
~Lana~

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35 Stacey June 27, 2008 at 5:19 pm

Still trying to figure out how to save money in our house. With a picky toddler in the house I feel like we waste so much food. Any ideas?

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36 Summer June 27, 2008 at 5:20 pm

If you have an Aldi nearby, get all the groceries you can from there. Then teach yourself to play the CVS drugstore game for everything else you need.

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37 Andrea June 27, 2008 at 5:25 pm

We shop a lot at Aldi’s it really helps and trying to plan a menue helps a lot too. Thanks for this opportunity.

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38 Stacey June 27, 2008 at 5:33 pm

I try to meal plan as well and have breakfast for dinner once a week. We limit the eating out to maybe 1 time every two weeks. If we want pizza we make it at home. Everyone gets to make the kind they want. I make the my own pizza dough and use whole wheat flour as well. The kids never miss a beat and love having pizza that they made themselves.

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39 Jean June 27, 2008 at 5:38 pm

Menu planning is certianly my number one food saver. I also try to double up on recipes to freeze for later.

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40 Penny Raine June 27, 2008 at 5:42 pm

I have a million tips but my best one is to plan and plan well. Act as if the grocery store is 100 miles away. It is all of that “running to the store” that does you in, because you are tempted in every trip to get things you don’t realy need.

pick me please!

blessings, Penny Raine
http://www.pennyraine.com/blog

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41 Amy June 27, 2008 at 5:45 pm

Awesome!

We’re working on incorporating more beans into our diet, because they’re inexpensive, they’re full of nutrients like protein and fiber and everything else good, and they taste pretty okay, too, with enough barbecue sauce. :)

Thanks for the chance!

Amy @ http://prettybabies.blogspot.com

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42 Kara June 27, 2008 at 5:49 pm

With the price of essential items going up we have really cut back on the non-essentials like candy and pop. We know how much we have to spend on groceries and we don’t allow ourselves to go over it, even if it means passing on a treat we’ve been wanting (hard for a preggo lol!). And we have a rotating monthly menu of easy, cheap meals so we always know what we need to buy each week which helps with just buying whatever sounds good. That has been the main money saver for us.

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43 Shilo Beedy June 27, 2008 at 5:51 pm

Aldi’s has to be the best grocery store simply because everything is cheap. You can buy a ton of food and it will cost half of what you spend in a regular grocery store. Also use coupons and look for buy one get what ever free deals at your stores.

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44 Adrienne June 27, 2008 at 5:51 pm

Menu planning from my stocked pantry is what helps save us money. I stock my pantry as I find good deals and from our local club store. I vacuum seal & freeze meat I buy in bulk so it can last longer. I try to only shop weekly for perishables & fresh produce. I also have a strict budget…if I am over I am done & figure out a new meal if I missed something. Same with my gas budget I only put so much in a week and don’t fill up until the next week.

Thanks for this opportunity. Please pick me! :)

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45 Becca June 27, 2008 at 6:02 pm

We’ve been going to a local butcher’s (actually in Amish Country where the meat is all natural) and buying whole chickens (dead) for $4 each. We coat them in oil and seasoning, wrap in foil and grill until done, then slice up for cheap and tasty lunch meat throughout the week. To mix it up a bit, I found marinated turkey breasts at Aldi’s for $5 (for 2 lbs), baked them then sliced for a change of lunch meat.

We’re actually big fans of Libby’s brand veggies at our house. Our picky eater won’t do other brands!

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46 Lis June 27, 2008 at 6:04 pm

I car pool with my sister-in-law to grocery shop and we also trade dinner nights. One night a week I’ll cook, and another night she’ll cook.

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47 linda June 27, 2008 at 6:06 pm

Buy multiple Sunday papers. Visit the many coupon sites out there and read up on your stores policy. Wait until stores run their loss leaders and stock up on the items you need in conjunction with your coupons. I save a ton of money

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48 Cathy R June 27, 2008 at 6:07 pm

My tip would be, when buying almost anything, look at the sticker marking the price on the shelf. On that sticker is a break down of the price into how much you are paying per a standard unit of measure. This allows you to compare across multiple brands and sizes. Often it will tell you the price per ounce, which is a very common unit of measure on most food staples. Sometimes you can save quite a bit that way.

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49 jenna June 27, 2008 at 6:14 pm

I love my supper swapping girls. I cook 12-15 servings of food (1 very large meal) once a week and then split it 3 ways. I keep one and give 2 away. Then, they do the same for me each week. I save lots of money by buying in bulk, and I get to share food and not have to worry about “what’s for dinner?”!!

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50 Michelle June 27, 2008 at 6:23 pm

I am fortunate enough to have a basement where my wonderful husband built a lot of shelves for storage. We also have an extra fridge and a chest freezer. I try to purchase items when they are on sale, as well as buy our meat in bulk, and then divide it up into smaller packages. It isn’t easy keeping costs low these days.

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51 Junglewife June 27, 2008 at 6:24 pm

I second all the “plan a week of meals” comments! Works for me!

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52 Louise Brouillette June 27, 2008 at 6:25 pm

Buying whole chickens is really a menu-stretcher. Buy them when they’re on sale, and you can get at least two meals out of them.

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53 Blessed June 27, 2008 at 6:30 pm

I make sure to re-use any leftovers we have either immediately or by freezing them and using them later. Also I don’t buy packaged meals – we do things from scratch around here!

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54 Joyce June 27, 2008 at 6:32 pm

We try to buy almost everything when it is on sale…especially meat and toiletries. We also have at least one “bean” meal a week. Dried beans are so cheap and so good for us! In the winter we eat a lot of soup too, which is very economical.

The most expensive thing we do is eat out too much…so we’re trying to cut waaay back on that.

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55 Erin June 27, 2008 at 6:32 pm

We go grocery shopping once every 2 weeks(when we get paid) I plan meals for 14 days.
Also we use coupons online and from the paper. Compare ads, etc etc….

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56 Bob June 27, 2008 at 6:35 pm

What we do in my house is we cook big pots of food so it lasts almost a week! just take it out of the fridge and put it on the stove. Sometimes we will add things to it, and it changes the whole entire meal!
haha I love my household :) Hope this helps!

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57 Elizabeth June 27, 2008 at 6:36 pm

I have 3 teens in my household. A couple of years ago, I bought a huge slow-cooker/crockpot and challenged each of them to create a dinner once a week using the little recipe pamphlet that came in the box. No surprise, they became really competitive with one another, trying to outdo one another in their culinary skills. It’s brought us all together for family dinner around the table….and they’ve moved on from the crockpot to more adventuresome meals.

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58 Amie June 27, 2008 at 6:38 pm

First off let me say I ask myself the same questions most days. Glad that I am not the only one. I use coupons along with weekly sales. Our town also doubles the coupons, so if it is 50 cents then it really is a dollar on top of a sale item, it can really save me money. Thanks Libby’s for offering us mom’s some relief on our grocery bill!!

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59 Tamy ~ 3 Sides of Crazy June 27, 2008 at 6:38 pm

One of the best tips I have is that I sit down and take the time to plan out a menu for the month based on the calendar of events (you know taking into account meetings, events, etc…).

With the cost of produce and groceries in general I also plan those meals so that if I need a 1/2 an onion on Monday night’s meal, I plan a meal on Tuesday night that uses the other half. We have virtually NO waste!

I also keep a ziploc bag in the freezer for meat scraps, you know not enough to feed the family with, but after a couple times enough to make soup out of.

I also take and clean out the vegetable drawer and puree anything wilted to throw in the freezer as a soup base.

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60 Cheryl N June 27, 2008 at 6:47 pm

I coupon & buy in bulk to save on groceries. I divide the meats into freezer bags. Things that cost more like grated cheese, I buy the blocks & grate them myself. Left over meats are saved for pasta & taco nights. Left over produce is used as stir fry or to go with other meats or stews & soups. Salad night loaded with fresh veggies & then a fruit desert helps the budget. Libby is a brand I love & this sweeps is great.

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61 David Guss June 27, 2008 at 6:48 pm

I use coupons, buy from whats on sale, and shop at several grocery stores to save money. I also use the shopping bags in my garbage cans, instead of buying bags. I shop at garage sales 3 days each week and am amazed at all the NEW stuff I find. (I haven’t had to pay more than .50 for a bag of vaccuum bags since I started going to garage sales. We bought all our decorative curtaing rods, new in package, for under $2.00 ea! If you go to a few sales and there’s nothing good, keep trying-you WILL find great buys!

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62 Lisa June 27, 2008 at 6:52 pm

We’ve made a game of getting the lowest price per item at the end of a shopping trip. For example $100 divided by 20 items or $100 divided by 50 items- my husband and I compete to see who does the best. Even trips where we only buy one or two things count. This really helps when we want to splurge because then we buy cheap on the rest of the items to keep our price per item down so we don’t lose the competition.

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63 Rozie H. June 27, 2008 at 6:54 pm

I definitely shop the sale papers and usually plan our meals around items that are in the buy 1, get 1 free sales for the week. I also use coupons when I can, and I’ve even started hitting the really cheap grocery store and buying what I can there. It definitely makes shopping more of a chore, but with prices going up the way they are – I don’t really have much choice. :)

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64 Margaret Smith June 27, 2008 at 6:57 pm

I love reading all these tips. We too can sure use help with the soaring prices. Over the past 5-6 months, we learned this trick by accident. Instead of doing food shopping weekly for our family of four, we now go bi-weekly. The only thing that we pick up fresh each week is Milk. We do not even look at the sales paper unless it’s the week to go shopping. In addition, we always use coupons and a list and we do not buy anything that’s not on the list. We’re fortunate to have a freezer, which we freeze our breads and meats in, so they last for a few weeks.
We not only are saving a bit of money, but we’re also saving time and fuel.

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65 Stretch Mark Mama June 27, 2008 at 6:58 pm

We eat a lot of beans. Lentils and split peas do not even have to be soaked overnight. Just put a one pound bag in crock pot with 8 cups water, some salt, and cook on low for 8 hours. White beans or black beans must soak overnight, but can also be cooked in 8 hours in the crock pot the next day. Not that it is soup season, but I do have some good recipes on my site! :)

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66 Marissa June 27, 2008 at 7:07 pm

I’m a big believer in coupons and scoping out grocery store flyers for the best deals. I have a hard time with menu planning, but I agree that it definitely works! $500 would work pretty well too.

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67 JRG June 27, 2008 at 7:10 pm

My wife is a master at cooking and making the right portions – that’s key, too. On the other hand, we purposely make more of items that we can eat for leftovers, such as lasagna or rice dishes. Two cans of soup, potatoes, some meat, and an onion make a huge pot of soup that will last a couple of days.

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68 klm June 27, 2008 at 7:16 pm

I buy cheap cuts of meat and then cook them in the crockpot for 10 hours. It saves money and they come out delicious!

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69 Amanda D. June 27, 2008 at 7:27 pm

I must say that I am struggling with this BIG TIME! But have started menu planning, and I try to base my meals on what’s on sale at the store.

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70 Bebemiqui June 27, 2008 at 7:28 pm

I pick and choose 4 snack foods (Goldfish, string cheese) a month that the kids can get. When those four packages are gone, then need to make due with less snacking.

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71 Dayna June 27, 2008 at 7:29 pm

We share meals with friends, buy in bulk, and make a lot of freezer meals.

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72 sue w June 27, 2008 at 7:34 pm

I keep a tentative menu plan on hand before I go shopping–that way I am flexible if an in-store special comes to my attention, I can replace a meal or two and bump them to the next week. Also many grocery stores discount their meats and deli-whole chickens substantially in the evening. I’ve have picked up chickens for as little as $2.50! They are great shredded on salads, wrapped in tortillas or as chicken salad combined with inexpensive sides.

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73 Krispy_Kremer June 27, 2008 at 7:41 pm

I make a meal do double-duty (sometimes triple!) . . . like my roast chicken dinner one night becomes fajitas the next night, and chicken soup the next!

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74 Kim June 27, 2008 at 7:42 pm

I wait for really good sales and then stock up like crazy. I also serve a lot of pasta and rice dishes. You can find so many great recipes online, so pasta never really gets boring.

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75 Tonya Keener June 27, 2008 at 7:52 pm

I feed my family Ramen noodles three meals a day

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76 RefreshMom June 27, 2008 at 7:59 pm

My main thing is to “never pay full price.” Except for milk (which I do still always buy at the cheaper 2/$too much) price, I only buy what is on sale. One of our best investments a few years ago is an upright refrigerator that I use to store extra meat, some convenience meals and lots of bread. I have a threshold price for all of the items we use most often and will stock up (buy 4-6) of those items when they’re at the low prices, so I always have them on hand even when they aren’t on sale. And like Margaret, there are weeks that I don’t need to shop at all (which I love!).

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77 Barbara H. June 27, 2008 at 7:59 pm

What a generous contest! I don’t know that I have any tips — I need to work on saving in the kitchen. I tend to love convenience, which costs extra. But I did have a post on creative ways to use leftovers here. That does help to makes plans for them rather than letting them grow mold.

By the way, something is wrong with the space to put my url above. Whenever I try to, it takes me back to the place to put my e-mail.

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78 Rita A. June 27, 2008 at 8:02 pm

Cook once eat thrice. Yes 3 times from the same meal. We cook enough to last for 3 meals usually a different way.

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79 Bailey's Leaf June 27, 2008 at 8:08 pm

I’ve switched my grocery shopping to once every two weeks. I try to make meals that stretch over two nights. We only go places if we can make a few trips out of going (unless it is right up the street.) We’ve found that we need a lot less of that extraneous stuff that we would pick up. Oh, things on the clearance rack . . . We didn’t need it, but it was cheap and wasn’t it so cute?! Well, we’ve cut much of that out!

Thanks Libby!

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80 Kelly N. June 27, 2008 at 8:16 pm

Great idea of sharing tips!! I can’t wait to read them all!

I menu plan a week in advance and it seems to really help out. By doing this I can buy and use large containers of things by planning meals that take a common ingredient over several nights.

I try and always cook double batches of everything to have left overs the second and sometimes third night. When serving the leftovers one night I’ll add a special type of roll the next I might add a jello salad etc… A little something to make it different.

I always have on hand a night of easy cook up food in case something last minute pops up that leaves no time for cooking but still lets us avoid the high cost of take out food.

Creativity goes a long way in the kitchen. It’s amazing how good something tastes by throwing a few items together in a pot and letting them simmer.

I cook a lot with noodles they are great for bulk and inexpensive.

I love making homemade pot pies from leftovers which is funny because no one notices that the pot pies are leftovers they think mom worked hours in the kitchen on them. :)

I never throw away those last two pieces of bread in the bag they become delicious stuffing.

Thank you for the great giveaway!

fluegas5(at)gmail(dot)com

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81 Jane June 27, 2008 at 8:23 pm

I used to get groceries once a week, then every two weeks, & now I get groceries once a MONTH.
But that’s not what matters. What matters in order to stay in the budget, is to have a meal plan. For the weekly, the bi-weekly, or monthly shopper shopper, this is so important!

Also, on pizza night, instead of spending $40 on 2 large or extra large pizzas, I make our own. It may take a while to find the right recipe for you that’s pizzaria quality, but once you do, it means spending UNDER $10 for two extra large, extra cheese, supreme, loaded pizzas!

Oh! I hope I win the $500!

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82 brandy w June 27, 2008 at 8:23 pm

buy easy premade frozen dinners.

this is a blessing, i hope i win. i have 3 kids and me and my hubby are both out of work right now. we are at the bottom of the food chain. we could really use this

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83 Maggie June 27, 2008 at 8:24 pm

Like so many others, the biggest thing that saves me money is meal planning…and then forcing myself to STICK to the plan I made. Which is never as easy as making the plan in the first place…

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84 Melissa Reeder June 27, 2008 at 8:39 pm

The best way to get my family to spend time together around the dinner table is letting my little girls be involved in planning and food preparation as much as possible. The most successful meals are the ones where my little girls participated in choosing the menu, prepping the ingredients, and cooking the food.
Thanks for the fun giveaway!

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85 Mikki June 27, 2008 at 8:39 pm

Times are tight. My DH is self employed and I have had to get creative with our grocery budget. We like to eat as healthy as we can and sometimes that can be expensive.
I sit down with the local grocery store papers and compare their sales with coupons I have. I then plan out meals each week.
Blogging about coupons and deals has become pretty popular, so I like to read other blogs and how they are saving money.
Thanks for the chance on easying our budget with Libby! Thank Libby for us!

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86 Misty June 27, 2008 at 8:41 pm

I am trying to do meal planning. I do great for dinners but am still struggling with the rest of the menu!

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87 Angie June 27, 2008 at 9:08 pm

I try to plan our meals weekly and not eat out. We save money that way. I’m currently looking into a foodcorp.

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88 Charlsie Swadley June 27, 2008 at 9:12 pm

I try to stretch our meals by using a bit less meat and a filler like a veggie or something!

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89 Bernadette June 27, 2008 at 9:20 pm

I try to buy in bulk as much as I can to save money.

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90 julia m June 27, 2008 at 9:20 pm

coupons and sales

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91 Dawn Kasper June 27, 2008 at 9:30 pm

Changed the family diet from meat and potatoes to rice and beans.

Don’t know what we will do if the cost of living keeps going up – stop living I guess.

Libby’s is a great product.

Thank you 5minutesformom.com for the giveaway.

Loved reading other posters tips.

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92 Holly June 27, 2008 at 9:35 pm

Coupons, coupons, coupons. Stocking up when the prices are low. And CVS!

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93 Angie June 27, 2008 at 9:42 pm

It’s only hubby and I at home. Over the last few years we have cut down massively on going out to eat and instead make healthy meals at home. Hubby is the one who cooks everything but we have a good time cooking together many times.

We actually go to the grocery store almost every week for fresh veggies and fruits because if we have them any longer than that they go bad and it’s a total waste.

Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

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94 Pat June 27, 2008 at 9:54 pm

We buy Libby’s! Libby’s taste better and cost the same or less than other brands.

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95 happyathome June 27, 2008 at 9:55 pm

We make a meal we can stretch into another meal. A ham dinner for one night is a ham bone used for red beans and rice for the next night and also gives about two more meals that can be frozen.

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96 susan varney June 27, 2008 at 10:20 pm

don’t shop more than once a week

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97 SarahHub June 27, 2008 at 10:23 pm

Menu planning, coupons, eating out WAY less.

We eat a lot of chicken, and I find the pre-frozen chicken costs a lot less, and tastes just as good in recipes.

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98 Valerie June 27, 2008 at 10:31 pm

We try shopping now like the “Europeans” — trying to buy only what we need for the week or even a few days at a time. (Luckily we live pretty close to grocery stores so it doesn’t waste gas making more trips.) Otherwise, we tend to not use everything and have to throw away a lot before we even get to it.

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99 Kendra June 27, 2008 at 10:37 pm

Like others have mentioned:

* plan menus,
* have a list, try not to buy stuff not on the list
but… by the same token,
* stock up on staples when they are on sale
* have at least one meat-free meal a week (we have some veggie favorites like black beans & rice)
* use up what we have in the fridge

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100 Christine June 27, 2008 at 10:52 pm

I buy in bulk when I can, and actually eat leftovers now! Sometimes I see what’s on sale at the grocery, and make meals according to that. Groceries are so expensive right now!

Would love to be considered for this give away, what a blessing that would be!

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101 Kristen M. June 27, 2008 at 10:59 pm

I plan my meals ahead and look for meal ideas that I can cook once and eat twice. I also try to be realistic with the amount of food that I need by planning out just one week’s worth of food and preparing “casual meals” like sandwiches or breakfast for dinner. I try to prepare meals with basic ingredients that are not gourmet (expensive) or hard to locate.

We eat a lot of breakfast foods. Even though the cost of some items has gone up, a dozen eggs are still considerably cheaper than a steak dinner.

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102 Heather June 27, 2008 at 11:01 pm

Meal planning and only shopping 2x/month

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103 Nicole June 27, 2008 at 11:03 pm

I buy meat in bulk when it’s on sale, and then divide it up into packages that contain what we need for one meal. Our freezer is usually stocked!

Also, when possible, I make a double batch of something we like when ingredients are on sale and then freeze half of it.

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104 MaryAnn June 27, 2008 at 11:06 pm

We try to stick to only one “big” meal a day–usually lunch–and eat less at the other 2 meals. It’s also better for our health, but definitely helps the budget.

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105 danielle spires June 27, 2008 at 11:07 pm

I can’t believe how much food costs nowadays. After getting laid off and taking a job with half my original salary, I’ve had to do some serious improvising. I find healthy foods that are very filling in supermarkets on sale, and stock up. Whenever yogurts or veggies are on sale, I stock up since everyone can have 1-2 a day. And to keep the veggies fresh up to a week later, I buy those ‘Green Bags’, which keep food seriously fresh! I am so happy I found those bags. $10 for 20 reusable bags, and I put everything in them!

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106 JOAN KAAIHUE June 27, 2008 at 11:21 pm

As a grandmother I can only say that the years when you can have all your children around a table are precious memories and all too short. I know you have heard it before and you brush it off but some day when your children are trying to gather their own children around the dinner table they won’t have the time for you. It’s understandable because in today’s economy they have to work twice as hard for what the dollar bought just a few years ago. It’s hard to fit in a possible Sunday dinner with the folks afterall weekends are when they can catch up on the laundry and all the other chores around the house and all the errands. So hold on tight to these years and if you can try to remember to have a possible sit down dinner with your parents.

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107 Barbara June 27, 2008 at 11:21 pm

We like to save money by finding “budget fun”
during the summer months.
Summer’s time for our library’s free reading
program. The children really enjoy the reading
challenges and especially the prizes ~ free to
us and fun for them! Some of the prizes
involve treats or even things like pizza as
well as a free pool party at the end of summer.
We like it that they are having fun learning as
well as saving our family treat & fun money, too!

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108 Christy June 27, 2008 at 11:58 pm

I’m trying to use the websites that combine coupons and specials to get things practically free, but it’s a lot of work and half the time the store doesn’t actually have the special, so it’s hard work to save just a little money!

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109 Ashley June 27, 2008 at 11:59 pm

I only shop twice a month and plan a very detailed menu. I’ve also been trying to buy more staple items and less prepared foods; cooking from scratch is healthier, cheaper, and it opens up a lot more options when just have a variety of ingredients on hand.

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110 Belinda A. June 28, 2008 at 12:03 am

We rarely go out to eat, those kinds of outings can quickly cut into a tight budget.
And . . . I avoid the mall like the plague, I cannot go there without spending money on stuff I want, but don’t need, so now I just stay away altogether. If I simply HAVE to get something at the mall, I take my husband along because he loathes shopping an dthis way I know we’ll be in and out of there as fast as possible!

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111 Lorraine June 28, 2008 at 12:06 am

sharing meals and stocking up on buy 1, get 1 free sales.

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112 Lindsay June 28, 2008 at 12:11 am

With the rising cost of gas, going on a family vacation is out of the question this Summer. However, just because you can’t afford to go to an amusement park doesn’t mean you can’t find fun locally. Our Zoo is only $6 per person, a local museum is only $3, swim time at the YMCA is CHEAP!
You can find many area attractions to keep your kids happy, without breaking the bank.

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113 Deb - Mom of 3 Girls June 28, 2008 at 12:21 am

We try to buy in bulk when we can – and not buy the expensive individual sized snack packs. We just buy a larger bag and break them down into baggies to make our own snack sizes! :)

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114 Mercedes June 28, 2008 at 12:23 am

My fiance owns a convenience store. He looks through all of the sales papers to find the sales for things he needs at the store (He can get it cheaper this way than he can get it through his suppliers-crazy…and what we need at home. He also clips coupons. He finds all of the bargains this way. He is already going to his store so he goes shopping often-depending on when the sales are. We are also very careful while shopping in that we look at the the price breakdown to see what it costs per unit. We buy in bulk when there is a great sale. We also eat leftovers. I use my discount cards at all of the stores too.

This is a wonderful giveaway! You gals rock!

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115 christopher h June 28, 2008 at 12:34 am

we plan a weeks meals based on th wednesday supermarket ads

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116 content sasso June 28, 2008 at 12:41 am

The ice cream man is so expensive!!! What I do is let the kids pick out what they what at the store and when the kids see the cream man I tell them to go to the fridge!!! But on Fridays we get buy from him!!!

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117 Ally June 28, 2008 at 12:48 am

I pre-shop. I plan my meals around our weekly ad and coupons I sit down with my cook books and the lap top and figure everything out. BEFORE I go to the grocery store and I type up a list on the computer that includes prices.. I know aprox. how much I am going to spend on groceries before I walk out of the house. I usually spend around $50-70 per week on our family of 4 and I usually save as much as I spend, so If I spend $50 I am usually getting around $100 worth of groceries (because I saved $50).
I actually have turned a chore I used to hate into a game to see how much I can save. Grocery shopping is fun now.

Thanks for entering me :)

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118 Theresa Shafer June 28, 2008 at 12:56 am

I started 1 month ago with coupons. I get the Sunday paper, match sales with coupons and now get 17% always to a whopping 85% off.
So coupons and matching the sales.
main stores:
Publix,
Walgreens
CVS

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119 toasters June 28, 2008 at 12:56 am

I keep a pricebook for all grocery and household items, so I know exactly what is or isn’t a good sale price, and I stock up accordingly. One more tip: always pay attention to expiration dates and always use the closest-to-expiration products first.

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120 Virginia Murr June 28, 2008 at 1:04 am

The most important thing is to have a true budget — one that includes your monthly income and expenses. This budget should include an emergency fund, which can be built up pennies at a time if necessary. Next, it is vital to budget the weekly income and expenses. It sounds harshly disciplined, but it is the only way to keep informed about your financial status, and to bolster your ability to get ahead, even when times are tough.

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121 Rachel June 28, 2008 at 1:53 am

We cut out a lot of meat. We still have meat with most meals because I have boys and they just wouldn’t settle for anything less, but we add beans or cooked wheat berries to ground beef, or mix in a lot of vegetables. Eggs are a great substitute and I know my kids will eat them. Limiting the amount of meat I use in each meal cuts a ton out of our grocery budget.

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122 Cocoa June 28, 2008 at 2:05 am

I feed our family of nine for $100 a week by doing the following: cooking from scratch, scouring the grocery ads and planning the menu around what is on sale, growing a big garden in the summer so I can preserve produce for use in the winter, getting my kids involved in the whole process. Sometimes they are a lot better than I am at making a really great menu for less.

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123 Krista June 28, 2008 at 2:10 am

I have no tips. I live in an apartment and can’t grow a garden. :( I would love to have an extra $500 to add to my grocery budget for the year!

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124 Marilyn - A Mixed Bouquet June 28, 2008 at 2:14 am

Planning a menu and avoiding convenience foods helps with our budget. Wonderful giveaway!

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125 Theresa Jenkins June 28, 2008 at 2:34 am

we raised 3 girls and all their friends and now the grandkids… meal time is family time and you will be there and help either with set-up,perpare or clean-up and you ate what was there or went hungry.along the way we learned that homemade isn’t alway better.semi homemade can be just as good and saves time and most of the time money.

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126 Pamela Scott June 28, 2008 at 2:39 am

Have a container garden with tomatoes and cucumbers and you will save money and enjoy the best tasting fresh produce.

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127 Marilyn June 28, 2008 at 2:49 am

I never buy anything if it is not on sale. When grocery shopping, I buy sales items using coupons, especially when the coupons can be doubled. I stock up on these sale items.

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128 Terra Heck June 28, 2008 at 2:53 am

$500 would sure come in handy here.
I am an avid coupon user and only buy groceries that are on sale. So one week, we may be eating a lot of chicken if it’s on sale and the next week it may be hamburger. For activities to do with the kids, I scour the newspaper and websites for local events that are free or real cheap. I’ve done a lot so far with the kids this summer and it’s cost me hardly anything. I won’t buy clothes at the store unless they’re on sale and I buy a lot of my kids’ clothes at yard sales.

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129 geekbearinggifts June 28, 2008 at 3:05 am

After 20 years of dabbling with it on and off, I am now making all our sandwich bread and rolls using the wheat I’ve been storing. Since I have the time, the ingredients, and the equipment, it is extremely inexpensive. The house smells wonderful, and we are enjoying snacks like peanut butter and preserves on fresh bread, or cinnamon toast. Because of cascading prices on everything that has to be transported using petroleum products, and the recent problems with food-borne illnesses, my husband, the gardener in the family, is kicking himself for deciding not to do container vegetable gardening when we moved to a condo with only a little balcony. Too late for this year, as we live in a really hot climate. If I win, maybe I should consider buying him an Aerogarden so he can grow salad vegetables and herbs indoors when it’s really hot or really cold outside. Thanks for the offer!

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130 Linda June 28, 2008 at 5:43 am

I do a lot of Chinese since it uses less meat. I also make soups with leftover meat. We do a major grocery shopping trip once a month and then fill in with fresh fruits, veggies, and milk the rest of the month.

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131 Sarah June 28, 2008 at 6:44 am

I am just now trying to get on the ball with all of this but I am trying to plan ahead better, make sure to drive the extra five minutes to the much cheaper grocery outlet, and I would definitely love to start making my own bread more. We made it for a project in school and it turned out so well and was so easy I don’t see why we hadn’t thought of it before except that it is time consuming and messy but my girls LOVE that, of course.

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132 Carol June 28, 2008 at 7:18 am

With four hungry kids, I’ve modified our meals by focusing MUCH less on meat and more on veggies, rice, and pasta. I also get a lot of mileage when I cook a turkey or ham, using the leftovers for soups, stews, and sandwiches. cdziuba@aol.com

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133 Candace Cook June 28, 2008 at 8:43 am

Some of our money saving tips include our homegrown garden with green beans, tomatoes, squash, limas, corn, cantaloupe, cucumbers, honey dew, watermelon, pumpkins, edible flowers, blackberries, strawberries, figs, basil, rosemary, cilantro, etc. We have learned how to preserve much of it – through canning veggies, making jams and jellies and preserves, freezing, etc. We also participate in coupon trains. We also do not spend money on paper towels, and make our own home glass cleaners, all purpose cleaners, laundry detergent – for a fraction of the cost of buying it. We also gave our boys one set of dishes (plate, bowl, cup) that they are responsible for washing and wash much of our dishes by hand (saved us 1000s of gallons a month on dishwashing), we line dry when we can to save energy costs. We repurpose packaging to be art supplies, school project supplies, and organization supplies. I go to the market on “meat” markdown days and stock up and freeze milk or goats milk whenever I find it marked down.

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134 Carrie June 28, 2008 at 8:54 am

Well, we’re vegan–so that helps. No meat, dairy, or eggs. We avoid processed food. At the supermarket we get frozen or canned veggies. If we want fresh, it’s better to go to the farmer’s market.

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135 Cheryl W June 28, 2008 at 8:54 am

We have learned to always drink water when we are eating out or getting fast food take-out. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by doing this!

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136 Sharon Jones June 28, 2008 at 9:06 am

Do you have any tips or tricks that help to keep your family on budget despite life’s soaring costs or help you to get your family to spend time around the dinner table?

Shop circulars…and buy in bulk. Although we still have to run a second fridge/freezer…we have one…there is a place down the street that sells milk gallons for $1- less than the grocery stores and we go thru lots…I go there and buy several a week. I buy only what’s on sale…and as many as I can if it’s a good sale…and I often buy meat on sale…in bulk…freezing smaller portions in ziploc bags.
Lastly…COUPONS :) and Rebates
THANKS

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137 Kelly's Krazy Kids June 28, 2008 at 9:11 am

We only go to the grocery store once a month (expect for diapers and milk). This forces us to plan ahead and we save money in the process.
Of course, potty training child #1 helped a lot too! :-)

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138 Sandra June 28, 2008 at 9:11 am

Meal planning, following sales and planning shopping trips all help me to save money but reducing the amount of trips to the grocery store and limiting impulse buys. Also, carefully choosing the recipes that you make can affect your budget. Choose recipes where chicken is cut in small pieces as opposed to using one full chicken breast per perosn so that you can reduce the number of chicken breasts used and no on will even notice. Substitute other types of protein for meat (beans, nuts) and stretch your dollar a little further while improving your health at the same time.

owatz (AT) telus (dot) net

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139 Amy June 28, 2008 at 9:15 am

I have really started using coupons and matching those up to sales using the couponmom website. We also just placed our first order with Angel Foods and felt like that saved us a lot of money. I only go to the store one a week and I am currently planning a monthly menu that we will start using.

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140 Lawrence Lampron June 28, 2008 at 9:15 am

I eat my Libby in the cribby………….

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141 ralph mcgahagin June 28, 2008 at 9:35 am

just scrapping by and looking for tricks

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142 Jennifer in MN June 28, 2008 at 9:45 am

With 8 of us it’s difficult to save money while feeding them all! I can buy in bulk, which helps and planning our meals helps as well. We try to avoid eating out, esp fast food. We shop the sales as well–planning our meals around what’s on sale.

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143 Mama Zen June 28, 2008 at 9:49 am

Meal planning really helps!

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144 Bridget June 28, 2008 at 9:51 am

I have no tips to share, but just like everyone else, I sure could use the $500 from Libby.

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145 Patty June 28, 2008 at 10:06 am

Thank you for having this contest. I really appreciate it.

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146 Casey H June 28, 2008 at 10:17 am

With me being preggo and not working, we’ve had to cut wayyy back– I always shop with a list now, trips into town are all compiled into one trip and we were lucky enough to turn off our oil heat early this year which made a hugeee difference! Although I cant tell you how many times I told my wuss of a husband to put on a sweatshirt!!

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147 Jason June 28, 2008 at 10:19 am

Save the leftovers and eat them for meals tell there gone.

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148 Liz June 28, 2008 at 10:26 am

We are trying to bugdet our groceries. Also, we wrote out exactly how much money we bring in each month and all of our set expenses. This helps you stay on top of your spending.

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149 nichole June 28, 2008 at 10:31 am

I wish I had some tips on feeding a family of 7. Now that summer has hit, we’ve not been doing much cooking at all. It’s been sandwiches, spaghettios and lots of fresh fruit. I’d love to start coupon clipping and planning meals around sale fliers, but it seems I’m just not that organized. Apparently I’m still holding out hope that the economy will turn around, but that hope is fading fast!

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150 Michele June 28, 2008 at 10:35 am

Only buy with coupons or sale items. It would be fantastic to win this!

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151 Linda Moeller June 28, 2008 at 10:44 am

I’ve really been using coupons. I also check out dollar stores which often have food items cheap. I’m using more beans & pasta to stretch.

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152 Gina June 28, 2008 at 11:22 am

Meal Planning helps a LOT! Also, abiding by that grocery list.
I don’t do so well a lot of the time though. My mind gets frazzled and overwhelmed in the store! We stretch every last penny and still don’t often meed every need.
It’s stressful!

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153 Marcie Gibson June 28, 2008 at 12:11 pm

consolidating errands. No more trips to the store for one iteam.

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154 MamaMay June 28, 2008 at 12:13 pm

I know lots of people swear by meal planning, but every time I try to do that I ALWAYS go over budget!

I actually wrote a post about how I feed my family od 4 on 200 dollars a month. Link below to the post.

http://fiber-mama.blogspot.com/2008/06/200-month-feeds-family-of-4.html

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155 tammy b June 28, 2008 at 12:18 pm

i menu plan of course, but i plan in a make it once use it twice style, that way i’m sure to use up leftovers. i’m trying to get a bit of a co-op going with 2 of my girlfriends (who live close) where once a week we make a triple batch of something and deliver to the other 2 families – that’s 2 days of not having to cook! also, we do plant a garden which helps defray produce costs. i wish i could have chickens then i’d have eggs & fertilizer!

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156 mike anderson June 28, 2008 at 12:25 pm

we buy food once a month because of the high cost of gas. We also have a small garden. Every bit helps nowadays.

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157 Denise Sowders June 28, 2008 at 12:35 pm

I save the most of my money by menu planning and going to store with a list. When I go without a list I bring home stuff I really didn’t need just wanted.

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158 jollyholly June 28, 2008 at 12:36 pm

Thanks for the links to resources! Count me in on the drawing, please. My husband is a pastor and our family of 5 lives paycheck to paycheck; but one huge blessing has been friends bringing the overflow of their gardens to us. This year I’m growing a little garden of my own so maybe I’ll have something to share in return. :)

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159 Margaret Lee June 28, 2008 at 12:36 pm

Coupons, sales, and vegetable garden in the yard.

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160 Carol June 28, 2008 at 12:40 pm

I love using the crock pot for easy and budget friendly meals.

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161 LorrieAnne June 28, 2008 at 12:49 pm

i started riding my bike to work. i’ve seen some neat collapsable scotters tha people who would need to do a bike+bus combo could easily use.

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162 amy schultz June 28, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Dinner time is a fun for us. Each evening, one of us picks a topic. It can be anything from school, dinosaurs, cars, etc. We talk about our favorite ones, tv shows including the topics, interesting facts and so on. We never run out of things to chat about and everyone ends up learning a little trivia.

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163 Megret June 28, 2008 at 1:29 pm

I make a list for the week and STICK WITH IT. I also plan our menus out for 7 days’ time…keeps us from buying impulse buys at the store. I clip coupons and combine them w/ store sales. I try to make my own bread and freeze it. We have breakfast night and soup night every week (cheaper), and we also have vegetarian 2-3 nights a week.

Eating out is a treat, or reserved for only those nights when we can’t get the kitchen dirty (when we have a party or shower to host, etc.)…that makes it more special and less commonplace!

Thanks for the contest!
Megret
meg.wilson@gmail.com

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164 Sheri in OK June 28, 2008 at 1:34 pm

We are trying to cut costs by eating less meat, and by using up all leftovers. If I make a large casserole I will freeze half so it doesn’t seem so repititious. Great giveaway!

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165 Barbara Richards June 28, 2008 at 1:39 pm

We’re cutting back on shower time to save on water.Now have a timer and this is working out fine.Also save on electric cause we have electric tank.Thanks for the giveaway!

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166 richard t June 28, 2008 at 1:48 pm

My “trick” is earn more money than expenses dictate.

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167 George Bochenek June 28, 2008 at 1:48 pm

I take public transportation more given the rising cost of fuel…

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168 Anna June 28, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Since I am a big coupon clipper, I have found that actually buying bulk amounts of the same coupon off of ebay (for about a dollar or so) helps us save a lot! There are some items I buy every single week, and if I can get, say 20 of the exact same coupon I can use it every week and save money every week on that item! I did that with the Horizon organic milk a while back and saved a dollar off of each half gallon I bought for about 2 months!

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169 Linda Lansford June 28, 2008 at 2:14 pm

I buy as little as I can get by with and never waste anything. Yard sales are great for buying things and recycle.

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170 Jennae June 28, 2008 at 2:22 pm

I used to be a relentless couponer, and that really used to save us a lot of money. But now that my family is making a big effort to go green, we’ve begun buying as much as we can in bulk to reduce packaging. Little did we know how much money it would save us too! It can be a big cost at the outset, but in the long-term, it really does save you a lot.

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171 Staci K June 28, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Among other things, we get all our movies, books and music from our local library for free!

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172 Kathy Mullins June 28, 2008 at 2:46 pm

I use coupons alot, and look for the sales. It’s very hard for me right now as I just graduated from college and am struggling because I haven’t yet found a fulltime job. I need a job, and I need one soon! There are plenty of others in the same boat, that’s for sure. Every day I do what I can to get a job and find odd jobs to keep some cash flow coming in. It’s not easy these days. I also enter giveaways just like this one in the hopes of winning badly needed money or even just something I can use. I recently won a disposeable camera and stationery. That saves money for me as I am about to run out of stationery and don’t have to buy any ;-)!!

I too like to use the library for videos.

Thank you for this great giveaway!

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173 lace June 28, 2008 at 2:48 pm

We grow our own vegetables in the summer and have been limiting our trips to the movies and eating out. It costs way to much to do those things anymore.

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174 Catherine June 28, 2008 at 2:49 pm

My tip is to enter contests like these and hope to win some money!

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175 Darla June 28, 2008 at 3:14 pm

I have 4 kids and, definitely meal planning is important. I fail miserably at it. It’s not rocket science but it seems hard to do a lot of the time. I am a heavy coupon user and I also stockpile and use a chest freezer so I am getting better at it. I try to think about what I can make from what I already have (much of it bought in a buy one get one free special with a coupon doubled on top of that!) So I do know how to save money, I just have trouble with that meal planning thing!

My tip would be to stop buying ground beef in the small packages from the grocery store. I go ahead and buy the family pack of ground beef, then I re-portion it into pound size amounts, wrap each in wax paper and then put into a Freezer Ziploc bag (buy the bags on sale and use a coupon!) … the prepackaged amounts from the grocery store are usually 1.5 pounds, but for most recipes you need only ONE pound, so it’s saving there by cutting back on the amount of beef used in each meal. I take part of it and pre-make the hamburger patties, separating each pattie with a square of wax paper, then wrap the stack of patties in more wax paper and put in bag. Saves on gas and time from trips to the store or out for fast food for meal replacements too. It’s best to repackage the meat for freezing because the grocery store packaging isn’t considered safe for freezing over a longer time period.

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176 Patti June 28, 2008 at 3:42 pm

We grow our own veggies and fruit, can and freeze what we can. Buy a cow in bulk, use coupons when we shop. We try to plan all our shopping for one day to use less gas, and we make our own cleaners with Borax, Baking Soda, and Vinegar. (Though I will buy earth friendly cleaners if I see them on clearance!) OH yes, and love the clearance isle, but be cautious too.

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177 oona June 28, 2008 at 3:46 pm

We eat breakfast for dinner at least once a week. It’s a fun treat for my 5-year old and we use up fruit that is about to go bad in smoothies. She likes helping make pancakes or waffles and it’s a good way to stretch the weekly food budget a little further. Thanks for the giveaway!

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178 mannequin June 28, 2008 at 3:50 pm

We have “It’s your night” and we have “ethnic food night” weekly during the summer and when possible.. When it’s my turn, it’s no big deal because I do it every other night. When it’s Mr. Man’s turn, he treats everyone to a dinner out since he can do that and since he can’t cook. When it is my son’s night, I let him lose in the kitchen but am always nearby to help. He comes up with some incredible dinners!
The “ethnic night” that we have weekly is chinese, mexican, italian or whatever and we all shop for ingredients together, we all plan the meal, we all pitch in preparation and we all have great fun! When it’s all over…I clean.
These small little things seem to make mealtime worth coming to and make it not just simply food.

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179 Aubrey June 28, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Wow – this would be so great to win! My tip is to plan out your meals before you go to the grocery store (we do ours for about 2 weeks at a time) and then you won’t end up impulse buying.

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180 Kimberly June 28, 2008 at 3:52 pm

In my family we try and bring lunch to work or school as much as possible.

I use a travel mug for coffee so I can make it at home and take it with me.

We use refillable water bottles instead of buying water bottles.

I find creative things to do with pasta since pasta is an inexpensive meal.

I grow some of my own veggies.

We buy in bulk at Costco as much as possible. We are currently saving up to get an extra freezer so we can buy more meats and frozen foods and save because we get them in bulk.

I stock up on bagels at a local warehouse bakery. It’s much cheaper then buying them in the groery store. I use (and re-use) storage bags and keep some bagels in the freezer for future use. We can also get bread there cheap.

We make our own desserts instead of buying pre-made ones.

Hand-me-downs from friends and family when it comes to the kids clothes.

We are members of our local Freeshare/Freecycle and have been able to get some things for free.

We walk as much as we can to save money on gas.

Sorry to ramble!!! LOL!!!

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181 zukppr June 28, 2008 at 3:57 pm

My biggest ‘trick’ is buying staples when they are on sale for BOGO and only when I have TWO coupons for an amount the store will double.

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182 Rachel June 28, 2008 at 3:58 pm

I ONLY buy meat on sale, and I am a big time coupon cutter. I have also found that drugstores – like Walgreens or something – sometimes have really great deals on basics like mayo and peanut butter. I always check out all the newspaper circulars to find the very best deals each week!

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183 Jo June 28, 2008 at 3:59 pm

Walk whenever possible instead of driving due to gas prices. Always look for things on sale. Use coupons.
jceko77@yahoo.com

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184 Hanna DeMaster June 28, 2008 at 4:02 pm

My sister and I buy things together at Costco and split them when we can. I’ve begun using a lot more coupons. I also try to keep my grocery shopping to once a week in an effort to drive less and put myself in a position of impulse buying.

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185 angie June 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm

I clip coupons and use them relentlessly! Also I belong to various groups on the internet and always seem to get something for free in the mail! I also do surveys and get to try out products before they hit the market. I only shop twice a month since I only get paid that much in one month. Those are my tips!

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186 Nadia June 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm

Meal planning, buying in bulk, using coupons and buying what’s on sale helps me keep my family on budget. And never go to the supermarket with a hungry tummy to limit impulse buys.

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187 Sarah Buki June 28, 2008 at 4:19 pm

it sure is tough these days since I have not been able to find a job yet, but I always check online for coupons before we go out. I think my husband misses the freedom of not having to worry about spending as much, but tough times call for tough measures.

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188 Meg June 28, 2008 at 4:27 pm

I really try to go to similar areas of town at one time to save on gas. We use to do so much back and forth driving…no more. Also, a big but hard one–distinguishing between needs and wants.

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189 Sonya Sparks June 28, 2008 at 4:32 pm

We only go to the grocery store if I need more than 3 items and I don’t impulse buy, I only buy off my list. That is a big change for us.

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190 Bree June 28, 2008 at 4:33 pm

We plan our meals around the weekly sales! That way, we are saving money and get to have a variety of meals!

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191 christine June 28, 2008 at 4:41 pm

Thank You for this wonderful contest, everyday I try to figure out how to save money on Grocerys, a few things I do is never go food shopping when hungry :) clip coupons only for what you already use, unless it is a freebie. Also I shop at local grocery stores, instead of the major chains, as much as possible, Aldi is the best for bargains, and local produce markets

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192 Kim June 28, 2008 at 4:43 pm

Fantastic Contest!

Now more than ever we have to shop at different stores during a single week to take advantage of the different sales. You have to weigh gas prices against grocery prices and see what wins out.

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193 Ginny June 28, 2008 at 4:44 pm

Could really use this! Planning & coupons is the best way to save money. Shop sales, etc.

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194 Jamie June 28, 2008 at 4:48 pm

Coupons and meal planning save dinner time around here :-) Great contest!

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195 shannon bradford June 28, 2008 at 4:48 pm

Saving money is my number one goal right now, like everyone else too! Count me in this contest for sure…

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196 April June 28, 2008 at 4:49 pm

I make everything I can homemade. Bread, pizza crusts, sweets.

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197 Spoodles June 28, 2008 at 4:50 pm

One of the big things I’ve done lately is hang all of our laundry to dry, instead of using the dryer. I’m also considering a switch to cloth diapers for the next baby. Honestly, I would have done these things whether the economy was bad or not. I have goals to reach, and doing these things will help me get there faster. One difficult thing in this house has been teaching my husband and 4yo that not every meal has to include meat. Beans are good! I grew up poor, so this is easy for me. I like cheap food. Not so much for them…

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198 Sue June 28, 2008 at 4:51 pm

I tend to buy only the meat that is on sale. This saves us a lot of money.

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199 Terri June 28, 2008 at 5:23 pm

I have always used coupons which saves some money. Today I saved 10 dollars in groceries this way; every little penny counts. I use kraftfoods.com which has simple ingredients that uses everyday ingredients in small quantities (most of the time), and they have excellent promotions. I also meal plan, and always try to have a grocery list. When I have no list, I spend more. I have switched to buying items that cost the same at Kroger as Wal-Mart so that I make the 100 purchase necessary to get 10 cents off a gas purchase. That has been nice too.

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200 Morgan M. June 28, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Money matters are tight for sure and with grocery prices soaring it doesn’t help much… I am tired of eating pasta and chicken – but meat is so expensive we forgo it for only when we go out to eat.

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201 Angela J June 28, 2008 at 5:30 pm

Get your children interested in gardening, like growing radishes which come up and mature quickly. Or pumpkins which are fun to watch grow. If they raise their own food, it gives them a sense of accomplishment, not to mention being a cost saver. “Recycling” leftovers is great when you can come up with a different way to servce the main dish.

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202 Amanda June 28, 2008 at 5:35 pm

Bring a calculator when you shop to calculate the best price, but buying large quantities is only a good deal if you can eat/use it all before it goes bad. I’ve also found that leaving the kids at home gives me more time and mental energy to bargain shop. Plus it eliminates any impulse buys prompted by the kids.

Great contest! $500 is a lot of money!

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203 Julie Kenyon June 28, 2008 at 5:38 pm

I have four boys. Need I say more? Fortunatley, I live with within 2 miles of three major grocery stores. Yes, let the competition begin! I have shaved about three hundred buck off the monthly grocery bill by clipping coupons, buying each store’s sale products, and stocking up on sale items we use frequently.

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204 Marcia June 28, 2008 at 5:44 pm

We have a local Aldi’s that has milk for $2.59 a gallon. Having a toddler, we go through a gallon every day or two so that saves us a TON of money instead of paying $3.40 or more at the other grocery stores. Their bread is $0.69 a loaf as well. I haven’t even calculated how much those two things alone save us per month, but I’m sure it’s a good amount.

learningmama at yahoo dot com

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205 Emilie June 28, 2008 at 5:49 pm

This is so nice of Libby to do! We could all use this little bit extra. To save I always try to watch for really good sales on staple items and stock up so I don’t pay full price on anything unless I have to. I also try to combine sales with coupons. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

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206 Connie June 28, 2008 at 5:51 pm

I try to cook homemade meals versus going for convenience or eating out. It definitely requires a lot more planning and time but since I love to cook it isn’t as hard as it sounds. Wish me luck, we could really use the extra cash. :)

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207 Alice Hansen June 28, 2008 at 5:53 pm

What a great contest. I’ve been amazed at how prices are going up at the grocery store. Thanks for the contest!

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208 Linda Ellis June 28, 2008 at 5:59 pm

use coupons and buy on sale are the only tips that I know.

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209 Melissa June 28, 2008 at 6:15 pm

I buy in bulk and use coupons as often as possible. I also have gone to many generics and make some of my own household cleaners. It is still quite depressing to see the bills piling up and no end in sight. We almost never eat out and pack lunches or picnics when we go on family outings or out of town.
This is a fabulous give away and will really help some family. Thank you!

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210 Ali M. June 28, 2008 at 6:26 pm

I cut coupons and plan for meals in advance, that way we only get what is on our list.

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211 Kim June 28, 2008 at 6:28 pm

I buy Sunday papers for the coupons and look online for free on Wednesdays for our local store flyers. I plan my shopping trip around the coupons I have available and what’s on sale at the grocery store. I also pretend that the grocery store is a long way and I try to go only once or twice per week to save gas.

Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

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212 Carrie H. June 28, 2008 at 6:44 pm

We buy on sale, use coupons, and always always look for deals. Another new trick we’ve recently discovered is the great deals that CVS drug store has with their Club card. We can end up getting household items like toothpaste, paper towels, and toilet paper for next to nothing if you figure out how to “work” the system. Thanks for the AMAZING giveaway!

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213 Stacy June 28, 2008 at 6:51 pm

Buying less meat is the best way to cut down on your grocery bill!

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214 j621d June 28, 2008 at 7:04 pm

I stock up on whole chicken when it’s on sale. I cut it up myself and package it in fold-top plastic sandwich bags. I save the chicken backs for soup stock

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215 Carol Ezovski June 28, 2008 at 7:06 pm

I have always used coupons and pair them up with the grocery ads. For stores like Walgreens, you can use one of their in-ad coupons AND a manufacturer’s coupon which sometimes makes the product almost free!
We all like canned veggies, even the dog. He loves green beans!

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216 Kristina J June 28, 2008 at 7:09 pm

I save money by combining coupons with current sales. The site http://www.refundcents.com is AWESOME. It matches up the weekly sales at stores like CVS and Walgreens with the in-store coupons and manufacturer coupons. On the Chit-chat section you can find a ton of helpful shopping tips from fellow bargain hunters. There are also refunds listed for everything from meat to salad dressing. And tips on how to have great garage sales with all your leftover items that you are able to buy for free with your newfound savvy shopping skills! The site has a subscription fee which very quickly pays for itself, like, in a week.

http://www.hotcouponworld.com also has great information. Shoppers compile there knowledge about sales and what coupons to use to get the best deals.

When I need coupons I go to ebay or http://www.couponsthingsbydede.com (whole inserts)
http://www.thecouponclippers.com (ind. coupons)
http://www.thecouponmaster.com (ind. coupons)

I also check the manufacturer sites of products I use regularly because they will usually have coupons you can print off too.

Using the above sites has helped me to save a ton of money. I can’t remember the last time I actually paid for toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo , conditioner, deodorant etc. It’s pretty cool! So explore the above sites and have a blast paying for your next vacation with all the money that you save.

Cheers,
Kristina

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217 Rachel June 28, 2008 at 7:18 pm

I read some fab blogs which deal with making the most of coupons and sales. We get a lot of things free or for close to nothing. Every little bit helps! I also prepare most of our meals from scratch and grow as much of our own produce as possible. We never go out to eat, either(or very, very rarely anyway). I don’t feed my family canned veggies(because they’re largely nutritionally void), but frozen veggies aren’t the worst thing in the world and they can be cheap(even organic! A bag of organic broccoli is only $2 at whole foods market).

If we need something, I check first on freecycle, then look on craigslist for a good deal..if all else fails, I bargain hunt.

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218 Katharine June 28, 2008 at 7:44 pm

I go shopping only once a week now, on the weekend so my husband can stay home with the kids. This way I can shop with list and coupons in hand and not have to deal with kids impulsive wants and demands in the store. I am also cutting back on the more expensive meats and using more fillers like beans and rice. I will not give up on quality or variety however, it is important to a growing child’s development. I am buying less organic however, wish I could afford it but things are just getting too tight in the budget.

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219 Michelle T June 28, 2008 at 7:45 pm

I walk to the supermarket twice a week. I push my youngest in the stroller, and only buy what will fit in the two reusable bags that hang on the handles. I get exercise and save on gas. Plus, I plan our meals each week and eating dinner together is a must.

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220 Angela Horne June 28, 2008 at 7:46 pm

My sister & I live in the same city as our parents, so we frequently have big family meals.

Also, I use my freezer. A LOT. When I see an item on sale, I buy a BUNCH (as much as I can afford) and prep it for a meal, then stash it in the freezer.

We also have a garden. And I am LOVING that right now, as we are feasting on cucumbers, tomatoes galore, and our peas will be ready soon. We’ve also got watermelon, bell peppers and eggplant. YUM!

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221 Mary June 28, 2008 at 7:52 pm

I use coupons alot to help my family scrape by. I look at what coupons I have and if I need an item there is a coupon for I use it. You can save at least 10 dollars or more every grocery trip if you put a little effort into it. Great giveaway, thanks!

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222 The Gang's All Here! June 28, 2008 at 7:54 pm

My favorite money saving tip is to roast a couple big chickens. We serve the first meal with all the fixin’s: stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc. Then I de-bone both birds, dump all the drippings, skin, fat, bones, and all into a pot and simmer with an onion or two for a rich hearty broth. I freeze the meat and the broth for soups, stews, sandwiches, and can actually get about 8-10 family meals out of all that. And of course, I buy the biggest, plumpest birds I can find, on sale with a coupon or two!

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223 Heather June 28, 2008 at 7:58 pm

Yea, Libby’s! What a wonderful and helpful website!
#1 I meal plan on Saturdays and shop on Sundays. I cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for our family of six and having meals planned for the whole week keeps us from running out at the last minute for fast food or a “quick” stop at the store for Milk that somehow translates to a $25 bag of groceries.

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224 misty w June 28, 2008 at 8:13 pm

Meal planning, never throw out leftovers. Growing your own vegetables. Thanks so much for the opportunity.

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225 khaki June 28, 2008 at 8:26 pm

I LOVE Libby’s! One of my favorite recipes I make every week is pumpkin bran muffins–my own recipe, starring Libby’s pumpkin! It’s sweet, healthy, fiber-full, no added sugar, and my kids LOVE them!! Actually, they’ve been requesting & eating these muffins EVERY morning for over 3 years!

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226 linda June 28, 2008 at 8:27 pm

i’ve been watching my leftovers a lot more. throwing away food is quite expensive.

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227 divrchk June 28, 2008 at 8:28 pm

I’ve found that the little things add up. I make a meal plan for the week before I go shopping. I make sure to turn off the lights when they aren’t needed. I use coupons when possible.

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228 Stacy June 28, 2008 at 8:40 pm

I make sure to clip coupons out of the Sunday paper and the weekly ads and then I carefully go over the grocery store ads. I also buy store brand vs. name brands whenever possible – sometimes that saves 50% or more!

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229 Striving\Tessa June 28, 2008 at 8:42 pm

I do menus, and a good list for my hubby. That way he can hit the store on the way home from work, thus saving on gas also. I also use my porkchop leftovers, or rib leftovers to make shepards pie, it makes it even more filling then just hamburger and helps use the leftover meat. I need to get in the habit of using my coupons, I clip them and then forget them, duh, but that is the next step. Thanks for the chance.

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230 stacey moore June 28, 2008 at 8:47 pm

we eat dinner at our parents house once a week so it saves on cost and they kids get to spend extra time with their grandparents as well!!
thanks!
moore.g at insideconnect.net

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231 Courtney June 28, 2008 at 8:51 pm

I plan our meals and am trying to get in the CVSing that I hear such great things about.

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232 Stephanie V June 28, 2008 at 8:52 pm

We menu plan as well trying to use leftovers towards the following evening’s meal or for lunch. We also have one “snack” night where everything gets to fill their plate with healthy snacks for dinner (like quesadillas, crackers with cream cheese, veggie chips, hummus, carrot sticks, etc). Saves one night of planning for mummy!
tvollowitz at aol dot com

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233 Michelle June 28, 2008 at 9:05 pm

I use coupons for brand name products and buy store-brand if it’s cheaper. I also set a limit at the store and I use my calculator since it helps me keep from impulse purchases and overspending. We have “breakfast night at dinner” once a week because eggs, waffles or pancakes are a cheap, easy, filling meal.

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234 Teresa June 28, 2008 at 9:13 pm

WOW! What an AWESOME contest! I am with many of your other readers who have already commented. I have switched to only one big grocery run a month and then maybe 2 perishable runs during the month. It really is amazing what you can live without and can make from the stuff in your pantry! I have shaved almost $200 off of my grocery budget by cutting back my trips because each trip I would end up with a few extra “good deals” and those really do add up….even when they are a good deal! For children’s clothing I have picked up staple items like jeans or summer dresses at the end of the season for 80+% off!!! It is always a great feeling when that new season comes around and you don’t have to buy at full price! Thanks again for a great contest!

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235 Dot June 28, 2008 at 9:16 pm

We save money by trying new frugal recipes we find on the internet. We all take a turn at it, and we have fun finding new dishes that are tasty (or not) that we will want to make again someday (or not). We’ve found some that are now family favorites.

Also we’ve stopped going out to lunch on Sundays with friends. We are still eating with them, but instead of spending money at the restaurant we rotate homes and it’s potluck….it saves us money and we don’t have to miss out on fellowship.

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236 Katie June 28, 2008 at 9:20 pm

I try to buy everything I can with coupons and get most of my produce from the City Market.

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237 Alexia June 28, 2008 at 9:24 pm

With a combined household of 9 people, you can imagine what our grocery bill looks like. We try to keep it low by making alot of casseroles and we also eat alot of rice, bean and potato dishes. Buying off brand or on sale items only also helps our budget alot.

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238 Heather June 28, 2008 at 9:32 pm

Hey, Libby’s is in my city, complete with the corn cob water tower! http://midwestparents.blogspot.com/2008/03/show-us-your-world-1.html

I try to plan out our suppers for at least 2 weeks at a time and buy what we need to make those meals. It cuts down on buying stuff that we have plenty of already.

We also try to eat meals like eggs and hash browns or soups and sandwiches at least once during each 2 week period.

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239 Heather June 28, 2008 at 9:36 pm

Sorry if this is a duplicate, but I didn’t see my comment show up! Thank you Libby’s!

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240 Cathie June 28, 2008 at 9:43 pm

Meal planning is a big help. I also found that if the kids help with the meal they enjoy it and eat their veggies etc better if they help choose and make them.

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241 Cathy123 June 28, 2008 at 9:48 pm

Definitely buy local produce when possible, and supplement in the off season with great products like Libby’s canned goods. Challenge yourself to use all the food you buy – the heels of the bread, etc. Toss veggies about to wilt into a soup, and blend fruit that starts to make brown spots into a smoothie. Buy fewer processed things and more “real” things that looked like they came from the farm! When things get desperate, serve whatever you have with chopsticks – the kids get a kick out of eating with them and the whole meal seems more fun!

Thanks for a great contest – with what I have learned about cutting grocery bills here, $500 would now feed our family for a whole lot longer than it once would! Thanks for the great ideas everyone!

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242 Amber June 28, 2008 at 9:56 pm

Tip: Use coupons and find sales and discounts when grocery shopping. Money flies by when you don’t grocery shop wisely…

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243 Joan Tripp June 28, 2008 at 9:57 pm

I had to convince myself that using leftovers didn’t have to mean having the same meal over and over again. So, I make one big meal a week – usually on Sundays. We eat off of that meal another 2 times in the same week. I usually start off with some type of good cut roast and vegetables. The next meal usually includes some type of open face sandwich with the meat and a variation on the vegetables – such as using the pot roast potatoes and making potato pancakes. I finish the “once around again” meal and make vegetable soup.

This way, I am saving on preparation time and also saving money by reusing leftovers.

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244 RobynLynn Wright June 28, 2008 at 10:03 pm

I’m trying to cut back on the meats at dinner which are the most expensive part usually. At the same time I try to add more veggies. Saves us some money and is healthier for us also. Even a little cut can make a difference when you add them all up. If you normally use a pound of hamburger in spaghetti sauce, try cutting it back to 3/4 of a pound – stuff like that.

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245 Marlena June 28, 2008 at 10:14 pm

We try to use coupons as often as possible and I’m always searching the web for free or next free deals that we can get in on. We’d love to eat more organic foods, but the cost is 3x as much! UGH!! What is this world coming to??

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246 Angie June 28, 2008 at 10:30 pm

1. Gardening

2. Menu Planning (though we are SO bad about eating meals from out — our whole budget would really be helped if we could manage to not eat meals from out)

3. Having meatless meals at least once a week

4. Try to make Asian-style dishes that use less meat

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247 Danielle S June 28, 2008 at 10:43 pm

In our house, the best tip is to keep the credit and debit cards AWAY from daddy! LOL! The man has an unstoppable urge to see how many times he can swipe it in one day!

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248 Deborah Reed June 28, 2008 at 10:43 pm

I try and plan out the meals before going to the grocery store. We share meals also with my son and wife and take turns.

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249 Connie June 28, 2008 at 10:51 pm

coupons buy ,
one get one free plus, store sales…it adds up to real cost cutting and careful budgeting.

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250 Steven Blaser June 28, 2008 at 11:01 pm

Treat yourself to any item you want, but eliminate reoccurring expenses. Dump the ongoing cell phone and opt for a fixed number of minutes. Don’t subscribe to premium movie channels. If you must see the movie, wait and rent it on DVD.

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251 Sandra June 28, 2008 at 11:08 pm

I get my neighbors coupons so I can have two coupons to use in the B1G1 offers. Makes things really cheap.

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252 CanCan June 28, 2008 at 11:25 pm

I did a clothing swap with a big group of friends so that we all got a wardrobe change without spending ANY money!
I rarely buy anything new (I go to yard sales and consignment shops). I have stopped going to stores “just for fun”, because I always ended up finding a “bargain” that I had to buy!
Of course I always use coupons, except for when I do grocery shopping at Aldi. I have really simplified our menu and lowered my expectations. Now, saltines and peanut butter with an apple counts as a meal.
We get videos and books from the library. All of our recreation is free…going to parks, libraries, friend’s houses. My kids don’t do any lessons or sports that cost money.
I don’t know what is going to happen to everyone if the fuel prices don’t stop rising!

onlycancan at hotmail dot com

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253 Dolly June 28, 2008 at 11:31 pm

I learned to plan meals and grocery shopping around what’s already in the fridge/freezer and pantry and to NOT just plan a menu that sounds good. Figuring out ways to combine what I already have and only buy things (on sale or inexpensive) to fill out the rest saves a ton. When things ARE on sale…stock up to save.

The fewer things you purchase that are pre-made, the more you’ll save and usually, the healthier it’ll be for your family. Everything that’s convenient comes at a price.

I cook in a crockpot like it’s going out of style. Cook a chicken or a turkey, and use the drippings for chicken stock (as well as the last remnants of chicken, gizzards, and bones) to make a soup.

Unlike you, we started out our marriage on a 2-salary income as military officers…now, both fresh out of grad school WITH a baby…we’re cinching up the belt tighter than we EVER have…but we’re also spending less than we ever have, still eating healthy and delicious meals.

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254 Celena Metzger June 28, 2008 at 11:33 pm

i remember when gas was only 99 cents per gallon..lol. anyways i think coupons help out ALOT!

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255 djp June 28, 2008 at 11:34 pm

i watch the ads, make a list of what we need and stock up on sale items.

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256 Christian Kay June 28, 2008 at 11:35 pm

Well it isn’t really a trick or a secret for that matter but what I have to do is divide the money up into daily rations. We get $238 every 14 days and that equals $17/day. That doesn’t include gas or groceries but that is daily money for both my husband and I combined. It gets really hard on the weekends and if we choose to go to a movie, we use 2 days right there and then have to spend $0 extra for those two days. It helps to keep on us on track.

I really need to win. We are feeling the stress in our marriage with all these raised prices.

ckbruce@sbcglobal.net

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257 Leeanthro June 28, 2008 at 11:36 pm

$5 Little Ceasar’s pizzas! Once a week it saves us both time and money to pickup one of their ready made pizzas.

I like to keep the staples stocked. If we have on hand food that the family likes to eat, then we are less likely to order take out during the week.

I wish I could write out a plan for the week and actually shop for it and stick to it!

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258 Jamie H. June 28, 2008 at 11:38 pm

I do menu planning to help me stay on track. I use a lot of coupons and try to double them whenever I can with in store coupons. I use the summer and fall to stock up on fruits and veggies. I go pick a lot of fruit at the local farms and come home and can it. I try and can enough to last the whole year. This saves us money over the long run and I like knowing how and where my food is prepared.

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259 Nancy June 28, 2008 at 11:38 pm

Cutting coupons and taking advantage of sales (store sales combined with coupons can save so much money) and shopping in bulk at BJ’s whenever possible.

I’ve been frequenting the farmer’s markets lately, but produce there does cost more. I’m stuck between supporting my local farmers and keeping an eye on my wallet.

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260 melody is slurping life June 28, 2008 at 11:47 pm

One night per week we have a free-for-all sort of dinner. We raid the frig of leftovers and concoct some of the weirdest dishes imaginable. In fact, no two are ever the same, and I can’t remember any single one to describe them in detail.:) But it is fun and we use up the leftovers rather than toss them out. The kids love it.

Please enter me in the draw for $500 from Libbys. These boys keep growing and eating more!

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261 Lori June 28, 2008 at 11:49 pm

I check out the grocery store circulars. Its nice having two differnt store to choose from. It’s about 10 minutes either direction. I can plan my meals with what on sale. We use to eat out at least once a week. Now by choice its once a month. Anything I make is less expensive,taste better and always served with a smile.

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262 Susan Taylor June 28, 2008 at 11:50 pm

My biggest thing I am trying to get better at. Use coupons. Compare my coupons to what is on sale each week. Plan my meals around what is the best deal.

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263 Linda in VA June 28, 2008 at 11:53 pm

Thanks for all the great food saving tips, and for this great giveaway – good luck to all, but I sure could use this prize!

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264 Aisling June 29, 2008 at 12:00 am

We plan more carefully for the week before going shopping, I use coupons more, and try not to buy more than we’ll eat (particularly fresh fruit and veggies). I like to cook on weekends and use the leftovers for a couple of different meals throughout the week. Chicken is especially good for that since you can have a really nice dinner and then make so many things from diced chicken.

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265 Debbie Criss June 29, 2008 at 12:08 am

I shop at all the thrift stores, hit all the yard sales, and clearance idles. I’ve even rode my bicycle to town, which is about 6 miles. I’m not in very good shape. I’m trying to convince myself I need to do this for fitness and to save gas. Every little bit of savings helps.

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266 F. Topp June 29, 2008 at 12:10 am

I would say a great way to save is:
Whenever you do a shopping, try to put back 1 thing on the shelf, that you don’t really need.
It teaches you to think twice before spending, and we always have something extra that we could do without.

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267 Queen of the Click June 29, 2008 at 12:18 am

My whole family does a very cool Trade Day twice a year. The kids and adults bring items which are in good useable condition. When people arrive, they place their used items on a long table of kids items or adult items. We leave the items out until after dinner and then we take turns going shopping. The kids love trading with their cousins and getting new items. The adults love clearing out their house of items they no longer need and enjoy watching their children play with new items that they didn’t have to put out any more money for. Any items that are left over after the shopping is complete are donated.

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268 Tawnjun June 29, 2008 at 12:31 am

Our family consists of 8 girls and My Mom and Dad. One of my sisters has a particularly large back yard. We planted a vegetable garden and started a compost heap. We get together on Sundays to gather all our recyclables, tend the garden and spend quality family time together. We help the environment, stretch our pocket books and keep up traditions.

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269 Karincs June 29, 2008 at 12:37 am

Build your soup recipe collection! Soups can be very inexpensive to make, yet very delicious and satisfying. Hearty soups and stews in the winter, and cold fruit or vegetable soups in the hotter months. So good, and so easy!

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270 Ruth June 29, 2008 at 12:48 am

I’ve been cooking less food at a time. Instead of cooking mass quantities to ensure that there will be more than enough food if someone is particularly hungry, then dealing with unplanned leftovers (that sometimes went to waste), I cook “just enough” – and hungry folks can have extra bread or a PB&J if needed (almost never happens). Also, I try skipping my weekly grocery trip once every 2 or 3 months. I have plenty of stuff in my pantry to keep us going, and that week actually helps me clean up the pantry & freezer of the weird stuff that looked good in the store, but that I never got around to actually cooking.

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271 Jenna June 29, 2008 at 12:56 am

I shop at garage sales and thrift stores… huge difference on the budget!

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272 TopazTook June 29, 2008 at 1:11 am

My main trick is to read some of the great frugal mom blogs out there — moneysavingmom.com, freebies4mom.com, the Grocery Gathering at becentsable.blogspot.com are some of my favorites. These have great information on learning how to frugally shop, coupon and sale matchups and more. *And* I’m menu planning now!

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273 Saph June 29, 2008 at 1:18 am

I buy and stock up what is on sale for the week and make meals based on what the sale items are for that week! :)

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274 Pam June 29, 2008 at 1:55 am

I stockpile frozen items – and the bigger the better. Big bags of frozen chicken, broccoli, raspberries, mixed peppers, etc. – you save a ton of money (especially when you stock up during a sale). In addition, most people do not eat their fresh produce quickly enough to obtain their full nutritional value, so frozen food without additives is actually a healthier choice for most people.

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275 debra June 29, 2008 at 1:55 am

i just love a big pot of beans and yummy leftovers, and so easy.

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276 Rebecca Graham June 29, 2008 at 1:57 am

At the end of the week, I take our left overs and make a big pot of soup. Very cheap and very good!

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277 Tanya Moyer June 29, 2008 at 2:00 am

I do a couple of different things. I use my crock-pot to make large portions with cheaper cuts of meat, and the slow-cooking makes everything tender and yummy, and I often have great left-overs to use for lunches/dinner the next day. I coupon as often as I can. And I’m not afraid to try bargain/store brands on as many items as I can. Great giveaway! Thanks for offering this!
~Tanya
the4moyers(at)msn(dot)com

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278 Noreen June 29, 2008 at 2:07 am

make a little extra to have for lunch

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279 tanyetta June 29, 2008 at 2:21 am

I am taking notes, I need all the help I can get! Thank you for the tips everyone and please count me in to win ;)

thank you.

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280 Amy B. June 29, 2008 at 3:30 am

I agree with the above poster, there are some great tips here. My husband and I have been carpooling together, since we work in the same vicinity. I’m just lucky enough that we can make this work out most of the time, saves a little on gas, every bit helps!

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281 Patty June 29, 2008 at 4:19 am

Tips: veggie garden, tap water vs bottle, store brands vs brand names.

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282 Susan P. June 29, 2008 at 5:15 am

Once a month, I buy certain items at the bulk warehouse to last the month and get a lot of things on sale at the local supermarket. Coupons, buy 1-get 1 free and lots of fresh produce fills in the rest. I get a Rotisserie chicken on my class night to not have to cook and we always do leftovers.

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283 Nancy June 29, 2008 at 6:10 am

What we did was put a ‘jacket’ around our water heater, and then put a timer on it. It only comes on once a day (in the morning for showers), and if we need additional hot water during the weekends, I just flip it on & turn on the timer for 30 mins. Also, I have a programmable thermostat that goes up to 82 during the day Mon-Fri.
Doesn’t help that I drive 100 miles a day to work & back… the gas prices are insane!

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284 Kate June 29, 2008 at 7:23 am

Prices have so gone up making the healthy eating choices pricey but I have always had coupons and would go shopping monday morning when I find a lot of meat on sale from them over packaging for the Sunday rush. So by monday morning they do a mark down. I also redeem my cans and do coin star at the store. All these things bring down my bill. But what has helped the most is my 5 year old learning to write. She helps make the list and when we get to the store, if she sees me put a non list item in the cart, I get the 3rd degree on why. it has made me stop and think!

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285 Amanda June 29, 2008 at 8:13 am

Go to your local farmers market…or just to your local farmers. Often much cheaper, but better yet…GOOD FOR YOU foods!

God bless-
Amanda

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286 Shannon June 29, 2008 at 8:18 am

Don’t eat meals out. I have learned to also buy in bulk and seperate and freeze, also buy off brand as much as possible!

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287 julie June 29, 2008 at 8:20 am

using my cvs reward card money like cash is awesome in saving the family money
3beez at bellsouth dot net

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288 Francess June 29, 2008 at 8:26 am

I often cook two meals at one time. One to eat for dinner and one to freeze for later. This is a great time and money saver.

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289 Ashley June 29, 2008 at 8:39 am

With twin boys and a seven year old boy and a full time student (my husband), it’s pretty hard to stay on budget. I love shopping for bargains and buying second hand as much as possible.

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290 tuesday June 29, 2008 at 9:11 am

I cut coupons grow soem of my own vegetables and try not to impulse buy. I can’t wait to read through all of these great tips though!

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291 carly June 29, 2008 at 9:16 am

I save money by cutting coupons from the Sunday morning paper. I also shop on double coupon days.

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292 Vickie Couturier June 29, 2008 at 9:31 am

I plan my menu based on the local sales papers an I used coupons an try to hit the double an triple coupon days,my husbands job closed an he had to take a job that pays less than half his old salary so we are struggling an are having to move 1200 miles to try to relocate to find a job,yard sales help with some things an second hand,never buy new anymore

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293 Eloise Carlson June 29, 2008 at 9:44 am

I save money by looking at the weekly ads and planning my meals for the week from that. I also clip coupons faithfully and plan my menus based on what coupons I have. Yard Sales, I agree are great because we have a new baby coming and I have most of her clothes that I have bought almost brand new from yard sales. I also sign up for coupons and savings online as well. Thanks for a great opportunity to win!

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294 valerie phillips June 29, 2008 at 10:10 am

Coupons are the deal, they are everywhere and I find them not only on the internet but in the newspaper everywhere. I thought that Sunday was the only good time but I find my self looking through all sections of the newspaper because there will sometimes be one stuck here or there. Plan your menu with your coupons and you can save big at the store. You don’t have to be a fanatic but between your weekly sales ads from the grocery store and your coupons a little planning makes a big $$$ difference.

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295 The Apron Queen June 29, 2008 at 10:15 am

Plan ahead. Plan ahead. Plan ahead. Super quick & easy meals during the week. Big family meals on the weekends.

For your daily dose of vintage goodness & a bit of silliness, stop by Confessions of an Apron Queen

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296 randy June 29, 2008 at 10:29 am

What my family does is actually portioning out the food with measuring cups etc, it’s helps keep our family on budget, and aslo keeps us within a healthy weight….plus we started using smaller plates, most plates are so large, hence portioning larger amounts on the plate. Thanks.

http://grimmouse.blogspot.com/

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297 Mary Jenkins June 29, 2008 at 10:48 am

I live in the poorest city of the poorest state in the country.. and i’m still considered low income here! the most important thing is to be upfront about your situation.I’m not saying beg, but when people have crap thay don’t want , they will know who to bring it to. Also, there is freecycle.org and craig’s list for getting/trading for things you need. And do not eat out! not even a burrito. get a 33 cent burrito from your supermarket’s freezer. way cheaper!

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298 Pat June 29, 2008 at 10:52 am

I make sure I’m not hungry when I get groceries. Otherwise, I make some really unwise purchases because everything looks good.
Also, I check through the circulars to find the best deals.

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299 Colleen June 29, 2008 at 10:54 am

We are re-working our budget all the time. I enter sweepstakes all the time for groceries. We are very conserivitive. I try to have a stock of none parishable items. I get grocery sales flyers e-mail, compare the best prices with coupons and shop that way. It’s a lot of work, but worth it.

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300 Marz Hamilton June 29, 2008 at 11:05 am

You betcha! I live on tips on saving money anywhere from discounts on groceries to clothes. My first motto is if it isn’t on sale then I don’t even look at it. Okay maybe a glance but I won’t buy it unless there is some discount. My favorite tip at the grocery store is shopping on Thursday’s. First because it’s relatively slow at the store and my main grocery store slashes prices on perishable that have to move fast. Just the other day I got 3 packages of meat, 2 dz eggs, and 5 packages of packaged hash brown’s all for $12 bucks! I froze the meat and hash brown to use at a later time and the eggs will be gone before I know it. The regular price of 2 of the packages of meat would cost me more than $12 bucks. I love to save money! As for sitting around the dinner table that is surely the hardest to do with super busy schedules. A few months back I vowed to eat at least one meal a week at the table and at the beginning of this month I moved it up to two meals a week at the dinner table. By the end of the year we should be up to four. It’s taking some major growing pains but the end result is so worth it. The trick here is involving everyone is the process of making dinner so the whole dinner process is our family time. Not just everyone showing up when the meal is ready to eat. That has helped tremendously!

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301 diane June 29, 2008 at 11:06 am

I am just starting to really look at our food spending. All the ideas help.

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302 lorene desjardins June 29, 2008 at 11:16 am

we always use coupons out here on Long Island the groceries are so high

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303 marybeth i. June 29, 2008 at 11:26 am

We are really cutting back on impulse spending. Less eating out – more eating in. For the first time in years I am cutting coupons again. Hate doing it but love the savings. I also take advantage of BOGO sales at the grocery and stock up.

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304 SJ June 29, 2008 at 11:29 am

When we buy meat, we buy it in bulk and then we separate it out at home so that we have enough meat to last us a few weeks for various meals.

We also clip coupons, shop the grocery circulars and only buy what is on our grocery list when we head into the store. Meal planning helps a lot too.

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305 beverly paquin June 29, 2008 at 11:37 am

pack a picnic lunch and go to the zoo. have cold sandwiches instead of grilling meat all the time.

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306 Susan June 29, 2008 at 11:43 am

My problem is lack of time – so to keep from having to eat out, I cook at least 2-3 meals each time I cook.

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307 Judy June 29, 2008 at 11:50 am

I am fortunate enough to have a small vegatable garden. It’s great to have your own lettuce, tomatoes, green onions, cucumbers, squash and even cantaloupe so handy, it also saves quite a bit on the grocery bill!

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308 Kim June 29, 2008 at 11:54 am

MY TIP WOULD BE TO GO FOOD SHOPPING ON A FULL STOMACH!!!!!!

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309 Jessica K June 29, 2008 at 12:28 pm

My biggest tip is to budget, plan a menu, including snacks and company, make a list and stick to it. Also, when I plan our menu, I try to use recipes that include some of the same ingredients. This way, everything I but goes further and nothing goes to waste.
Budgeting and sticking to a list isn’t always fun, but its worth it.

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310 Kristinia Clos June 29, 2008 at 12:31 pm

Weekly meal planning, browsing our local ads, and trying to clip as many coupons as possible! The prices are way high everywhere.. its depressing!

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311 danni June 29, 2008 at 12:43 pm

What a difference coupons make! And when we do go out to eat, it’s a place where kids eat free!

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312 Kathie June 29, 2008 at 12:45 pm

I use cash at the grocery store. it keeps me on budget. klborders at aol dot com

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313 Betty N June 29, 2008 at 12:46 pm

We eat mostly chicken and buy it when it is on sale, generally 99 cents a pound for whole; 1.87 for chicken breasts. I have a host of recipes from the internet for wonderful chicken dishes and we never tire of it. I pound out the chicken breasts and cut them in half so we get two servings per breast. We also grind our own chicken and use it for meatloaf, chili, sausage, etc. We stock up on products we use when our neighborhood store has them on BOGO (buy one, get one).

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314 Dawn Geers June 29, 2008 at 1:02 pm

we go to u-pick farms and pick our own produce. It is a big savings and can be a fun family time tradition.

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315 Melissa June 29, 2008 at 1:03 pm

Planning is key to keep our costs down. And of course, not going to the grocery store hungry! As far as eating dinner together? Our dinner table is nowhere near a TV! It helps a ton to not have that distraction!

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316 Frank B. June 29, 2008 at 1:08 pm

We have many. One is that we only buy groceries that are on sale and that we have a coupon for that is at least doubled, and we stock shop to keep us through until the next good sale.

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317 Linda Pinto June 29, 2008 at 1:09 pm

We use the best that each store in our area has to offer in our area in terms of price and choice. I try to stay away from stores like Safeway unless they are having an excellent sale on something I actually use. I use Costco, Target, and an Indian ethnic grocery store the most. I have found that Longs Drugstore has good sales on a limited scope of grocery items. I try to combat impulse buying vigorously and check my basket before I get to the checkout stand and put back any impulse items that ended up in the cart (how do they get there?). I try to take into account how far I drive to get a bargain and try to plan ahead.

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318 BlondeBlogger June 29, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Sticking to my grocery list (as much as possible) when I shop. I plan out all meals for the week and whatever extras we may need, and I try my hardest not to do any impulse shopping.

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319 Guilherme Paraiso June 29, 2008 at 1:26 pm

I’m kind of spare of the moment but i always try to make a list

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320 the mama hood June 29, 2008 at 1:26 pm

My tip would be an old fashioned tip, that we as a family try our best to stick to the basics and that is to:

“Live within your means, if you can’t afford it don’t buy it.”

“Live with what you have and be grateful.”

If I think back to my childhood the things that stand out to me were not the things that were bought but the moments we shared that today hold the highest value for me.

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321 Debra Kenyon June 29, 2008 at 1:54 pm

When something is on sale I buy several.

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322 Sara Taylor June 29, 2008 at 2:30 pm

We save by cooking double and sharing with our neighbors, who also do this once a week for us. It helps us waste less food and time!

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323 Joan OToole June 29, 2008 at 2:43 pm

I try to make a complete list of sale items and do one large shopping trip a week. Also, I like to make meals with enough servings for at least two meals (or more, if possible.)

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324 Pam Bolash June 29, 2008 at 2:47 pm

grocery shopping tips that we use:

*Shop alone; husband/kids add more to the cart
*Make/use the shopping list; stick to it
*Sign up for loyalty cards at grocery stores
*Comparison shop at your favorite 3 stores
*Cut & Use coupons
*Attempt a buying club with friends/family to save
*Don’t shop while hungry!

Pam

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325 Sandy June 29, 2008 at 2:56 pm

I use RiteAid free after rebate items,also Walgreen’s and Ace. This has helped so much and I have tons of free shampoo and conditioner among other things. I also use coupons.

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326 Megan June 29, 2008 at 2:57 pm

We use coupons and plan meals around what’s on sale in the circulars we get at home.

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327 kelly kopchick June 29, 2008 at 3:04 pm

We -Cut coupons and use them
-We also go to a surplus grocery store once a month. You have to watch the dates but it does cut cost!
This year it did not look like we would be able to afford to go on vacation to the beach (one that we do every year) But I had a yard sale and made enough money to go! We had to cut corners there but we did still had fun! 1. We got a hotel with a fridge and a microwave. that let us eat breakfrast and lunch in. so we only ate 1 meal out a day! we had cereal or toast for breakfrast and I took a sandwich maker and had pizza, grilled cheese, hot ham and cheese, and cherry pie filling sandwiches!
2. Use coupons on vacation! my kids wanted to ride the go carts and play golf at the beach! We used coupons for them and they could do both!
3. Find free stuff to do We found at one of the shopping centers at the beach they had different stages and my daughters loved go there to see a little girl that dressed up as Hannah Montana! My 3 yr old thought she was real!

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328 Joanne Quarz June 29, 2008 at 3:09 pm

We coupon faithfully and try to use coupons with the weekly fliers to plan our meals. We watch for 10 for $10 items and still cut our milk by using half bottled and the other half reconstituted powder.

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329 Alexis June 29, 2008 at 3:09 pm

Staying on budget with a little one in the house is important. We make sure to always use coupons to buy necessities (diapers/wipes, groceries, etc.) and with gas prices, we make sure and carefully plan our shopping trips.

We buy clothes on clearance at the end of the season, which helps a lot!

Randomly pick me, please! =) Thanks for a great giveaway!

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330 christ June 29, 2008 at 3:13 pm

we’re eating out less. those meals out really add up.

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331 Katie June 29, 2008 at 3:17 pm

I comparison shop at 2 or 3 stores each week, and plan my meals in advance so I am armed with a list before stepping foot in the store. Less waste that way!

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332 Jennifer M June 29, 2008 at 3:31 pm

We buy ingredients, not completed dishes–buying a huge sack of rice and some seasonings costs way less than a rice mix, and isn’t hard to fix. Same with salads, I can wash and chop greens and vegetables myself, not pay twice as much for a few moment’s convenience.

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333 Melissa June 29, 2008 at 3:45 pm

Something that helps me is to step back and look at what I have in my pantry and freezer and plan at least one or two meals a week from there. It’s amazing how much I actully have on hand, I just need to be creative and use it!

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334 Marci June 29, 2008 at 3:52 pm

I’m the type of person to stock up when I see a great sale. My biggest way to stay on budget is to use what I have stocked up and add a few things from the store. That way I’m not buying more expensive items as I already have them at a good price.

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335 meka June 29, 2008 at 3:52 pm

Avoid the mall! Buy in bulk! Grow what you can!

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336 Kristin W June 29, 2008 at 3:59 pm

Whatever we have for dinner, we have for lunch the next day or so. My husband and I both take our lunch to work, so this saves us alot. Plus, we end up with a warm delicious meal!

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337 Jodi B June 29, 2008 at 4:05 pm

My husband, me and out teenage son seem to spend a lot of money on nothing! We are always getting nickle and dimed and before I know it, we have spent a sizable amount of money. Every two weeks I give each of us $30. That is it for spending money. If we want coffee, to get lunch or some movie money this is where it comes from. This seems to keep everyone on track and keep us from waisting money on things that we don’t need or could do without. When the $30 is gone that is it. It is working and helping us make better choices!

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338 Rimanda G. June 29, 2008 at 4:07 pm

When my kids were at home to make ends meet I had to do something so I heard of Refunding an decided to try it I got my first free coupon from a box of cereal took it to the store hoping that they would Honor it, Oh my they announce it over the intercom that I was a smart shopper with coupons I was all hype up went into it big time where I got Rebate checks every week an free coupons! My family appreciated it especially at the end of the year I when go free shopping for food an when would all decide what to do with the rebate money I saved up! I did this for 12yrs..even though My children are adults now I still look for deals an plan our meals, My Daughter says I’m cheap now she is doing the same as I am (lol)

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339 Brenda F. June 29, 2008 at 4:15 pm

I shop for sales and use coupons as much as I can -

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340 Cheryl June 29, 2008 at 4:26 pm

I cut coupons and go to a supermarket that doubles up to 99 cents. If you watch for sales sometimes you can get an item almost for free. This same store has a fuel perks program. For every $50 you spend you get 10 cents off a gallon of gas. It really helps keep the grocery and gas costs more reasonable.

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341 Angela Hoffman June 29, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Everyone knows about coupons, as long as they use them, but aside from that, I make homeade baby food, do cloth diapers and hang dry them, make my own baby wipes, and when I cook meals that could be froze, I make them in bulk. Cooking in bulk saves you money from the beginning when you buy in bulk to the end when you cook it all at one time so you only have to heat you oven once. Bonus, it save time too!

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342 Donna Badour June 29, 2008 at 4:33 pm

I shop in Club stores and sales. Also clip coupons.

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343 Kali June 29, 2008 at 4:53 pm

A tip that has worked for us: Make a weekly menu and stick to it. When you go to the grocery store, buy items for that week’s menu only and, of course, utilize coupons!! I’ve saved as much as $34 when shopping on a “double coupon” day. To make family sit around the table, I’ve found ways of making my weekly menu “entice” the kids to sit down. For instance, instead of having a mere “fruit bowl,” we have a “Banana Rex” where the good-for-you fruit is designed into a somewhat fun shape (or the best that I can do!).

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344 Mags June 29, 2008 at 4:53 pm

To help the budget spread furthur I buy family packs of meats (even though it is just me and my daughter now) and seperate into serving sizes and then place in freezer bags with marinade. I save money on the larger packs and save time when preparing dinner. I simply remove the meat from the freezer in the morning as I am headed to work and place it in the refrigerator. When I get home dinner is already half done!

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345 Mya Brooks June 29, 2008 at 5:09 pm

We used to go camping a lot in camp grounds. LOTS of gas to get there and had to pay camping fees. No more. We camp out in the yard. The kids love it more because they can play with Bear, and I love it more because I can go into the house and have a toilet that flushes…LOL

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346 KellyJ June 29, 2008 at 5:13 pm

Suggestions: prudent menu planning, shopping lists, sticking to the lists, and limiting the number of visits to the store through pre-planning. We’ve cut down our visits to the store to about 2x/month and shop from a list. I usually go it alone, but with a regular menu plan and our shopping list, I’m dispensable!

Please enter me. :-)

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347 Amy L June 29, 2008 at 5:29 pm

I make a double batch of chili, spaghetti and meatballs, or a casserole and freeze half for an easy quick meal. This keeps us from spending too much on a fast food meal or a pizza when there’s no time to shop and/or cook.

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348 Carrie June 29, 2008 at 5:46 pm

I buy things in bulk when things we use are on sale at the store. When cake mixes are 75 cents, for example, I buy 10. My husband and son jokingly refer to my big shelves stocked with food in our basement as ‘Mommy’s Store’.

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349 Betsy June 29, 2008 at 5:51 pm

I plan! Make shopping lists and stick to them. Also, we have been making a lot of dinners with eggs. It is cheap, versatile and healthy!

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350 SECAVEN June 29, 2008 at 5:56 pm

this is comment is right up my ally. my friends think that i am crazy for everything that i do! i shop sales, use a coupon with that sale and hope there is a rebate that goes along with that one item. i will usually get that item for free and alot of times i make a profit of it. they pay me to buy it. you sure can’t beat that. i will use double coupons, free coupons etc……..i shop grocery sale ads and stock up on items that are cheap and will not usually buy anything that is regular price. i’m definitely mrs. cheapskate!!

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351 Lauralee Hensley June 29, 2008 at 5:57 pm

If a recipe calls for 1 pound of ground meat, I only add 3/4 a pound. In meatloaf I’ll add another slice of whole wheat bread to make up for the decreased meat. In rice dishes, add more rice or add more vegetables. If you go for the fancier cuts of meat, instead of giving each person their own steak or chop etc., dice the meat up or slice it into thin strips and portion it out from there, that way you can cook one less chop or steak etc.. This year I am growing a big garden and plan on freezing cantaloupe, squash, and many other items to help make a dent in the winter grocery budget. I grew up with a Mom who had a mommy store, but I don’t have the room- wish I did.

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352 lisa ward June 29, 2008 at 6:17 pm

I try to make different variations of “skillet goulash” with different veggies, pasta etc. it comes out delicious and uses very little amounts of ingredients, so if you have leftovers mix together makes an inexpensive meal..Buy on sale, clearance, when able.

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353 Denise U June 29, 2008 at 6:24 pm

I find the best way for our family to save money is planning out the meals for the week and sticking to them. Making a meal at home is MUCH cheaper than going out to eat…plus it is healthier for my family! Since the gas has gotten so high, I have also started taking my lunch to work rather than going out, and I make my coffee at home to avoid spending that extra $1.50 a day.

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354 Kathy Stallings June 29, 2008 at 6:25 pm

We raise our own beef and grow a large vegetable garden. I also clip cupons and stock up on sale items. I was out picking wild blackberries
along the fence rows yesterday.

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355 Brie June 29, 2008 at 6:31 pm

Major coupon shopper here…with store saver cards and coupons i have been known to save 60% of my cost. which is nothing compared to those coupon sense shopper’s but hey its what i got for now!

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356 Jacqueline in Atlanta June 29, 2008 at 7:09 pm

I have a sheet on the side of my freezer listing what is in there and the date I put it in. When I sit down to make a menu I work from that list as well as the weekly grocery ads. That way I don’t end up paying $5/pound for boneless chicken breasts.

Then when I am in the grocery store and run across a great buy, short-dated meat, for example, I can take advantage of that sale, knowing it won’t go to waste. I take it home, pop the whole package into a Ziploc bag for extra protection or reportion if necessary and add it to my freezer list for future meals.

Yesterday I added several portions of baked beans to the freezer after I hosted a cookout at my home. Next time we make hot dogs, hamburgers or sloppy joes for supper I’ll already have the side dish in the freezer – a much better choice than grabbing another bag of chips!

PS Thanks for the drawing! Whoever wins will be thrilled with $500 in grocery money. What a blessing!

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357 Kathy Conley June 29, 2008 at 7:10 pm

I don’t have any real tips except try to raise some of your own food in a garden if possible – this can expensive as well when you figure seed and watering cost etc but at least you won’t go hungry!

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358 Julie June 29, 2008 at 7:19 pm

We save money by using coupons and not going out to eat.

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359 Beth W. June 29, 2008 at 7:23 pm

We cut coupons every sunday and are downloading them from coupons.com ALL THE TIME. The coupons there are name brand and have some really great deals sometimes. Winning 500.00 in groceries would be great! We just found out that we have another little one on the way, so this would make my day better then it has already been! Thanks for the giveaway

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360 Joan June 29, 2008 at 7:28 pm

When my husband’s company sent his job to India five years ago, I went into panic mode. I bought a freezer, I started collecting coupons like a maniac, and I joined all the loyalty programs I could get my hands on. It turns out that those are great things to do even when times are no too tight. I continue to use websites that offer promo/discount codes, I clip and trade mounds of coupons, and I buy extra meat when it is on special and pack our freezer. I make recipes that are pasta, rice, or vegetable based at least twice a week.

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361 Teresina Coleman June 29, 2008 at 7:31 pm

We have a white board inside out cupboard and write down what we need. My husband shops every Thursday. If it is not on the list he does not buy it. (He refuses to take me because I spend alot more than him).

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362 Jonathan June 29, 2008 at 7:33 pm

We save by buying bulk and packing as much as we can into our freezer and cupboards. Also, buying staples when they are on sale, rather than when you run out, really adds up!

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363 kelli June 29, 2008 at 7:43 pm

We buy meat & other items in bulk (at places like Costco) and repackage in smaller bags in the freezer for later use. I’m also working on meal planning which saves last minute trips to the store.

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364 Kristie June 29, 2008 at 7:54 pm

I know this wouldn’t work for many people, but we are fortunate to be able to raise our own beef. We also have a vegetable garden and can or freeze the veggies that we grow.

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365 judy brittle June 29, 2008 at 8:03 pm

I use a lot of coupons and plan the meals on a monthly basis. I’ve also been trying to make some meals that we eat for 2 or 3 days like homemade soup,spaghetti,chili etc. A lot goes a long way.

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366 Colleen S. June 29, 2008 at 8:06 pm

My mom gave me a gift certificate to a garden center for Christmas. Our family had so much fun picking out all sorts of veggie plants. Now because of her insightful gift, my family will have fresh veggies all spring, summer and fall. That has been a great help in “getting us by” giving us a exersize and just a good time puttering in the garden.

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367 Shannon June 29, 2008 at 8:09 pm

Have a “clean out the refrigerator/pantry” meal.

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368 Dawn Langis June 29, 2008 at 8:24 pm

I keep my 3 grandsons all summer long and usually we are packing picnic lunches. My food budget gets unmanageable during the summer. I can use some help or ideas for lunches.

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369 Tonya June 29, 2008 at 8:29 pm

I clip coupons and every Sunday do a menu plan for the week. I do a lot of big meals in the crockpot and then freeze for leftovers. We also purchase our fruit and veggies directly from an organic farm.

Every few months I have a big clean out the pantry and refrigerator cook-off and another blogger gave me the wonderful site http://www.supercook.com which you enter some ingredients into and they give you some great recipes to try. It’s free so there’s nothing better than that.

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370 Gwendolyn Germaine June 29, 2008 at 8:30 pm

In addition to clipping coupons and sale shopping, we give each other Supermarket and Restaurant gift cards for gifts instead of junk they have to return.

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371 Cindi June 29, 2008 at 8:51 pm

Happy Sunday! I attempt to budget in categories. Food, utilities, clothing, etc. I hardly ever pay full price for any family member’s clothing! The only time I do that is if it is a special occasion and that is what is needed. Otherwise, I wait until items are really marked down. To help with fuel costs, we turn up the thermostat in the summer and down in the winter! We used to eat out a lot, but don’t do that nearly as often. My younger actually likes some of the clothes of his older brother, and that saves money. I would love to win this Libby’s prize and give it to our “Ministries Unlimited” pantry or the “Glen-Ed” pantry to help family’s out that need it more than ours. In these times, especially! Please enter me in your drawing. Many thanks, Cindi

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372 kelli June 29, 2008 at 8:58 pm

I have learned that not taking my children with me to the store helps a great deal – they seem to want to buy the character on the box! Thanks for the chance at such a great prize – kelwright@frontiernet.net

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373 LisaW June 29, 2008 at 8:59 pm

We’ve become nearly vegetarian. Cooking less meat (and buying less pre-packaged lunchmeat) saves money and time. I also buy in bulk and make several casseroles at once to freeze.

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374 Molly B. June 29, 2008 at 9:41 pm

Don’t throw out your receipts, keep them in a prominent place as a reminder of how much you have already spent each month.

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375 Amy S. June 29, 2008 at 9:49 pm

I use a LOT of coupons and really try to plan out my grocery shopping so that I can stay within my budget. I also make bigger meals so we can have leftovers to stretch one meal into two.

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376 Sarah C June 29, 2008 at 10:17 pm

I try to buy in bulk (we have a deep freezer), and to plan menus around what is on sale. I also try to plan to use leftovers. If I fix a bunch of chicken one night, the leftovers go into chicken salad or a casserole for another day.
Thanks for the chance to enter the giveaway!

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377 Kristine June 29, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Not forgetting to eat left overs is about as clever as we get lately. Oh, that and I make all of my 7 month olds baby food. I think that saves us some money.

$500 would help us so much!!

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378 Jenny M June 29, 2008 at 10:28 pm

Form a hand me down/pass along club. I have a network of good firends that pass along their kids clothing and toys that have been outgrown.
I shop rummage sales- church/group ones are my favoirte
Plan meals in advance
Write down where your spend every penny for a month and see where your biggest leaks are
use your library- get videos and books instead of buying them

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379 jay June 29, 2008 at 10:30 pm

change your own oil

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380 Catalina K June 29, 2008 at 10:38 pm

Find out from store catalogs when they have sale periods for groceries, go buy your food supplies from those particular stores. Use coupons, as someone else has already said. Save on the electricity bills by hand-washing the dishes from time to time. Cook your own meals instead of eating out.

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381 Amber June 29, 2008 at 10:55 pm

I will save time and money sometimes by making multiples of one dish and freeze the extra for a quick easy meal later rather than being tempted to grab fast food or pizza. :-)

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382 Deanne June 29, 2008 at 10:56 pm

These are my money saving strategies:
*Buy 85% of your kids clothes at garage sales….there is alot of great stuff out there. (once your kids get older this gets harder, but for young kids it works well). The other 15% buy on sale or full price for special occasions clothing.
* Have your own garage sale and sell the clothes you bought at garage sales once your kids grow out of them. It’s like clothing your kids for free…make your money back (or at least half)!
*Buy store brand foods. 80% of what I buy is store brand and it saves me a bunch!
*I have rotating “cheapie” meals that I make 2-3 times a week like hot dogs and mac and cheese or melted ham and cheese sandwiches, turkey smoked sausage, a can of baked beans and a baked potato.
*Find fun FREE things to do together! Instead of going out to eat, pack up your family, grab your kids Big Wheel and some lunch and picnic at the park. My son enjoys this more than eating out and it saves mommy and daddy $$$.

Thanks for sharing Janice! It’s nice to know others are in the same boat…I’ve realy enjoyed reading all the comments. I’d love to know what other people have as their “cheapie” meals. I’m always on the lookout for kid friendly (and hubby friendly) cheap meals!
*

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383 Becky June 29, 2008 at 10:58 pm

I d a lot of couponing but, these days, there aren’t many for food! I told my husband we may have to live on cereal and yogurt…there are lots of Qs for those!
Would Love to win this! We need it! thanks!

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384 Heather Brandt June 29, 2008 at 11:08 pm

We succeed when we plan our meals and actually have our shopping list arranged according to where things are in the store (like vegetables/produce are grouped together on the list).

heatherlbrandt (at) verizon (dot) nete

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385 Heather Brandt June 29, 2008 at 11:08 pm

We succeed when we plan our meals and actually have our shopping list arranged according to where things are in the store (like vegetables/produce are grouped together on the list).

heatherlbrandt (at) verizon (dot) net

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386 Stacy M. June 29, 2008 at 11:14 pm

-Plan a meal menu, buy items in bulk that can be made into many different meals and use COUPONS!!!
-Use the library—it’s the best kept secret for poor people! you can order almost any movie or CD online and if you have patient they will ship it in from another library that has it–all for FREE, and you can keep it for 7 days!
-One of my trickier ways to saving $ is by the expensive cereal one time, save the box then by the generic equivalent and put it in the name brand expensive box—-my fussy kids had no clue for many years when they were little, not untill they busted me making the switch!!LOL

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387 Melanie June 29, 2008 at 11:14 pm

Definitely planning my meals ahead of time, making a list and STICKING to it at the grocery store. I also use a lot of coupons. Thanks for a great giveaway!

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388 Barbara M June 29, 2008 at 11:18 pm

I cook a lot with all kinds of beans.
I even them to goulash soup whatnot.
Saves a lot!

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389 casual friday everyday June 29, 2008 at 11:22 pm

meal planning, shopping at a variety of stores and growing your own veggies. great contest!

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390 Laureen June 29, 2008 at 11:28 pm

We try to make lots of casseroles with this and that, usually involving leftovers so that we can eat the newly created casserole for a few days in a row, saving on cost of more ingredients and time in preparing meals.

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391 Michelle Rosborough June 29, 2008 at 11:33 pm

In the summer we eat more fruits & veggies..less meat.

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392 Carolyn June 29, 2008 at 11:37 pm

Okay, this sounds wierd, but it works. Make your morning coffee as usual the first day. The second day, reuse the grounds but add half the amount you would usually use. You can do this each day until the filter holds no more then start over. It still tastes great and I save on coffee and filters. I didn’t believe it at first, but it works.

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393 Jennifer Russell June 29, 2008 at 11:40 pm

We havea fish bowl filled with “conversation starters” that we keep at the dinner table. It helps keep us at the dinner table and keep us interested in whats going on in eachothers lives!

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394 MELISSA June 29, 2008 at 11:50 pm

I watch all the weekly grocery flyers and use lots of coupons! I tend to save a minimum of $75 a trip!

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395 Michelle Goebig June 29, 2008 at 11:52 pm

I make dinner every night. This makes everyone meet at the dinner table. Also, to keep us in budget i use cash. Once the cash is gone, then i have to stop spending money.

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396 zoz June 29, 2008 at 11:56 pm

I bought a freezer, which allows me to buy and cook in bulk.
I cook enough for several meals at once, then freeze in individual portions. I menu plan using the store circulars, and only shop at stores that offer double coupons. I shop at Costco once every six weeks for certain staples that I know are always cheaper there, and I only buy what’s on my list. For all the rest of my non-bulk groceries, I order them online and have them delivered. This eliminates any impulse buying, and saves time, energy, and gas money.

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397 Becky June 30, 2008 at 12:01 am

I make out my grocery list and next to each item I write the estimated cost. As I go through the store I keep track of my accuracy and know if I am over or under budget. Since I have a tally already before I go into the store can keep everything straight rather than forget the litte items that add up! I never go over budget and frequently come in $20-40 under! It has worked for years!

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398 kris hickey June 30, 2008 at 12:06 am

I love saving moola by using coupons for things that are also on sale and by cooking and crafting things from scratch when I can.

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399 Amy June 30, 2008 at 12:13 am

We make meal plans, use LOTS of coupons and shop the sales at several stores to get the best prices. It’s time-consuming and sometimes exhausting but it’s so worth it in the long run! We also make one large meal and sometimes freeze 1/2 of it (like lasagna or pizza or a casserole) so that all we have to do on a busy night is heat and eat. Those nights I don’t have to cook are really a treat for all of us! More time with the family = a happy mama! :)

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400 Lois June 30, 2008 at 12:40 am

Like to buy in bulk and freeze. Also do breakfast
for dinner once in a while.

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401 Bhavana June 30, 2008 at 12:45 am

We have almost stopped eating out. I always keep trying out new recipes to avoid getting bored at the dinner table.
Also we try to finish everything in the refrigerator , we buy what we need and use it up.
I try not to linger around the aisles at the grocery store, I notice that I spend a lot lesser that way!

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402 Greta June 30, 2008 at 12:51 am

We have pretty much stopped eating out too AND we have severly limited our driving.

I would LOVE to win this particular giveaway. Thanks for the chance!

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403 LVLP June 30, 2008 at 12:53 am

We are fortunate to have 4 different grocery stores within a 4 mile radius….so we shop the ads and keep our pantry well stocked! Canned goods, boxed goods, dressings and cereals will keep for a while so we rarely have to run out and pay top dollar.

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404 debbie tyler June 30, 2008 at 1:12 am

We love Libbys. I use lots of coupons and often get free items. I also buy whatever meats are on sale for the week. There are 2 grocery stores just a few miles from me so I go to both for the specials. If it is a great buy and you can only get one or two I will go in the beginning of the week then again later.

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405 Jessica T June 30, 2008 at 1:20 am

This may sound like an oxymoron, but I buy meals from CareFree Chef (where you go and pay to prepare oven ready meals and then keep them in your freezer). It costs a bit more than making them from scratch, but it prevents me from eating out or ordering in when I’m unprepared or don’t feel like cooking! So, in the long run, it saves me $$!

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406 Wendy June 30, 2008 at 3:45 am

We plan our meals so that when we go to the grocery store we buy what we need for those dinners. It helps us from impulse shopping. But hey, you gotta splurge on a cheesecake once in awhile :)

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407 greg bern June 30, 2008 at 7:36 am

check out angelfoodministry.com for week of food for 30.00. 38 states pick up in. 40 to60 value.

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408 Anna Martin June 30, 2008 at 7:36 am

Planning is the key to sucess on a tight buget. I plan nightly meals that are light and simple! Breakfast is always satisfying and light on the stomach with the soaring heat that the South produces! You can eat healthy even if it means times are tougher than usually.I’m a heart paitient and eat better than I use to, using lots of fruit and cold vegetables for salads is one way to curb your appetite!

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409 Liz June 30, 2008 at 7:50 am

Even with a small household, menu planning is key. And making double portions to freeze for later – it saves time and if you’re already making spaghetti for 4, why not make it for 8?

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410 Christina W. June 30, 2008 at 7:57 am

It takes a master plan to keep a food budget as tight as we need to. Always have a meal plan, with complete shopping lists. Use coupons, and shop at discount grocery stores that double them. Take the extra time to determine if generic might be cheaper, even with the double coupons (bring a calculator!) Buy fruits and veggies at local farmer’s markets. My son has a serious milk-protein allergy, so we can’t skimp on his formula, instead I make his baby food at home.

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411 ANNE SRODA June 30, 2008 at 8:02 am

We live in the country, so I save up my errands for one trip into town per week. Also started hanging my clothes out to dry.

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412 Lisa Foster June 30, 2008 at 8:14 am

I plan my meals a week in advance and always have at least 2 cheap nights–like breakfast for dinner or a big loaded bake potatato and salad

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413 Kari Follett June 30, 2008 at 8:33 am

We only shop twice a month to save on gas out to the superwalmart, and we started buying in bulk as much as possible.

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414 Carrie Cabral June 30, 2008 at 8:40 am

I cook from scratch and we have started a neighborhood garden co-op. Our seeds were free from the government’s “America the Beautiful” fund. They sent 100 seed packets… vegetables, herbs and flowers. We share and can what we have as excess.

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415 Jacqueline June 30, 2008 at 8:44 am

It seems we’re being forced to do what I gradparents (and perhaps some of our parents) did – get creative with leftovers. One large roasted chicken means chicken enchilada casserole the next day and then leftovers of that the day after. But it’s not all bad – kids tend to recall those leftovers as some of their favorites when they grow older!

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416 grubmama June 30, 2008 at 8:46 am

I do my bulk shopping on Sunday and then get little things like milk during the week. I try to get one of each…fresh produce, fruit, meat and carb. I try not to buy too much all at once and have to throw out some of the vegetables if it goes bad. I also use canned vegetables if I can.

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417 Lisa June 30, 2008 at 9:03 am

Coupons, coupons, coupons! I use the usual ones in the Sunday paper, but I’ve also found out that if you sign up for online email newsletters for various restaurants, you will be flooded with freebie offers for meals, appetizers, ice cream cones, etc. around your birthday. Yummy!

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418 DW June 30, 2008 at 9:32 am

Hope we see more manufacturer’s do more of these ease the pain types of promotions. When someone wins one they seem to be more appreciated than in the past. And, yes I hope I win this too.

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419 Laliev June 30, 2008 at 9:45 am

Shop for bulk once a month and then hold my breath!

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420 Denise June 30, 2008 at 10:15 am

We need to do a better job with shopping and meal planning, but we did join a CSA a few years ago so we get great local, organic produce. We also drive very little.

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421 Megan A. June 30, 2008 at 10:41 am

Planning our meals and snacks based on what’s on sale and making a list are musts, but the most important thing for me is to do my grocery shopping with cash. I used to use a credit card for the reward points, but if I’m limited to the cash in my wallet, I save more than the 2% I would get back from using my credit card.

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422 Amanda Titus June 30, 2008 at 10:43 am

We design meals like shepard’s pie that lasts for a couple days. I always pour in a couple cans of carrots to our pasta sauce & with my shepard’s pie, I add cans of peas, corn & green beans. It’s a HUGE hit.

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423 kate5405 June 30, 2008 at 10:51 am

I’m a retiree with a limited income. I scan the grocery ads and make menues for the week and make my lists according to the sales. Luckily several grocery stores are within a few blocks of each other so I can visit several in one trip. I must also limit impulse buying–so now I just put Ben & Jerry’s on my list and know that is my splurge for the week. An extra $500 would be wonderful.

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424 Evelyn June 30, 2008 at 10:54 am

This is a great prize. it could really help save some money and help in feeding the kids as well. Practical and useful!

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425 Ronda Garnett June 30, 2008 at 11:03 am

I am like all the others, coupons & sales…combining trips to save gas…walking to the store if I need only a few things…but…we also fish…so if you can catch your own bait…you get free fish and free entertainment.

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426 Ellie June 30, 2008 at 11:33 am

During the winter I make a lot of soups from scratch, then freeze part. My son is only 2, so we don’t have a problem sitting down for dinner.

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427 Perky June 30, 2008 at 12:01 pm

I’m a host site for a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) this summer, so I’m getting all the veggies for free. It just takes a little work and we get so much back in return! It’s definitely helping to keep our grocery budget in line!!!

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428 Tania Edwards June 30, 2008 at 12:17 pm

I make a dinner menu to make sure I buy everything I need at the grocery store. It helps to avoid impulse purchases when running back to pick up one or 2 things! Not to mention saving the gas not making a second trip!!

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429 April June 30, 2008 at 12:18 pm

I will purchase certain foods when they are on sale, e.g. chicken, and then cook ahead my meals and freeze them. Not only does this save money but it also saves time on busy nights.

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430 Ashley June 30, 2008 at 12:23 pm

The thing that saves us the most money is that I plan every shopping trip beforehand. If I go without an itemized list all kinds of junk ends up in my cart!

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431 Kathy June 30, 2008 at 12:28 pm

websites- this one of course, but also saving dinner.com,freecycle,dollarstretcher- you can learn so much

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432 Shimmy Mom June 30, 2008 at 1:06 pm

The thing I do most is to buy in bulk (Costco has become a very good friend to me) and when ever something is on sale I buy two instead of one or 5 instead of 2 or 3 and put them in my storage room in the basement so I always have some “food storage” on hand.

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433 on the Rock June 30, 2008 at 1:09 pm

Having to find ways to cut back on costs is also helping stay alittle more slim. We actually now share any take-out food to make sure a meal will cost as little as possible. Then just wait atleast thirty minutes to see if you’re still really hungry – and voila! We find we’re actually quite satisfied with our portion.

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434 Monique Rizzo June 30, 2008 at 1:26 pm

We save money by using coupons and doubling them up with sales. We also plan our gas usage by doing all our errands on the same day. We keep lights off as much as possible in the house, and we recycle ziploc bags.

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435 Carlos Pandiella June 30, 2008 at 2:00 pm

Easy way to cut cost, Try out a light any easy fruit diet. You can buy them cheaply and it helps you cut back on bad foods.

But the bad ones do tatse sooo good.

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436 Barbara Richards June 30, 2008 at 2:03 pm

I’m enjoying the tips on here.Thank you for the giveaway!

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437 JenO June 30, 2008 at 2:11 pm

We have trouble with impulse buys in our family. (all of us, including me I’m ashamed to admit) The first trick is to only send one person to the store. The second is to allow ourselves one impulse buy. Giving ourselves permission is very gratifying, but since it’s just one we’re more thoughtful about what lands in the cart that wasn’t on the list.

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438 Aryn June 30, 2008 at 2:21 pm

Meal planning is definitely key. I always try to make sure that if I’m using something “exotic” like coconut milk, I make sure to find another recipe for the week that will use up the left-over ingredient.

If something isn’t on the list, it doesn’t get purchased.

I also have to keep myself away from Target, my number one stop for impulse buys. :)

500 dollars would really come in handy right now!

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439 Sarah June 30, 2008 at 2:26 pm

We’re starting a veggie garden!

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440 joanmurraycefalu June 30, 2008 at 2:41 pm

Not only menu planning and taking into seasonal savings, but shopping with a list ( and leaving the children and husband home). The more people who shop with you, the more people to add extras to the cart. She shops cheapest who shops alone!!!

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441 tracy mccarty June 30, 2008 at 2:55 pm

I can’t wait for this giveaway! I have 5 young children and am always on a budget! I love libby’s and am greatful for this great contest! It will definitely help whoever wins!

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442 Linda June 30, 2008 at 3:00 pm

I shop at discount stores where there is no name brand.

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443 EJW June 30, 2008 at 3:06 pm

I plan meals, cook from scratch, and eat those leftovers for lunch. That’s been a huge money-saver in our grocery bil.

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444 Megan B. June 30, 2008 at 3:11 pm

I plan all my meals the week before and shop every Sunday with a defined shopping list on a FULL stomach so I don’t make any impulsive buys. We don’t eat take out anymore, we eat in so we can conserve more money.

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445 Carol Russell June 30, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Shopping for sales, useing coupons, planning meals, reworking leftovers, adding a can of vegtables to strech a dish are just some of the ways I save on my grocery bill.

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446 Shay June 30, 2008 at 4:19 pm

COUPONS! That’s all I can say I shop at Publix and they double up to 50 cents. I usually save anywhere between $30-50 per weekly visit.

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447 CAROLYN June 30, 2008 at 4:26 pm

I go to the dollar store first!

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448 Kristyn Martin June 30, 2008 at 4:54 pm

Clipping coupons and buying generic brand foods has helped save us bundles!

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449 Jennifer W June 30, 2008 at 5:00 pm

Our biggest money saver is shopping at Aldi and if we have to shop somewhere else then using coupons.

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450 Elizabeth June 30, 2008 at 5:05 pm

Coupons help. Thank you for the contest!

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451 Andrea June 30, 2008 at 5:38 pm

We do as much cooking as we can from home. We prepare a list based on the recipes we plan to make throughout the week, which keeps us focused on the grocery store and away from the quick fix items that cost so much.

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452 laurie June 30, 2008 at 5:46 pm

I never head out to food shop without a list, and I try hard not to fall for impulse buying. I meal plan around whatever is on sale.

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453 Glenda Warden June 30, 2008 at 6:04 pm

Thus may not work for everyone, but we have a large deep freezer and I purchase milk when it is on sale and freeze it. Simply pour out some of the milk into another container so the milk had room to expand as it freezes ,and thaw when needed.

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454 Christine June 30, 2008 at 7:19 pm

The one thing that helped save a lot of money for our family was a vegetable garden. I used the square foot method and it was amazing how many different vegetables I could grow, even melons and corn. It’s great not having to buy any. Thank you so much!

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455 Anna June 30, 2008 at 7:23 pm

One thing that I try to do is never go to the grocery store when I am hungry, seems to me I buy quite a bit moe, I try to make a menu, make a list and stick to that. I check the sales paper and try to plan meals around the items that are on sale,I use coupons. I also stick to making home cooked meals, rather than eating out.

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456 Melissa June 30, 2008 at 7:24 pm

We only go to the grocery store AFTER we have eaten…we spend so much less that way than we do when we go hungry!

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457 Teresa Hoyt June 30, 2008 at 7:44 pm

I always try to shop bulk, so I’m not making a unnecessary trips to the grocery store!

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458 laurie June 30, 2008 at 7:55 pm

We go only every 2 weeks, and find we spend less in total that way. if we need bread, milk, eggs or produce in between, the local markets are cheaper on those items anyway.

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459 Vikki C. June 30, 2008 at 8:12 pm

Most of the best ways I have found to save money are pretty basic. Some meals are really cheap, like spaghetti, so we have that once a week. “Fill out” meals with inexpensive vegetables, like adding peas or chopped broccoli to your side dish. It is healthier for you and will save you money. Use coupons matched to sales whenever possible. Cut down on the processed packaged treats and try making some snacks yourself. There are a bunch of things like rice krispy treats that are easy to make and inexpensive.

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460 Jill June 30, 2008 at 8:30 pm

I have a few tricks I use. One is meal planning and then making my shopping list and completely sticking to it. I make my list in conjunction with The Grocery Game which helps me combine coupons with sales. I have cut $150 a month off my grocery budget and it is continuing to decrease!!

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461 Tara Hill June 30, 2008 at 8:38 pm

We scrape by with coupons and sales. We are trying to sell my car, so we will only have one. We don’t have cable or watch TV, so that enables us to spend lots of time together, not just at the dinner table!

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462 leslie long June 30, 2008 at 8:50 pm

Coupons, sales, lists and planning…home cooking with the basics keeps costs down. Thanks for all this great info>

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463 sandra smulevitz June 30, 2008 at 8:54 pm

Libby’s veggies are wonderful, they taste like fresh vegetables and their price is very reasonable. We go out of our way to purchase them.

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464 Colleen June 30, 2008 at 9:16 pm

We have set a limit to spend every week, and no matter what, don’t go over it. It can be tricky, but forces you to decide what your really need, and get creative with meal planning.

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465 Kathy Thrasher June 30, 2008 at 9:31 pm

whoohoow!!!! Food

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466 Laura June 30, 2008 at 9:44 pm

I use coupons when I can. Remember if you wait a week or two after the coupon comes out in the paper, the item will go on sale. I also buy the store brand for many products and not the name brand. Lastly, Big Lots usually has crackers, cookies, cereal, water, and some canned goods at discount prices.

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467 Terri Fisher June 30, 2008 at 9:50 pm

My husband works second shift, so during the summer months, we make lunch our big meal of the day so that we can eat together as a family. Very rarely do we make other plans that will take us away at that time of day so that we can have that one time together without interruption.

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468 Heather Otis June 30, 2008 at 9:55 pm

I shop in bulk. Once a week I spend 1 day cooking 3-4 meals. So its all ready for the week. then we arent tempted to eat out.

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469 Caryn B June 30, 2008 at 9:56 pm

Wow…yes…the rising cost of everything is truly difficult. I cut coupons of course. I do a ton of comparison shopping with the weekly ads but try not to run around because I have a little boy who keeps me busy, I work part-time as a nurse, and have a household to care for. Plus running around defeats the purpose of saving when gas is at least $4.50 here in So. Cal! We use Quicken to calculate our expenses. It tells us exactly how much we spent, what we spent money on and how much we saved. It’s a wake-up call when you see how much/how often you spend money on things like coffee, eating out, etc. We TRY not to eat out because the money we spend eating out could be groceries which means several meals as opposed to one. We try to make my son’s food…it helps that he’s starting to eat what we eat. We try to buy local/organic and at least all-natural so we use Mamo Sprouts’ coupons which help.

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470 Sandy F. June 30, 2008 at 10:01 pm

we definately do meal plans before we go shopping and check out the circular to see if what we need is on sale. cutting coupons is also a must! oh and thank goodness for Grandparents….useally we get at least 2 meals a week from them!!!

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471 Andrea R June 30, 2008 at 10:13 pm

I buy my meat on sale & freeze it. Then I plan my dinners around what meats I have in the freezer.

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472 MELISSA June 30, 2008 at 10:37 pm

I use lots of coupons and look thru all the grocery sales, planning & organization is a key to saving money!

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473 Blair June 30, 2008 at 10:41 pm

Just about everything possible to cut costs we do. With just the 2 of us I can stretch main meals and servings. I buy red meat, pork, fish and chicken when it’s on sale whether it’s a manager’s special to cook that night or week or to freeze parts of a bulk purchase. I serve 2 non meat meals a week. I use leftovers creatively. If we had salt potatoes left over one day, they become part of a Spanish omelette for dinner the next day. And of course I use coupons and look for BOGO free offers which I can usually find regularly in one of our 4 main supermarkets.
I also use my frozen vegetables from the garden from last summer or fresh when in season.

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474 Dawn June 30, 2008 at 10:41 pm

Wow – look at all the entries! We only buy store brand items on several things, which saves alot. We also bulk shop with sales and freeze lots. It helps!

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475 Karen W June 30, 2008 at 11:48 pm

I like to stock up when things go on sale!

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476 tracey c June 30, 2008 at 11:49 pm

we buy on sale, use coupons, buy store brand and family packs of things like ground chuck and chicken. We also make our own pizza and buy the snacks at discount stores. We have a meal plan and stick to it.

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477 Laura June 30, 2008 at 11:55 pm

Know your prices! I use a price book to keep track of the prices in my area. I know which item is the least expensive at the four stores. This enables me shop for those particular items at those stores. Our town is small so those four grocery stores are close together. I also shop stores such at Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and Fred’s for sale items that come out cheaper than the regular price I pay. I buy in bulk and only use a coupon now if it makes the item the least expensive. We have two chest freezers in addition to the fridge/freezer. I keep those stocked with sale meats, etc. We reuse leftovers to make other meals and I do some OAMC (once a month cooking). We also grow a vegetable garden, herb garden and are starting to get more fruit trees in addition to the grape vines, cherry trees, and blueberry bushes we have. I can an surplus of fruit and veggies to get us through the lean winter months.

Shop yard sales and thrift stores for clothing too! I also sew many of the girls’ dresses as I can’t find ones in the store long enough for us. I buy $1 material from Walmart for the dresses and jumpers and then use old white sheets to make their pantaloons (think Little House on the Prarie and you’ll see the dresses and jumpers with pantaloons my two youngest wear… keeps them modest as they like to climb with their brothers).

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478 Laura July 1, 2008 at 12:10 am

I grocery shop every Wednesday. Thats the day the sales change. I also try to only buy when things are BOGO.

laura_licious101@hotmail.com

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479 dawntrenee July 1, 2008 at 12:23 am

I clip alot of coupons, I get the Sunday paper just to get the coupons, it more than pays for the paper. Along with that my husband and i have been making better use of leftovers, we are taking them for lunch and not throwing food away. I also try to shop less, I use to stop and get something almost every day, I have cut down on that tremendously.

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480 goose022 July 1, 2008 at 12:27 am

My biggest money saving tip is to stock up when an item is on sale. With the high gas prices I now limit my grocery shopping to one big shop versus many little trips.

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481 Jean July 1, 2008 at 12:47 am

We use cash to stay on budget. However much fun money we get, we get it in cash. It’s so much harder to spend!

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482 Cori Westphal July 1, 2008 at 1:15 am

My biggest money saver is coupons. My tip for saving the most: Clip every coupon. You may not think you need the product but if it goes on sale, combined with the coupon, you can get things for either very cheap or sometimes free. I just went to the store today and saved $38.00 on my $60 bill. Even the cashier was impressed. Clip every coupon…it works! Thanks for the contest!

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483 Molly Capel July 1, 2008 at 2:33 am

The biggest thing I think I do to help with our family budget, is concerning our food. I find myself not buying all the “usual” snack & food items. sitting down & actually planning out menus & writing out a shopping list. I’ve also started making double meals- one to eat right away & the other to get put in the freezer for another night. This is actually really helpful for my time budget. I also find that we aren’t driving around as much as we normally do. If we can walk somewhere, we do.

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484 Vilma Rosado July 1, 2008 at 2:39 am

I am such a good coupon user that most stores dread me, and before that habit was stopped, after using coupons store managers actually OWED me money. Once before coupons stopped paying the difference if the item was on sale. I did a $265 grocery shopping where the store manager had to hand me $2.00 back, and with rebate items, that trip turned out free! Set a budget, cut coupons, go where you find the best sales for items you really use everyday.

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485 Gina July 1, 2008 at 3:21 am

I make a weekly menu and stick to it. When you don’t plan you tend to eat out every meal. I also make a list of everything I need and don’t get anything that’s not on the list. (unless my husband comes with me… then he throws things in)

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486 Tia Carter July 1, 2008 at 4:30 am

i hope i win

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487 Mary_Freebies July 1, 2008 at 6:50 am

Our number 1 tip is to buy for the month, or else for the week. When you buy small quantities of anything from food to cleaning materials, you pay for a huge difference. Not to forget the trips it takes.

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488 Mel Jeffrey July 1, 2008 at 6:58 am

Planning menus each week is our best way to save money. It keeps us from going out when we can’t think of what’s for dinner.

During the summer, my 9 and 5 year old daughters each get a night to plan the menu, help shop and prepare the food. They are getting to be great cook’s helpers and really enjoy looking at new recipes. It helps me because I don’t have to to think up a dinner idea!

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489 cheryl bailen July 1, 2008 at 7:39 am

love to use libby products.

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490 Diane Elliott July 1, 2008 at 7:43 am

I have a contest with the kids about who can come up with the cheapest dinner idea (healthy of course), have them shop with me to pick it out and then we eat it as a family!

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491 Melanie July 1, 2008 at 7:54 am

I try and fix meals that can be easily frozen and/or eaten more than one day during the week. I try to look for meat on sale–buy one get one free–and fix the entire batch and freeze half of it for later. That way, I knock out two or three days worth of meals in one shot and also cut down on the effort of cooking it all.

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492 Mattie July 1, 2008 at 10:39 am

We are fortunate enough to have a freezer here at work, so when lean tv dinners go on a big sale I stock up and keep them in the freezer here. They’re handy and I don’t have to use space at the house…leaves me with room to stock up on other items when I catch a good deal.

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493 Tracy July 1, 2008 at 10:41 am

With 2 young children I haven’t a lot of time to spend fussing with dinner. As a newer parent I stuggle with trying to find a happy medium. I so look forward to reading tips from other more seasoned parents and try to implement some new technique each month. I’m finding that setting up a meal schedule at the beginning of the month (so that my kids don’t have the same meal at home and daycare on any one given day). Thanks for your great blog !!

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494 Carl July 1, 2008 at 10:58 am

I shop from multiple grocery stores to get the best deals. Believe it or not, there are a lot of items at Whole Foods than are cheaper than Ralphs or Vons.

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495 JenPerkins July 1, 2008 at 11:03 am

As a working mom, it’s tempting to take shortcuts and spend extra money on snacks and lunch. To save, I always bring my lunch, avoid the candy/soda machine, and no longer pick up a cup of coffee when I’m out.

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496 Ashley McCourt July 1, 2008 at 11:45 am

As a full-time working mother of an 8-month-old, time is precious. I don’t want to spend all evening in the kitchen when I should be spending time with my son and husband. What I do is prepare a lot of simple meals during the week like frozen pizzas, Hamburger Helper, etc. and on the weekends, I cook like crazy and freeze the leftovers in single size portions. Makes for an easy lunch later!! I bring my lunch to work, don’t eat fast food anymore, and drink water from the fountain (or bring my own) instead of hitting the soda machine.

I also do lots of research online to find coupons for everything I normally purchase. I’ll normally shop all the stores, too, to make sure I’m getting the best deal.

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497 Jeff July 1, 2008 at 11:47 am

I always bring my lunch to work.

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498 Brandy Bush July 1, 2008 at 1:44 pm

We definitely have to plan ahead. I try to buy canned goods and such once a month and buy bread and meat once every 7-10 days to avoid waste. We wil spend way too much eating out if I don’t prepare ahead! It’s just way too convenient but also too expensive!

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499 harlin July 1, 2008 at 2:05 pm

always clean up the leftovers. In 52 years of marriage we have never thrown out food. Yum Yum

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500 DebE July 1, 2008 at 2:15 pm

I read the store ads and try to stock up on the featured products on sale for that week.

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501 lovedandamazed July 1, 2008 at 2:52 pm

One way that I have helped my budget costs is by buying turkey bacon instead of pork. I can get it for $2.23 a pound, and unlike pork bacon, its turkey counterpart has almost no fat and I can use every bit of that 16 ounces. This has helped us in a small way, but I feel good about it because bacon had become a real treat.

Thanks for the chance to win such a huge help!

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502 Cheryl July 1, 2008 at 2:59 pm

enter me

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503 Debbie July 1, 2008 at 3:11 pm

I’ve invested in a vacuum sealer. I now buy meats and produce on sale and prep them for the freezer. I can also use the sealer to reseal bags of pretzels, chips and cookies so I don’t have to throw them away because they’ve gone stale. It also allows me to prepare some meals in advance. It’s nice to be able to come home and grab something already prepared. It saves us from the temptation of going out to dinner.

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504 Jenelle July 1, 2008 at 3:55 pm

We save money on groceries by using coupons ONLY for what we need (as opposed to buying it ’cause it’s such a great deal). I agree with the other posters about meal planning. I find that I will through away a ton of food, especially produce and left overs. By planning meals I use what I have on hand (because I only buy what I need) and I’ve have planned – overs to eat. Since I work full time out of the house the planned overs are life savers and keep us from eating out alot too.

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505 Kristi Price July 1, 2008 at 4:03 pm

Eating lots of leftovers, having meals that you can stretch like spaghetti, beans and rice, chicken pot pie, buying what’s on sale each week and using coupons when I can. Things are getting really tough..thanks for the giveaway!

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506 Elisa Perkins July 1, 2008 at 4:05 pm

Our biggest way to save money is to stay home. It’s hard with three kids who want to be on the go, but their dad just got fired so we have to watch EVERY penny. The kids understand and I try to keep them entertained here but it’s hard.

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507 Dandelion Quilts July 1, 2008 at 5:13 pm

I plan out our meals before heading to the store. I try to plan a few meals that share some common ingredients. We also try to eat in more and watch the adds.

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508 D. July 1, 2008 at 5:14 pm

Plant a garden!

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509 Jess July 1, 2008 at 5:16 pm

My tip is Once a Month Cooking and having easy meals on hand, to prevent from eating out “because there is nothing to eat!” (we’ve all heard that one). I also try to find coupons and deals that are going on at the same time, to get the most for my buck. There are a lot of website that do the searching work for you.

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510 M.A. July 1, 2008 at 5:21 pm

Grown some fresh, healthy fruit and/or berries: raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, grapes, apples, plums, pears, lemons, limes, oranges..(depends on where you live) and share the wealth with your neighbors.

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511 Margaret McClatchey July 1, 2008 at 6:18 pm

Cut greeting cards so that you can reuse them as postcards.

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512 Kasey July 1, 2008 at 6:46 pm

We are a family of movie watcher which gets everyone together for an evening dinner and a movie. The pay per views which were once taken for granted because it was so easy to just push a button became no more and we ended up getting a mail service for the movies. They still get to pick what they want to watch on movie night and the good thing is it cut the cost in half and that was do-able.

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513 Joanna Smith July 1, 2008 at 7:52 pm

There are a lot of things that my husband Hudson and I do to save money and also enjoy quality family time at the dinner table. We are both what I call culinary artists (LOL) so we truly involve the entire family (all 5 of us) in preparing our meals. We engage our kids in stirring and mixing, and they enjoy and laugh at us while we decide what ingredients we are going to throw in the mix for that evening’s meal. The kids enjoy watching us create healthy and savory meals and they actually look forward to sitting down to eat because not only have they been a part of the dinner’s creation, but they are anxious to try what the final outcome is. Involving the entire family in preparing meals is a wonderful way to bond with your kids and we create a lot of magic memories each and every night. We have joined both Sam’s Club and BJ’s to save money and we purchase large quantities of food which really cuts down on our monthly food spending. We also cook large quantities at one time so my husband packs leftovers to bring to work for lunch the next day and I pack leftovers for the kids to bring to school. We no longer get nickeled and dimed by paying more to go out to lunch or pay for lunches.

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514 Deborah Meyer July 1, 2008 at 8:10 pm

I make menus for every day so that I won’t buy things I don’t need. I pick recipes that are inexpensive and nutritious and I plan for variety during the week without buying items at full price or unnecessary items.

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515 Kelly G. July 1, 2008 at 8:28 pm

We are staying home more too! We enjoy re-watching old movie favorites or teaching our young daughter to count by playing a fun game of cards.

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516 Beverly July 1, 2008 at 9:25 pm

I scour the internet for coupons. I get so excited when I get free stuff or rebates or cents off! But my most frugal savings, is eating at my Mom’s a couple times of week. It’s free and filling.

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517 Mercy V. July 1, 2008 at 9:49 pm

What I have been doing lately is shopping on a per week basis so that I don’t over spend. Previously I would overspend on lunch items for the work week or overspend on breakfast items. Also I search for coupons on the internet always go to the grocery store with a budget! :)

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518 Crystal Gleason July 1, 2008 at 10:04 pm

Coupons, coupons, coupons!

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519 Michaele July 1, 2008 at 10:18 pm

Although I’m really struggling to keep our grocery bills down, with three teeangers home for the summer, this is a weekly battle. What I have found that works, however, is things like making my weekly meal plans based on what is on sale in the Wednesday supermarket flyers. Keeping trips to the store down is a huge thing, especially since my kids are with me a lot, and when they are, the bill is always bigger…(please, Mom…please can we get….) We’ve also stopped buying canned dog food and now they only get dry. My husband brownbags it to work everyday and during the school year, the kids do too. Hopefully these things all manage to add up to some savings..it’s just hard to see it when everything else keeps going up in price, too!

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520 Michelle M. July 1, 2008 at 10:28 pm

I have 2 sisters and the 3 of us get together regularly to swap coupons. We don’t all buy the same brands so it works out very well that if one of us can’t use a coupon its likely one of the other two can.

Also, at my local grocery store, I leave expiring coupons on the shelf by the item so someone else may be able to use it if I can’t. I have benefited from other shoppers doing the same.

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521 shannon generazzo July 1, 2008 at 11:04 pm

Ok so I don’t eat vegetables… maybe this would be a good way to start!

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522 Andrea July 2, 2008 at 12:49 am

Many many things that can be done.. Grow vegetables,cut coupons, search internet for free samples( many of them out there), entertain at home
(movies,games,etc.

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523 Valerie Mitchell July 2, 2008 at 1:46 am

What a wonderful prize!

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524 AJ July 2, 2008 at 2:20 am

I go to the bread thrift store and buy bread and put it in bag from our regular store.Nobody knowns the difference and everyone is happy to have thier favorite brand but not at $2 a pop!

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525 Kathryn July 2, 2008 at 8:05 am

Two words – hot dogs! I have all boys and if we build a fire and let them roast hot dogs then they will eat. If you wait until a holiday (like the 4th of July) then you can probably get hot dogs for almost free. Many stores mark them down to nothing as an incentive to draw in customers. Also, buy extra and freeze a package of hotdogs with a package of buns in a freezer bag. You’ll always be ready for a fun dinners at the snap of your fingers (and it won’t cost much at all)

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526 Erica M July 2, 2008 at 9:33 am

Buy extras of things when they are on sale, buys store brands, meal plan, and don’t buy things we don’t need. Our bread thrift store is also a huge help… I can get wonderful chips and snacks there for much less than the grocery!

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527 Donna July 2, 2008 at 9:34 am

To stretch my food budget:
1. stockpile- when a food is on sale, I buy as many as I have coupons for.
2. coupons- I use coupons and even trade for coupons to buy items I use. Libraries sometimes have coupons they give away besides buying the Sunday paper.
3. Rebate to get free items- Walgreens, CVS & Rite Aid have free items every month. I do not pay for shampoo, toothpaste, etc.- This week it was free diapers!
3. Shop grocery stores after they do their mark downs. One Kroger always marks down milk to 99c after noon; plus other items such as bread and dairy are clearanced- short dated items.
4. Dented/Surplus stores- find stores that sell these items and cans of soup are 33c and many items under $1; but be selective.
5. Freeze short dated items I have gotten on clearance and meals that I have to much of.
6. Never go to the store hungry and never buy things just because I have a coupon.
7. Know prices- just because it’s on ‘sale’ doesn’t mean it’s a good price. I shop at more than one store to make my doller stretch farther.

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528 Charla July 2, 2008 at 10:14 am

We freeze our leftover fruit right before it goes bad and gets tossed out. Then we use it to make smoothies by adding some plain yogurt and fruit juice. Makes the kids feel like we splurged on a trip to the smoothie store without leaving home!

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529 Kathryn July 2, 2008 at 10:26 am

Hey Charla – which fruits do you freeze that way? Will bananas freeze? And I bet fresh pinapple would be perfect for this!

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530 Rebecca July 2, 2008 at 10:50 am

We garden, a lot. Oh, and we discovered that the row of hedge between our house and the neighbors, which is 18 feet tall in places, is actually neglected blackberry bushes! I’ve been picking quarts of berries everyday.

Berries on everything!!!

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531 Patricia Treskovich July 2, 2008 at 11:27 am

We garden and try to be creative with left-overs, and not waste food.

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532 holly July 2, 2008 at 11:42 am

I am just glad my husband has a job! I try to meal plan from what we have in the pantry and use coupons. It doesn’t always work, since coupons are usually for new, brand name products. I definitely could use help! cookiecutter72@hotmail.com

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533 Susan French July 2, 2008 at 12:48 pm

I use rebate credit cards for gas and pay them off every month so there’s no credit fees. 4% back on gas takes a little sting out of the prices (though not much!).

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534 Melanie July 2, 2008 at 1:29 pm

Fortunately, we are able to do our shopping on the military base which definitely saves money. However, now that gas is so high, going to the base for anything other than a major trip doesn’t make sense.

I combine errands now to save gas so if I’m in Target and cereal is on sale, I buy it. If I’m in the area of Henry’s or Trader Joe’s, I’ll go in and refresh some of the staples.

I’m also a big coupon clipper and can generally save $11-20 per trip. Thanks for the great contest and good luck to everyone!

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535 Shelly July 2, 2008 at 1:51 pm

I clip coupons. I also sign up for email lists for stores I frequent to get more coupons…then have a wallet to keep them all in so I always have them with me when I shop.

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536 james July 2, 2008 at 2:11 pm

I buy 10 pounds of chicken a week and 40 cans of tuna a month. These are my staples and each week I get different vegetables, potatoes, soups, etc. Generic spices are cheap, to give different tastes. I mix cream of mushroom with tuna and cream of chicken with tuna (1 can soup to 2 cans tuna) for sandwich spreads and throw some pastas in for difference in the month. I shop at aldi and big lots and my food bill never goes above 100 a month, but usually averages 70-80. I eat well and don’t pay a lot for it…if need be, i could live on 40-50 a month comfortably, but i’m spoiled…lol

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537 Shelly July 2, 2008 at 2:17 pm

I try to watch the sales and fill my storehouse whenever the opportunity allows. Yesterday, I went and picked 12 + gallons of apricots with my mom at our pastor’s home. It is a good year for fruit trees in our area, so we are putting the apricots in the freezer as jam and pie filling. Previously, I’ve done the same with apples, tomatoes. We also stock up at specials and use coupons to make things more affordable.

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538 Mimi Rodriguez July 2, 2008 at 3:59 pm

We save money and gather for dinner and a movie. I watch for buy one get one free items at my grocery and plan my meals around those sales. Then I check out a FREE movie from my local LIBRARY. They offer just about the same movies as Blockbuster or Netflix, but only FREE! The Library is a great money saving resource that is often under used.

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539 Pauline M July 2, 2008 at 4:15 pm

My family is doing as much as we can to keep costs down and trying to make it fun at the same time. Last night we rode our bikes to the grocery store to pick up some staples, attached to shopping bags to the handlebars and found out this works great! I also started taking the train to work, which has saved our family 70.00 a week in gas!

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540 Fresh Girl July 2, 2008 at 5:15 pm

We’re big coupon clippers at our house! Sometimes we amaze ourselves at how much we’re able to save that way. Takes some time though, but I think it’s worth it.

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541 Jana Cole July 2, 2008 at 7:00 pm

Coupons are a good idea, but the best thing is if you can plan a week’s worth of means at a time and make one big shopping trip, with only another trip or 2 during the week to fill in perishable items. Make a list of all ingredients and stick to it.

To get our family back to the dinner table, we play “game on the table” where one person thinks of an item on the table and gives everyone the 1st and last letters of the item and tells how many words it is. The person who guesses it correctly gets to pick the next item. My kids can’t wait to get to the table and start playing. They also stay at the table much longer than they used to, trying to stump everyone else! I actually have to stop dinner at some point or we would be there past everyone’s bedtime!!!

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542 rin July 2, 2008 at 7:03 pm

Get a Sam’s Club membership, because it’s worth it. I got a membership discount through employer’s discount, but the main thing is that you can find really good high-end clothing that got marked down. I got a Nicole Miller top for nine bucks and my mom got a gorgeous black sheath dress for 5.94!!!! We were so shocked that we had the cashier double-check the price!

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543 Tom Bellamy July 2, 2008 at 7:34 pm

Get rid of your credit cards.

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544 Tami July 2, 2008 at 7:46 pm

I just wrote about this topic on my blog earlier in the week. Here is what I wrote:

“Unless you live with a 6 month supply of food on hand, I am sure you have noticed that food and staple items have been increasing in price on an almost weekly basis. What are you doing to cope with it? I have implemented several strategies.

I use The Grocery Game to help me track sales and coupons for my favorite grocery store, Walgreens, and CVS.

My husband and I decided to split a cow with a friend. So we have about 6 months’ worth of grain-fed, hormone-free beef in our deep freezer.

My husband and children planted a garden this year.

I have stopped buying certain items that we really did not need.

We have a flock of chickens who are just starting to lay about 4 egss per day. That should increase as the younger chickens mature. We have 13 chickens right now, but my husband wants a few more. I can easily use half a dozen eggs at breakfast time.

I also try to make a monthly trip to Sam’s Club and Aldi’s. Both of these stores are close in proximity to one another, but they are about 30 mins away from my house. I try to plan several errands in that area. And I take a cooler and ice. Our Aldi’s has been the best place for eggs, milk, and baking ingredients. At Sam’s, I buy large bags of rice and flour and a few other items. Most of my Sam’s purchases are office supplies for my business.

I also read Money Saving Mom’s blog daily. She has the best resources listed, and I always find links to other bloggers who are saving money on various items.”

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545 Trisha Dowling July 2, 2008 at 8:09 pm

i clip every single coupon and keep them all in a baseball card holder, then everyweek i go through all the ads and try to maximize my savings. i shop half price items (b1g1) and double my coupons, often i leave spending under 10 on a buggy full of groceries.

also another idea. we cut our juices before the kids drink them. they get helf the sweets and we get twice the juice!

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546 Ann Pinkerton July 2, 2008 at 9:11 pm

I go to the store on senior day, combined with triple coupon day. Then I buy the items that are on special. My savings are usually cut my expense by 50% or more.

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547 Lois July 2, 2008 at 9:18 pm

I so need to read all these tips!

Lois

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548 alison July 2, 2008 at 10:17 pm

My husband and I car pool when we have to run errands, so we can help cut the price of gas by only using one car and one trip. We’ve also limited our budget on food, making a weekly amount we must stick to. It has helped us save money as well as not purchase unnecessary items.

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549 John July 2, 2008 at 11:31 pm

We could really use this!

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550 Casey July 3, 2008 at 1:31 am

To save money I shop on a full stomach and always take a list with me, so I can stay on track.

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551 Steve Maughan July 3, 2008 at 9:25 am

Meal planning. ugh.

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552 Marisa M July 3, 2008 at 11:56 am

I shop grocery sales, and am a member of thegrocerygame.com which helps me to know how to get the best deals. The key is to stalk up when things are on sale.

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553 Adrienne Gordon July 3, 2008 at 12:08 pm

plan our emals in advance so we only buy what we need at the store

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554 Demetra July 3, 2008 at 12:17 pm

For grocery shopping, I read all of the mail advertisements we receive so I know where I will save the most money. If something doesn’t spoil or has a long expiration date, and it’s an item we use frequently (like soy milk) we buy a few if we find an insanely cheap price. Also for big purchases we look for coupons online, or go to a nearby town where the taxes are cheaper. I also started taking the train to work b/c of the insane gas prices.
Comparison shopping, coupons, budgeting, and meal planning are always at the top of the list.

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555 Babalu July 3, 2008 at 12:36 pm

My local fruit and vegetable store has a good deal on bulk produce that is overripe. I often buy boxes of it totaling 10 pounds for $2 and cook the ugly fruit and veggies. I have tomato sauce whenever I want it, and stewed fruit. It’s yummy and nutritious. Some of them also freeze well.

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556 Karlina July 3, 2008 at 12:50 pm

We planted a garden this year, soon we’d eat our own vegetables. We use a lot of coupons. we are becoming vegetarians. Also we drive less. No more restaurants

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557 Elizabeth Dehart July 3, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Having a garden with fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs helps ALOT!

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558 Timothy Dehart July 3, 2008 at 12:51 pm

My wife does it all!

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559 Heather Sebastian July 3, 2008 at 1:18 pm

I force myself to not shop when I feel like we’re getting low on food so I use what we have, which is always plenty to make a few dinners with. Saves money on groceries and keeps food from going to waste.

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560 anna t. July 3, 2008 at 1:39 pm

I ride the bus everyday to work and back home. We recycle our cans, bottles and plastics.

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561 Robin S. July 3, 2008 at 1:46 pm

We have just plain cut back on everything that isn’t essential. Making fewer trips, having less company, making more meals with less groceries. Trying to make every dollar go as far as possible.

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562 cheryl July 3, 2008 at 2:22 pm

I hit the stores that sell the dented boxes and cans and things near their expiration date. My family goes through cereal fast so buying a box that is close to date is no problem as it’s going to be eaten within the week. I find cereal at $1.49 a box and dented canned foods at 3/$1 and load up. It allows me to splurge on better cuts of meat.

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563 Glenda D July 3, 2008 at 3:21 pm

I use all the coupons I possibly can for the weeks groceries and go on days that they double the coupon. Can plan menu for week after clipping coupons on Sunday. Saves a bundle.

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564 Michelle Y July 3, 2008 at 4:02 pm

Definitely agree with the above…by not eating out very often and instead having a home cooked meal is a huge money saver. Also when leftover are not eaten, I wrap them up and put it in the freezer for another day!

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565 Megan July 3, 2008 at 5:16 pm

After the grocery ad’s come out on Wednesday, I start matching my coupons to the sale prices and make up a menu for the next week mon-fri (we never know what we are going to do on the weekends, no since planning for meals…) and I only buy what I need for the meals I plan to make. i plan for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack. Then I go shopping WITH MY LIST on Sunday, so I dont have to take this kids. You would be suprised how much I save by not having to rush because of the kiddos. I have cut my grocery bill in 1/2! Pluss less trips to town!

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566 Marla July 3, 2008 at 5:25 pm

Well, I try to use coupons whenever possible for the items I would buy anyway. I try to shop with a list and fix meals at home rather than eating out. This chance to win is GREAT! Thanks!

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567 JUDY NO July 3, 2008 at 6:17 pm

Don’t eat lunch before Costco. Just sample

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568 Anne July 3, 2008 at 8:08 pm

My best way to get my family to stay around the dinner table is to sit after dinner and make a menu for the next day. Also I try to shop at my store and only compare prices when things are on sale.

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569 C Sawyer July 3, 2008 at 8:47 pm

My husband and I are retired now and of course that means living on a fixed income. We have a small garden out back which helps tremendously. Also when we cook, we cook enough for 2-3 meals and go ahead and make up a couple of meals in the sectional rubbermaid plates. A day or two later, just pop it in the microwave and presto–it’s a meal !! Sure beats throwing away those leftovers like we used to do, and it also helps with portion control.

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570 DARIJAVAN July 3, 2008 at 9:14 pm

I cut costs any way I can from doing all the rebates I can to only buying things on special and plan my meals around them. I make large meals and freeze half for another day. I have a container garden and try to grow as much as I can.

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571 Anna F. July 3, 2008 at 10:32 pm

My cost saving tip is to cook a roast with potatoes and onions the first day. The second day add carrots and make a stew. The third day add whatever vegetables are on hand and make soup.
Thanks for the give-away.

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572 Aimen July 3, 2008 at 10:36 pm

Because of all the activities I often have to serve dinner at 430P 600P and 800P. It feels like I am cooking and cleaning half the day. We try to eat fresh food but it can be costly if you can’t plan perfectly. I do best saving on everything else and when I see a great sale on whatever, clothes, tires, Christmas presents in February – I buy!

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573 Jai July 3, 2008 at 10:39 pm

I have a meal plan that now involves breakfast four times a month for dinner w/ pancakes or waffles. We are making almost everything at home that we used to eat when we were eating out.

We eat out once a month instead of every weekend.

We grill every other week and use the meat and veggies all week for lunch and dinner. My family comes over to eat and help.

I use coupons for and plans my meals around what is on sale on the three grocery stores w/i 1 mile of me.

I buy more whole chickens and use the breasts for my husband (who only likes white meat) and use the others parts for cassaroles, stews, and sandwiches.

I shop at the Bread Store which has still been way cheaper than the grocery store and I have seen the bread truck drive away from the store and you can still smell fresh bread.

Thanks for letting me share!

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574 Meshellyn July 3, 2008 at 10:42 pm

I try to avoid buying much of anything new that I could buy used. This doesn’t mean that I have to sacrifice quality or taste, but when it comes to buying furniture for my home or making purchases on a multitude of things I shop Craigslist.com first. I’m almost addicted, but I can tell you it has saved me $1000′s of dollars. Not only is nearly my entire home furnished secondhand, but most of my daughter’s toys and clothing are too. And nothing looks like it’s been previously used, I’m still allowed to be picky!

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575 Karen R July 3, 2008 at 10:44 pm

Stock up when there is a good sale. Use those leftovers.

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576 Kimberly July 3, 2008 at 10:56 pm

I save money by planning meals around foods that I stockpile when they are on sale. For instance, if I go to the store and find that canned black beans ore rice are on a ridiculous sale, I will buy more than I need. Then when it comes to dinner time I’ll make a meal that I can reuse the leftovers into something new. My favorite is to make spicy chipotle black beans and big pot of rice and then transform the day old rice into a Chinese fried rice dish. It the meal that keeps on giving :)

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577 laurie July 3, 2008 at 11:18 pm

We’ve cut back on red meats. We’re buying less junk food and saving our money to spend on the healthy foods.

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578 Jen July 4, 2008 at 12:47 am

I put a lunch size serving of our dinner in a tupperware container while I’m dishing out dinner for the family so I can bring it to work the next day for lunch.

Jen

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579 Becky July 4, 2008 at 3:07 am

We do coupons, meal planning and using leftovers for the hubby’s lunches. We also take up anyone that wants to invite us over for dinner.

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580 Alyson July 4, 2008 at 6:41 am

We have found many new casserole recipes and make up 3 – 5 of them and freeze them. Just this spring we started growing our own tomatoes and herbs (they are expensive in the grocery).
We don’t save any money on this idea as we are the older parents so once per week our grown kids and two grands come to dinner (we feed them). They love it as they say it saves them money (and we do it on Thursday evening so it is closer to the end of the week and helps with their meal planning). But money is getting tight so we shop once per month then only a few stops in between for perishables. More beans and rice!
Alyson LID 01/27/06 IA China

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581 Cheryl MacFadzen July 4, 2008 at 10:39 am

Buying in bulk, using coupons and meal planning seem to work best for us.

Thanks to Libby’s for the opportunity to enter for $500!

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582 Alyssa July 4, 2008 at 11:40 am

Shopping at CVS! I have saved over $1400 since March.

By playing the drugstore game with coupons and extra care bucks, we are spending less than ever before for our family’s needs.

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583 trisha July 4, 2008 at 11:52 am

My tip is to premake meals on Sunday night and freeze extras. Your less likely to go out and spend money on resteraunts, when you have a full meal in the house! Also, do picnics with neighbors…enjoy the food AND the fun and you only pay for half!

trisha

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584 israel y July 4, 2008 at 12:12 pm

we buy food in bulk when its possible, its cheaper. we also take home alot of food from my parents and in-laws whenever we can. finally, pot-luck dinners are nice to have friends over and not have to spend so much on food since everyone brings cooks something for the meal. thanks for the contest

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585 Tammy July 4, 2008 at 2:56 pm

We always stock up on something we use when it is on sale. It never goes to waste, and we always have our favorites around without paying full price.

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586 Jodi N July 4, 2008 at 3:04 pm

I plan on having leftovers one or two times a week. The family isn’t always crazy about it, but it’s less wasteful.

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587 Colleen July 4, 2008 at 4:14 pm

I ALWAYS plan our week’s menus around the grocery stores’ sale fliers. In addition, I buy loads of store brand items and (gasp!) I’ve even started buying many staples at our local Super Wal-Mart. (We could easily go broke on the kids’ snacks alone! These little ones may not weigh a lot, but they sure can EAT!) Lastly, when the groceries are packed away, I make a list of every possible meal option and hang it on the fridge. That way I don’t forget what I have on hand. I also include any muffins, breads, or treats that I plan to make. It really helps me to stay focused and on budget — which, as we all know, is no easy feat these days.

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588 katie July 4, 2008 at 7:59 pm

The thing that helps me most is to not go grocery shopping when I’m hungry. I know it sounds silly, but I always end up buying more than I need when I’m hungry because everything looks so tempting. :)
I do have a US shipping address, even though I’m currently in HK…

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589 Mia J. July 4, 2008 at 8:16 pm

I really need to start menu planning to help save some money.

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590 dawn July 4, 2008 at 9:27 pm

We try a lot of different ways. I make big meals, freeze half and take what wasn’t eaten to work for lunches. I make the kids ice pops by freezing juice in popsickle containers (made by tupperware) I do add water to the juice so it’s not so sweet. I have a Sam’s club card so we can buy stuff in bulk and store it. I use coupons and look for sales and have a coupon club at work where we all cut and share coupons. I have decided to start my own vegetable garden to have my own non-contaminated veges and it teaches the kids how to take care of a garden. Next year I’ll teach the kids how to go fishing to add to their skills besides getting some fresh fish. I make banana milkshakes with very ripe bananas or bread cake. I try to make a recipe of some sort with food that is getting too ripe. I got my mothers extra freezer to put extra food in and put it in the garage.

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591 dawn July 4, 2008 at 9:32 pm

Oh, here’s a tip!! For $25, get a monthly box of food in your state at one of your local churches. go to http://www.angelfoodministries.org Every month, the menu changes and you get meat, veges and dessert, check it out!!!

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592 Pamela July 4, 2008 at 10:16 pm

I’m a new SAHM, and we’ve totally had to do a money makeover since I’ve been home. We plan our meals for the week before shopping, and I use the crockpot a lot. We’ve almost totally scaled back our eating out (sigh), but it really does save a TON of money.

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593 Justin July 5, 2008 at 12:36 am

my wife and i take turns shopping. whoever gets the most bargains for their week wins. the prizes include foot rubs, back message ect. it can get very competitive! please sign us up for this one….thanks

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594 Timothy Sternberg July 5, 2008 at 1:02 am

The biggest thing that saves us money is meal planning.

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595 Stefanie July 5, 2008 at 5:52 pm

I shop the ads, and stock up on Buy 1 get 1 free deals.

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596 tami July 6, 2008 at 11:23 am

I always make a list. I go through the sale flyer for whats on sale and then I see if i have coupons and I only buy it if its on sale and I have a coupon. Publix has great buy 1 get 1 free deals. We only eat meat once or twice a week. We always use leftovers and not let them go to waste. Im trying to learn how to shop at CVS and save all this money that everyone is talking about. I do get the freebates at Walgreens.

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597 Lisa July 6, 2008 at 12:52 pm

I am lucky enough to have a dollar store right next to my grocery store. I pretty much know exactly what the dollar store has so if I need something and I know they have it, I head there first. Liquid dish soap that costs $1 still cleans the same as the stuff that costs $3, same goes for coffee filters, dryer sheets, cookies. True, it may not be as pleasent smelling or the filling on the cookie not as creamy, but when it can easily shave $20 off my grocery bill, we do it. I also plan all me meals around what the store has on sale. SOme weeks we may eat smoked sausage, spaghetti, or frozen pizzas a few times and other weeks we may actually get real chicken breasts.

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598 Cat July 6, 2008 at 1:04 pm

With my girlfriend next door we have started a veggie garden! You wouldn’t believe how much food can be grown in a small space, she and I have fun hanging out with the kids, and they enjoy digging in the dirt too!

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599 Sandra Jensen July 6, 2008 at 1:14 pm

Don’t be afraid to plan inexpensive meals – cornbread and beans – tuna casserole – grilled cheese and tomato soup – all just as yummy as a big red meat meal and way more economical!

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600 Tonya Froemel July 6, 2008 at 1:54 pm

We plan all our meals at the beginning of the week. We have several frugal cookbooks and try to take advantage of sales. We also try to use coupons whenever possible. This is a big help with a hungry construction worker hubby and three quickly growing, always hungry kids.

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601 Lori Stone July 6, 2008 at 2:04 pm

I server filtered water with dinner instead of soft drinks or juice. It not only saves calories, it’s a healthy alternative to keep the kids hydrated without spending extra money.

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602 Teresa July 6, 2008 at 3:27 pm

We do it the old fashioned way and shop for produce that is in season. Then I make sure to use what’s purchased in favorite recipes saved by season. This helps avoid that forgotten bell pepper taking up the back of the lowest shelf in the refrigerator until it’s a yucky mess!

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603 Katie July 6, 2008 at 6:48 pm

I shop for things on sale and with coupons before I need them so I don’t have to pay full price. I also meal plan around what is on sale and what I already have in my pantry so I can buy more for less. That is some of they ways I save for our budget.

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604 DEBBIE July 6, 2008 at 7:37 pm

when cooking meals…
….make several side dishes and a smaller
main dish(meat/chicken)
…you will save $$$ when buying groceries
and you will eat healthy!!!

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605 tangie c July 6, 2008 at 8:48 pm

Well, we save the most grocery shopping by buying all of our meat in bulk, then separating it into individual dinners for our family, then freezing. We have a second freezer to hold extra foods.

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606 Emmy T July 6, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Do not take your husband shopping! As funny as that sounds, it is easy for the person that doesn’t take care of the bills to choose things that are not needed. I give in, because he does not often get to choose the foods I buy. Then boom, the bill is 50 bucks more than it should be, because he talked me into things!

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607 Em's mommy July 6, 2008 at 10:07 pm

I budget for groceries and purchase only the food I have written out on a two week menu. I try to use store brand items, unless it’s something I’ve totally got to have the name brand. Also, my friend and I meal swap every other week. We both have young families that enjoy the same food, so we take turns providing a meal for the other family (trying to focus on something simple and cost effective) and bring it over every other tuesday. It is not only nice to have those days off from cooking, but it is also not so expensive to add a few more beans to the pot.

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608 Cynthia July 6, 2008 at 10:35 pm

I try to plan my menus and make a grocery list to go along with the plan…then stick to the list! Using and freezing leftovers is also a money saver. We have a bread outlet store that saves a lot of money on bread.
Thanks for the giveaway!

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609 Stephanie July 6, 2008 at 11:41 pm

My best tip? Only buy products that can be used in multiple recipes. My fave is those cooked chickens in the deli. You can eat them straight, make them into tacos, bake into a casserole… they have so many uses for the price!

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610 Amy July 7, 2008 at 12:25 am

I make sure when shopping I look at lower shelves – because the higher priced items are always placed on the higher shelves.

We save money by shopping at Sunflower Market – they have great coupons on healthy food and they have a double coupon day in the middle of the week.

We also save up money for food by being frugal in other areas, like using our local freecycle.org and by hanging up our laundry rather then drying it, not using the dishwasher, recycling things like plastic baggies. Walking to the grocery store – if you buy fresh you have to go every few days anyway and your grocery list is shorter.

I shop for myself in thrift stores, where I can find good quality clothes in excellent condition -some with tags still on.

I get outside and exccercise with my toddler rather then spending money on a gym membership. I bought the TightWad Gazette which gives all kinds of ideas for saving money around the house and with your car and its good to subscribe to the caretaker’s gazette so that you can plan your next vacation around a short housesitting assignment rather then spend money on a hotel and all those meals out. Doing all this, I don’t have to compromise on good nutrition and quality foods – which doesn’t always mean the well known brand names – but rather those brands that don’t have ingredients like high frutctose syrup and are certified organic. And of course Dove Chocolate – well that brand name is the best chocolate!

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611 Melanie A. July 7, 2008 at 1:17 am

As a SAHM to a family of 9 (counting me and hubby) I definitely try to cook from scratch as much as possible. I also make our menus from what’s on sale coming up-love the loss leader items. Use coupons, rebates, stock up and buy more of something if the price is good whether I need it or not, then should DH’s job end we’d still have food for awhile. Our grocery budget is $100-$150.00 a week:) so it can be a challenge sometimes for sure! We rarely eat out. McD’s dollar menu takes care of that, hit the drive threw with our own drinks and head to a park. I make my own windex/spray cleaner and use vinegar in the dishwasher instead of jetdry. Drink water or lemonaid. I try to have the mindset or how did they do it a hundred years ago. They sure didn’t pay $5 for a jar of pickles-they made em themselves.

I see frugality as a choice to be proud of and never feel deprived:) I’m not shopping at thrift stores because I’m poor-I’m enviromentally friendly and recycling:)!

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612 Sara July 7, 2008 at 1:39 am

I actually grow my own fruit and veggie garden to save money. It’s amazing how much can be saved in this way… and how easy it is to grow, and grow so productively.

We also buy in bulk a lot of items, and store or freeze the excess to save money.

sarasarathree@yahoo.com

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613 joshua perry July 7, 2008 at 2:14 am

i clip coupons and keep them in a binder.

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614 Heather (A Daycare Life) July 7, 2008 at 8:15 am

My advice would be to Menu plan, make a list based on your menu for shopping for that week, or 2 weeks. We shop weekly and have found we spend LESS because we don’t waste as much (produce spoils fast) We also have been using Canned Veggies to save money as well viruses the fresh, most veggies have the exact nutrients in the can as they do fresh. Make sure to get the no sodium added or less sodium veggies.
hermashaw at gmail dot com

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615 Paula S July 7, 2008 at 10:05 am

I do once a month freezer cooking. If you have dinner in the freezer you won’t have to buy overpriced foods or horrors, eat out.

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616 Sasha July 7, 2008 at 10:43 am

I price match, so that way I save gas and grocery money, not to mention time.

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617 Jen July 7, 2008 at 11:26 am

We plan our meals ahead, and use coupons and sales to stock up. My husband rides his bike to work, and we live in town and walk wherever we can. We live in a small house which is sometimes cramped but ‘back in the day’ it would have fit twice as many people so we try and remember that expectations of how much space and stuff we need has become overgrown in the past 40 years!

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618 Angela July 7, 2008 at 11:52 am

Unfortunately this tip won’t help most people, but we are able to get some savings from shopping at the commissary on base. The prices are not always that much better than civilian grocery stores, but they do have really good deals on some products and offer significant store wide savings during special events. The best I can offer civilians is to do comparison shopping at local grocery stores, stock up on good priced pantry items or items that can be frozen and consider joining a wholesale club like Sam’s or Costco if that could be right for your family. Buying in bulk helps. Some parts of the country even have grocery stores with good bulk sections, so that could save the membership fee of warehouse clubs. The price of the membership of those clubs is easily paid for by the savings though.

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619 Stacy Taylor July 7, 2008 at 12:16 pm

I agree that menu planning is a must, but I also buy ground beef in family packs when it is on sale. Sometimes we freeze it raw to make meatloaf or burgers later, but other times, we brown the entire package and then freeze in 1 lb. bags for quick and easy dinners, like spaghetti or tacos.

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620 Courtney July 7, 2008 at 12:36 pm

I’m trying to get better about meal planning and I’m couponing.

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621 Paula Hephner July 7, 2008 at 12:43 pm

When my husband and I first got married, we had a combined 7 children between us. We had 4 living with us and the other three would be at our house on the weekends. I have to say the most important money savings tip is to do weekly meal planners. Some of you could do it monthly, but we got paid weekly so it was easier. Plan out meals for 7 days, (you can fix them in any order, but 7 day’s worth) and use coupons to help cut costs.

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622 Romie July 7, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Use the internet! You can find a recipe for anything. I almost bought BBQ sauce the other day, but after reading the ingredients I realized I have all those ingredients and could find a recipe and make my own (healthier too). I also use a website to match coupons up with sales.

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623 sara l. July 7, 2008 at 2:42 pm

I usually buy in bulk on items like meat and canned goods….I also take advantage of fresh vegetables since we live in the south, so my freezer is always stocked!

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624 Sara G July 7, 2008 at 3:14 pm

I keep track of ads and when something is super cheap I stock up and buy as much as I can.

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625 sandra kao July 7, 2008 at 3:56 pm

i try to stock up when items are on sale or i have coupons

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626 Belinda Charpentier July 7, 2008 at 4:20 pm

I watch for sales and buy in bulk when possible which has saved on number of trips to the store. I probably have a year’s worth of grocery items without really trying.

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627 Aniela R. July 7, 2008 at 4:54 pm

I try to buy everything on sale & then use coupons on those things that are already on sale.

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628 Beth July 7, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Don’t be afraid to use the store brands! Most of them are just as good or better than the ‘fancy’ brands! And, sometimes they are still cheaper than the ‘fancy’ brand with a coupon.

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629 Stephani July 7, 2008 at 5:31 pm

I plan like crazy, making sure I have what I need, and go to the store with specific things on the list. Plus it always helps to get family and friends involved in the preparation, they can get excited for what is on the menu.

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630 Debbie July 7, 2008 at 5:59 pm

Oh wow. I could really use this $500!! Like many of the other commenters, I only shop once I have made out my menus for the week. And, I am very careful to make everyone eat what we have before it goes bad, or I freeze it. Amazing how much that adds up!

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631 elizabeth spanioli July 7, 2008 at 6:25 pm

Crockpot leftovers. Once a week I throw in all vegetable leftovers [corn, peas, carrots, onions, broccoli etc], small amount of either noodles, rice or potato leftovers, several cups of broth or water to cover, salt and pepper to taste, one large bouillon cube and one cup tomato juice or half cup tomato sauce. I let this simmer for several hours. Saturday night Souper Supper! I let the kids float fish crackers on top. It’s so savory and delicious. Sometimes I add leftover chicken or beef. Just throw it all in and at the end of the evening you’ve got a hearty meal that doesn’t cost a penny, it’s just the leftovers.

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632 Shelly July 7, 2008 at 6:39 pm

I sign up for the emails from all my favorite stores, then carry the savings coupons in a wallet when I shop.

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633 Kristin Harmon July 7, 2008 at 6:53 pm

I sit aside a certain amount for bills each week we get our checks, and we do not spend any of our money until we get the shopping list on the fridge done..

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634 Janice Kucera July 7, 2008 at 7:49 pm

Watch sale ads for Libby’s products on sale and stock up then!

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635 Cindy July 7, 2008 at 7:56 pm

I am a SAHM with two girls. I budget everything like crazy from school supplies to my husbands lunches. I spend hours planning menus and cooking things that can be used for more than one meal. My husband has a 45 minute drive to work which costs us about $100 per week in gas plus tolls so I have to make that money up from either only doing errands once a week or having him stop and pick things up for me on his way home. I try to buy as much as possible in bulk. It’s stressful and I worry all the time what if something happens to his job or he becomes ill – man I miss the simple ways of life.

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636 Lisa Morrow July 7, 2008 at 8:18 pm

We have stopped eating out and started shopping at discount stores like Sam’s and Cosco.

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637 Jennifer Still July 7, 2008 at 8:49 pm

I agree with what many previous posters have said: go homemade almost all the time, plan ahead, use up leftovers, clip coupons. Another resource that I’ve heard saves a lot of people money is angel food networks; unfortunately I don’t have one in my state, but many friends in other states say they get perfect food for a tiny fraction of the cost. Another great way to save is by combining those coupons with store sales and double or triple coupon times that your local store may have. We eat almost all meatless meals too, which saves a ton on our food bill and has helped our waistlines and health dramatically too. I would love to win this prize! Thanks Libby’s for sponsoring such a helpful website and giveaway.

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638 lisa (lost pezhead) July 7, 2008 at 8:49 pm

We have started to walk around town a lot more. I have a double jogger and I push my kids to swim lessons and the library etc. It takes about an hour round trip, but I don’t have to use my car (gas) and I get to exercise too.

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639 Julie S. July 7, 2008 at 9:08 pm

First, always prepare a list before you go shopping, and STICK to the list. Prepare enough for dinner for two nights, and then serve leftovers the next night (also saves cooking time and expense). Lastly, don’t throw away uneaten food. If the family’s finished with it, then pass it along to the dogs. They’ll really appreciate the treat!

Thanks so much for sponsoring this contest!

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640 Tuyet July 7, 2008 at 9:50 pm

Eat out less! An individual meal at a sit-down restaurant could easily feed a family of four if cooked at home.

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641 Tammy Hare July 7, 2008 at 11:06 pm

Buying in bulk is best. We have been cooking venison in the crock pot with Libby veggies. Don’t forget to use your coupons! Times are getting hard. Thanks for sponsoring this contest. Would like to win and share this money with the family.

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642 Michelle Hohertz July 7, 2008 at 11:52 pm

I just discovered coupons. There’s a great site called couponmoms.com which itemizes everything that’s on sale and lists what coupons apply to it and where to find them- woot! saved 100 dollars:) I still haven’t figured it all out yet but it’s really exciting to get stuff you would have paid 3-4 dollars for for 30 to 90 cents!!

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643 susan July 8, 2008 at 12:00 am

We plan our meals,shop sales,clip coupons and eat
breakfast one night of the week and soup and sandwiches another night of the week! We make our own pizzas instead of ordering out too! Winning from Libby’s would be a big help to our family!

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644 Lana Fornes July 8, 2008 at 12:06 am

Could use that $500 for gas out here where the skies are big and the miles long on the prairie.

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645 Jodi July 8, 2008 at 5:50 am

plan my meals based on whats on sale at Publix Supermarkets this week. Thanks for the great blog.

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646 Melanie Lee July 8, 2008 at 7:43 am

My tip is to shop the sales and stock up. I like to buy in quantity when possible and make up future meals to freeze. I go to the supermarket that has the best sales each week.If I have enough money, I can actually shop at three supermarkets as they are on my way so I don’t have to waste gas driving all over. Its not fun going to 3 different stores but it is cost effective!

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647 Heidi Durham July 8, 2008 at 7:58 am

packing home made lunches saves incredibly and it is better for you.

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648 Annie - Savor This Moment July 8, 2008 at 8:10 am

I plan my trips to town and try to run my errands all in one day per week. Sometimes I can even go less often! We’ll hit the grocery store, bread store, library, and any other places we need to go. I try to make it fun by taking a picnic lunch to the park and letting the kids play for a while.

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649 Tawnda July 8, 2008 at 8:11 am

Tight budget here as well… Search the sale adds & coupons… and never turn down free stuff that you can use

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650 Justin July 8, 2008 at 8:30 am

We have joined our local food co-op it helps us save some money gives us different varieties of meat each month and fresh produce it also helps in supporting some of the businesses and farmers in our local community

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651 Roxann July 8, 2008 at 8:59 am

I know it’s an old idea, but save the pennies and nickels. I started my daughter’s college fund just by putting all my change in her bank.

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652 Kristen H. July 8, 2008 at 9:54 am

We organize a neighborhood bulk buying shopping trip to Sam’s Club or Costco – we all make a list of our must have items and pool our money (and ride in one car) and then buy what we (those participating) need. Then we split everything equally-including the costs. If someone needs a specialty item, they pay for that item separately. It’s a great way too save on groceries, gas and the cost of a membership to the club (we do spend a little of our savings on lunch before shopping).

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653 Johannah B July 8, 2008 at 9:57 am

We buy groceries that are on sale and use the “marked” down meat for the week. Often we can get our meat 1/2 off or more. Sometimes I do have to cook it all when I get home, and then eat thru it during the week. We have stopped overbuying (on sale) and freezing, because we found we never fully used up the food before it went bad. We try instead to take a moderate approach to “bulk” and try to rotate all our staples, buy fresh meat/veggies and “creating” new meals around them. This year we also have a dozen tomato plants and 3 pepper plants (that’s all we could fit in the sunny part of our lawn :))

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654 Rena July 8, 2008 at 12:38 pm

Many of my ideas are already listed in previous comments: PLAN, always, ALWAYS shop with a list to cut down on unnecessary buying. I am now trying to slowly stockpile. This is something our generation just hasn’t done. With hurricane season upon us and very shaky economic times, just adding a canned good or two helps. I usually do not buy lots of canned goods as I prefer fresh, then frozen for veggies. But canned goods are much cheaper.

I also like to buy whole fryers. Most women don’t cut up whole chickens nowadays. But thank you, Mom, for teaching me.

COUPONS are obvious, but really do help. They are available online for printing. This helps to just click and print the ones that you know you will use. There are lots of websites out there for food companies.

Thanks to the blogosphere, we can also find tons of recipes with minimal ingredients that are proving to be inexpensive, easy AND delicious!

Thanks for the opportunity to win big!

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655 amira July 8, 2008 at 1:17 pm

we eat less meat and when we do, we use ground beef for flavoring. We buy in bulk and freeze and use coupons

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656 Jenny July 8, 2008 at 1:47 pm

I agree that doing less big shops saves me money in the grocery store. And when you do the small shops, don’t stray from your list!

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657 Shelby Clark July 8, 2008 at 3:35 pm

Buying from the outside aisles of the store and avoiding overpackaged foods. That does not mean canned foods, though, which I find to be one of the best bargains going. Whenever possible, I buy my canned goods by the case load.

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658 Joan Koczon July 8, 2008 at 4:29 pm

Please don’t laugh at this one… I used to buy cat and dog food… now the dog gets a share of my portion of food. The cats get a half can of ‘wet food’ over the dry I set outside but since they are all ferral they don’t complain much.

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659 Heather Beckstrom July 8, 2008 at 4:36 pm

We have a small garden in the back yard that has veggies. A bag of seeds is only $1 and you can grow so much. This saves at least a few hundred every year!

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660 jennifer m July 8, 2008 at 6:03 pm

I’ve started making beans using dried beans instead of buying canned. I’ll make a pound of them, use what we need for one night and freeze the rest for a “quick” meal.

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661 renita terrell July 8, 2008 at 7:03 pm

Meal Planning and adding in a Leftover night. Making more products from scratch and using whole boiling chickens in multiple recipes. I am still learning, and hope to gain more ideas from others!

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662 Jackie W July 8, 2008 at 7:32 pm

I buy when it’s on sale not what I am making for dinner. It’s hard to do. Especially if you don’t have the extra money and you are counting your pennies.

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663 dianne July 8, 2008 at 8:35 pm

I cut coupons and read and compair prices w/ all local adds.

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664 sandra July 8, 2008 at 9:15 pm

I save money by not going into the store to begin with, because every time I enter one I usually find something to buy, whether I need it or not. So I try to limit my trips to the store and try to buy only what I need. The exception to that is if I see something on sale for a great price and know that it will save me money to buy it then.

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665 Becca July 8, 2008 at 9:39 pm

My parents are senior citizens and not in the best health, but they live in a rural area and have several acres one town over from us. My family plants and maintains an organic garden on their land. They do help us out here and there w/the watering and weeding, and of course we share everything with them.

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666 Denyse July 8, 2008 at 10:50 pm

Plan a route when you go out to get as many errands done at once as you can- it’ll save on gas and time.

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667 Jami Wells July 8, 2008 at 11:06 pm

As a faily newly single mom, I am really struggling to make ends meet as I am sure so many of you are. First, I find if I plan my meals and stick to my list, keep myself from making more than once a week, shop at a “bag your own” grocery store and clip coupons, I can save at least 25% on my groceries. I also feel that I am saving gas too by not making lots of trips.

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668 Jen July 8, 2008 at 11:16 pm

Ever since I quit my job to stay home with my first daughter back in 2003, I have really had to be budget minded. I love finding wonderful bargains and it makes hubby happy too.

First, I never pay full retail for anything. For our clothes, I always but at the end of season. Like for this summer, in September I will buy for next year’s summer season because I can get the clothes 80 to 90 percent off. I just pack the clothes up in tote bins and bring them out next year.

If I do need to buy something in season, I make sure to do a google research to find coupon codes to bring my order even further down.

Our phone bill, we switched from our local phone company to Vonage. You can unlimited long distance for 24.99.
We cut our phone bill in half by just using VOIP each month.

Christmas Shopping, buy throughout the whole year when store’s have their different season clearance sales. That way if you are buying a little bit each month it will not be as costly when christmas time comes having to pay the inflated season prices.

Grocery Shopping. Make sure to get your local Sunday paper as it has all the coupons. Sit down and look at your weekly grocer’s sales ad and compare your coupons. See where you can save the most money and who has the most Buy one get one free offers. If you see these offers stock up, so you can have them last the whole month. Get a coupon organizer so you can separate the coupons into categories in case you do not use all the coupons in one week. Also make sure to sign up for your store’s rewards program if they have one, so you can be rewarded if you purchase so many items.

These are just some ways, I try to keep our budget low. I have been home going on almost 6 years now and I even have my daughter’s bargain hunting at stores now.

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669 Amanda July 8, 2008 at 11:43 pm

I shop at Costco every six weeks to stock up. Buying in bulk really makes a difference.I also always use coupons when going to the regular grocery store….One other thing I do is make big meals on the weekend and freeze them to reheat during the week…saves time and money.

Thanks for the chance. I sure could use it!

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670 aimee July 8, 2008 at 11:48 pm

I am really trying to get my grocery bills down. I sale shop and stock up to save! I am so glad to see I am not the only one.

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671 Janet F July 9, 2008 at 2:00 am

I save money grocery shopping by comparing all of my local grocery store circulars every week.

I mark everything I need and then I find coupons for the items.

If I don’t have a coupon I try not to buy it unless it is a very good sale.

I plan my weekly meals around the items that are on sale.

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672 Eryn July 9, 2008 at 4:28 am

My tip? Do NOT let my husband do the shopping. EVER. He comes home with Oreos, soda, all sorts of things that we love but really don’t need. You can eat through a food budget (dont you love the puns?!) so quickly by buying foods that have low nutrient density. The thing I get the most out of is making meals that turn into a 2nd, different, meal the next night. Pork roast on sale? Have roast and potatoes the 1st night, hot sandwiches for lunch, and then shred up the remainder and make enchiladas. You made one bargain meat purchase turn into 3 great meals, all with different tastes so your family won’t even think to complain.

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673 Kimberly Criss July 9, 2008 at 10:08 am

If you want to be on a budget and eat out too, I like to buy gift cards (i.e. $25 to Starbucks or $30 to Chili’s) and then only use the gift card for my month’s spending.

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674 Mommy2Twinkies-Deb July 9, 2008 at 10:49 am

We’ve stopped driving as much. We eat our leftovers (BIG for people who really don’t like leftovers :-) We’ve looked into changing our cable, and phone plans. We use coupons. We reuse the white rice from Chinese take out by turning it into fried rice.

Some of you all have some great ideas!!

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675 Jerri July 9, 2008 at 11:19 am

I save money through meal planning, sticking to my shopping list, and comparing prices in weekly adds. I also use coupons, and I look at unit price, and on some products I look at the prices of various name brands and generic and base my choice on price.

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676 Angie July 9, 2008 at 11:49 am

For me, it’s all about stockpiling. I subscribe to multiple copies of the newspapers so that I can get lots of coupons, and I save them until the item goes on sale. I haven’t paid anything for shampoos, conditioners, toothbrushes or toothpaste in months! Between the price matching (yes, I go to multiple stores) couponing, and stocking up during sales, I have managed to cut our grocery bill by $200 per month over the last year. All this while being married to a die hard carnivore who LOVES his steaks.

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677 Storm July 9, 2008 at 1:16 pm

One of the best things about my kids is they know dinner time is family time. We almost always (95% of the time) eat dinner together as a family. I love it. We also have two family dinner traditions: (1.) We have to say something we are thankful for every day. (2.) We have to say one thing we are good at. Its a great way to start out our family dinner.

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678 Peggy Gorman July 9, 2008 at 1:35 pm

I buy in bulk paper goods and somedays all I do is eat from the garden,make it an all veggie day,saves money and the best because its free

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679 Kim in NC July 9, 2008 at 1:38 pm

I cook from scratch a lot. Every week we have pasta and homemade sauce and then use the sauce for homemade pizza. There are always leftovers of both that we eat for lunch and my husband takes to work. I also make chicken broth from an inexpensive roasting chicken (less than $4 for the chicken) and get several meals out of it. The chicken is used for either a roast chicken dinner or I make a batch of chicken salad from it and we have enough for a dinner and a couple of lunches during the week. Then the carcass is used to make broth for potato and vegetable soup with homemade biscuits another night. We have plenty for dinner and at least one lunch during the week.

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680 Michelle July 9, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Thanks for the great contest!

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681 Elizabeth M. July 9, 2008 at 3:56 pm

I’m in the barely scraping by club and we’re not able to save anything out of the paycheck. However, whenever I get a rebate check or refund, etc. I always put those in the savings account. Gradually and oh so slowly it will have some value.

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682 Donna Lawrence July 9, 2008 at 4:35 pm

I have found that planning our meals and using products that make the meals faster and more convenient is the way to go. I make some of each meal from scratch, but use products like pie crust, and prepared cookie dough to finish it off. I use a lot of pasta, because it is a fast fix, and I just add fresh ingredients to make it my own. I love the recipe for the apple crisp made with the oatmeal cookie dough bars…so simple and easy, but very yummy!

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683 Nancy S. July 9, 2008 at 5:38 pm

I just purchased some Green Containers and bags. They keep produce fresher longer and the containers I am using to store homemade soups and so on in and freezing for later. This is stretching out our food budget.

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684 Erin H. July 9, 2008 at 6:23 pm

It sounds strange, but I’ve found that my family tends to overeat when we eat highly processed foods such as frozen pizza, french fries, and the like. But when I prepare food—like beans or lentils—from scratch, we only eat until we’re full, even when we like them. So it’s a money-saving double whammy! Thanks for the contest.

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685 Mary Briner July 9, 2008 at 7:03 pm

We just try to get the most we can from the money we spend. We got meatless for a few meals a week, we stretch a ham to 4-5 meals, we make soup. It’s hard, but it does save money.

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686 Kathleen W. July 9, 2008 at 8:35 pm

Buying store brands is a big money saver.

I also make lots of soups, which are cheap and nutritious with canned beans, canned pumpkin (to thicken it), frozen veggies, and rice. I also have a bread machine which is great as it’s cheaper to make loaves than buy them.

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687 Emily N. July 9, 2008 at 9:52 pm

I always make a list before going grocery shopping and try to use coupons every time I shop.

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688 Patty July 9, 2008 at 10:42 pm

We only eat out once a week, it’s a treat for us, days vary. Also, sorry Libby, but mix generic with name brand foods, and stock up on sale items. Take a look in your pantry and see what foods you are wasting, sometimes we shop by habit, ask your family if they really like the things that you are buying.

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689 Holly MAyer July 9, 2008 at 11:49 pm

I meal plan and shop with a friend. we never can use all 8 hot dogs or buns so we split the package. less goes to waste and we both get a good meal.

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690 Kathryn July 10, 2008 at 12:06 am

I use the green bags. The ones you use to keep your veggies and fruit fresher longer. They really work. And I always keep my bread items in the fridge to keep them from getting mold on them. And we also have a garden in our back yard.

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691 Ina July 10, 2008 at 12:14 am

I agree completely.Also another thing that helps is not thinking you have to stick to the fancy brands of food products.Sometimes the generic brands taste even better.

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692 Alka July 10, 2008 at 2:04 am

Our family has always been keen on saving, but we have to keep coming up with new ways with the way the economy is heading…. we’re making cheap meals and not eating out often. I like to use coupons for everything and go only to close stores to buy things.

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693 Kelli July 10, 2008 at 11:27 am

Aside from food and services, I don’t buy anything unless I’m replacing something. And that doesn’t mean something I just don’t fancy any more, but is completely gone or broken. I’ll buy maybe one or 2 articles of clothing a year because they don’t break often. This tactic saves me a bunch of money!

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694 cindi hansell July 10, 2008 at 1:53 pm

i need all the help i can get my daughter and i stretch every little penny thanks so much

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695 Joni July 10, 2008 at 5:16 pm

I am usually in a big hurry when I do our grocery shopping, so that helps me avoid the “not on my list” items. I do meal planning. I make a once monthly trip to Walmart 20 minutes away and then weekly trips to my local store for produce since I was throwing a lot of it away before. I think I might start going to the local farmers market too. $500 would help out SO much!

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696 Summer July 10, 2008 at 5:24 pm

I make sure to shop at the best priced places. I also use reuseable bags while shopping so I can get money back for doing that. Also coupons while shopping are a huge thing. They really cut down. With those three thing combined I can feed a family of four. Healthy meals with fruits and Veggies included for $125 every two weeks sometimes less.

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697 Kimmy July 10, 2008 at 5:59 pm

We do the meal plan too. And we only eat out once a month.

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698 ANGELA PHOENIX July 10, 2008 at 6:36 pm

To avoid being tempted into eating out for fast food, I cook all of my meals for the week on the weekend. I usually bake something, cook something in the crock pot and cook something on the grill or oven surface. I can usually manage to have at least 3 meals cooking at a time. With the meals already made, I don’t have to worry about cooking during the week and I’m not tempted to stop for fast food when I know prepared food is ready to eat at home.

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699 Marsha Lynch July 10, 2008 at 8:02 pm

I keep plain rice cooked up and in the refrigerator. It is great to use as breakfast with milk,cinnamon, and sugar. It also is quick to add to a stir fry to help it go farther and it is a minimal cost to prepare and will save alot instead of buying the instant rice bags. It has helped me to save alot of money.

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700 Donna Coughlin July 10, 2008 at 8:33 pm

Coupons, coupons, coupons! And I only buy what we need for the next 2 week menu

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701 Beth July 10, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Absolutely meal planning! I used to be horrible about it, but with some self discipline (and a few frozen pizzas “just in case”) I’ve become much better with planning. I’m working on my coupon-ing skills too, lol.
Also, we try to pick up our produce at the local farm markets – it’s the perfect time of year! Thanks for the chance to win-$500 would be such an amazing gift for our family!

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702 Joy Shepard July 10, 2008 at 8:45 pm

I make meals that will last for several days and make sure that I do at least one no meat dinner a week. I also make sure that I use coupons and go through all of the sales papers to make sure that I am getting the best price for my money.

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703 Nicole July 10, 2008 at 9:43 pm

Try to buy all your family needs when they are on sale or use coupons.

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704 Renee T July 10, 2008 at 10:00 pm

Meal planning is key. I also coupon to keep costs down on items we always purchase and to be able to purchase a few treats.
Thanks for the contest and GLTA!

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705 david thacher July 11, 2008 at 3:49 am

Making left overs can be a fun thing ,have each member of your family add a simple ingredient to the left over.than vote to see which one everyone liked more or dont vote ,but its a fun creative choice for someone to pick a new ingriedient for a so so left over! Thanks

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706 Tracey Byram July 11, 2008 at 7:05 am

I use coupons and shop weekly grocery sales to cut costs. It may seem that buying the cheaper brand like generic or store brand items would save you money but not if you have to use more to achieve the same results as the more expensive brands. For example, I buy name brand dishwashing liquid and paper towels because it actually saves money because I need to use less to achieve the same results.

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707 Leigh Nichols July 11, 2008 at 7:49 am

We cope pretty well by stocking up on the “Buy 1 get 1 free” sales at our local supermarket, If you buy only one, it rings up half price- and if we have a coupon for that half-price item, it gets doubled- and sometimes the item ends up being totally free. We stock up in cycles, as the sales alternate.
Also, our library is a virtual treasure trove for DVDS, books, and magazines- our entire family LOVES to visit the library once a week.

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708 Audrey July 11, 2008 at 10:17 am

Wow, imagine the shopping I could do with $500. I am such a frugal shopper, I know I could get quite a bit with such a wonderful prize.

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709 Beth G July 11, 2008 at 10:20 am

I shop the store ads for the week and use my coupons and base my meals off of that. If chicken is on sale I’ll grab some corn flakes and make our kids chicken nuggets rather than buying them pre-made. There are ways around those high prices.

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710 hampunch July 11, 2008 at 10:31 am

I make a painfully specific grocery list and stick to it! Also, we never go to restaurants.

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711 kathy g July 11, 2008 at 11:39 am

We each have a water bottle we fill with water, Kool-Aid or whatever, to take to events. Buying sodas is very expensive and this way we each get what we want for free!

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712 mary weston July 11, 2008 at 6:07 pm

I save best by cutting coupons and using them when the items are on sale. I go thru the weekly ads, match up coupons and then build a dinner menu around that.

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713 Amber S. July 11, 2008 at 6:50 pm

I plan out meals based on the weekly sale ads and I try to match coupons with the sales. We also have 1 or 2 vegetarian meals each week.

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714 Beverley Justice July 11, 2008 at 7:25 pm

Thank you for sponsoring the giveaway. We eat in, use coupons to buy groceries, and have our own vegetable garden this year. We search the Sunday paper for sales, and co-ordinate our shopping trips to save on gas.

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715 Jaime July 11, 2008 at 8:02 pm

It’s essential to use a grocery list and plan ahead for sales. Also, cut out and use a coupon organizer so that you can plan ahead for your spending.

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716 Hannah July 11, 2008 at 9:50 pm

Usually it is a matter of eating the leftovers. Say for instance we cook a large turkey, we end up making turkey sandwiches the next day or making turkey pot pie. Coming up with ideas like this help leftover be a little more enjoyable!!

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717 sam mccandlish July 11, 2008 at 10:47 pm

Eat at home.

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718 Laura J July 11, 2008 at 11:11 pm

I always plan meals for the week, and leave the kids at home while shopping. When they go with, there tends to be WAY more stuff than we need!!

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719 Chuchita July 11, 2008 at 11:14 pm

I cook in bulk. And freeze the leftovers, no one likes to eat the same thing two day in a row.

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720 StacyL July 12, 2008 at 12:48 am

I will place cash in an envolope for groceries, gas, and fun for the week. (we get paid weekly so you could do this bi-weekely or even monthly) Then I’ll make it a game when ever I shop how much cash is left over. At the end of the week what’s left go straight into savings for our disney world trip. But it’s you cash use it top pay off loans or even buy that great motorcycle you’ve been eyeballing. They get 70 miles to the gallon another great way to save some $$$$$$ Hope this helps!

Also when ever I shop online I use rebate service sites like Mr. rebates here’s the link: http://www.mrrebates.com?refid=139829
Rebates Go there now and sing up to get rebates for shopping at places you already shop at places you already shop at. then put the rebates into your savings. I’ve just added another $45 to my savings just from shopping threw mr. rebates site.

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721 Mitchell July 12, 2008 at 2:58 am

I always try to have my money/things work for me.

Examples:
1. I don’t earn any interest on change I am saving up at home in a piggy bank, so I created a separate money market account for that and earn interest on the change I save.

2. Printing coupons is like printing money. Combine that with double coupon days or piggybacking mfgr coupons on top of in-store coupons is even better.

3. All of my credit cards pay me back in some way for using them. One that gives me cash back, one gives me airline miles, and one gives me free gas.

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722 R Hicks July 12, 2008 at 3:09 am

I don’t know what we would do without coupons. We clip them and get them online and really look out for sales and buy those in bulk. Sams club helps out a lot too

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723 Tracy July 12, 2008 at 3:36 am

To save and avoid spending unneccessary money when I don’t have to, I put together a dinner with what ever I find in the freezer and pantry. I try to use all the food in the house before going to the grocery store. So one night it could be soup and chicken breasts sandwiches. The kids think they are getting a treat when they can choice from one meal. It is like going to a buffett and then I save the rest and eat the next day.

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724 Tamara July 12, 2008 at 11:04 am

I try to keep dinner exciting by “moving” the dinner table every now and then. Sometimes we’ll eat on the back patio. If the weather doesn’t permit this, we eat picnic style on the living room floor. Everyone enjoys this special treat and never knows what mom will come up with next!

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725 Angela Palmer July 12, 2008 at 11:52 am

I live for coupons! With 2 teens in the house, we go through a LOT of food. I wouldn’t make it without coupons and stockpiling. I also do little things no one will notice, like cooking with powdered milk instead of fresh. It’s a lot cheaper and no one can tell.

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726 Youlanda Ann Percifield July 12, 2008 at 1:19 pm

I save money on meals by looking at the sales ads and buying the meat and products I like to use that are on sale. If it is a really good sale I buy the max allowed. One week a local store had rump roast for $1.79 a lb. they were wrapped in family packs of 2 roast. I bought 4 packages, separated them into freezer bags and put them in the freezer. I also took the smallest one to my elderly neighbors. Another week I found the 93% lean ground beef for under $2 a pound and bought 14lbs and separated those into freezer bags as well. We also buy at Sams club and do the same.

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727 Joy Venters July 12, 2008 at 2:30 pm

look closely at your grocery store fliers – find out what is on sale and match up the coupons you have clipped

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728 Brandy Miller July 12, 2008 at 5:53 pm

If the place you are going to is within 4 miles of where you live – put away the car keys and walk! Not only does this save gas money, but it’s good for you, too. Your family will have a chance to spend some quality time together and you’d be amazed to see the beauty that you’ve been missing while driving.

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729 Cheryl July 12, 2008 at 6:43 pm

I buy items when there are buy-one, get-one sales, and use coupons. I also try to make extra, so that I have leftovers for the freezer. This especially works well with spaghetti sauce and chili. There’s usually several small containers of these in my freezer for when someone wants a quick lunch.

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730 Jon Kara July 12, 2008 at 8:42 pm

My husband and I are a young couple just out of college… so we understand a tight budget. We clip coupons, use store savings cards, and menu plan. But the biggest saver we have is that we buy certain items bulk, either at Sam’s or when there is a really deep discount. Even with just the two of us it really saves money, you just have to make sure that you have enough storage space and good containers to keep items until you can use them. Once we got a really good price on 7.5 dozen eggs… we ate a lot of omelets, popeye eggs, quiches, dutch babies, and egg burritos for two weeks.

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731 Sweetpeas July 12, 2008 at 9:14 pm

As costs have gone up, I’ve resorted to making more & more things from scratch. Great bonus, it’s healthier too!

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732 Susan Ledet July 12, 2008 at 10:57 pm

I always use coupons when possible and plan my meals ahead of time so I don’t splurge while shopping. I’ve gotten pretty creative with left overs and waste nothing. Milk is almost $5 a gallon here so I’ve started to use dry powedered milk for my baking needs and can’t tell the difference in taste. This is one giveaway that could really help out with food costs! Thank you for the fantastic giveaway.

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733 HeyJude July 12, 2008 at 11:08 pm

I shop with coupons! You need to check each stores policy, I also ask for rainchecks, so I can get items at a later date.
Even if you do not have an acreage, there are some vegetable plants that do well being potted. Its also a great learning experince if you have young children, so they understand “how food is grown”
We can really cut our food budgets, by purchasing quality products, making larger batches to freeze for a later date.

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734 Lathres B July 13, 2008 at 2:37 am

Coupons and buy in bulk.

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735 L McLendon July 13, 2008 at 5:03 am

I use coupons. I make a grocery list and stick to it. I cook enough at one time to eat several meals and/or use in several different dishes.
Saves time, money and energy. Just makes the budget and life a little simpler!

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736 Mary Ann July 13, 2008 at 9:38 am

Plan, budget, Coupons and sales

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737 Heidi Todd July 13, 2008 at 12:10 pm

The best I can do is I taught myself to can from our garden and I cook everything grandma style from scratch so all I need to have on hand is flour and cornmeal and eggs and milk and such.

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738 Ma Val July 13, 2008 at 12:35 pm

Coupons, sales, leaving the husband at home with the children, and shopping with a calculator in hand. I’ve found that the “Family” size container isn’t always the best buy. Oh, my grocery also gives a discount for using reusable bags!

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739 Brenda Prentice (Time and Season) July 13, 2008 at 1:21 pm

Tell me about it!! I came back from vacation to find that the off brand milk I got a couple weeks ago for only $2.76 is now $3.00!! I try real hard to make a menu for the week before I go to the store and stick to the list. If I choose meals that use similar ingredients, I find that I spend less.

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740 Rose Waletzko July 13, 2008 at 2:51 pm

I don’t buy the brand name products. I try one product at a time to see if it tastes good and if it does, then I use it all the time. Usually the highest prices items in the store are eye level so either look lower or higher.

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741 Jill Myrick July 13, 2008 at 5:58 pm

We have done several things to try to cut our cost of living.
I combine all of my errands in one day according to furtherest away to nearest home.
We buy meats and paper goods in bulk at a much better price and divide and seal the meats for freezing. This also cuts helps by fewer trips to the grocery store.
We also grow our own vegetables in the summer months and buy vegetables and fruits that we can’t grow from local farmers at our farmer market. That way we are feeding back into our economy.
Thank you so much for offering this wonderful giveaway.
I would LOVE to win !!

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742 michelle July 13, 2008 at 7:44 pm

One thing I do is have “pantry night” several times a month. It’s amazing what’s at the back of the cupboard. We often buy the same things at the store because they’re on sale, yet don’t eat what we’ve already got.

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743 Kelly Ann T. July 13, 2008 at 9:01 pm

We have been making dinner together. The kids will eat more when they help make it. We discuss our menu for the week while looking sale ads. Then we go shopping for the ingedients. We clip coupons and we are all trying to eat healthy. There is a new farmers market up the street and we are buying our fruits and veggies there.

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744 Steve Scott July 13, 2008 at 9:41 pm

If it is not on sale, it doesn’t go into the basket.

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745 Can Rien July 13, 2008 at 10:02 pm

One of our ways to keep food costs down is to plan picnic dinners for our children and their friends. Bright colored canned vegetables put in a pasta salad, quesadillas made with some canned corn toasted up in a pan with peppers and garlic – all types of portable foods that can travel well to the beach or the parks near our home. Presentation and fun make simple low cost meals into sumptuous, and beautiful family events!

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746 Marie Powers` July 13, 2008 at 11:53 pm

I know that coupons can be time consuming, but with a little effort I can save 20-30$ per shopping trip!

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747 Ann Marie Walker July 14, 2008 at 12:58 am

Sale shopping to keep us on budget. We always check the sales adds and plan dinner around it and also buy in bulk when its cheaper that way. Another thing I do to get the family around the dinner table is to have the kids cook with me. They are usually so excited they got to help, that they want to set the table all nice and serve the food they are so proud of making.

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748 Invisible neighbor July 14, 2008 at 3:24 am

Never used to eat leftovers but now I chop and dice evry piece of leftover meat to create a crative next day meal.

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749 Autumn Howard July 14, 2008 at 3:58 am

It’s hard for us because I had always been a coupon clipper, sales shopper, non-impulse buyer – so we were already living cheap — and now that prices are going up, we still are at rock bottom! So as far as new tricks, I walk as many places as possible and think of fun activities to do at home (think coloring, bubbles, nature hunts, etc)

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750 Bobv July 14, 2008 at 4:06 am

Coupons and sales and just cutting back on the impulsive buying.

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751 Timothy Selig July 14, 2008 at 6:58 am

God Bless Our Troops
Great Giveaway

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752 Valerie C July 14, 2008 at 10:52 am

Coupon cutting – I spend 30 minutes or so on Sundays when the paper comes going through the coupons and ads and even searching for coupons online. It saves us a lot of money!

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753 Katie July 14, 2008 at 11:18 am

For years I have been eating natural and organic foods and been a vegetarian. The things I was buying never seemed overly expensive to me (even as a college student) because what I was buying was just for myself and I don’t eat much. Well, it turns out that I was wrong. After getting married a few months ago I learned that to feed my husband like I feed my body would cost a small fortune.
Not wanting to sacrifice my healthy life style, I try hard to bring home natural foods that were a steal. I have always shopped the perimeter of the grocery store, made lists, and taken advantage of coupons. It has been hard to find new money saving tips, but I now shop at deep discount stores and grocery stores that double coupons in place of the natural grocery store. The selection is smaller but the prices usually are too.
I always cook more than we eat; my husband uses the leftovers for his lunch. When we got married we stopped going out to eat which helps to balance the hike in grocery prices.

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754 Jennifer Hedden July 14, 2008 at 11:58 am

copouns

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755 Jenni d. July 14, 2008 at 12:48 pm

coupons-coupons and more coupons. people really look at me funny when I am paging thru my 3 ring binder, but I can save 50-70% off my bill almost every time.

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756 Jodi July 14, 2008 at 2:01 pm

I always use coupons, and try to stick to my grocery list, and not shop when I am hungry. All of that helps those impulse buys.

Also my best friend and I do the same thing as you and your friend. This weekend I made a huge taco salad, and she came over, tonight she is making a big pot of chili, and we are going over there.

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757 Hetal Gandhi July 14, 2008 at 5:45 pm

Eat as much as you can at home. Buy only what you need for produce and by end of week, finish everything even if you have change menus.

herry123_us@live.com

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758 Michelle Lucero July 14, 2008 at 7:04 pm

Dinner time IS a synonym for family time, according to my mother!!!!

One day, my son, who’s now 11, but was about 8 at the time came home from school and brought a recipe he was really excited about. It really didn’t look that great, but he was so proud because he had looked it up himself and printed it during computer lab. So, we went to the store, bought the stuff, and made it.

Ever since, he will pick recipes that my mom or I will try to make. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes not, but the family feeling is always fantastic!!!! And, now my 6 month old is added to our table.

To save money on baby foods, most of the time, I blend up what we’ve made for dinner for my baby. Then, we’re all included in the fun!!!!

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759 Max July 14, 2008 at 7:36 pm

carpooling, recycling

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760 lauren July 14, 2008 at 7:57 pm

I buy whole turkey breast and chicken to cook in the crockpot. I did a whole turkey breast with vegatables we grew in the crockpot this past weekend. I had enough left to plan 2 more dinners for this coming week.

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761 Denice July 14, 2008 at 10:25 pm

WOW … lots of great ideas in the comments. Love the ideas about sharing a meal with others ~ wish my family lived close by so.

We watch the sale fliers, find the best prices of produce at a local international market, plant a small garden in container and whatever patch of sun we can find.

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762 Christina July 14, 2008 at 10:36 pm

I always buy things in bulk and also use coupons.

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763 Andrea V. July 14, 2008 at 10:45 pm

Coupon clipping, reading supermarket flyers for 2 for 1 sales and Buy 1 get 1 free items helps us save loads of money each month. I also look for overstocked or items discontinued in the pre-packaged aisle to save some extra dough. Lately – we have used some of the previously mentioned ideas of cooking with family to eat a lot for a little.

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764 Amy Stoesser July 14, 2008 at 11:31 pm

I use http://www.couponsense.com. It saves me so much money by doing to legwork on all the sales/coupons for my area. Nominal fee to sign up. It is a fun way to save.

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765 gala2 July 14, 2008 at 11:44 pm

the best time to shop is Monday through Wed. That’s when they reduce produce, meat and dairy prices from the past weekend overstock.

the very worst time to shop is Friday and Saturday. I don’t have to explain why to anyone who has ever done so.

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766 Monica July 15, 2008 at 12:31 am

We have a very large garden which saves a ton on produce and we also have 13 chicken so we get about a dozen eggs a day. We use one and trade the rest for a variety of things (raspberries most recently).

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767 Tammy Kennedy July 15, 2008 at 1:19 am

I have a 12 and 16 year old still at home and With a 12 and 16 year old still at home, and our 2 grandsons spending the summer with us because their father had to have emergency surgery money is tight, Also daughter is getting married August 23, and son is expecting his first child in September, our older children and our families live 1200 miles one way from us. We are on a very tight budget.
I shop with coupons and use coupons on sale items to help the budget. I make extra’s when preparing meals then freeze leftovers for another meal. Hopefully I will win this prize as school is also around the corner.
The prize would be so awesome as I could use the money to feed us with less stress.
Thank you for a chance to feed my family.

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768 Liz Cooper July 15, 2008 at 2:17 am

Make a shopping list of the thing that you NEED to buy. When you go out, stick to the list. I allow myself to buy 3 items I didn’t add to the list per trip, so I don’t feel like I am depriving myself. This makes you more prepared when you go to the store, as well as leaves the items you don’t need on the shelves instead of your cart.

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769 Melanie Coleman July 15, 2008 at 2:31 am

I made an investment in a budgeting program for pc. microsoft money helps me keep track of when bills are due and where my money is going in pie charts and things. it helps me pay attention to things a little better.

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770 Becca July 15, 2008 at 8:11 am

I plan my meals for the week ahead of time and only go shopping once a week. This helps me avoid “convenience foods” and impulse purchases.

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771 melinda July 15, 2008 at 8:19 am

I shop with a list, use coupons from newspaper and on-line, complete rebates, and garden. We freeze fresh produce when it’s abundant in the garden and when it is in-season at the stores. We also have the freezer space to buy hormone-free meat directly from the producer – including an entire cow which we divide among three other families.

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772 Nanette Olson July 15, 2008 at 8:32 am

I save money by matching coupons and rebates with items that are on sale.

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773 Suzanne B. (Crunchy Green Mom) July 15, 2008 at 10:08 am

We all eat together, we always have. Usually laughing at the TV, or all cooking in the same kitchen, but it’s a family affair. In the summer there are less people around, only because we don’t have A/C and the heat in the kitchen is horrible. But in the winter, we all hang out more. I’ll heat up tea for us to drink and warm our bodies and hearts! It’s a fond memory.

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774 Christi Brumley July 15, 2008 at 11:19 am

Coupons baby!

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775 Brandy July 15, 2008 at 11:34 am

One of the best things I’ve found in our meal management/budget planning is bread starters! Amish Friendship bread that you bake once every ten days means theres a sweet and healthy snack in the kitchen already prepared. (no need to dig into the candy bars or other overly sweet snacks hidden in the cabinets) And a sourdough starter means that theres quite a few options for quick and easy bread in all its forms. (ie: waffles, biscuits, loaf)

We don’t buy sliced bread very often because we’ve almost always made some. It also means my family gets all its grains because we know we put it in!

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776 Darcie July 15, 2008 at 11:57 am

Our grocery bill is a nightmare these days. And unfortunately I don’t have any tips to help. I can’t even manage to trim my own bill down.

I’m all about the weekly meal planning though and I’ll have to check out the new tools from Libby’s. Thanks!

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777 Angela C July 15, 2008 at 1:30 pm

COUPONS!! I have turned to coupons and double coupon days at grocery stores. It’s the only way to go!! Also commuting with my husband to work every day, not just when we feel like it, but every day!

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778 Rhonda Mason July 15, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Soups and stews do the trick around here! I freeze all my leftover cooked veggies ( corn, peas, carrots) in one container…then when I have a roast or chicken leftovers I haul out the veggies and throw it all in the crockpot with a can of crushed tomatoes, spices and onion soup mix! Yummy!

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779 Cindy Thurman July 15, 2008 at 2:53 pm

I make enough to where we can have leftovers the next night – sometimes disguised as something else!

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780 Mannon July 15, 2008 at 4:58 pm

Like Becca said “I plan my meals for the week ahead of time and only go shopping once a week. This helps me avoid “convenience foods” and impulse purchases.”

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781 Jerry Hubbard July 15, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Mine is “buy when it’s on sale.” Stock up

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782 Jillian H July 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm

I save money by matching coupons and rebates with items that are on sale.

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783 Matthew Hubbard July 15, 2008 at 5:44 pm

I menu plan and coupon in order to save us money. It helps a lot-that way I’m not buying everything that looks good at the grcoery store!!

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784 JJ July 15, 2008 at 6:37 pm

Shop the sales. Buy things in bulk that we eat a lot when they are on sale.

Meal planning is a big one too. Make a list and stick to it as best I can.

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785 Pamela Ray July 15, 2008 at 6:40 pm

We use to have taco-out-night, now we have taco-in-night.

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786 Costel Coca July 15, 2008 at 6:48 pm

I enter about 100 sweepstakes a day and end up winning all sort of things which I sell on ebay to make some extra cash. Thats why I have entered this contest

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787 JackieW. transplanted Okie (Buried in Legos) July 15, 2008 at 7:07 pm

We raise our own beef.

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788 Denise Reilly July 15, 2008 at 7:16 pm

We purchase large quantities of what is on sale at our local market. We then store it in our closet, fridge and freezer. We will also go in with neighbors to purchase large quantities and share the cost.

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789 Irma Doherty July 15, 2008 at 7:25 pm

Thanks for the giveaway. That’s a great prize!

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790 Christine E. July 15, 2008 at 7:27 pm

$500 would certainly help, lol. We use coupons whenever possible, take advantage of shopping club plans, and cut back whenever we can.

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791 Alissa July 15, 2008 at 7:36 pm

Now more than ever our family is keeping an eye out for sales and coupons. We have also discovered that a local thrift store often receives name-brand donations that only cost $1.00-2.00! My daughter has furnished an entire wardrobe with these resources and on averge gets her clothes 50-80% off–and still looks like she just walked out of a high end store!

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792 Michele P July 15, 2008 at 7:56 pm

Since produce is so expensive, we have started a garden. Also, I am a coupon shopper and stock up if the items are on sale that week and am able to save money that way. I do rebates/refunds as well. It is time consuming, but a necessity in today’s world of high priced convenience goodies and higher than normal dairy and meat prices. Thanks to Libby’s for sponsoring a great blog contest, I love their canned veggies!

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793 Michelle Simons July 15, 2008 at 8:41 pm

stock up on the raven noodles cause they are cheap, clip coupons too. get used to powdered milk and get some northern beans and soak them overnight and add some cheap bacon bits and they are so good, you can eat off these things for days and save alot of money.

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794 Nicole July 15, 2008 at 9:15 pm

With Baby #1 on the way, we have to be very mindful of what we’re spending money on. I just try to keep my eyes out for the best deals at various grocery stores, menu planning for the week. Daddy rides his bike as much as he can. Wish I could!

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795 Sharon Seneker July 15, 2008 at 9:33 pm

Hi! I try to buy local produce and involve everyone with canning, freezing the food to use later. We take advantage of local activities instead of traveling so much in the summer! Thanks!

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796 Savvy Housewife July 15, 2008 at 9:37 pm

My mom moved closer to us last year and we typically go over to her house on Sunday nights for dinner. It’s “free” and a chance for my daughters to spend quality time at their grandmother’s house!

We also try to get the girls involved in cooking (although my husband is better at that then me.)

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797 Mike July 15, 2008 at 10:17 pm

a big way we save money is by getting rid of are usual telephone and using just cellphones.Its cheap, smar, and affordable. We even got this thing called magic Jack(look it up its good) that gives us our regular phones back for 20$ a year.

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798 Terry Cross