Learn To Use Coupons and SHOP

Rather than complain all the time about inflation and rising costs, especially for food, learn to take advantage of coupons and how to shop, and buy things when they are on sale if you can. Try other than the fanciest and costliest name brands, too.

Vermonter

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Welcome back, Vermonter. Long time, no see!

Rather than complain all the time about inflation and rising costs, especially for food, learn to take advantage of coupons and how to shop, and buy things when they are on sale if you can. Try other than the fanciest and costliest name brands, too.

I seem to recall you sharing these exact same things last year and the previous years. Good advice but I am pretty sure that those of us on the LBYM board do many of those things. I don’t imagine many of us are brand name snobs. Still, food has gone up tremendously and we aren’t done yet with increases.

So many things have played into where we, and the world, find ourselves today. Do you have any new suggestions to combat the rising cost of food, gas, housing, automobiles, utilities, taxes, insurance, health care, etcetera?

With the present shortages of many items that are part of our everyday life many of us buy what we can find on the grocery shelves. Same for most of the other items I mentioned.

Robyn

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Jr, shop around, I’m surprised when I find prices lower at Walmart than Costco for bulk items. I still keep a price book. Some things stay the same, but I watch out for those lower than before quantities on the same package.

As a coffee drinker, I have been buying up as much as I can of my fav’s for several months now….I’m a coffee snob, not the effete Starbuck’s kind but I prefer better than Folger’s, Chock Full O Nuts, Maxwell House……you know, regular coffee. :). Prices are going up on everything.

There’s always having a garden, which I did for many years. I can’t grow coffee here though. :slight_smile:

Lucky Dog

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With the present shortages of many items that are part of our everyday life many of us buy what we can find on the grocery shelves. Same for most of the other items I mentioned.

I really haven’t hit many shortages. I often check delivery from Walmart, delivery from Amazon Fresh and the weekly ad from Kroger. The prices can vary significantly across them. I do like that Kroger’s coupons are in the app/web and I like the personalized ones. They are for things I buy regularly and often include free items - they are for fresh produce, store brands and name brands.

I’m noticing some items missing from the shelves at my preferred store but can usually find them, or reasonable alternatives at one of the other stores in the area. I do use coupons when available. I rarely find coupons for most of the items I purchase. Out of curiosity,I looked at my tracking sheet that separates food groceries from non-food and cat groceries and all were down in January from last years average.

In 2022, food-at-home prices are predicted to increase between 1.5 and 2.5 percent, and food-away-from-home prices are predicted to increase between 3.5 and 4.5 percent.

https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-price-outlook/su…

So my advice is to eat out less or not at all :wink:

I rarely see coupons for the food I buy, but I shop sales up to a point. I like to have a mix of red meat, poultry, seafood and vegetarian entrees during the week. if I can.

I can’t stock up much on fresh produce (cabbage, carrots, onions last awhile) so I’m trying more frozen and canned with mixed to negative results. I used to eat canned green beans before I discovered making fresh (Mom always used canned)–now it’s hard to go back unless starving.

I do stock up when meat/poultry/seafood is on sale or cheaper. Which often leaves me with odd freezer options like I have right now–pork butt, pork chops, ground pork, pork sausage (andouille, Italian)–pork is cheaper and on sale more than other meats, chicken wings, frozen shrimp, and a small pkg of ground beef. I wish chicken thighs would go on sale more often! And fresh fish.

I’m buying fewer organic items now. At age 72, I doubt we’ll live another 20 years for cancer to show up from today’s pesticides =8-0 It’s hardest to adjust to buying non-organic cream, non-free-range eggs, non-pastured meat. But I didn;t have those things the first few decades of my life so I’ll manage.

Apples and avocados are so expensive now, I’m not buying. Berries annoyingly pricy, but they always are this time of year.

Speaking of Whole Paycheck, they have a good deal in the deli dept. Entree & 2 sides for $9-12 ($9 for vegetarian entree, $12 for London broil). One order is enough lunch for both of us.

I’d love to save by eating higher-carb meals, but my waistline disapproves :wink: If I were financially desperate, I’d go there, though.

Leanne Brown’s book “Good & Cheap” has a lot of, er, good & cheap recipes.

As a coffee drinker, I have been buying up as much as I can of my fav’s for several months now….I’m a coffee snob, not the effete Starbuck’s kind but I prefer better than Folger’s, Chock Full O Nuts, Maxwell House……you know, regular coffee. :). Prices are going up on everything.

I have stopped buying the 3 pound red cans of Folgers from Costco and now I buy 12 oz bag of whole bean coffee made by small roasters. The little bag often costs more than the can of Folgers.

PSU

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I’m really thinking about what you said, Vermonter, so if I can get the hubster to put on shoes and get in the car, I think I’ll go to Aldi’s–haven’t been there in quite a while. Maybe they have what’s on my list…chicken thighs (or leg quarters), cream, plant milk, scallions, cauliflower or cauli-rice, snap peas, green beans, eggplant, mozzarella, lettuce, rib-eyes for Valentines Day, oatmeal, shredded wheat, applesauce, sourdough bread. Cheap avocados?!

Robyn (and others):

Interesting responses!

Coupons can help a lot, we think. Lots of folks refuse to bother, until they find out that maybe spending half an hour looking for them or snipping them or just marking the store flyer(s) can save them a lot.

Foodwise, we’re lucky, I guess, because we find avocadoes to taste like toothpaste but with NO flavor! Amazing how many people say they “like” them! To us, they are just… blah.

Meatwise, we don’t eat that as much anymore. Hot dogs are bad for you in terms of calories and carbs, and hamburger has gotten ridiculous, and, frankly, we’re also a bit nervous as to who has handled that meat! Solid meats (steaks, chops, roasts, fish) are basically only handled on the outside, but burger? Ummm… My wife dislikes turkey, sadly, so that’s rarely eaten here. Chicken can be a good deal; buy a whole “roaster” on sale, roast it, enjoy one meal and then carefully slice or cut up the rest and store properly for future use. Wings? Ridiculous! Fat and bones! Confession: As retirees, living alone, we can now afford to “splurge” some on meats and such, and we do. Not crab legs at $30/lb (!), but salmon, which is good for you, too, for example. Pork remains a reasonable meat, too.

Fresh veggies are great, but we find that, much as we’d like to support our local markets, favorite chain stores (Price Chopper and Hannaford’s around here) generally offer veggies cheaper than the farmers’ markets, sad to say, so we go there. However, shopping wisely can help a lot. Carrots, for example: We recently bought 5 lbs for $2.99. That’s a LOT of carrots for two! We use them in stews (which we love to make) and just as veggies, and they keep well in the crisper. Fruits are often costly this time of year, sadly, but surprises show up – often from Chile or other places where the earth’s tipping is favorable so there is summer there and not a foot of snow like here!

Again, watch for deals and coupons, and use them!

Other than food, we live pretty much mostly on our rather low SS income. Two cars are long ago paid for and garaged safely, the house is paid for except that it is now on a currently low interests equity credit line (being watched now for signs of increased interest) and we do not carry balances on credit cards. They are paid monthly, when used.

We heat with oil and have that on an annual budget plan, so pay a set amount each month, no matter what it ends up costing when deliveries are made.

I am now accumulating tax payments and other things to prepare (on line - takes me half an hour) our annual “Homesteader” credit with the state, which, when submitted, saves us about half of our home tax bill. (Vermont takes money from towns and redivides it back to them; 90% of our local tax bill eventually goes to VT and comes back to towns for education. However, we also get that credit which cuts our local taxes about in half.)

Utilities aren’t exorbitant, really, though we splurge on satellite TV and the phone includes internet, which do add up. Yes, insurance (home and cars) does add up. We just changed our Health to an Advantage PLan with zero monthly premium vs the $500/month we were paying for Medigap, but we will see how that works in terms of copays, etc., functions of our health. (We’re both 80+.) Life Insurance is no longer available, no matter what, at our age!

Enough for now.

Vermonter

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alstroemeria

A. I like to have a mix of red meat, poultry, seafood and vegetarian entrees during the week. if I can.

B. I used to eat canned green beans before I discovered making fresh (Mom always used canned)–now it’s hard to go back unless starving.

C. I’m buying fewer organic items now.

A. Ditto here; I’ve always been great on veges, including broccoli and brussels sprouts. Gotten stronger with age.

B. Canned beans, canned peas. Never have liked canned. If fresh not available, go without. Canned baked beans okay, corn okay, mushrooms okay, most fruit okay. Green beans and peas? Never.

C. Eschewed ‘organic’ from day one. Produce looks sad, less appetizing, and I’ve never believed the hype attached to organic, let alone that the ‘certified’ growers were absolutely adhering to their claims. Finally: Not worth the inflated price.

I do use coupons when available. I rarely find coupons for most of the items I purchase.

I knew I would get this response. I haven’t actually clipped coupons in years. But the coupons Kroger used to mail me are available to “clip” on the website and in the app. Current include fresh avocados, fresh celery and a free pack of Sargeno sliced cheese. There’s often one for fresh mushrooms, too.

It’s really too bad no one else has these opportunities.

I also buy wine - usually about $8-10/bottle.

I find it easy to eat reasonably well and not spending all that much for one. I eat mostly fresh food with meat,chicke, fish,etc I buy or freeze in individual potions.

I tracked for at least a year starting with March 2020 and stopped because I really don’t care now.

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I knew I would get this response. I haven’t actually clipped coupons in years. But the coupons Kroger used to mail me are available to “clip” on the website and in the app. Current include fresh avocados, fresh celery and a free pack of Sargeno sliced cheese. There’s often one for fresh mushrooms, too.

It’s really too bad no one else has these opportunities.

Kroger left our area several years ago. I’m not sure if the other chains have similar apps and coupons. My wife does all the grocery shopping. She used to use a lot of coupons but now with 12 hour workdays, she doesn’t bother. Maybe next year when I take over grocery shopping when I’m retired.

PSU

I knew I would get this response. I haven’t actually clipped coupons in years. But the coupons Kroger used to mail me are available to “clip” on the website and in the app. Current include fresh avocados, fresh celery and a free pack of Sargeno sliced cheese. There’s often one for fresh mushrooms, too.

Nob Hill (Raley’s) also has targeted and general coupons that link to your card. All it takes is clicking the coupon and if the product is bought then the coupon is applied.

I routinely select all of the offered coupons but I probably only use around a third of offered coupons.

My advice would be use coupons, learn to shop, and learn to cook!

I was talking to a friend who bemoaned to increase in cost of frozen tater tot’s. She says she eats them every day, and also makes some casserole she likes. She usually buys a 5 pound (!) bag of tater tots, and the price had gone up to $7.

I pointed out I bout a 5 lb bag of potatoes for $1.75 and she could just make fried potatoes or baked potatoes and could probably use in her casserole, too.

“Too much work,” was the response.

I’ve been eating a lot of cabbage lately. Cheap, healthy and I like it.

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I pointed out I bout a 5 lb bag of potatoes for $1.75 and she could just make fried potatoes or baked potatoes and could probably use in her casserole, too.

“Too much work,” was the response.

A fair amount of sodium and fat in tater tots. Real potatoes would be healthier.

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Lucky Dog ~

I do shop around and search for good prices. I also can and dehydrate food. I don’t have a garden but I did plant three fruit trees 18 months ago and hope to have some kind of harvest this year. I also planted three berry bushes at the same time and hopeful that this year will produce fruit. We have not had much rain in the Kansas City MO area this past year and it isn’t looking great for this year either. Still, I do what I can.

Robyn

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I did plant three fruit trees 18 months ago and hope to have some kind of harvest this year. I also planted three berry bushes

This is a great way to get fresh fruit but depending on the cost of the trees/bushes, it may not save much money. This is even more true in places where water is not cheap.

But the coupons Kroger used to mail me are available to “clip” on the website and in the app.

Didn’t think about those. I do “clip” those on the website for the things I buy there. I also use the fuel points since they added a station close to where I live.

I did plant three fruit trees 18 months ago and hope to have some kind of harvest this year.

You didn’t say what type of fruit tree but you shouldn’t expect fruit for several years if the trees are around 6 to 8 feet tall from a local nursery.

PSU

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PSU ~

I planted a Peach, Pear and Gala Apple tree. They were about 10’ tall and I was advised that I could receive a very small harvest at around 2 years but each year should be better than the last. I don’t think I overpaid but know that when they start producing each year it will more than make up for the price. The berry bushes are blackberry, blueberry and raspberry. I know it will be a few years but with the price of berries this seemed like a worthwhile investment.

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