Friday, May 23, 2014

The Frugal Fridays.

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Usually I like to post something uplifting or inspiring on Fridays. But today I feel tired. Tired of the prices constantly going up!

It seems like it's getting harder and harder for us to stay within a budget. And it comes to no surprise. Within just a few months the price of a gallon of milk went up more then 40c, eggs - anywhere between 15 and 30 c (depending on the retailer). I don't remember the last time I saw a good price for boneless chicken breasts (good thing, I had a good stock in my freezer but it's really getting low...). We switched completely from ground beef to ground turkey, and not just because it's healthier but also because the prices for lean meats skyrocketed. The drought in California will, more than likely, affect produce prices this summer. And bacon... hahaha... I feel like I need to throw away all of my price books and start all over again.

How far can you stretch a dollar?

I realize that we will, probably, have to increase our grocery budget a bit but this increase will have to come from other categories. Not sure which ones yet... Especially because food is not the only thing that goes up, unfortunately. Just today I heard on the news that our state is considering a tax increase on gas. And gas itself went up about 40 c. a gallon in just a couple of short months.

Ugh... Sorry for this gloomy and negative post, people. But this is reality. And if anything else, I prefer to stay real on this blog. Too bad, it can't always be my positive real side :)

I digress...

Do you feel a pinch punch of inflation in your everyday life? Did you notice a significant difference at the grocery store? What are your personal secrets on how to keep up with all of these changes?


  1. I definitely agree with you. The thing that I do that many others were probably doing is price matching. I shop mostly at Walmart but I look at adds for other stores prior to going and price match.

  2. Lena
    We are feeling these increases over here on the East coast as well. My "tricks":
    -cook as much from scratch as possible. The more you do yourself=greater savings
    -use simple ingredients
    -make your own bread products/buy from the marked down shelf
    -make your own beverages: every day, I brew coffee for bfst, make a gallon of tea using 4 tea bags (kids lunches and drinks during the day). Drink WATER
    -make my own desserts, using seasonal ingredients. Many years ago, i stopped buying the occassional box of cookies. We bake our own, except for fig bars from Aldi's and a rare pkg of Aldi's oreos
    -cut down or substitute expensive ingredients. i am gifted pecans (an expensive item, I know!) so walnuts are off my list. Tomatoes are pricey and of poor quality-I add shredded carrot to salad for color
    -home canning and freezing
    -keeping an eye on food waste=saving of my money and my time
    -soup on Saturday until it's really hot out. Cheap eats, and quick work lunches as a result
    -take food from home for work/school
    -at least once a week, it's vegetarian
    -reduce meat in recipes, bulk up with vegetables
    -eat seasonally (produce)
    -freeze leftovers into meal sized containers to avoid waste
    -shop alternative stores. I buy many cleaning/paper/plastic products at Dollar Tree (and they accept coupons!). I also regularly buy condiments, shampoo/conditioner, cards, tortillas, etc there. I prefer to shop American brands to support American farmers. Gotta read labels but there are some good deals there

    Carol in Connecticut

  3. Hi Lena. I am right there with ya. Everything is going up here also and I find myself having to adjust. I agree with every point made by Carol- she is spot on with all her suggestions! I have been feeling the pinch of rising costs but I have been trying not to increase my monthly budget- if I go over a little bit, then I guess I go over and try to make up for it the following month, but I am really working on not increasing it in general. I know it is hard and when I find myself down to nothing left to spend for groceries then we tighten up and live off of what we already have in our pantry and freezer. The last week I have been focusing on what I need as far as basic staples and supplies and I think I am going to concentrate a little more on that in the future so that when we have to live off of what we have we can still have healthy and satisfying meals. And, as Carol points out, I am going to be making even more things from home- we always do eat from home but I think I can make more items from scratch. One of my current goals is to find a bread maker at a thrift store and then start making my own breads. :)

  4. Yes, the price of food here is insane... :( It's soo hard to stay under budget some weeks! This weekend i'm doing the "eat from the pantry/freezer" to avoid grocery shopping until Monday. We'll see how the weekend goes.. i'm going to sift through the flyers and see what's on sale and plan our meals around that for the next week. Mostly, I think sometimes we have no choice but to increase the grocery budget unfortunately.

  5. I'm doing some of the same substitutions as you are. I thought it was just me--I've been too busy to plan things as well as I should. I found boneless chicken thighs on sale, so that's what we're eating this week instead of breasts. Unfortunately, I've also had trouble with my anemia because we haven't been eating as much beef, so I'm still trying to figure things out as far as meat goes.

  6. Yes, the food and gas price increases are making me cranky. I have been doing a lot of lazy eating out, so I'm trying to cut back and cook more from scratch again. I'm doing hamburgers with friends tonight, so I'm cooking a batch of baked beans from scratch as a cheap, filling side.

  7. I am shocked every time I get groceries. I really hope the garden produces more soon. It is just hubs and I so I feel for you with kids.


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