Frugal Living

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Cutting Costs at the Grocery Store: Ten Secrets That Could Slash Your Grocery Bill In Half.
Sent to us from Sue who has her own wonderful site called Organic Gardening and Homesteading . I encourage you to check it out, it’s filled with so much great information. Trust me, you’ll love it!
Cutting costs is not what people tend to think of when it comes to getting out of debt.  Instead, it’s the elusive promotion or the lottery win that seem to be the ticket.  But more money is seldom the answer.  The more we make, the more we will spend, and until you get that spending under control, you will never be free from debt.
The easiest way to control expenses is through your grocery bill, and fortunately, these ten secrets not only cut costs, but also improve your life, eliminating the fat from your diet and giving your body the nutrients it craves:
No More Processed Snacks
For what you pay for a bag of potato chips, you could buy almost five pounds of potatoes – with all the nutrients still intact and without all the fat and chemicals.  Pop a potato in the microwave for a meal or make oven fries out of them by doing the following: slice a few potatoes into thin strips, dip them in a mixture of olive oil and water and spread them out on a cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and bake for 20 minutes.  You now have your own much healthier version of potato chips.
Stay Clear of the Freezer Section
This includes microwave dinners, frozen chicken nuggets, mozzarella sticks and all those other frozen, prepared food.  Granted, they are cheaper than eating out, but not by much, and they are loaded with chemicals, preservatives and fat.
Freeze a Meal or Three
The next time you make your favorite spaghetti recipe, make enough sauce to feed twelve and freeze the leftovers in quart-sized freezer bags.  Then on those days when you are too tired to cook, boil some spaghetti and reheat the frozen sauce.  It won’t take that much longer than to heat a frozen meal.  The cost will be substantially less, and the taste and nutrition will be far better.
Beans – The Respectable Protein
Beans are a fantastic, low-fat form of protein.  Lentils can be prepared in twenty minutes and used as a substitute for any recipe calling for ground beef.  Add some beef bouillon to give them that beefy flavor and throw them in your casseroles and spaghetti sauce.
Just Say No To Canned Soups
For any recipe calling for cream of mushroom or chicken soup, do the following: melt 2 tablespoons butter or margarine in a sauce pan and add 2 tablespoons of flour.  When the flour is incorporated in the butter, gradually add one cup of milk, mixing well.  As the sauce thickens, gradually add water until it is a soup consistency.  Add salt and some chicken bouillon and you have a creamy substitute for canned soup at a fraction of the cost.
Avoid Mixes
It takes about five minutes more to prepare a cake from scratch than it does to use a recipe, without all the chemicals and preservatives.  Also, don’t buy those rolls of cookie dough from the store.  Make your own chocolate chip cookie recipe and then roll the dough in wax paper and freeze the rolls in gallon sized freezer bags.  Then the next time you crave cookies, slice and bake as many as you want.
Buy Extra For The Pantry
Set aside some extra money for sale items.  When you see something you usually use at a great price, don’t buy one or two: buy ten.  Get into this habit of shopping, and you can usually buy enough to last until the next sale.
Use Powdered Milk
In recipes you will never know the difference, and it will save you money because you use only what you need.  No more spoiled milk staring at you from that shelf in the fridge.
Buy Fresh Fruit In Season
The health benefits are enormous, and with all the other money you will be saving, the cost is worth it.  Substitute a banana and an orange for that breakfast fast food.  It will be easier on your pocketbook and your waistline.
Buy In Bulk
Go to your favorite search engine and type in “bulk foods”.  You will find hundreds of online companies selling all sorts of foods in bulk, including dehydrated vegetables, beans, cocoa powder and wheat berries.  These items can mean huge savings and can be a hedge of protection against disasters (like losing your job) and inflation

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