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Old 09-06-2010, 10:35 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenrose View Post
The biggest thing you can do to save money, in my experience is to find marked down food. In this area, near San Francisco, we can usually find one grocery store at a time that puts out a LOT of "manager's special" markdowns of produce and meat. Most of the stores anymore just throw the stuff out, but we have always managed to find one selling the markdowns. It changes from year to year as managers and policies come and go.

The meats are usually half price, though Saturday I bought an organic free-range chicken for 99 cents a pound, which is way less than half.

I also got 3.5 lb. of mixed summer squashes for 99 cents, 5 artichokes for 99 cents, a big bag of those pointy slightly hot frying peppers for 99 cents, probably 3 lb but I didn't weigh it. A large tub of arugula for 99 cents as well. Recent weeks I've had a couple of pounds of exotic mushrooms or a nice big cauliflower for the same price. It's just amazing how nearly everyone bypasses the bargain cart rather than making a beeline for it like I do. I don't know if they feel it's beneath their dignity or whether they think it's less nutritious... But there was that study recently that said for green vegetables, they continue adding phytonutrients at a faster clip while under the florescent lights in the stores.

If you are serious, make friends with the people in the meat and produce departments and find out when they put the markdowns out. Sometimes they will even save things for you if they like you, you know?

Of course the pinnacle of saving money on food is to consider yourself a recycler and rescuing some of the incredible food waste that goes on, i.e. dumpster diving. That sounds horrid, but as I understand it the food is often just dumped in piles behind stores, no need to actually root around in a dumpster. Not so great for low carb, but lots of bagged baked things are available.
I make a bee line to the mark down bin and always find steaks And don't even get me started about waste. One of the reasons we started our grocery challenges last spring was to make people aware of just how much they were throwing out. In my case it was staying out of the store and to stop impulse buying. Well, I'm rehabbed now and I ain't going back to the way I was.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:37 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by DJFoodie View Post
I don't know how true this is, anymore. I worked a brief stint in a grocery store and we worked closely with a local homeless shelter. They had a pickup, every day at about 3PM. We would have everything ready for them that was "fresh"-ly expired.

We never had waste. Someone always ate it.
The same in our community for our food pantry but stores can only give what the law allows.
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:31 AM   #33
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Day 1 Update

Day One of Project25.........

Update here: Project25 Begins! Well, today it begins. We are...
Busy day--everyone stay dry!
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:48 AM   #34
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good luck! I will be following closely... I have a budget of $200 every two weeks for our family of 6 so I will be watching for good ideas and other inspiration!
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:51 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Its me - WENDALINA View Post
good luck! I will be following closely... I have a budget of $200 every two weeks for our family of 6 so I will be watching for good ideas and other inspiration!
jealous! i do a major shop every 2 weeks that usually runs me $400ish! my "small" shopping trip today to get me through till the next big shop cost me $150

we're also a family of 6!
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:03 PM   #36
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wow! Guess I should be thankful I will be glad not to have to buy baby food and formula in a few months so that should open up some more food options. Plus with fall coming (hurry up cool weather) soups and chili are cheaper too.
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:07 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Its me - WENDALINA View Post
wow! Guess I should be thankful I will be glad not to have to buy baby food and formula in a few months so that should open up some more food options. Plus with fall coming (hurry up cool weather) soups and chili are cheaper too.
Those kids are adorable W!!!I had 4 fairly close together. Yes, it was great when I could start doing dinners everyone could eat. Soups are our favorite too. Haven't made soup in months due to heat so I was excited to make a big ol batch of veggie beef soup tonite. Smells fab.
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:12 PM   #38
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The triplets are 3 and will eat pretty much everything. The baby is almost 6 months and I am almost ready to start some smooth table foods... Tonight we have meatloaf on the menu and I am seriously thinking of giving her a little...we will see.

My favorite combo is college football and a huge pot of chili and maybe some wings... gotta love LC!!!
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:45 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Its me - WENDALINA View Post
The triplets are 3 and will eat pretty much everything. The baby is almost 6 months and I am almost ready to start some smooth table foods... Tonight we have meatloaf on the menu and I am seriously thinking of giving her a little...we will see.

My favorite combo is college football and a huge pot of chili and maybe some wings... gotta love LC!!!
Six months--all the kinks worked out by then When my youngest was 6 months her first solid food was boudin (a Cajun treat made with meat and rice), and we just ground it in the baby baby grinder. She still loves it.
And 3 is my very favorite age and you are blessed 3 times You must have some tales to tell.
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:47 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by JustCallMeAmy View Post
jealous! i do a major shop every 2 weeks that usually runs me $400ish! my "small" shopping trip today to get me through till the next big shop cost me $150

we're also a family of 6!
We had six in our family too and bulk buying was a big help. Problem was, even after they left home I was still bulk buying But I'm rehabbed now.
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:38 AM   #41
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Project25-Day Two

Day Two-Project25 Things went fine on Day 1....

My update. So far, so good
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:00 AM   #42
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Pathmark (in NJ, not sure about anywhere else) currently have family packs of Rib eye steaks for $4.97/lb. I bought two packs (and the steaks are massive and beautifully marbled), and I'm going to buy more either tonight or tomorrow night. The sale ends this Thursday.

Stock up!
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:20 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Kisha1976 View Post
Pathmark (in NJ, not sure about anywhere else) currently have family packs of Rib eye steaks for $4.97/lb. I bought two packs (and the steaks are massive and beautifully marbled), and I'm going to buy more either tonight or tomorrow night. The sale ends this Thursday.

Stock up!
Good tip. Kroger has them on sale this week too.
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:18 AM   #44
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Last year for Christmas, my husband got me a pressure canner. Granted, it's a bit of outlay for the canner, the jars, the equipment. But when meat is on special, I can buy a bunch of it, cube it, can it, and keep it in the pantry untl we need it. It stays good quite a while, and I don't have to worry about freezer burn or thawing. The beef, especially, is amazing in taste... like the tenderest slowest-cooked roast beef. YUM!
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:10 PM   #45
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Last year for Christmas, my husband got me a pressure canner. Granted, it's a bit of outlay for the canner, the jars, the equipment. But when meat is on special, I can buy a bunch of it, cube it, can it, and keep it in the pantry untl we need it. It stays good quite a while, and I don't have to worry about freezer burn or thawing. The beef, especially, is amazing in taste... like the tenderest slowest-cooked roast beef. YUM!
I keep telling myself--learn canning. Learn canning. I hope to some day...but really want to learn to make tamales (nature's perfect food) more
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:26 AM   #46
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Update Day 3-Project25

Day Three-Project25 * Had to ditch the glazed...

Things are moving along fine. Had to make a few changes that actually saved some money, but I'm really just shuffling it to next week so probably it's a wash. I'm not eating the brown rice tonite, doubling up on green beans. That was a lotta beans for 88 cents
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:58 PM   #47
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Mamasooze, I'll follow your progress with interest. I went through a couple of months of $15/week for groceries this summer -- because of some financial problems that I (and my employer) ran into. It is possible, but requires great discipline and planning. In my case, my carb level was higher than induction level. (I included two half-cup servings of cooked legumes each day -- very filling and very cheap protein -- along with the animal protein sources at lunch and dinner.)

Check online for the grocery stores available to you. Most stores put their weekly sales circular online, so you don't have to buy a newspaper or walk/drive around to all the stores. Plan on shopping extraordinary sales on multiple days. (When tuna went on sale for an unheard of 2/$1 with a limit of 6, I walked to the store every single day that week and bought 6 cans of tuna.) Also check drugstore circulars for loss leader items that are routinely cheaper than grocery stores. (For example, Walgrens runs sales that has my coffee brand $2 cheaper than my grocery stores ever do -- and they also run 2 cans of mushrooms for $1 and eggs for $1 to hook in customers.)

Every type of cooking green (kale, collards, mustard greens, etc.) is cheap -- and often cheaper at the farmer's market. Cabbage and celery are cheap and often on sale. (Cole slaw is a godsend to a budget.) Seasonal vegies (zuke, cukes, tomatoes) are usually cheaper at the farmer's market. Frozen vegies are sometimes a better price when you weigh the actual consumable part and price that per pound (as opposed to the parts you discard).

According to Atkins, you can eat up to 4 eggs a day without having them impact your blood cholesterol level. Eggs are often the cheapest source of protein per serving. There are about a million ways to prepare them (see the egg challenge threads), and they should figure into at least one meal a day. Another thing you may find cheaply is sugar-free peanut butter, if you eat peanut butter. One of the groceries near my house has a generic storebrand made by a local organic manufacturer. It is often the cheapest and best peanut butter they carry, at around $2.15/jar (16 servings).

The things you think may be cheap in meats aren't always when you figure the actual cost per cooked serving. In the end, the easiest way for me to budget was to figure out a protein/carb/vegie serving for each meal, and cost out what I could afford to serve per day. Then made a list of that number of servings, consulted sales papers, and made a shopping plan. It's a different way to think, but I made it through those months healthy, well-fed and with plenty of energy.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:00 PM   #48
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Mamasooze......Could you share you recipe for the green bean salad from Labor day? I love green beans!
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:38 AM   #49
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Mamasooze......Could you share you recipe for the green bean salad from Labor day? I love green beans!
OOPS-Sorry. It was a pea salad, lady pea salad. Here in Texas we use the term "pea" and "bean" interchangeably. If they are cold, they are peas. If they are hot, they are beans. Is that clear as mud? But actually we did have some great green beans, the frozen kind. I microwaved them until limp then plunged in ice water. Refrigerated about an hour then served cold with homemade green goddess dressing. Very, very good.
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:48 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by LCShadows View Post
Mamasooze, I'll follow your progress with interest. I went through a couple of months of $15/week for groceries this summer -- because of some financial problems that I (and my employer) ran into. It is possible, but requires great discipline and planning. In my case, my carb level was higher than induction level. (I included two half-cup servings of cooked legumes each day -- very filling and very cheap protein -- along with the animal protein sources at lunch and dinner.)

Check online for the grocery stores available to you. Most stores put their weekly sales circular online, so you don't have to buy a newspaper or walk/drive around to all the stores. Plan on shopping extraordinary sales on multiple days. (When tuna went on sale for an unheard of 2/$1 with a limit of 6, I walked to the store every single day that week and bought 6 cans of tuna.) Also check drugstore circulars for loss leader items that are routinely cheaper than grocery stores. (For example, Walgrens runs sales that has my coffee brand $2 cheaper than my grocery stores ever do -- and they also run 2 cans of mushrooms for $1 and eggs for $1 to hook in customers.)

Every type of cooking green (kale, collards, mustard greens, etc.) is cheap -- and often cheaper at the farmer's market. Cabbage and celery are cheap and often on sale. (Cole slaw is a godsend to a budget.) Seasonal vegies (zuke, cukes, tomatoes) are usually cheaper at the farmer's market. Frozen vegies are sometimes a better price when you weigh the actual consumable part and price that per pound (as opposed to the parts you discard).

According to Atkins, you can eat up to 4 eggs a day without having them impact your blood cholesterol level. Eggs are often the cheapest source of protein per serving. There are about a million ways to prepare them (see the egg challenge threads), and they should figure into at least one meal a day. Another thing you may find cheaply is sugar-free peanut butter, if you eat peanut butter. One of the groceries near my house has a generic storebrand made by a local organic manufacturer. It is often the cheapest and best peanut butter they carry, at around $2.15/jar (16 servings).

The things you think may be cheap in meats aren't always when you figure the actual cost per cooked serving. In the end, the easiest way for me to budget was to figure out a protein/carb/vegie serving for each meal, and cost out what I could afford to serve per day. Then made a list of that number of servings, consulted sales papers, and made a shopping plan. It's a different way to think, but I made it through those months healthy, well-fed and with plenty of energy.
Thanks for a lot of ideas. No loss in energy here. Yes, there was a lot of thought gone into the protein/carb ratio. My husband can have 60-100 carbs a day. Me? No, no more than 30. But the older I get the less I seem to have cravings or whatnot. My downfalls are pasta, potatoes, good breads..chocolate. The last time I had a new potato (lowest on glycemic index) I had a raging heartburn for 2 hours. One little potato! Had not had heartburn for 5+years! Well, you don't need to hit me over the head. I use Dreamfield's from time to time-no cravings and none for chocolate either. Take it or leave it.

Excited about fall soups, and especially the reappearance of greens and gourds. It's those things I crave now
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:56 AM   #51
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Update on Project25

I hope my taco salad tonight looks like this

I'm not sure we will make the $50 for 2 weeks. In order to do so, I may have to go off plan...but I'm not panicking yet. Just need to retool menu for next week. I do have 2 things going for me next week-a friend's garden overrun with cucumbers and okra. Yea!Freebies! Working those onto the menu
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:12 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by mamasooze View Post
Excited about fall soups, and especially the reappearance of greens and gourds. It's those things I crave now
I also love my soups It is a great way to stretch your budget too. I found big boxes of broth msg free no crap added and quite tasty at my dollar tree. So I see lots of soups, chilis and more casseroles as it gets cooler...and that means a lot of $$$ being saved.

We will all have to swap soup/stew recipes when and as we make them!
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:47 AM   #53
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I also love my soups It is a great way to stretch your budget too. I found big boxes of broth msg free no crap added and quite tasty at my dollar tree. So I see lots of soups, chilis and more casseroles as it gets cooler...and that means a lot of $$$ being saved.

We will all have to swap soup/stew recipes when and as we make them!
I gotta million soup recipes We eat soup minimum 3 times a week this time of year. Gotta check out my $ store for broth. What's the brand? I make mine most of the time, but running out of room in the freezer.
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:28 AM   #54
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Kendale Farm is the brand. Its "All Natural, No MSG (except for the small amount occuring naturally in the yeast), No Cholesterol, No Fat, Gluten Free... and best of all I can pronounce everything in the ingredient list

I got both beef and chicken - 32oz carton (resealable) for $1.... I am pretty excited!
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:21 PM   #55
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Eatin' Cheap

Hey MamaSnooze,
Checked out your blog, noticed you bought soup bones? Not much if any meat on them- Next time look at a cheap chuck steak (1.99# here in SJersey on sale) Sear and toss in stock pot for a meaty soup. Or a chuck roast can be cut in half- pot roast 1/2 and cut up in cubes the other half for stew or beef burgundy. Try skinning and browing several chicken thighs, toss in crock pot with onion tomatoes garlic and italian spices, a bit of chicken base and you've got chicken catchitorie (Sorry sp!) Use the legs for chicken soup. I bought a turkey breast last week at the shop-rite and the butcher cut it in half for me so I could roast half and freeze half. On sale at .89#. Carcass and large bones are saved to make stock. (As are chicken wing tips) I save the water from when I boil shrimp to use in chowders and seafood soups.

Every week I make a large pot of soup with whatever protein I have on sale. I use to add barley or rice to my soups, now I use lc veggies.
B&S chicken breasts are a usual loss leader for the supermarkets, so I always have them on hand as well as several #'s of 80/20 ground beef and both can be found for 1.99# I do LOVE to treat the DH & Myself two a couple of ribeyes! Can be found for 4.99# but I get the THICK CUT ones!! I don't care for grass fed Aussie beef, tastes too much like liver for me!
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:29 PM   #56
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rib Eyes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kisha1976 View Post
Pathmark (in NJ, not sure about anywhere else) currently have family packs of Rib eye steaks for $4.97/lb. I bought two packs (and the steaks are massive and beautifully marbled), and I'm going to buy more either tonight or tomorrow night. The sale ends this Thursday.

Stock up!
BOO HOO!!
My PathMark doesn't have them on sale!!!
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:34 AM   #57
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Update on Project25

Day Five Project25 Pops went out to lunch...

Total spent thru Day 5-$21.15. HMMMMM.
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:39 AM   #58
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Hey MamaSnooze,
Checked out your blog, noticed you bought soup bones? Not much if any meat on them- Next time look at a cheap chuck steak (1.99# here in SJersey on sale) Sear and toss in stock pot for a meaty soup. Or a chuck roast can be cut in half- pot roast 1/2 and cut up in cubes the other half for stew or beef burgundy. Try skinning and browing several chicken thighs, toss in crock pot with onion tomatoes garlic and italian spices, a bit of chicken base and you've got chicken catchitorie (Sorry sp!) Use the legs for chicken soup. I bought a turkey breast last week at the shop-rite and the butcher cut it in half for me so I could roast half and freeze half. On sale at .89#. Carcass and large bones are saved to make stock. (As are chicken wing tips) I save the water from when I boil shrimp to use in chowders and seafood soups.

Every week I make a large pot of soup with whatever protein I have on sale. I use to add barley or rice to my soups, now I use lc veggies.
B&S chicken breasts are a usual loss leader for the supermarkets, so I always have them on hand as well as several #'s of 80/20 ground beef and both can be found for 1.99# I do LOVE to treat the DH & Myself two a couple of ribeyes! Can be found for 4.99# but I get the THICK CUT ones!! I don't care for grass fed Aussie beef, tastes too much like liver for me!
WHOA--my soup bones were mee-tee They were very nice and even reused them by cooking down the next day even more and froze that stock for further use. I also had gotten my chicken quarters for a song-10lb bag for $5.80. Froze those bones for future soup too.

Everything is looking ok--better than I thought. Nine more days....then we'll have our ribeyes.
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:28 AM   #59
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Still reeling at your prices. I stood at the eggs with my calculator yesterday. If I buy a flat of 30 they are 20 cents apiece, a carton of 12 is 23.9 cents apiece, and a carton of 18 is 21.5 cents apiece. And since our Weston foods chain store closed, eggs NEVER go on sale. Two whole chickens each between 2.5 and 3 lbs BOGO total $10. I can eat a half pound of ground beef as cheaply as 3 eggs!

However, we are on what my mother used to call an 'austerity drive' so we are, as of today, eating out of the freezer and pantry until they are empty only buying produce and dairy and even at that, limiting the cheese.
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:44 AM   #60
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WOE: Low carb, wheat-free, mostly paleo
Start Date: AUG 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlielou View Post
Still reeling at your prices. I stood at the eggs with my calculator yesterday. If I buy a flat of 30 they are 20 cents apiece, a carton of 12 is 23.9 cents apiece, and a carton of 18 is 21.5 cents apiece. And since our Weston foods chain store closed, eggs NEVER go on sale. Two whole chickens each between 2.5 and 3 lbs BOGO total $10. I can eat a half pound of ground beef as cheaply as 3 eggs!

However, we are on what my mother used to call an 'austerity drive' so we are, as of today, eating out of the freezer and pantry until they are empty only buying produce and dairy and even at that, limiting the cheese.
Yes, miss my cheese. *sigh* But good on ya for the austerity drive. I find it keeps me humble.

I had to run to the dollar store and found that our store now has refrigerated and frozen stuff, national brands too. And eggs. Gotta go back and check it out some more. I did find the Kendale chicken broth. It's good for when I'm in a hurry.
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