Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Save it for a Rainy Day

My husband laughed at me as I brought in the 15th Maxwell House Master Blend 34.5 oz tub and stashed it on the basement shelves.  I've been forward buying (note: not hoarding !) these tubs of heavenly brew over the last year- all purchased at almost half the current shelf price of anywhere between $9-$12 depending on where you shop.  Not such a bad deal looking back.    Ok, ok, to give him his due- my grandparents hoarded coffee too.   Oh, I didn't say "hoarded" did I?   They emigrated from Denmark and heard there would be a US shortage.  I recall every cabinet filled to the top with cans upon cans of coffee. So, yes, it may be in the genes; however, you can't say I didn't get a good deal! 

Speaking of groceries, has anyone noticed a difference in their grocery bill over the last several months? Have you picked up on the fact that some packages have stayed the same height and width but are much skinnier than they used to be?  It gives the appearance that the box is as large as ever, but take a good look at the weights next time you walk down the cereal aisle.

During our forced austerity plan we've gotten quite proficient at finding “steals and deals,” stocking up on nonperishable staples.  Every trip to the store includes extra packages of dried beans, pasta, Raman noodles or rice.  We scour the ads for 10 or $10 deals unless we can find it at the discount grocers for less, assuming equal quality.   We don’t generally purchase extra items that need freezing or refrigeration such as frozen fruit, dinners or ice cream- except for meat.  Since I drive a good distance to work I can pass up to six grocery stores depending on the route I choose; therefore, we are not offsetting our deals with increased fuel costs. 

Perishable items can be more difficult but with a little planning you can stretch your dollar a bit as well.  We have a meat slicer so we can purchase a small full ham for much less  than Boar’s Head at $8-$9 lb.  We slice it up paper thin and store it in weekly packets.  We keep a packet in the fridge and freeze the rest for the next weeks.  Our last purchase of Black Forest ham cost us less than $3 per pound for absolutely wonderful ham.   The left over Thanksgiving turkey sliced up quite nicely as well, looking as pretty as a deli display. 

We purchased 1/4 of a cow from a farmer friend who had it processed and packaged up all nice and neat.  Hamburger, steaks, roasts, etc.    We plan to split a hog with our neighbors this year ( ahhhh, bacon!).   This can be a nice savings, the quality is generally better and you can avoid meats from animals that were given growth hormones, which is a topic for another day.

If things take a turn for the worse, you have a good stock of staples that might get you through until your situation improves.  If everything is coming up roses for you, then you simply have gotten some great deals.  Take your savings and have a nice night out on the town!   Enjoy-

No comments: