We are trying this new "envelope system" where we put cash in an envelope at the beginning of the month for random things, i.e., food envelope, household supplies envelope, etc. How novel and original, I know. However, it has caused me to want to be more frugal with our money, especially the food money. Here are a few ideas I've gathered, I would love to hear any new ones:

Buy the whole chicken. My sister Kaci says that buying a whole chicken or a large thing of beef is always cheaper than one that is cut up already and she is right. For example, yesterday I bought a whole chicken for $4.00. I first cut off the chicken breast, then boiled the chicken to make a broth (added celery, onion, carrot). Here is what I got out of that one chicken (savings are only estimates, of course):

Chicken Breast $2.00
Broth for 2 Soups: $8.00
Chicken for Quesadillas: $2.00
Minus Price of Chicken: ($4.00)
Total Savings: $8.00!

You can do the same thing with beef. My husband (the butcher) usually cuts it up, but I bet anyone with a sharp knife could figure it out.

Eat at Costco. No membership required. (This requires a friend.) I'm not talking about eating their hot dogs for $1.50 - although that is really cheap too. In college, my friend Megan and I got really good at this:

a. In order to crack the Costco Security Guard (the card checker), you will need to walk really close to a stranger. Make it look like you are together. The older the stranger, the better, because then it will look like they are your parents or grandparents and less likely you will be questioned by Costco Security.

b. Walk towards the back of the store. Find the people in hairnets who are giving out samples.

c. Before you get a sample, you and your friend will need to separate. Do not make it look like you are together.

d. Stake out the sample table until the sample lady has a full tray of food.

e. Friend A gets a sample and says to the sample lady, "Mmmmm, this is delicious. Where might I find this? I want to buy a whole lot of it!" The whole point is to distract the sample lady and get her FAR AWAY from her post.

f. While the sample lady is away, Friend B goes
crazy getting samples. Take the whole tray if necessary.

g. Repeat at all the sample tables until you are full.

(This really works. I survived on $30 a month for food this way in college.)

3. Rice and Beans; Beans and Rice (a la Dave Ramsey). You don't need to eat meat with every meal.

Double Coupons. Candace introduced me to this. Ralphs doubles your coupons. If you clip coupons and then follow the ads you can sometimes get products for next to nothing. I recently got free pepperoni, air freshener, and toothpaste using my double coupons combined with a good sale.


  1. Hooray! I was happy to see a comment from you on my not-so-secretive blog. And then I was like, whoah! when I saw pictures of Valerie and Candace pregnant. And then I of course, had to look at the link to Andalyn and I was excited to see that both she and Ari had babies. I had no idea about any of these pregnancies. How are you guys liking Tehachapi? We used to go there when I was little to watch trains for some reason and smash pennies on the tracks. We just started a family website. I'll email you later with the link so you can see pics of the kids.

  2. The Costco section was my favorite. So um, I'm anxiously awaiting your next post, BloggerGirl!



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