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Mar 23, 2009 12:05 PM

Grocery list in recession

Just curious, what items are cut from your grocery list? and if you replaced it for something else(store brand,poorer cuts, etc).

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  1. I haven't yet cut anything - but it's more because I'm "shopping" from my pantry and freezer. I have a tendency to buy things when they're on sale, so the freezer has plenty of stuff for me to work from, and my pantry is chock-full of cans of tomato sauce, beans, etc. The only thing I'm buying is milk, eggs, and fresh vegetables, for the most part.

    2 Replies
    1. re: LindaWhit

      I do the same, and I buy my fruits and vegetables from a produce market not far from my office. The prices are much less than at the grocery store.
      I know I'm lucky as it is convenient for me to do that, and I have the luxury of being able to shop at one of two supermarkets less than one mile from my house, so I can look at the weekly sales and hit both places without it being not cost effective to do it.

      1. I'm definitely trying more store-brand (in our case, Harris Teeter) products.

        For example, one of my kids love Froot Loops. I tried the Harris Teeter version; he seems to like them just as much. Name-brand cereal is such a rip anyway.

        Canned veggies is another area where H-T products are saving us $$. If we find something we don't like, no big loss.

        I wish we had a Wegmans a little closer; their store brand products are great and are really cheap. Also, they have a ton of store brand products. On a recent visit I found Wegmans brand canned pumpkin. The consumer -- our dog -- likes it just as much as Libbys.

        1. I find myself cutting back more on non-foods, researching how to make my own laundry and dish washer detergents, transitioning to rags and cloth napkins over paper...

          I already eat a lot of beans and whole grains, with only a little meat (often from the reduced price bin), but I swore off canned beans, and use dried instead. I'm a cook once, eat all week person, so it isn't much more work to soak the beans on Saturday afternoon and cook them on Sunday when I'm doing the rest of the prep.

          I plan my grocery list with great detail (obsessed to some, but very entertaining for me!), using the weekly ads and my own experience with the local stores to find the sweet spot between cheap and good. In total I shop for food and 2-3 grocery stores (Whole Foods, Foodlion, Harris Teeter), but usually only 2 stores/week.

          A lot of these strategies are holdovers from my "poor" years during and immediately after grad school. The economy started getting grim only about 18 months after I started earning a decent amount of money, so I was still in touch with my inner penny-pincher.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mpjmph

            Same here about the cloths and stuff. I also plan my list with great detail and find it very enjoyable like a pass time.

          2. Cheaper bread... no luxury items (cookies, desserts etc.) that we don't really need and that I could probably make better myself. Storebrand icecream as a treat (unless Edys or Breyers are on sale) and as of now, no more impulse buys of expensive meat (ie. steaks...) I was thinking 'it's much cheaper than eating out' and indeed it is, but we can't afford to spend $20 on a dinner for two!
            Also, no more bought stock - it was just laziness to buy it and it's not even that nice, so I've started making it myself.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Kajikit

              i'm not yet affected by the recession it hasn't really hit us as badly down in aus (but it might soon as rudd keeps mentioning) but i really like your approach about not buying as much junk to cut down and focusing on real food go you

            2. Cheaper bread for sure - I am all about the whole grain, etc., but my husband and kids are unashamed wonderbread fans. Since I eat about 2 slices of bread a week, my 'good' bread is in the freezer, and I'm buying the store brand white bread for the rest of them. Silly me, trying to feed everyone the good stuff.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jeanmarieok

                Jean, I am with you on the bread...I've been buying and enjoying Arnold's Natural Flax & Fiber bread but, like you, I eat it VERY sparingly...and thus it stays in the freezer. When I'm not eating oatmeal for breakfast, I might have a slice of that bread with natural peanut butter and then a piece of fresh fruit. Stays with me pretty well til lunchtime. What we have given up pretty much is ice cream...$4.99???? Nope, sorry...I might buy it when it's on sale but that's just ridiculous.

                1. re: Val

                  I've switched to less expensive bread as well. I include a lot of other high fiber, less cost prohibitive grains and legumes in my diet so I really don't think missing whole grains in a sandwich is the end of the world. I think some of the non-whole grain breads are more versatile for sandwich making as a result I use most of the loaf whereas the whole grain stuff would live in my freezer for too long.