The Cost of FA

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I posted a new topic under the Manufacturers topic asking about the safety of generic foods since I have to find a way to cut back my expenses. This has led me to wonder if anyone else has been hit financially by FA. I'm not talking about dr.'s visits or medications to manage them which can obviously be outrageous, but rather if anyone has had to make sacrifices elsewhere to accomodate the higher prices of name brand products, from food to otc medications to personal care products, etc. I know that I personally have a habit of finding a brand I trust and sticking with it no matter the cost. In order to live this way though I have had to make cuts in other places to stay within my budget as my grocery bills can get pretty steep. Circumstances have changed and I can no longer afford to do this but I'm wondering how to find a balance between living within our means and still keeping my child safe. Just wondering if anyone else has gone through this or has any thoughts on it.

On Jan 16, 2008

We have a Costco membership (I am not affiliated in any way with Costco). This means I can cut my grocery bill in half compared to the upscale grocery I used to shop. I shopped at the expensive market because the cheaper places seemed to always have open bins of peanuts and nuts near the produce or right on the narrow aisle you have to walk through to get from meat to dairy. The expensive grocery seemed to handle their produce more cleanly (just my observation, I'm sure no one else would notice!).

Shopping at Costco means we can buy bread, fruit, and vegetables at least 1/2 the price of the upscale market. Costco's meat is as good, only cheaper, than the less expensive grocery store. The upscale market had better cuts (dry age prime), and better hamburger because they used the trimmings of their better cuts to grind into hamburger. Costco stocks some name brand items and their own Kirkland brand which I believe is manufactured at a name-brand's facilities and then labeled Kirkland. Kirkland Kettle Chips are really wonderful if you have good teeth! We also have a paper towel dispenser in our bathroom and they sell that at Costco as well. They are not open 24 hours a day like the competition and the selection is less, and sometimes they run out of things and you have to make another trip later on for it, or go to the other grocery stores. However, they do have a lot of good produce even in the winter. They won't have everything every day, but most days they have 6 heads of romaine lettuce for $3.69 (if memory serves). Also gas is about $0.20 cheaper per gallon at Costco than at our nearby pump.

The best thing about Costco is that unlike their competition, they pay their employees a decent wage and don't make them work all sorts of holidays. So at least your money is going to a decent company. We have the $100 membership which means we get a rebate check back at the end of the year. But you can get a $50 membership instead without rebates.

Hope this helps. They have saved us a lot of money this past year.

On Jan 16, 2008

I use all fresh meat, produce and frozen vegetables...I fix my own food and it saves tons of money since we rarely go to a restaurant. And, if we do go....I don't eat there...I just socialize with my family.

On Jan 16, 2008

Yes cathlina, that is also something I am planning of doing more of. I thought that I would at least start by making things like soups and pasta sauces in bulk, then freezing them in dinner sized portions. It'll be a great time saver too. I'm also thinking of asking dh for a bread maker for Valentine's Day (he'll get a kick out of that one). We spend a lot of money on bread products to get ones that are safe and never end up coming close to eating it all. Plus, I think it'll open up a lot of new options for dd by learning to make commercially unsafe breads for her from scratch. I'm starting to get excited about the challenge, and I'm really looking forward to saving money and making healthier meals for my family. Maybe I should start a thread in Off Topic about money saving ideas...

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