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Old 01-27-2005, 06:22 PM   #1
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Location: Carson City, Nevada USA
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Hi Folks,

I have received a dozen or so emails from forum members over the past couple of months every since I said my food costs averaged $100.00 a month.. Some were doubting Thomas and some really wanted to know how I can eat that cheap... so here is how I do it..

You can eat this cheap also,, all it takes is will power in the grocery store and imagination in the kitchen..

**************************************************

*** Several years ago I made a "Master List" of everything I eat during the month as well as everything I will use during the month like, toothpaste, washing powder, dish washing liquid, shampoo, etc...

( look in your MS Works for the list and modify it to suit your own eating habits )

Each day I place a check mark on the form each time an item is used up.

Example: I keep on hand at all times .....

6 cans of corn, 6 cans of peas, 6 cans of beans, 6 cans of....... ....Etc:::

When I use a can of corn, I place a check mark next to canned corn on the master list.

When I go shopping, I count the number of check marks beside the canned corn and buy that many replacement cans.

*** Most items are not needed every month.. Like toothpaste, bleach, ...and so forth..

*** I don't drink any type of alcoholic drinks. I'm not against them, but my doctor is..
I do drink Safeway brand soda pop, (caffeine free - diet cola ) at 16.5 cent each
instead of the name brand colas that cost 35 cent each or beer for 75 cent each.

*** I eat out in a restaurant about two... maybe three times per YEAR.. Because I just flat refuse to pay ten dollars for food that cost less than two dollars to make and serve... its a rip-off..

When I do eat out... it is ALWAYS buffet style,, so I can pick and choose what I want to eat ... and I can eat as much of it as I want to without having to pay for "seconds"..


*** When shopping, I buy three or four of some items instead on only one..

Example... 4 boxes of dry cereal, 2 boxes of rice or instant potatoes, 6 cans of tomato
paste...... these amounts will last me four months easily.

*** Where I shop make a huge difference in monthly food costs..

The local "Smith's Grocery Store" pulls the "close date" meats every day and places them at the end of the meat counter where they are marked down less than half of the original price..
A steak that normally cost $ 5.00 might be marked down to $1.50.. Bacon that normally cost $3.00 per pound might be marked down to $.99 cent per pound..

When I find reduced price items like these, I don't buy just one package, I buy 15 or 20 pkgs of bacon all at once.. 8 or 10 pkgs of the steaks.. and so forth ,, and freeze them.

Another store that I shop faithfully is the local "dented can store" The actual name of the store is "Rainbow Foods" ,,, but everybody calls it the "Carson City Canned Food Store"..

These type stores buy from insurance companies that have paid off on accidents like trucks wrecking and spilling canned food all over the highway.. The cans are only dented, the food inside is perfectly good..

I don't know about other people, but I only eat whats inside the can, not the can itself, so why do I care if its got a dent in it..

They also buy from companies that made too much food that month and could not sell it to regular grocery stores like Safeway, Winne Dixie or Raley's ..

For example, Del Monte may have made too many cans of pineapple and are forced to sell it to companies like Rainbow Foods at 10 cent on the dollar..

Or Jeno's frozen pizzas may have had a wreck and the insurance company paid off the claim and is now trying to re-coop some of it's loss by selling the still frozen and perfectly good pizzas for 10 cent on the dollar..

The bread companies put out fresh bread every day in the "regular" grocery stores and take the "day old" bread to the canned food store , where it is sold for half price..

I get a big laugh out of people who say ... "yuck.. I would never eat old bread" .... So I ask the question... when you buy a fresh loaf of bread do you throw it away that night and go out and buy another "fresh" loaf the next day... or do you continue to eat it until it's all gone ??


I have gone on for too long and I'll stop now..

But this is why I can eat for "about" $100.00 / $125.00 per month.. Last week I had lobster tail on rice pilaf ($ 2.50) and tonight I just finished a wonderful 8 oz. steak dinner with all the trimmings ( $ 1.50 )

Bonn appetite folks,,

John
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Old 01-27-2005, 06:22 PM   #2
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Posts: 417
Hi Folks,

I have received a dozen or so emails from forum members over the past couple of months every since I said my food costs averaged $100.00 a month.. Some were doubting Thomas and some really wanted to know how I can eat that cheap... so here is how I do it..

You can eat this cheap also,, all it takes is will power in the grocery store and imagination in the kitchen..

**************************************************

*** Several years ago I made a "Master List" of everything I eat during the month as well as everything I will use during the month like, toothpaste, washing powder, dish washing liquid, shampoo, etc...

( look in your MS Works for the list and modify it to suit your own eating habits )

Each day I place a check mark on the form each time an item is used up.

Example: I keep on hand at all times .....

6 cans of corn, 6 cans of peas, 6 cans of beans, 6 cans of....... ....Etc:::

When I use a can of corn, I place a check mark next to canned corn on the master list.

When I go shopping, I count the number of check marks beside the canned corn and buy that many replacement cans.

*** Most items are not needed every month.. Like toothpaste, bleach, ...and so forth..

*** I don't drink any type of alcoholic drinks. I'm not against them, but my doctor is..
I do drink Safeway brand soda pop, (caffeine free - diet cola ) at 16.5 cent each
instead of the name brand colas that cost 35 cent each or beer for 75 cent each.

*** I eat out in a restaurant about two... maybe three times per YEAR.. Because I just flat refuse to pay ten dollars for food that cost less than two dollars to make and serve... its a rip-off..

When I do eat out... it is ALWAYS buffet style,, so I can pick and choose what I want to eat ... and I can eat as much of it as I want to without having to pay for "seconds"..


*** When shopping, I buy three or four of some items instead on only one..

Example... 4 boxes of dry cereal, 2 boxes of rice or instant potatoes, 6 cans of tomato
paste...... these amounts will last me four months easily.

*** Where I shop make a huge difference in monthly food costs..

The local "Smith's Grocery Store" pulls the "close date" meats every day and places them at the end of the meat counter where they are marked down less than half of the original price..
A steak that normally cost $ 5.00 might be marked down to $1.50.. Bacon that normally cost $3.00 per pound might be marked down to $.99 cent per pound..

When I find reduced price items like these, I don't buy just one package, I buy 15 or 20 pkgs of bacon all at once.. 8 or 10 pkgs of the steaks.. and so forth ,, and freeze them.

Another store that I shop faithfully is the local "dented can store" The actual name of the store is "Rainbow Foods" ,,, but everybody calls it the "Carson City Canned Food Store"..

These type stores buy from insurance companies that have paid off on accidents like trucks wrecking and spilling canned food all over the highway.. The cans are only dented, the food inside is perfectly good..

I don't know about other people, but I only eat whats inside the can, not the can itself, so why do I care if its got a dent in it..

They also buy from companies that made too much food that month and could not sell it to regular grocery stores like Safeway, Winne Dixie or Raley's ..

For example, Del Monte may have made too many cans of pineapple and are forced to sell it to companies like Rainbow Foods at 10 cent on the dollar..

Or Jeno's frozen pizzas may have had a wreck and the insurance company paid off the claim and is now trying to re-coop some of it's loss by selling the still frozen and perfectly good pizzas for 10 cent on the dollar..

The bread companies put out fresh bread every day in the "regular" grocery stores and take the "day old" bread to the canned food store , where it is sold for half price..

I get a big laugh out of people who say ... "yuck.. I would never eat old bread" .... So I ask the question... when you buy a fresh loaf of bread do you throw it away that night and go out and buy another "fresh" loaf the next day... or do you continue to eat it until it's all gone ??


I have gone on for too long and I'll stop now..

But this is why I can eat for "about" $100.00 / $125.00 per month.. Last week I had lobster tail on rice pilaf ($ 2.50) and tonight I just finished a wonderful 8 oz. steak dinner with all the trimmings ( $ 1.50 )

Bonn appetite folks,,

John
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Old 06-19-2005, 01:43 PM   #3
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I want to see the RV refrigerator/freezer that will hold 15-20 packs of bacon and 8-10 steaks!
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Old 06-20-2005, 03:16 PM   #4
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Fred: I am working on an Peltier cooled electric freezer that I hope will go a long way to coming into the range of frozen items you suggested.

I have a Coleman electric cooler that I am WRAPING the outside with more and more insulation and I have removed the puniy peltier that came with the cooler and an going to install 2 jumbos and 2 regular peltiers in its place. I will use some sort of switching power supply at 12 volts and my 7 solar panels and wind generator to run it. During the middle of the day in the summer here in the Sonaran desert I have about 40% of my power intake that does not get used.

The idea would be to super cool the freezer during the middle of the day and let this extra COLDTH last thru the night keeping things below 32 degrees inside the freezer. I am thinking about using some FOODGRADE antifreeze to absorb the COLDTH. This could be anything from straight ethyl alcohol to glycerine. The inside cooling fins on the peltier heat pump would be immersed in the antifreeze. It would hopefully get SUPERCOLD during the middle of the day from the solar panels and disperese this COLDTH during the night to the bacon and steaks. In my case the freezer would be full of stuff from the Swan food guy's visit.

There is no way I could get by on $100.00/month for food, even buying from Sams Club.

David/zetron
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Old 06-20-2005, 05:00 PM   #5
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If you want to see the freezer that will hold 20 pounds of bacon and 8 to 10 steaks, simply go to any store like Lowe's, Home Depot, some Wal-Marts also sell them.

They cost about $200. The freezer is about 36" tall x 26"deep x 25" wide.
Not only are they a great addition to the regular RV refrigerator's freezer section, the freezer also makes a great television stand.
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Old 07-20-2005, 10:04 AM   #6
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John, how do you power this $200 freezer?
I presume it is 110V.
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Old 07-21-2005, 11:39 AM   #7
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Hi Doggie,
Yes, the freezer is 110 volts, but once it gets cold, it will keep stuff frozen for 48 hours if you keep the door closed... like when traveling down the road,,
then when you reach your destination for that day, simply plug it in...either with the generator or the campground shore power..

Believe me ... its well worth the little space and money it takes to have it.. it will pay back that money the first year with the savings you receive buying meats and other stuff in bulk.

John
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Old 07-21-2005, 01:50 PM   #8
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That's what I thought you were going to say. I would imagine a freezer would require as much or more power than a refrigerator, and at $2+ per gallon for generator gas it could get pretty spendy for lengthy dry camping trips.
I would really like to stock up on wild game this fall and bring it down to the desert SW to have during the winter, but I doubt that my current solar/battery arrangement would handle it.
Hmmm. Maybe I can find a cold storage facility down there.
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Old 07-22-2005, 07:27 PM   #9
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I would not want a 110 AC freezer. I am working on a Peltier cooled 12 volt freezer, starting with a Coleman peltier cooled tailgate cooler, jumbo peltiers, and very large heat sinks.

Eventually I will finish it and will have an extra freezer that works on 12 volts. When Swan comes around I can fill it up with frozen food. I expect it to keep things frozen for a week with just a minimal amount of amphours.

Hey, in the winter I could take it outside and open it up at night if it were freezing outside.

David/zetron
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Old 07-24-2005, 01:30 PM   #10
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lol. I need something I can put a deer in, along with a bunch of ducks, geese, pairie chickens, grouse and pheasants. Maybe a hog and a side of beef.
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Old 07-29-2005, 05:35 PM   #11
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Hey doggie, are you that good of a hunter or that bad of a driver? John I think you live a little more conservitivly than most of us! You must have great will power. I can't say I do. But I am still working and the budget is not fixed, my day will come. Scotty.
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Old 07-31-2005, 03:35 PM   #12
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Scotty, I still work too, but not too hard. I have hunted all my life, mostly in MN, but now I am a SD resident and getting possession limits of ducks, geese and pheasants should be no problem, especially with my 9 month old labrador.
As for road kills, I hit a grouse once and ate that. I also hit a deer and ate most of that. Fortunately I was driving an old 3/4 ton Ford pickup when I hit the deer and there was no damage to the truck.
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Old 08-01-2005, 06:45 AM   #13
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Doggie: I use to hunt back in IN. I cannot see hunting and fishing as a way to feed myself. It was just a hobby.

The only fish I caught in AZ were very small trout.

I suppose I could go elk hunting since I am an AZ resident. I would have to jerk most of the meat.

My experience has been there are so many other things that need to be taken care of I don't get a chance to fish or hunt.

David/zetron
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Old 08-01-2005, 05:08 PM   #14
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David, I basically spent the last 12 years chained to a computer. I need fresh air and exercise and decided that escaping in an RV was the way to go. I love to fish and hunt, and I became a SD resident for a few reasons. Hunting and fishing are two reasons, taxes are another, and a place to go in the summer when it's hot is another. I am pretty much stuck in the Aberdeen area for now, but next summer I will either be out in the black hills (Lead/Deadwood area) catching trout and looking for gold or over on the Missouri catching walleyes, trout & salmon.
In September, October and maybe early November of this year, I'll be hunting, and I think I'll be doing that until I'm too old. I plan on spending the winter and spring in AZ, CA & NV like I did last year, spending a lot of time nugget shooting. I don't really need to find any gold but it would be nice.
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