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Food is one area our family struggles with the cost savings. We don't go out to eat, but we don't really cook either. I try to buy lower cost frozen meals at Trader Joes etc., but my wife is addicted to her French cheeses, cantaloupe, avocado, etc... and the organic whole milk for our toddler son etc. my micro brew beer. It's one area where we tend to splurge continuously.


Since you describe this as a "struggle," would you like some tips?

Do you know about eating in season? Vegetables go on sale when they are at their peak of flavor. It's a nice combo: cheaper and tastes better! Of course, now we can get produce from Chile and New Zealand so you can get fooled. Cantaloupe or avocados in season are reasonably priced. Out of season, they cost a pretty penny. (The french cheese is probably the same all the time, unless you find a sale.)

Here's a pretty list of seasonal produce:

And here's a list that links to sites that list seasonal produce by state, so you can eat local fresh food.

I was looking at some old posts today, and you might find this to be useful. TMF fave fool Impolite gives tips on how to cook if you aren't used to it. It's written for one person, but you can double the quantities easily enough.

I can also recommend Menu-Mailer if you are willing to try cooking. It's not all that hard. And it includes a shopping list! If you can do the cooking, it's easy to save more money by buying the ingredients on sale.
Download a sample here to try it. (click on the menu that interests you and look over on the right for the free sample link.)
Oddly enough, I think Low-Carb is a good one to start with, if you substitute potatoes or rice for the cauliflower.

Feel free to ask me for help if you need it--I've made a lot of Menu-Mailers.

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