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Save Money on Groceries with the $1 per pound rule.

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  • Save Money on Groceries with the $1 per pound rule.

    4/3/11

    The Rule: Only buy items that have a per unit price of less than $1 per pound.

    First, let me give credit; this rule comes from Jeff Yeager and his book, The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches. The rule is fairly self explanatory, if the food item cost more than $1 per pound, don’t buy it. This rule is surprisingly effective when it comes to both saving money and eating healthy as it cuts out about 70% or more of what’s available at grocery stores, mostly the stuff that is bad for you anyway.

    At $1 per pound, that pretty much cuts out any processed foods (e.g. prepared meals like Healthy Choice, Stouffers, etc), the entire freezer section except for bulk vegetables, the cereal aisle except for maybe generic, bulk cereal, practically all dairy is eliminated, many unhealthy starches (breads), and so on. Okay, I know what you are asking, what is left? The freshest, most delicious part of the grocery store remains.

    This rule is particularly useful for fresh produce as it requires you to buy that which is in season, which is not a bad thing. In-season fruits and vegetables are cheap and it doesn’t require any searching, grocery stores put these items on the front page of their flyers. You can usually find meats that satisfy this rule, and other staples such as beans, rice, and bulk grains can be had for under a $1 per pound.

    However, you still need to be health conscious as there are items in the store that are under $1 per pound but have little or no nutritional value (i.e. soda).

    Try this rule for 2 weeks and see how it goes.

    P.S. for conversions, 16oz = 1lbs

    http://www.**********.com/blog/2011/...er-pound-rule/

  • #2
    HHM, please believe me I don't mean to disagree with you BUT - in large metro areas, this is NOT possible. Where I live you CANNOT - repeat - CANNOT find fruit under $1 and change per pount, meat?? Good grief for $1/pound? Maybe 20 years ago! Unfortunately for those of us in large urban centers, this is not realistic...

    Walmart - yes, they usually have one or two fruits for under 1/pound, but they'll also rot before you get it home!

    I shop at the CHEAPEST store around here, plus use coupons, etc etc etc, but for two adults and two near adult kids, if it's under 200/week, I'm happy!

    ALso, with all due respect, bread, by itself, isn't "bad" - and I can by store brand for 99 cents or 79 cents per loaf.

    No dairy...again, that's hardly realistic. What all this shows is that food inflation, which is at 10% now, has been astronomical over the last few years...

    I'm sorry to sound even "bitter" but I face the reality of trying to feed a family week after week after week.

    Originally posted by HHM View Post
    4/3/11

    The Rule: Only buy items that have a per unit price of less than $1 per pound.

    First, let me give credit; this rule comes from Jeff Yeager and his book, The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches. The rule is fairly self explanatory, if the food item cost more than $1 per pound, don’t buy it. This rule is surprisingly effective when it comes to both saving money and eating healthy as it cuts out about 70% or more of what’s available at grocery stores, mostly the stuff that is bad for you anyway.

    At $1 per pound, that pretty much cuts out any processed foods (e.g. prepared meals like Healthy Choice, Stouffers, etc), the entire freezer section except for bulk vegetables, the cereal aisle except for maybe generic, bulk cereal, practically all dairy is eliminated, many unhealthy starches (breads), and so on. Okay, I know what you are asking, what is left? The freshest, most delicious part of the grocery store remains.

    This rule is particularly useful for fresh produce as it requires you to buy that which is in season, which is not a bad thing. In-season fruits and vegetables are cheap and it doesn’t require any searching, grocery stores put these items on the front page of their flyers. You can usually find meats that satisfy this rule, and other staples such as beans, rice, and bulk grains can be had for under a $1 per pound.

    However, you still need to be health conscious as there are items in the store that are under $1 per pound but have little or no nutritional value (i.e. soda).

    Try this rule for 2 weeks and see how it goes.

    P.S. for conversions, 16oz = 1lbs

    http://www.**********.com/blog/2011/...er-pound-rule/

    Comment


    • #3
      Well, the guy that actually came up with it (or, at least published it) lives in Washington D.C., would you consider that a large Metro Area, a rather expensive place to live.

      The point is to try, not make excuses. But you are correct, food inflation is a problem; however, part of the challenge is to ADJUST your eating habits to fit within the rule, not make excuses to buy things you "want" to buy and simply say the budget is impossible. The budget IS possible.

      Comment


      • #4
        HHM< again with all due respect, in DC it is not possible. I don't live there but my employer has offices there, and I know from both personal and experience of long-distance coworkers, that is simply impossible. I'm sorry, I'm just speaking from personal experience, but "lunchmeat" for sandwiches, the CHEAPEST, bologna is over $1/pound. Even at Walmart...

        Originally posted by HHM View Post
        Well, the guy that actually came up with it (or, at least published it) lives in Washington D.C., would you consider that a large Metro Area, a rather expensive place to live.

        The point is to try, not make excuses. But you are correct, food inflation is a problem; however, part of the challenge is to ADJUST your eating habits to fit within the rule, not make excuses to buy things you "want" to buy and simply say the budget is impossible. The budget IS possible.

        Comment


        • #5
          It's a small little point, but I would add that getting a freezer also helps. Mine paid for itself in about three months. It's a lot easier to stock up on meats, cheeses, breads, baking items, frozen entrees, and bulk items when they're on sale. It also seems to help reduce the number of trips made to restaurants and fast food joints because there's always something in there that can be defrosted for a meal. I find that I cook a lot more stuff from scratch now that I'm watching food costs. It's more work but I like the fact that I know all of the ingredients that go into each meal and there aren't any preservatives or other additives that can't be pronounced. And homemade bread? Yummo! I definitely don't feel like I've lost anything by shopping-on-the-cheap. I never aimed for the $1/lb, but that's right about where I landed anyway.
          OK - from now on it's not a "Bankruptcy." It's a "Weight Loss Program." I'm in. Sign me up.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Peeps View Post
            It's a small little point, but I would add that getting a freezer also helps. Mine paid for itself in about three months. It's a lot easier to stock up on meats, cheeses, breads, baking items, frozen entrees, and bulk items when they're on sale. It also seems to help reduce the number of trips made to restaurants and fast food joints because there's always something in there that can be defrosted for a meal. I find that I cook a lot more stuff from scratch now that I'm watching food costs. It's more work but I like the fact that I know all of the ingredients that go into each meal and there aren't any preservatives or other additives that can't be pronounced. And homemade bread? Yummo! I definitely don't feel like I've lost anything by shopping-on-the-cheap. I never aimed for the $1/lb, but that's right about where I landed anyway.
            A freezer is a good idea! I wish I could cobble together 250 or so bucks at the same time, as where we live I could by "half a cow" (which would last us like...good grief...like 4-5 months!!!) - but it's always that we don't have the 250 "extra' at the same time...maybe once we're in 13, (no more lawyer payments :-) save a up a few bucks...:-)

            I love homemade bread!! BUt, sadly, I'm not home long enough to make it...

            Comment


            • #7
              Meat is pretty much impossible to find for $1 or less per pound, but it's a great rule for other foods! I limit my meat to $2/lb max and fresh fruits/veggies to $1/lb max. That said, I live in a largely agricultural area (CA), so fresh produce that is in season is pretty cheap since it doesn't have to be shipped in from out of state. Also, I live in a fairly large city, so there are lots of stores that I can shop at (at least 10 different chains within 2 miles of my home). I literally go to each store and buy their super sale items and then leave without buying any regular priced items. For people in rural areas where there are only 1 or 2 stores to choose from it would be next to impossible to strategize this way to achieve maximum savings.

              Making foods from scratch is also a great way to maximize savings. I can make the equivalent of 24 jars of spaghetti sauce from scratch for less than $10 and it's MUCH more delicious and healthier than any premade sauce from the store! Most of our meals (to feed 5 people with at least 1 meat dish and 1 veggie dish) cost less than $5 total including spices/condiments, etc. And, let me tell you how delicious homemade french fries are! Super cheap and a huge hit around here! Yes, it takes more work than buying a bag of frozen fries from the store, but the cost savings and health benefits of little changes like that make a huge difference!
              Filed Chapter 13 on 2-28-10. 341 completed 4/14/10. Confirmed 5/14/10. Lien strip granted 2/2/11
              0% payback to unsecured creditors, 56 payments down, 4 to go....

              Comment


              • #8
                Sometimes it's cheaper to buy prepared foods... I honestly cannot buy and cook a chicken for less than a Costco one- by the time you add in the utility cost and the value of time.
                And to find fresh fruits and veg under $1/lb could be difficult for sure. You'd be pretty much limited to bananas and the occasional sale on grapes. I do make a point of shopping the clearance racks for things like peppers and can sometimes score those pretty cheaply- slightly battered perhaps...

                Keep On Smilin'

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by momofthree View Post
                  Meat is pretty much impossible to find for $1 or less per pound, but it's a great rule for other foods! I limit my meat to $2/lb max and fresh fruits/veggies to $1/lb max. That said, I live in a largely agricultural area (CA), so fresh produce that is in season is pretty cheap since it doesn't have to be shipped in from out of state. Also, I live in a fairly large city, so there are lots of stores that I can shop at (at least 10 different chains within 2 miles of my home). I literally go to each store and buy their super sale items and then leave without buying any regular priced items. For people in rural areas where there are only 1 or 2 stores to choose from it would be next to impossible to strategize this way to achieve maximum savings.

                  Making foods from scratch is also a great way to maximize savings. I can make the equivalent of 24 jars of spaghetti sauce from scratch for less than $10 and it's MUCH more delicious and healthier than any premade sauce from the store! Most of our meals (to feed 5 people with at least 1 meat dish and 1 veggie dish) cost less than $5 total including spices/condiments, etc. And, let me tell you how delicious homemade french fries are! Super cheap and a huge hit around here! Yes, it takes more work than buying a bag of frozen fries from the store, but the cost savings and health benefits of little changes like that make a huge difference!
                  I'm sorry I don't mean to be persnickety here, but veggies under $1/pound that I can find and do buy, no problem. Fruit? No way. Not here - doesn't happen. Unfortunately I do frequent the cheapest supermarket and split between two when I can...but I also have to budget gas (almost 4/gallon for the "cheap" gas) and time...I usually leave around 6AM get home around 7pm (if I go to my PT job then 11pm) - spouse usually 7AM to 6pm. Commutes here are nightmarish. You get in the car and just zone out until you arrive at your destination (no public transportation). I would LOVE to buy that half a cow!!! :-)

                  Re french fries - I can't eat the frozen kind - it tastes like plastic - homemade is the way to go, but that's easy to make I think and heck potatoes are still "cheap" - I'm a huge potato fan.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Not to beat a dead horse, but a distinction needs to be made between boneless and bone-in meat. Boneless chix breasts at 1.69 lb are a better deal than wings or drumsticks at .99.

                    Keep On Smilin'

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Food prices are rising so soon you'll get nothing for $1 a pound.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'll try it for a week and see how it goes. I don't eat that much meat, anyway, so I have no problem on that end. However, I love seafood, and being in a land locked state makes it so that anything fishy is well over a $1.

                        I am a veggie lover, how I love my vegetables. <3 But even that, I have to strain to think of what I can purchase for a $1/lb... zucchini maybe? Parsley for sure, I can make tabouli... but my beloved golden yukon potatoes and avocados are definitely nixed... anyway, I will try it for a week starting tomorrow and report back.
                        Filed No Asset Chp 7 BK: January 2010
                        Discharged: August 2010
                        A life lesson well learned.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by iswmle View Post
                          I'll try it for a week and see how it goes. I don't eat that much meat, anyway, so I have no problem on that end. However, I love seafood, and being in a land locked state makes it so that anything fishy is well over a $1.

                          I am a veggie lover, how I love my vegetables. <3 But even that, I have to strain to think of what I can purchase for a $1/lb... zucchini maybe? Parsley for sure, I can make tabouli... but my beloved golden yukon potatoes and avocados are definitely nixed... anyway, I will try it for a week starting tomorrow and report back.

                          This is just soo unrealistic unless you live on nothing but beans and white rice. Even if you lived by the ocean, unless you caught your own fish (and then you'd need to shell out $$$ for a license) you could NOT buy ANY fish for under $1-- at least, nothing edible. You can't buy any kind of cheese either. Not even peanut butter for crying out loud. You'd have to make your own tofu to stay in this budget as well. I can't imagine you'd want to live like this for any length of time.

                          Keep On Smilin'

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by keepsmiling View Post
                            This is just soo unrealistic unless you live on nothing but beans and white rice. Even if you lived by the ocean, unless you caught your own fish (and then you'd need to shell out $$$ for a license) you could NOT buy ANY fish for under $1-- at least, nothing edible. You can't buy any kind of cheese either. Not even peanut butter for crying out loud. You'd have to make your own tofu to stay in this budget as well. I can't imagine you'd want to live like this for any length of time.
                            Look, I have to agree with keepsmining - this is unrealistic. It's very easy for someone to write a book (presumably single, young, middle or upper middle class) - what is one supposed to feed one's kids? Come on - I just came back from the supermarket - the only fruit under $1 are bananas (which I love). PERIOD my friends. Lunchmeat? Under $1/pound (or cold cuts - depending on where you are in the country) WON'T HAPPEN.

                            Fish? A luxury - cheapest "cut" of fish is almost $10/pound - overfishing, transportation costs, etc. There are folks "up yonder" in the mountains in the state where I live that hunt - they usually get deer, etc., not for fun but for food. Now, more and more folks are doing that...wish I could. It's almost free, and you get a ton of meat!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Here's the thing...the purpose behind the idea is to at least get you thinking about how you buy groceries and establish some benchmarks. Is the $1 per pound feasible, yes...but with recent food inflation, at this point, I concede, it is probably too limiting. But the point is to get you thinking about what you buy. I am talking about mind set. Now it sounds like IamOld and Keepsmiling have a pretty good idea of what things costs and perhaps know how to control spending, but most don't, most people buy on habit and get what they "think" they need. So the idea behind this post is to establish a benchmark. But I will concede, because of inflation, the amount probably needs to be raised to $1.50 per pound so as not to be too limiting.

                              But on the flip side, if you REALLY HAD TO DO IT, could you?

                              Comment

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