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Updated on September 30, 2009

Savings Tips

You don't have to settle...
You don't have to settle...

Avoid ‘buyers beware’ pitfalls of the American food industry without sacrificing the benefits. Amazingly, the gourmet delivery services do offer higher quality for less. With or without them, you can use their success tips to save time and money. If you are among the 62% of us who have traded dining out for less expensive and healthier alternatives, the pros and cons can be found in the following sections:

· How can healthier food be cheaper?

· What makes it healthier – eye opening facts and options

· Easy planning method

· Qualifying – be ahead of the game

· Additional benefits and informational links


How can healthier food be cheaper?

The key to healthier, less preservative and chemically filled protein (+ sundries) is buying in bulk. The home delivery services that have survived for 50+ years do their best not to see you more than twice a year. Others have long since gone bankrupt trying to emulate our conditioned buying habits i.e. 5 little chicken breasts or 1 pack of toilet paper at a time as if our needs will vanish 2 weeks from now.

The real job of any good salesperson is to educate the consumer. The home delivery salesperson will do just that by letting you in on some hard cold facts concerning food offered on the shelf. Unfortunately, this may make you more vulnerable than safe by causing a state of shock. From there, they will do their best to convince you to not only buy 6 months worth of better food, but also add a commercial freezer and lifetime service plan. Only the food is necessary.

A good home delivery truck will have a freezer inside. Their process is to clean, immediately vacuum seal and freeze until delivered. No thawing means less chemicals are necessary and the guess work or wasted money the huge mall type grocery stores experience is not added. Naturally, neither are the overhead costs reported a few years ago of $0.67-$0.87 per dollar. The larger companies use their buying power to only accept products and produce on consignment. It may sound like we are living better for less, but we are putting the actual growers out of business – bad future planning.

The next section lets you in on some facts usually ignored thinking there are few options. Rather than resorting to spending Sundays clipping coupons, or doing without – read on. Within our HubPages, there are dozens of additionally informative and relative articles. Armed with all these tips, tricks and due diligence, you will be able to eat like royalty for the same amount or less if you choose to do so.

Is your grocery store in front of a field of grazing cattle?
Is your grocery store in front of a field of grazing cattle?

• What makes it healthier – eye opening facts and options

An example of the facts you may not have thought of: if you cannot see grazing cows behind the grocery store, the meat arrives frozen and is thawed. A manager’s special, or a roasted chicken for less than you could buy a “fresh” one, is because it was already past “safe”. Let us look individually:

Beef: The reason for preservatives and dyes in our meat is to make them look prettier and hide the facts. Once meat thaws and hits air, it browns. Our patties and roasts shrink because saline and additional fat are pumped in! If paying for a ¼ quart of saline at sirloin prices, how much are you really saving?

Most labeling is simply marked “graded” because it's usually about a grade 10 or worse. The best is one but there are few perfect cows. Grade 2 is edible raw, which is what the two largest home deliverers in the country offer. Grade 3 -4 is the quality you will find from online steak+ places – who by the way, buy from deliverers and add their markup. Some bulk grocery stores offer Grade 5 and it goes on down the line.

As a child, our family used to buy a whole or half a cow at a time. Many small farms still exist that use fewer chemicals and have cleaner facilities than wholesalers have. There are grass fed cows for the diehard healthy or grass and corn for the proper marbling and flavor.

Pork: Most farmers still feed their pigs "slop" although the laws have changed dramatically to clean this up. Bulk food services are still your best bet. The difference in taste and safety of corn fed pork is astronomical! Although I am too conditioned to try, Grade A pork can also be eaten raw. Yes, the animals are bred in raised shelving to avoid them rolling in the s—t.

Chicken: If you have not been in a processing plant – keep it that way or you may never eat another one. Legally, distributors can claim “organic” on all labels even if only a small percentage of their entire stock are fed organically. Truth of “free range”: continually pregnant chickens eat anything in sight – including the feces lying on a range. Salmonella is just a fancy name for feces. Have a large backyard?

Fish: Sashimi grade or catch it yourself is the only way to go. There are many ships with designated areas for the seafood to be caught, cleaned, and immediately frozen within hours. Even at local markets if it smells fishy, its past due. Check with your local Sushi bar to see if they will order extra for you. Again, bulk is the answer to cheaper – no matter who is selling.

Meal planner

Food may be our highest expenditure - second only to the mortgage. Why not make a plan?
Food may be our highest expenditure - second only to the mortgage. Why not make a plan?

Easy planning method

With any budgeting, the best approach is to make note of what you do spend for a couple of months then decide what to reduce. The meal analysis chart can simplify what to purchase for a half year. Only side trips for dairy, fruits and vegetables will be required after that. Most of us purchase spontaneously which can be a guaranteed way to waste money. Without heading through aisles of a 1,000 flavor choices and 2 cent useless toys to tantalize your kids, home delivery = less waste.

The national averages shown are the lowest possible so if you are having to spend less than these – please read everything you can. With a bit more planning, your family doesn’t need to do without nutrition. Unless referring to Raman noodles, junk food is ridiculously high priced.

Subliminal messages - are they at the cost of our health?

Get a freezer yourself to implement bulk & frozen healthier food

Qualifying – be ahead of the game

1) Naturally, bulk frozen food requires a freezer. Many cheap freezers aren’t designed to hold 6 months worth of food. The older, inconvenient, non frost free chest types were – that is why Grandma still has hers. The upright combo with fridge and freezer are designed for our weekly buying habits. Normally checking the manual is required to re-set it cold enough to avoid freezer burn. In large part however, freezer burn is due to all the added water and exposure to air. If you can afford it, the commercial freezers will keep food colder and therefore last much longer. With a blast freeze and self thawing features for easier maintenance, you will love it. I still recommend you find your own - it could save you about $100.00 per month.

2) Many home delivery services include a coupon service with their lifetime service plan. With each order, you get $500.00 credit with a company that allows ordering only the coupons of your choice. The coupons are mailed within 48 hours (already clipped). By itself, this plan costs about $100.00 per year. Add up how many you will use to determine the value. Coupons started in order to get the consumer to try a new product. There was a woman on the news yesterday that became addicted to “saving” with her children - stocking up on products they may never use – what “savings”?

3) Attaining lifetime customers is always a goal but the home delivery services I am familiar with take credit qualifying to a completely new level. They would be at a definite disadvantage if you are not the type to pay your bills on time – food cannot be repossessed. Save yourself the agony of wanting better food for less and not being able to qualify. If you already have a freezer, you can normally pay cash but that means having $1,000 plus to purchase in bulk. With great credit however, they'll deliver everything and simply bill by the month.

Additional benefits and informational links

The foods you get from these delivery services are individually wrapped to avoid waste and exposure. It is the added saline etc. that takes frozen food from a grocery store so long to thaw. A pure, clean, and natural chicken breast or hamburger takes about 4 minutes under hot water. It also requires much less cooking time. The service I use charges no more for a solid pound of ground beef than a pound in four individually wrapped patties. With that in mind, I can take out a single one for lunch, thaw it, and toss it on a Foreman Grill – voila – ready from frozen in 8 minutes.

Frozen fruits and vegetables are also much healthier than what is available on the shelf. They are picked, cleaned, and frozen preserving all the goodness and vitamins. Compare that to the time involved in being picked, packaged, stored, trucked the following day, unloaded and put on the shelves to sit there for a couple days. You load it in your cart, it warms up while meandering through the multitude of stuff you are not interested in, check yourself out, drive home, put back in the fridge - and finally include it in a meal. Preserving already wilted food with green bags is not the answer – buy frozen or find a pick your own farm and then freeze and can. Better still, start your own garden and save more time and money by following the tips 'n' tricks shared in PRESIDENTIAL GARDENING Historical victory we can all enjoy.

I also just ordered from the most amazing company I've dealt with in a loooooooooooong time! The "San Francisco Herb Co." (see link). After placing a rather large order, two of their employees called me back before processing to make sure I wanted that much lavender :) They went through the math for the number of sachets and said I didn't need as much ordered. Now, how many companies do that? Maybe you have a few friends to split a pound of something with? It will be fresher and much, much less expensive!

I do not recommend purchasing sundries to be delivered. They buy from BJs or Sams the same as we can and of course, have to charge for handling and storing. For those bargains, please follow some of the other promised links to wonderful hubs:

Bulk: How to Create a Stockpile of Food - for Little Money

& Coupons: How To Play the Grocery Game & Is It Worth It?

Plus: Top ten tips to save money on groceries

Tricks the Grocery Store Plays


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    • SEM Pro profile imageAUTHOR

      SEM Pro 

      9 years ago from North America

      Great added point Roseflr. I end up with less waste getting frozen vegys too. My intentions are always good when I buy fresh but sometimes life gets in the way of all the added prep time. Some of the chest freezers can be found for a song. They work well with a bit of added organization and rotating the contents.

      Thanks for stopping by - I flat out loved your hub on PLR! You're way ahead of baby steps!

    • roseflr profile image


      9 years ago from PITTSBURGH

      I agree with a lot of what you say. I wish I could afford a freezer. I've recently started buying more frozen vegetables because I learned they are as nutritious as fresh; I think most of us picked up the idea that they're not. I find it easier to use frozen veggies than to lug home all the heavy cauliflower, broccoli, etc., because the weight really adds up.


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