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Old 06-30-2008, 02:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JillyBean View Post
A while back I attended a team building event at a cooking school. My work team, together with a chef giving instructions and making sure no one cut their fingers off, made a great meal. One of the things I had never thought about but learned to make really well was croutons. I LOVE croutons - I'm a bread fiend.

Anyway, with the cost of flour and pre-made bread going up and up, our nearby grocery store has started a half-price (day old) bread shelf and whenever I can I pick up a loaf or two of sourdough or any other heavier bread, cut it into cubes, and put it in the freezer. Whenever I need them, I can pull them out, thaw them in a half hour, and voila - bread pudding or croutons or whatever. So I think I'm a genius .

What's your best practice?
Hi. There's a recent thread on this topic here: Economizing

I make my own bread and pizza dough, either in the bread machine or NYT bread in the oven. And I make a weekly menu and from that, a weekly grocery list, based on what I have in my fridge, freezer and garden, and the grocery store sale sheets in the Sunday newspaper.
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Old 06-30-2008, 02:58 PM   #12
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Not taking my wife grocery shopping with me easily cuts the bill in half.
I laughed really hard at this because it's true!!! I've been on this diet so my husband has been doing the shopping on the weekends and the grocery bill is a lot lower. I guess I really did buy a lot of junk food!
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:13 PM   #13
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...You can do what I do...I open those packages to I can take what I want to the register. I remember when supermarkets had scales and paper bags.
... You can take that piece to the counter and have it cut to the size you desire. They (management) just assume no one will bother ... I will always ask to have it cut down or broken down to the size I do want.
This is a great tip VB and you're right, people don't think they can so they don't and stores don't advertise it to save time. Having grown up in the grocery business, I can tell you that ANYTHING [fresh] can be broken up. And don't forgot melons. There are plenty of times I know we'll only eat 1/2 of a cataloup or honeydew. I find a produce person and ask them to cut in half and wrap it for me. They'll do it, wrapping both halves and put the other half back out in the display. Like VB said, just because it's in a container, doesn't mean you have to take it all. A final thought too, if that department of the store is closed, find the store manager. Any manager worth his / her salt should be able to portion produce, meat or dairy.
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:46 PM   #14
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i only shop for groceries once a month. maybe fill in with milk.

i shop on line. i take advantage of buy one, get one free. or the items on sale with a store card.

am trying something new this summer, when it is often to hot to cook. i bought a lot of prepared frozen meals. only for me so cost is not out of sight. if i bought the stuff to make it, it would be more money and more waste. something i couldn't make a small amount of, as lasagna, or spag. also many of the dinners have lots of flavor to them. herbs and spices are very pricey, this way i don't have to buy for just one dish.

it does take a lot of fun of cooking away, but the saving, variety , convince out weights it for summer.

i am going to try to make my own bread. cheaper, taste better and i don't have to go to store.

some of the dinners are to large for one person, so i have two meals of it.

i do my own fresh vegs. and buy a lot of fruit, milk, fresh and frozen vegs.

groceries are still to expensive on a fixed income. but see no remedy for it
any time soon.

babe
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:49 PM   #15
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Wow VB, I'm not sure i'd be brave enough, lol. That said I live where i can't buy the right amount usually.

meal planning is essential these days. I only have a husband to feed Friday night to Monday morning. Monday mornings are on the train breakfasts (a flask and an apple).

I've also started doing something considered fairly working class in UK, serving bread alongside the main meal, to pad it out a bit, Either bread with butter or oil. If I can make the bread I usually do, but I'm finding buying it is often working out cheaper:(

Through the week its just me. I buy apples, milk, oats mainly through the week. I don't tend to buy any meat and this time of year I can raid the garden for veg. we are eating aLOT of courgette right now, lol.

Buying in season food is not only good for the environment (encoraging fewer food miles) but cheaper too. Menus and meal plans should reflect this.

stews etc use less expensive cut of meat, but can be served very elegantly, for example, in a pastry box, to dress them up. Thats the nearest we'll be to beef wellington for a while, lol.

I plan the three main meals (friday night, saturday night, sunday night) before going to the shops, but a discount can change it all, but only if that works out well for the whole meal. I've also found that Friday nights, after DH is home from the week away, I used to cook something quite fancy, He gets home very late most weeks and I have found taking a sandwich to the station to satisfy his appetite, then a bottle of wine and dressed fruit of chocolates is cheaper than a meal, and more romantic....we don't have to eat it down stairs.

So, thats left me two main meals.

Next thing is portion control. I could do to eat a bit less anyway :) and making sure that the expensive part of the meal works overtime, more spaghetti, less vongole, for example!

we are scavenging a lot, a fun activity, while walkin the dog, looking for wild food.

also, and possbily th biggest effect for us, is naking full use of DH's work meal allowance. He rarely has to buy supper through the week, working late his office pay for his meals. Suddenly overtime is more appealing!
I agree. Buying fruit and vegetables in season will be fantastic. That is one of the things I miss about Turkey. Right now the markets will be full of fresh produce and all in season. I am still buying apples and oranges here lol!!! I find here in north, summer fruit and veg either too expensive or has no taste.
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:56 PM   #16
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I agree. Buying fruit and vegetables in season will be fantastic. That is one of the things I miss about Turkey. Right now the markets will be full of fresh produce and all in season. I am still buying apples and oranges here lol!!! I find here in north, summer fruit and veg either too expensive or has no taste.
Are you in North of UK? Did I read you are a Uk member? I have a poor memory :(
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Old 06-30-2008, 04:00 PM   #17
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I like to eat, so I try to save in other areas. The biggest savings we have made is to get rid of a second car. No insurance, license, inspection or gas. We saved about $5000 a year.

How many people think they need multiple vehicles, the wife, kids, it can be inconvenient but do you really need multiple vehicles.
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Old 06-30-2008, 04:46 PM   #18
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Are you in North of UK? Did I read you are a Uk member? I have a poor memory :(
Yes I live in England for most of the time but enjoy visiting home when I can. I am looking forward to doing sun dried tomatoes and peppers with my sister this summer when I get there eventually lol!!!!
We also make our own egg pasta and dried them for winter. Make jams with seasonal fruit and all sorths of pickles for winter.I love all that and enjoyed doing my own olives last November ( First time!!). My sister commented :" You are a proper cook now"- after seeing how nice my olives turned out.
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Old 06-30-2008, 05:15 PM   #19
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Yes I live in England for most of the time but enjoy visiting home when I can. I am looking forward to doing sun dried tomatoes and peppers with my sister this summer when I get there eventually lol!!!!
We also make our own egg pasta and dried them for winter. Make jams with seasonal fruit and all sorths of pickles for winter.I love all that and enjoyed doing my own olives last November ( First time!!). My sister commented :" You are a proper cook now"- after seeing how nice my olives turned out.
lol. I'm lucky, I'm in a great area for food and produce. I think generally, sadly, the south is better supplied. :(

I'm not sure which of the box schemes cover you, but try googling for them, you'll get MUCH better vegetables, though to be fair you'll pay for them, but they'll be seasonal, British grown, fresh and have taste.

also, try greengocers instead of supermarkets and ty and find one that really does stock seasonal UK produce (not because UK is better than anyhere else, but because it ill have been picked closer to the time in appears on your table and therefore taste better). The stuff shipped in IS terrible, tasteless, you could be eating anything

I also recommend finding your nearest PYO. Most are just soft fruits, but if you get a veg one then you are laughing, excellent veg and fruit for the same price as suprmarket!

all that said, there are absolutely cracking northern cheeses and local dishes, I look forward on the future to having more time to eat 'oop north'
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Old 06-30-2008, 05:29 PM   #20
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lol. I'm lucky, I'm in a great area for food and produce. I think generally, sadly, the south is better supplied. :(

I'm not sure which of the box schemes cover you, but try googling for them, you'll get MUCH better vegetables, though to be fair you'll pay for them, but they'll be seasonal, British grown, fresh and have taste.

also, try greengocers instead of supermarkets and ty and find one that really does stock seasonal UK produce (not because UK is better than anyhere else, but because it ill have been picked closer to the time in appears on your table and therefore taste better). The stuff shipped in IS terrible, tasteless, you could be eating anything

I also recommend finding your nearest PYO. Most are just soft fruits, but if you get a veg one then you are laughing, excellent veg and fruit for the same price as suprmarket!

all that said, there are absolutely cracking northern cheeses and local dishes, I look forward on the future to having more time to eat 'oop north'
Thank you for your advise lulu, It is very informative. Keep me posted when you are traveling this way, take care.
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