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Old 07-01-2008, 11:35 AM   #31
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There's a great video on FN site. I posted it here a while ago....BRB...

The FN site is not navigation friendly anymore. Once you get to the "Cooking Demos" page you're golden.

Try this.
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Old 07-01-2008, 12:05 PM   #32
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I have learned a thing or two through my catering business and I have started to shop for home in the same way. I buy whole sirloin tips and pork loins and cut them into various meals (steaks, chops, roasts, stirfrys, etc.). I buy all meat in large packages and IQF it. I also buy one of these a month (beef, pork, chicken, etc.) so that there is only one meat outlay in my budget and yet they overlap and I always have a variety to choose from.

I make a monthly menu plan and buy and cook accordingly. If I am making tacos, I make enough meat for all the meals in the month and freeze in meal-size packs. Same with spaghetti sauce, chili, etc., anything that freezes well.

I also buy as little prepared stuff as I can.

The one thing that I have really learned is in buying canned tomatoes. The only tomato products I buy are large cans of whole tomatoes and small cans of tomato paste. I combine them to make whatever I need. I will drain and process the whole tomatoes if I want a smooth sauce or chop for a chunkier one.

I could go on, but you get the idea.
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Old 07-01-2008, 12:32 PM   #33
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Thanks Jeeks.
I found whole 4 and 5 pounders for 88cents a lb today so I bought 3, figuring someone here would know something....
Or we'd just have alot of beer can chicken the next few weeks!
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Old 07-01-2008, 04:42 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by suziquzie View Post
Thanks Jeeks.
I found whole 4 and 5 pounders for 88cents a lb today so I bought 3, figuring someone here would know something....
Or we'd just have alot of beer can chicken the next few weeks!
Our own Ask a Butcher has a video for how to break down a chicken: Video of chicken - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:41 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
That merits some thought. I am a plastic wrap junkie. Mainly to save on washing an extra plate, pot or container. I will often cook something in a pot, put a sheet of plastic wrap over it and the leftovers, set the lid back on to draw tight, and reheat it in the same pot the next day or two. Or plate the leftovers, cover with plastic wrap and save it for nuking in a day or two. The only time I use a separate storage container is if I am going to freeze something. Or if I make a big pot of sauce that doesn't fit in the fridge.

I think that's what is so hard to figure into saving money.... the little things and what actually costs more or less to do. Like someone said, they buy frozen prepared food so they don't have to buy and have the leftover ingredients it would take to make something (lasagna for instance), but yet those leftover ingredients could make several more meals, but not if they go bad first, then you have to wrap and store/freeze the leftovers or they will go bad.
And setting warm food in your refrigerator will cause it to kick on and burn electricity, but having an ample amount of cold food in it makes it run more efficiently than having just a little food in it.

Ooh, I think I gave myself a headache
Yea, I think along those lines as well.. almost a debate in my home at times. My methods of saving money also go along with my green initiatives. I have not bought plastic bags or plastic wrap in over two years. (Still have the same roll.) But then I think, is it better for the environment to use a little extra water to wash that plastic container? Or is the plastic wrap/bags better? I think about when the bags/plastic is produced, what toxins/chemicals are used to do that... and the electricity. You can really drive yourself nuts trying to do the right thing by the environment and save money.

Then we took it to a roll of paper towels. We marked it on a calendar to see how long it would last, going on it's 3rd week!!!! So this made me keep more tea towels on hand... ok another delimma... I got to was more to keep those tea towels clean. So I'm not using as many paper towels, but using more water/electricity to clean the extra towels? UGH... my head hurts too!!!

Another thing... started making my own cleaners. Using bleach and water. Now I am thinking is bleach the best thing to be using for our environment?

And I look cooking certain things that yeild leftovers... mainly to do like you said, to create other meals with it. Most of what I cook is usally geared to two people. Limited portion size so we don't eat so much.

Great topic! Thanks for the feedback pacanis!
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:43 PM   #36
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Find a decent BYOB. Around here the BYO establishments are little holes in the wall. Some good, some...not so good. Certain towns that's all you will find since they can limit the number of liquor licenses. One adjacent town even regulates Sunday liquor purchases.
Around Richmond, I don't know of any BYOB places. In the past, I have belonged to a few private clubs with private storage lockers. No worries about liquor regulation in Virginia or Sunday purchases. The state owns the stores, you pay their price, and only a very few are open on Sunday.
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:56 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by babetoo View Post
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
I too, cook for one, and for me, freezing both raw and cooked products is the only way to go. The savings for bulk ofter is amazing. Yeast, for example is 3.79/2 pound bag, (Costco) and freezes well. Bottom line, many things simply cannot be made or purchased economically in single quantities. Example, chile, and stocks. Both are made in large quantities and frozen in my kitchen. Good stocks are difficult, if not impossible, to come by, and the smallest I have found are somewhere around a quart. I make mine, reduce them to a couple of ice cube trays, and freeze.
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:58 PM   #38
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Sattie said:
Then we took it to a roll of paper towels. We marked it on a calendar to see how long it would last, going on it's 3rd week!!!! So this made me keep more tea towels on hand... ok another delimma... I got to was more to keep those tea towels clean. So I'm not using as many paper towels, but using more water/electricity to clean the extra towels? UGH... my head hurts too!!!

Don't forget about the washer detergent being dumped into the lakes, oceans...

It's a never ending battle if you ask me.
Good thing nobody asked me
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:11 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by sattie View Post
Yea, I think along those lines as well.. almost a debate in my home at times. My methods of saving money also go along with my green initiatives. I have not bought plastic bags or plastic wrap in over two years. (Still have the same roll.) But then I think, is it better for the environment to use a little extra water to wash that plastic container? Or is the plastic wrap/bags better? I think about when the bags/plastic is produced, what toxins/chemicals are used to do that... and the electricity. You can really drive yourself nuts trying to do the right thing by the environment and save money.

Then we took it to a roll of paper towels. We marked it on a calendar to see how long it would last, going on it's 3rd week!!!! So this made me keep more tea towels on hand... ok another delimma... I got to was more to keep those tea towels clean. So I'm not using as many paper towels, but using more water/electricity to clean the extra towels? UGH... my head hurts too!!!

Another thing... started making my own cleaners. Using bleach and water. Now I am thinking is bleach the best thing to be using for our environment?

And I look cooking certain things that yeild leftovers... mainly to do like you said, to create other meals with it. Most of what I cook is usally geared to two people. Limited portion size so we don't eat so much.

Great topic! Thanks for the feedback pacanis!
Yeah, I struggle with those dilemmas, too. We have Handi-Wipes here, which are thin kitchen cloths; I only use paper towels for really disgusting messes that need to be thrown away right away. The Handi-Wipes take up so little space in the washer, I don't believe it adds up to much, if any, extra water/electricity use.

I've been using a homemade cleaner for years - equal parts lemon juice, white vinegar, and water. None of that is toxic, but the acid cuts grease and kills bacteria.

re: reusable containers vs. plastic wrap, I use very little plastic wrap. Containers stack more easily in the fridge and don't take up space in a landfill, like plastic wrap does. I also take my own canvas bags when shopping - DH goes to conferences regularly, so I have eight or so, I think. I usually need one or two plastic bags anyway, so that's used when walking the dog
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:23 PM   #40
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I only buy canned goods when they are on sale. For instance, I use a lot of canned chicken and beef broth. Every year around Thanksgiving, one of the local supermarkets has it on sale 3 cans for $1. I buy several cases of each, enough to last until next year when it goes on sale again. Same way with all of my other canned goods. I only buy when it's on sale and then I BUY!

I've turned the closet in the office into a pantry. I keep everything rotated and when something looks like it might get close to expiring...guess what's for supper?
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