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Old 07-21-2008, 10:43 PM   #81
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i figured the best way to save money in the kitchen, is to stay out of it. babe

"life isn't about how to survive the storm but how to dance in the rain"
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:46 PM   #82
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Well my newest trick is almost just that.
I can't afford to eat anymore I gotta save it for the kids!!

Not that there's anything wrong with that.....
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:11 AM   #83
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Babe has discovered the ultimate solution! Hooray!
Saludos, Karen
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:16 AM   #84
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my biggest waste problem has been buying more than I can use at one time. I've been working on figuring out what nights I'll be at home, and realistically, what will get eaten before it spoils. For meat and fish, I promptly portion them out and freeze what I won't be using right away. I only buy things I like. If I can catch a sale, great, but I don't buy very many items in the grocery store, and luckily, the farm fresh produce keeps longer than the supermarket stuff, so most of my veggies and fruit are good for about two weeks.

I like to keep a few staples on hand, but I prefer to shop frequently for fresh items.
Wine is the food that completes the meal.
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:14 AM   #85
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Buying in bulk is key for us. I keep a very large pantry, as well. Mine is in the basement, with lots of space so I have about 1/2 as much again as Mama and much of it is home canned, home made mixes. I also do not use commercial mixes like bisquick and taco seasoning because we eat all-natural, but I make them myself to keep on hand. Most everything is stored in glass jars, mostly mason jars, but also large hermetically-sealed jars for things like pasta. My bulk beans and rice are stored in 5 gallon food-grade buckets.

I garden when we are living in the US. I put in a spring, summer, and fall garden and put up what we can't eat fresh. I love my All-American canner and my dehydrator. They save us a lot of money.

I buy our meat in bulk - we have a farmer friend that we purchase a side of beef and pork from once a year. They charge us only the market price for the on-the-hoof beef the day it is butchered. With processing, it cost us less than $1.85/lb for our beef.

We have gotten rid of all plastic and paper in our kitchen (our daily dishes are Corelleware, we use cloth napkins, and dd is now old enough to drink from real glasses). I put leftovers into Pyrex dishes (which, actually have plastic lids, so we use plastic there). It's nice that we have more recycling than trash that we leave at the curb each week. We keep a large bag of rags from old clothes, sewing remnants, etc. for kitchen use. I also have sewn velcro-topped bags to use instead of zip top bags and have Wrap-n-mats for sandwiches. I have made my own as well - they are super easy if you can even barely sew.

Making everything from scratch is also a big $$ saver. As I said, I make my own mixes (love the Make a Mix cookbook) and convenience food. For example, in my freezer, I have 20 premade frozen burritos. I fill tortillas with refried beans (homemade), beef and some cheese (grated myself to save $$). Roll them up and IQF. Then I can put them in a container in the freezer and grab one at a time to bake for a quick lunch or snack. You can do this with most any convenience food: make your own granola bars, snack cakes, biscuit sandwiches, etc. I also premake whole wheat waffles, ww pancakes and ww french toast and freeze them for a quick and healthy breakfast out of the toaster oven. I make up a large batch of macaroni and cheese and freeze these in small pyrex dishes for individual portions. I did a cost analysis of this: my all-natural ww homemade mac and cheese is 36 cents per serving using good Tilamook cheese, 24 cents per serving using store-brand all-natural cheese, and the boxed stuff (highly processed with lots of artificial preservatives and additives) is 33 cents per serving.

I just got a new grain grinder, so I will soon be buying whole wheat berries and grinding my own flour. That will be a saver, too.

I love saving in the kitchen!
Life is too short to eat processed, artificially-colored, chemically-preserved, genetically-modified food. Or maybe that IS why life's too short.
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:04 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Jeff G. View Post
How I save money on food.
DO NOT BUY lunchmeat. Roast something thats on sale. Ham, pork loin, beef, chicken, turkey..etc. roast it on a rack, slice thin and vacuum pack to use as sandwich meat for lunches.
Funny I was reading this thread just after I bought a used meat slicer yesterday for $20 off Craigslist.com. Works great! I bought it so I can make my own lunch meat, not necessarily to save money. I'm on a reduced salt diet and by cooking my own meats I can control the salt. If I save some bucks in the process, so much the better. then I can buy another kitchen toy.

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Old 07-23-2008, 10:45 AM   #87
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I havent read the entire thread ....

Economies of scale extend further than buying in bulk. I try to save money by cooking in bulk.

Frying up a couple chicken breasts is one thing, but bringing the oven up to temp for one loaf of bread is quite another.

In the winter it's not really a concern because the heat goes into the living area, in the summer the 'wasted gas' bugs the heck out of me.

And we're looking at getting a small chest freezer.
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:01 AM   #88
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I'm trying to save $50 a week to put into my son's tuition fund but it seems that every trip to the grocery store gets more expensive. Argh! We're spending about $250 a week for a family of 5.
If you have much, give of your wealth. If you have little, give of your heart. - Arab proverb
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Old 07-28-2008, 12:03 PM   #89
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Wart, we tried the chest freezer thing. It sounds good in theory, but wasn't worth while in our case. Since we would buy bulk, everything had to be repackaged for long term freezing. If we got lazy, we would have freezer burned meats in there which ultimately got tossed.

As far as stocking the kitchen, we do what June does. We keep frozen veggie and pantry staples along with frozen pork, chicken and beef. usually we have enough food for a week and a half using leftovers for lunches. Any fresh produce we pretty much buy in small quantities to have the freshest possible. Having a garden is a serious plus.
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:47 AM   #90
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I try to buy in bulk when possible, but we don't have a lot of storage space, so I have to really figure out what to use the space for to save the most money. We save a lot of money if I go grocery shopping by myself, but DW has improved a lot over the past year.

We don't really have room to store more than two whole chickens, so I usually buy split breasts still on the bone. It's $1.00 more per pound than the whole chicken, but I still get bones for stock and I don't have to figure out what to do with the dark meat since DW prefers white meat.

I'm still working on halting all deli meat purchases. I haven't stopped it all together, but DW loves her convencience.

We planted a vegetable garden recently and I put in some rainwater collection barrels (2 for now, working up to 6). I have a bit of convincing left to do on starting a compost pile (would really cut down on our trash). Almost always fit groceries into canvas bags, so not many plastic bags to deal with (but they're good for cleaning up after the dog). Am I officially an eco-nut yet?

If you've never had it before, how do you know you don't like it?
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