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Old 06-23-2008, 01:15 PM   #1
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How do you save money in the kitchen?

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?


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Old 06-23-2008, 02:28 PM   #2
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sounds good to me. i can't get to store easily so will try with stale nyt bread. just started to make my own bread. as any bread with substance is almost five dollars a loaf. babe

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Old 06-30-2008, 11:25 AM   #3
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I freeze most things if I am not going to use them straight away. I know you can't freeze some things but good menu planing reduces the waste in the kitchen by using what you think you should use first, before going off.
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Old 06-30-2008, 11:46 AM   #4
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I try to buy meats and fish on sale , and put in the freezer if not using within a day or two.
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:01 PM   #5
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Pretty soon the only way to save more will be to stop eating.....
Old mother hubbard got NOTHING on my cupboard!!!!
Not that there's anything wrong with that.....
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:25 PM   #6
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That doesn't work LOL!!! I thought I will not bother cooking today but my husband kept saying he is starved!!! I had to cook to shut him up LOL!!!
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:44 PM   #7
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I don't buy cut chickens, I cut them myself. Same with stew meat. I make my own bracciole, too.

I'm not a fan of the produce section in supermarkets, either. Most of the produce is usually prepackaged (cherries, grapes, green beans, asparagus) in unfriendly styrofoam and or plastic wrap. Generally, it's either more or less than the amount I desire. You can buy two packages, getting more than you need, or get one, and not get enough. 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 do that in any station of the market - deli, butcher, fish... Management prewraps everything giving the customer the feeling that they must buy the size the store dictates. Cheese is one of the biggest problem areas. How many times have you desired just enough cheese for a recipe, but end up buying twice the amount because the store pre-cut and prewrapped it? 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. Lamb chops are another culprit. They usually come wrapped two or three to a package. First, if you are cooking for more than one person, you are going to need at least two packages. Twice the styrofoam and plastic. 6 is too many, three is not enough. You can end up with 5 if you're not careful. If there is no one staffed in the butcher shop, you have no choice but to buy it the way they wrapped it.

Not every shopper is shopping for a huge or growing family...and having everything prepackaged is good for the store, but bad for many consumers. If it's something that is packaged at the store and it's not the size I want, I will always ask to have it cut down or broken down to the size I do want.
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Old 06-30-2008, 01:08 PM   #8
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I try to buy only the stuff on sale. And where I shop every $50 spent is good for $0.10 off a gallon of gas at a nearby gas station affiliated with them. Something like that. I filled up last Saturday for $3.39/gal. Every little bit helps.
I've been out of lettuce for a couple weeks because I refused to pay $1.89 for a head of iceburg. Today it was $1.39, which was a little better.... seems like only 5 months ago it was 88 cents. So tacos and salads until it's gone. I hate throwing food out that goes bad, which is going to lead me to another food safety thread here shortly.....
This way of shopping is easy for me to do living by myself. It would be much tougher with kids or if I needed a special diet.
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Old 06-30-2008, 01:20 PM   #9
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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!
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Old 06-30-2008, 01:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by JillyBean View Post

What's your best practice?
Not taking my wife grocery shopping with me easily cuts the bill in half.

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