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Old 01-04-2011, 09:52 AM   #61
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Definitely cooking from scratch, and limiting the purchase of expensive items such as high-demand cuts of meat and out-of-season/out-of-region produce. Buy whole birds and break them down yourself. Cut back a bit on meat consumption. I don't mean eating vegetarian meals, but make meat a component of your average meal rather than the centerpiece (for example, some homemade sausage on a pizza or mixed with veggies to roast).

Organic flour, rice, and local potatoes are very inexpensive here. A homemade boule of fine-crumb organic bread costs about $1-$1.50 to make. If you keep a mother in your 'fridge that you feed each day, you can just tear off a hunk and put it in the oven every day or two for fresh warm bread! (I use the term mother not in the strictest sense of the definition)

Grow a big garden in the summer and can/preserve if you can rather than purchasing expensive jams/pickles or tins of tomatoes etc.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:04 AM   #62
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I never buy meat unless it is on sale and sometimes discounted another 20% because the sell by date is rapidly approaching. I used to do this because it was the only way I could afford to feed my family and I felt absolutely downtrodden about it. But these days I can't imagine operating any other way. Even very good steaks get discounted when their time is near so we occasionally get those. I would never think to buy meat at the prices they are charging today for retail non-sale meat. Who can afford meat at over $6.00 a lb and often double or triple that?
Over the years I have found that if I stockpile sale items we really save a bundle so I rarely pay full price for anything although it does occasionally happen that I run out of something I can't do without when there are no sales on the product. Then I look for coupons and failing that I buy the smallest amount that I can manage and at the next sale I stock up again. I was in shock a year ago when I needed several dried herbs. The prices were just astronomical. So I started growing my own in large planters. I have been very satisfied with that and in fact supplied several (dozens) of people with the tarragon that I grew. I can either dry the herbs or freeze them in ice cube trays for winter use. Big savings there.
The real problem with all of this is storage. Our house looks like a bomb shelter after we stock up on canned goods at the fall sales. That's okay with me. I have stuff tucked in every conceivable niche in our house. But if it saves me a buck I'm a happy woman.
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:00 PM   #63
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i make items that can be used for several dinners & also foods that may be cut w/ cheaper ingredients- i'll crockpot meat for a few days until fork-tender, or make a meatloaf. i make my own sauces & soups. lentil soup w/ hamhocks or pea soup make hearty dinners. i also crockpot that. veggie beef is great, as is stew, beef or chix. i get bulk spices, & they opened a bulk olive oil counter, too that i'm gonna swing by my soon. the spices, they're less than $0.50 usually. i get generics 4 simple items.
that kinda purchasing gives me plenty of extra $$ so i get 2 buy myself my fancy foods, too~
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:30 PM   #64
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Cook from scratch including my own mustards, ketchups and so on. I also grow a garden which provides us with all kinds of wonderful treats in the summer; then preserve the rest for winter (canning, jams, jellies, salsas, chutneys, sauces, vinegars, oils, compound butters...).

We shop according to the flyers, whatever is on sale. I love coupons, too. When toilet paper is on sale, for example, we buy ten 24-packs.

Having said that, my weakness is prime meats and exotic ingredients. So, the money we save is well spent on great optimal stuff!
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:40 PM   #65
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The weekly flyers come on Fridays--one of my favorite sources of entertainment is the flyer for the store that sells "frozen pre-made foods." I can't get over that people buy individual serving size bowls of microwaveable oatmeal for $2.99/serving. Everytime that is featured in the flyer, I ROFL. But, it is indicative of the fact that a lot of people have never learned to cook and don't realize that it takes as long to "make" the oatmeal in the microwave as it would to make it from scratch on the stove, or yes, the microwave. I shake my head and laugh.

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Originally Posted by fricassee View Post
Cook from scratch including my own mustards, ketchups and so on. I also grow a garden which provides us with all kinds of wonderful treats in the summer; then preserve the rest for winter (canning, jams, jellies, salsas, chutneys, sauces, vinegars, oils, compound butters...).

We shop according to the flyers, whatever is on sale. I love coupons, too. When toilet paper is on sale, for example, we buy ten 24-packs.

Having said that, my weakness is prime meats and exotic ingredients. So, the money we save is well spent on great optimal stuff!
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:44 PM   #66
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Not only does it take as long, but is just as involved or more so.

But, you use what you know how to do. It ain't broke so why bother to fix it.
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:37 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fricassee View Post
Cook from scratch including my own mustards, ketchups and so on. I also grow a garden which provides us with all kinds of wonderful treats in the summer; then preserve the rest for winter (canning, jams, jellies, salsas, chutneys, sauces, vinegars, oils, compound butters...).

We shop according to the flyers, whatever is on sale. I love coupons, too. When toilet paper is on sale, for example, we buy ten 24-packs.

Having said that, my weakness is prime meats and exotic ingredients. So, the money we save is well spent on great optimal stuff!
That's great! We need to pass this knowledge onto the next generation. Seeing too many families who eat strictly processed food and fast food, their kids' houses won't even need a kitchen!

Ten 24-packs?? Holy cr*p! (Pardon the pun). I don't even know where I would store that much TP. I suppose we could leave the cars out in the snow!
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:53 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by pigskins View Post
That's great! We need to pass this knowledge onto the next generation. Seeing too many families who eat strictly processed food and fast food, their kids' houses won't even need a kitchen!

Ten 24-packs?? Holy cr*p! (Pardon the pun). I don't even know where I would store that much TP. I suppose we could leave the cars out in the snow!
Heh! I'd have to leave guitars out in the snow, and the amps
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:15 AM   #69
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I have friends a bit younger than I am (about 8-10 years), and they do NOT cook from scratch. My father doesn't cook. Which is something my friends lament about as well, especially after their moms have passed away.

My mother hates to cook (always has--meal prep was my responsibility from the time I was 13/14) and now that she has dementia, shouldn't cook. So my elderly parents eat prepared, prepacked food that is NOT good for them (high in sodium, sugar, etc.). My grandma was a great cook and I have fond memories of standing by her side (on a stool so I could knead the bread). She taught me how to make bread by "feel" when I was 8 years old...
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:48 PM   #70
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I cook from scratch, bake, can, pressure can, garden.

I save money in having no cell phone, no newspapers (except on rare occasion), no magazines, no soda, I don't buy anything that will look like I could sell it in a rummage sale next week--no impulse buying, nothing cutsie, nothing to dust. No newest technology, no expensive cars, no expensive insurance, no brand name clothes, no pedicures, no manicures, do my own hair, take care of those around me in cutting hair, we make food daily.)

What I buy is useful more than one time, things that benefit our quality of life, it's an investment. (think Nesco, food processor, dependable car, meat grinder...)

I don't collect things. I collect family time and memories.
I save $1000's of dollars per year this way, for more family time and memories.

Cooking together is family time, vacationing is family time, enjoying a good meal with loved ones is family time too. Tomorrow we are eating together again, it's what I live for, time together, laughter, memories. It might seem simple, but, it's just a mind set.

Nature hikes are just as beautiful, walking along the shore of a lake or ocean are just as peaceful, and when the roaring on the shore is loud, becareful of the waves that will wash your feet, kind words from a loved one are just as sweet, fresh berries on a hike are amazingly nice, collecting hickory nuts under the trees are better than buying them from someone, taking in life while walking through it, is a pleasure.

What can you take with you when you go? Memories, perhaps, the rest, no.
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