Saturday, May 25, 2013

Watching other shoppers.....

I have to tell myself that what other people buy at the grocery store is none of my business.   Really wanted to say something to the girls in front of me at the checkout line.  I exercised some restraint and kept my mouth shut. Not an easy thing for me to do.  LOL . I'm sure they spent over a hundred dollars and could have been poster children for the how to waste your money society!  LOL

I had to look really hard to find some real food.

If you are trying to eat on SNAP or below, you need to buy REAL food.  If you are having trouble adjusting to "on the cheap" start with baby steps.

  • Start by limiting yourself to shopping once a week.  pick the same day each week.  
  • Cut out the junk food.  Be sure to buy some popcorn.  It is not cheaper in the bulk isle at TOP.  I checked.  Top is   cheaper than Costco.  
  • Write your list of things that you use often.  This is a one time only chore.  I call these my stock items.  Delete things that are not real food. packaged things like box mixes.  
  • Go over the ads and post to a sheet the cheap meat and veggies and the stock items that are at a target price,  Set yourself a limit of 2.50 a pound for meat average.  If you go over, find a really cheap source of protein to average it with.  Vegetables limit is a buck to a buck and a quarter.  
  • Make a meal plan for the week.  Use the things that are cheap in the ads.  
  • Start by finding one rock bottom price and buy six of something you use a lot of.  Do this at least a couple of times a shopping trip. Start backwards.  Make a list of dinners that you like and use a cheap source of protein and the major ingredients.  I would suspect pasta is one of them.  
  • Keep an eye out for coupons for things you need to buy.  Most of the ads I find are for toiletries and cleaners I don't buy.  I have found some lately for yogurt and eggs.  Eggs are a good source of cheap protein.  
Pick one thing a week to work on, maintaining the thing from the week before.  If the kids are old enough, involve them.  There are things they can help with and they will be learning valuable lessons they will carry with them the rest of their lives.  

When my son got his first apartment, his first purchase was a garbage can and two bottles of bleach.  
he said that he didn't want to live with someone else's germs and the bleach was on a really good sale!

On the cooking side of the equation, the more processed a food is, the more it costs, generally,  Cheese is sometimes cheaper grated than in a block.  I went to the Tillmock factory.  They mold huge bricks of cheese.  Then they put it in a machine to cut it into two pound blocks,  the leftovers go on a bin and go to the shredder.  It should be less expensive.  Costco wholesale is cheaper than regular Costco and has a better variety of cheese.  just remember to bring a sweater , even in the dead of summer.  It is COLD in the dairy room.  

Cooking whole chickens is a lot cheaper than buying parts.  If you learn to cut up a chicken and debone breasts, you will be money ahead.  Just be sure to disinfect all your surfaces and your implements after you are finished and wash your hands often anytime you are working with raw meat,  Don't have raw veggies anywhere near raw meat until you have washed your cutting board.  I have a glass one that I can run through the dishwasher.  It's not the best thing for keeping sharp
knives, but a lot safer.  Just sharpen you knives often.

Bread crumbs are something that , in my opinion, should never be's a waste of money you are paying sometimes upwards of two dollars a pound for someone else's dry bread.  Why throw your crusts and extra buns out so that you can pay for someone else's!  I put the heels of the bread in the
oven to dry. I don't turn the oven on.  If I have finished baking something ill put the broiler pan with the bread on it on the oven that has been turned off.  When I have enough I either whirl them in the food processor, or take them outside on the deck and grate them with a box grater on a sheet pan.  The birds get the leftovers ! LOL

I get French fries at the dollar store.  They are cheaper than s ratch and save a lot of time.

Tortillas are cheapest at Costco, I don't think the time it takes to make them is worth the savings,

If you want to know whether it is worth your while to make something from scratch, do the math.  How much per hour are you getting for your time.  !

Roasting  off your own chickens is a real moneymaker.  You save half, and get more meat for your buck.

Grinding your own hamburger can be a moneymaker if you are looking for 9 percent or lower hamburger.  If hamburger is too expensive, look for chuck or top round meat that is cheaper and g rind your own.  A mixture of the two works really good.  if you don't have a kitchen aid mixer with attachment, you can use a meat grinder our grandmothers used or a food processor.

We don't like the taste of some of the ready made meatballs, so I batch cook my own.  I use a portion scoop to regulate the size and a rack on a sheet pan to bake them in the oven.  There are a lot of meals you can make from meatballs.

Using a pasta mix is just over the top stupid in most cases.  Read the ingredients before you ever put a mix in your cart.  The ingredients have to by law be listed in order of volume.  Cheese whey is what is left over after they take all the good stuff out of the milk to make cheese.  It's glorified WATER.
THERE IS NO CHEESE IN CHEESE WHEY.  Your first clue is that the nutrition list has ZERO cholesterol.  I've never seen a cheese without it!  That would be wonderful if it wasn't a fantasy!!
You can do the same thing with the added  benefit of passive cooking. Cheaper and more nutritious

I guess my time is up.

thanks for stopping by,
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4+ 1 = 5
 better cheaper faster


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