Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuesday thoughts

Back to basics :  solid principles to drastically lower your food expenses in easy steps.  

  • Rotation protein.   The object is to get the best price ( RBP or buy price, or target price ) on your protein. Protein is the most expensive  food group you buy so starting with it makes most sense.   Make a limited list of protein you will need to make your meals.   Limit the cuts of meat for simplicity.    In our house, for example, that would be pork loin, split chicken breast, 7 percent fat hamburger, sausage, grated cheese, dry beans, tuna or salmon canned. 
  • Using your ads for a guide. Pick the meat for rotation based on a RBP.   Buy enough to make as many meals as you need  of that protein for a month.  If you eat beef once a week, you need enough for four meals.  I buy here pounds at a time for three of us.    Rotate your meats in a four to six week cycle,   If there is a quiet week, choose cheese or beans that are pretty stable in price.   Pintos here are 1.5 pounds for a  dollar at the DT.    I look for under a dollar a pound, pinto beans work  well for re-fried beans or chili . 
  • Plan your meals for variety,   
  • To stay within a five dollar dinner budget  the proverbial 4 person family, you need to try for two dollar a pound or less protein.  That's my target price - average.  Making some meals from really inexpensive   protein means you can have some more expensive  protein some times.   M
  • Prices differ a lot with location, but we have some of the most expensive prices  in the continental US.  Ground beef (7 percent ) is 328 at Winco.  Split Chicken  breast is anywhere from 1.28- 1.50 a pound as apposed to boneless, skinless at 8.00 at QFC (Kroger) .  Pork loin is anywhere from 1.50 for a whole one at Business Costco to 1.69 at almost everywhere. 
  • Chicken breast that is split breast has the ribs attached.   It's a simple task to run your knife blade along the bone and separate the ribs from the breast.   A lot better than separating you from your money,   Cook the bones and meat attached to them in a big pot of water.   Throw in the bits of veggies you have from trimming the vegetables or add some herbs and let it simmer or put the water, bones and herbs in the slow cooker and let it go all day or all night.   There is usually enough meat on the bones to make another meal ( pizza, casserole, tacos...) and you have virtually free chicken stick that can be as much as two dollars a quart.   
  • Pork  loin.   Looking at a whole loin can be daunting the first time.   I wrap it in the clean sink so it drains without a mess.   Place on your cutting board and slice a couple of inches off the ends where  they taper down.   Dice this for stew meat or a pot pie etc.   now cut two roasts off each end about five or six inches each.  Slice the middle section in 3/4 to an inch slices for chops.   Bag or wrap for the freezer.  Label and date.   Depending on the size, you should get six or seven meals.   Portion control the chops and cubes, and plan on two meals a roast for 3-4 people.    We have actual roast i time and slice thin for BBQ sandwiches another.   Or, mince the meat really fine and use it for taco meat.   Fifteen dollars (10 pounds ) should make six meals for a cost of 2.50 a meal.    Portion control is key,   Some families of you out a two pound roast in front of them, they are going to eat a two pound roast, especially if they are not found of vegetables or potatoes.    That's. It good for them or your budget. Unless  they are body builders, six ounces of protein including eggs is the RDA for protein according to my source.   
  • Ground beef (or turkey) . Fry ground beef and de-fat it.  Portion control.  1/2 a pound with another protein is plenty for four  people.   You will use more of you make meatballs or a meat loaf.    I occasionally do , but it ups our cost so we have to average.   Everyone has a multitude of recipes for ground meat.   Armor makes meatballs ready made for about two dollars a almost pound in the freezer case at Winco.   They aren't what scratch are, but granddaughter loves them and she is picky.   My RBP for good hamburger is 3.28 a pound.   Ground turkey is more.  
  • Sausage is cooked and de-fatted and bagged.   We use it in quiche, on pizza, or as a substitute for ground meat in pasta sauce .   
  • It's an alternative fact that block cheese is cheaper than grated cheese.  A pound of,cheese is a pound of cheese, no matter what shape it is in.   Look at the price per pound.  Small packages can be deceiving.   We toured a cheese factory.   They mold the cheese on huge bricks.  The. It goes to a station where they cut it with a machine into two pound bricks.   The left over edges go onto a tray much like a bus boy tray and it goes to the shredder.    My RBP for cheese is close to two dollars a pound.   

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