I do intend to make a loaf of bread 🍞 and have finally solved the problem of the oven not cooking the bottom of the loaves. Watching numerous videos of bread making helped a lot. My goal was to find a scratch bread recipe for each of the kinds of bread that we eat frequently. Most of them are under a quarter; that is a remarkable savings over store bought. The exception is hamburger buns that I can get for as low as .68.
I watched an interesting video this morning about DT food. Many things were NOT made in China and , in fact , many come from other countries or were made in the USA. Some are bargains, some are not. Keeping in a budget doesn't leave a lot of room for deserts and snacks. There are good cookies 🍪 that are made on USA and cost a lot more at other stores for the same thing, Always read the ingredient list. The German shortbread type cookies look really good. Soft pretzels in the freezer section do as well.
The pizza sauce is a name brand and well worth a dollar. I am not impressed with the pizza crust. You can make better for a lot less. Some things cost more than they do at the regular stores. A lot of things we just don't buy because buying snack type foods on a regular basis will de rail your budget fast. If you set aside a separate budget, you will be more aware of what they are costing you. If they aren't in the house, your children will pick a more healthy alternative.
Our goal is to eat and stock on a four dollars a day budget --or less. If you are used to shopping at the big bucks stores, that may seem impossible. It is, however, possible and you can eat fresh fruits
and vegetables. The difference is that you eat whatever is on sale for a honestly good price-- usually the items that are in season-- the food tastes better and is less expensive. My target price is a dollar. I found cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, apples, and cucumbers all at a dollar or less. Peppers were less as well, but I have an abundance of them in the freezer and some family members don't like them.
Eating on a three to four dollar a day budget does limit your protein choices. I have a two dollar a pound limit on protein. This is in the PNW. I am seeing lower prices across the country. I, also, am really particular about quality. We don't eat expensive cuts , but we do eat quality. Buying bulk does help. And buying when the price is low, whether you have some left or not.
- Grated cheese can be six dollars a pound. It freezes. If I find it for two dollars a pound, I'm going to buy it even if I have some in the fridge. I have a top limit, but these days, it's not an issue, We do eat a lot of cheese.
- Pork is usually in the form of bulk sausage when I can get it close to two dollars a pound or pork loin bought at two dollars or less. Usually I can find it for less. Last time it was a dollar and a half. Portion control and freeze, The sausage is cooked and de fatted and the pork loin is cut into cubes, Pork chops and Pork roast.
- Chickens are purchased for under a dollar a pound. Easy cooking chicken is in an older post. Chicken breast can be as low as two dollars and twenty eight cents for local, quality chicken, De boning and cooking the bones is the best way to save. Boneless, , skinless, chicken breast is as much as eight dollars a pound and you don't always know where it comes from. Quality first.
- Ground beef here is cheaper than ground turkey. I can , and have a three dollar and twenty eight cent limit. I only buy seven percent fat and I still de fat it, Cook and portion control for crumbs, taco meat, and sometimes meat balls cooked on a rack on top of a sheet. Pan in the oven. Use a portion scoop so they all cook at the same time . If I find a hunk of beef cheaper and we are low on stock, we consider grinding our own,
- Beans can be bought in bulk. The cheapest pinto beans I have found are at the dollar store, no gmo and grown and packed on the USA. Rice is in bulk at Costco,
If you buy loss leader protein, or the cheapest protein that is the best quality in rotation, you can get the best bang for your buck, Protein is one of the most expensive categories of your food bill.
The next expensive is drinks and snacks. Make your own, and avoid pop and expensive waters. Herbal teas and tap water. A reasonable amount of milk. Read the rda on milk for the age of your children. Ditto in meat. No child NEEDS to eat the better part of a two pound roast.
Buy regular veggies in season. Wash them in vinegar water. If you Prep them on kitchen management day, the family are more likely to eat them. I found hummus cheap this week. A good snack that is healthy.