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Stretch your food budget tribe - Page 2

post #21 of 109
I save all our bits and pieces of leftovers and freeze even if it is a tablespoon or so. I just keep on adding to the same container. Then I make either soup or a pot pie out of it.

My husband works swing now and so our big meal is now breakfast. I would like to make my own skillet breakfast like the frozen Jimmy Dean ones. I have never successfully froze the potatoes before. Any one have any tips on that?
post #22 of 109
Well duh I did some research and it looks like I need to cook the potatoes before freezing.
post #23 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post


Is he aware of how much 3 gallons of store-bought stock costs? Here it's over $3/qt, which makes that $36 in the garbage can! I'd be

My DH doesn't get to question what I keep in the freezer... he knows it's in the freezer because it's better for the budget that way. Seriously, I'd have a long talk with your DH about the cost these kinds of behaviours have on the family budget, not to mention your own personal frustration.
He knows. Everything costs too much nowadays. He just still tends to think like he has his whole adult life - EVERYTHING can be easily replaced. I doubt he's dealt with poverty on this level since he was a child, and he's spent his life denying his poor upbringing. He just thinks he's better than this, I guess, because he's WAY in denial. The ironic thing is that if he'd just get a job, we wouldn't be in this situation to begin with!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 in August View Post
I'm cutting way back on pre-packaged stuff. I've been making our bread for the past few weeks. Dd and I made soft pretzels, she likes them for snacks, but the frozen ones seemed so expensive once I really thought about how much we were really getting. I've got to do some bagels, pancakes etc for the freezer.
I make pancakes and waffles at home on the weekends. They're really a treat for DS because he helps me mix the batter. I could never bring myself to buy frozen waffles again after I got a waffle-baker - so expensive for such little pieces of nasty, frozen crap! Mine are better, I know what's in them, and they freeze/toast just as well as the artificial ones. I make a whole batch, about 11-12 of the big ones (I think they're 6 or 8 inches) and that can be breakfast for the whole week for the kids. (I alternate with pancakes sometimes, for variety.)
post #24 of 109
Subbing
post #25 of 109
Last year I volunteered and was able to get a free share from the local CSA ... didn't have a kid yet. I also have found the farmer's market to be a great deal on veggies. Another huge saver is planting an herb garden. Fresh herbs are way expernsive and it's so nice to just step out the door and grab some herbs.

For cleaning supplies, I mostly use baking soda, vinegar, tea tree oil and lavender essential oil.
post #26 of 109
Thread Starter 
For household stuff, I run a frontier coop and we buy 90% of that type of stuff on there. Plus organic spices, baking needs etc.

As for food, I just started getting a farm box and my 2 gallons of milk and eggs weekly. For an organic box of fruit and veggies plus the dairy, its still cheaper than going to buy myself not to mention lugging two kids, one with a bad case of "mom can we buy...."s and the gas which is closer to $4 a gallon than $3 in my area.

We chose to have a different style of box each week like one week Fruit and veggie, next week fruit only, next week veggie only, than a "style" box another week to keep the variety or I find myself planning about the same dozen or so meals all the time. One of my goals this year was to try a new recipe every week so we have 52 new meals. ITs working and wow its fun!

We bought a 1/4 of beef earlier this year and next year we are doing the side. Well worth it and again, making us try new recipes with different cuts of meat etc.

I shop at our local store, Trader Joes, and Aldi and I try to stretch my trips out as much as possible. I do not do walmart (not looking for a discussion btw) or really target either.

Eating out- its a treat and not that often. We 99% scratch cook in our kitchen and both of us love to cook so not an issue. If we want to go out just the two of us, a lot of times its lunch at a sushi place, thai place or a favorite place for lunch. Dinner out is very occasional and usually a celebration. We make our own pizza and I can tell how many times we have ordered in a year- once when the moving van was leaving our new house, and the other to feed the workers who just tore out our old kitchen. Also during a power outage, the whole block ordered and we had a pizza party!
post #27 of 109
This is a good thread!

I did a search, but couldn't come up with this older thread that I think would be extremely helpful. It was recipies and ideas for meals under $2. I saved a few to my computer, but I can't find the original thread now...does anyone have a link saved?
post #28 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pariah View Post
This is a good thread!

I did a search, but couldn't come up with this older thread that I think would be extremely helpful. It was recipies and ideas for meals under $2. I saved a few to my computer, but I can't find the original thread now...does anyone have a link saved?
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=520224

:
post #29 of 109
Thread Starter 
Giving this a bump with all the media talk about the rise in groceries.
post #30 of 109
Someone asked where to get the green produce bags... I found mine at Bed Bath and Beyond. They were about $10 for 20 of them and you can rinse and reuse many times. They have already saved us money and I know they will pay for themselves many times over. I think I have heard of people getting them at Rite Aid too.
post #31 of 109
I'm enjoying reading this thread for ideas an inspiration.

One thing that is saving us money on the CSA front- we found a farm that isn't certified organic, but still has organic farming practices. That one change- them not going through the hassle of certification- makes the CSA really reasonable. They've been certified organic in the past, so I feel confident buying from them. The savings is $10 a week compared to certified organic ones around here. Some of the farms around here do have workshares (you work a certain amount of time in exchange for a share) but unfortunately with DH's work schedule and 2 little ones its not feasible for us. Once the kids are older I will definitely look into it though!

I've been working hard to source our ingredients directly from the producer and shopping as little at stores as possible. This is especially helpful because I'm picky for both health and ethical reasons as to what we buy. There are forutnately a lot of small-scale ranchers in my state, so we were able to buy a 1/2 grass-fed beef for $2.50/lb including cut and wrap. This is enough meat for us for the year, plus I can turn all those bones into stock. I also buy my eggs directly from the farmer. I pay $3 a dozen, but they are fresh and delicious from hens that are treated well and allowed to forage.

We will definitely be going to all the u-pick farms for fruit this summer- we can get strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries this way for good, good prices and I wash and freeze enough for the year. Again, some farms are not certified organic but farm using organic, sustainable, ecologically sound methods.
post #32 of 109
My husband does most of the cooking. I'm trying to do more in that area.

To save money, we're starting a garden this year. We're also buying from a suburban farmer who grows food in her backyard.

I'm throwing out less. I've got to look into these produce bags people talk about.

When we eat out, it's often cheap. Usually, Chipotle and then we have 1/2 the burrito leftover for lunch the next day.

I can't eat wheat -- that special diet can be expensive -- so I'll cut down on wheat-free treats and see if there are good wheat-free cookies recipes. I also want to make wheat-free bread, because rice bread is about $4 per load. VERY expensive.

I make wheat-free pizza from time to time, which is a lot cheaper than the $6 version they sell in the store.

I've cut down on meat and eggs to save money. Eggs used to be a cheap source of protein, but they sure are expensive now!
post #33 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by henhao View Post
I can't eat wheat -- that special diet can be expensive -- so I'll cut down on wheat-free treats and see if there are good wheat-free cookies recipes. I also want to make wheat-free bread, because rice bread is about $4 per load. VERY expensive.

I make wheat-free pizza from time to time, which is a lot cheaper than the $6 version they sell in the store.
My dd has been gluten-free for 9 months, so I feel you there. I have found that a lot of my old cookie recipes work if I sub out 1/2 sorghum and 1/2 brown rice flour, plus I add a little xanthan gum. For a while we were egg-free so I used a lot of xanthan, but we added eggs back in about a month ago and I'm finding I don't need much (I haven't tried eliminating the xanthan completely yet). If you are just wheat-free but not gluten free, you have more options such as oat flour which makes nice cookies.

Bob's Red Mill website has a lot of free recipes: http://www.bobsredmill.com/recipe/ Just select "gluten free" as the category. I make the recipe for walrus bread for a sandwhich bread and it has turned out really nicely. HTH!
post #34 of 109
what's Frontier?

Any tips for finding markdowns?

I stretched our budget by cooking from the pantry and the freezer and making strange new combinations to use things up!
post #35 of 109
Frontier is a coop. You pay $10 and you're in. www.frontiercoop.com. Their wholesale prices are fan-tab-u-lous. (You can check out the whole sale prices by clicking on one of the coop links).

They have some bulk foods (flours, sugars, baking items, veggies, fruits, TVP, spices, teas, essential oils, dried dairy, etc) and a host of natural items from other companies like Burt's Bees, Newman's Own, Jason Naturals, etc. Everything from toothpaste to bubble bath to dog shampoo. You can find a list of sites in the MDC Trading Post - Coops section...there's a sticky.

I heart Frontier - they're great for some of my basics and my long-term storage.
post #36 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by threekstrio View Post
what's Frontier?

Any tips for finding markdowns?

I stretched our budget by cooking from the pantry and the freezer and making strange new combinations to use things up!

I'm wondering what Frontier is too.


I've had a chest type freezer for ages but until now I've rarely used it. I spent an extra $80 this week putting some stuff in it that will keep.

I went to Barnes and Noble and bought a cookbook for the slow cooker. This has become my new kitchen bible. I belong to dvdswap and just got a 3 dvd set of Martha Stewart recipes. Pretty handy since we made Succotash for dinner last night. Better still, we made that dinner with stuff we already had on hand.

I took inventory of my fridge and pantry. I haul it with me when I go shopping so I can double check what I have or cross reference for certain recipes. So far, it's been handy to have.
post #37 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by katheek77 View Post
You can find a list of sites in the MDC Trading Post - Coops section...there's a sticky.
I am super interested in all of this, so I was finally able to find a link to the coop section via the MDC TP FAQ, but I apparently do not have permission to access that area. Can you give me any ideas on how to be able to see it or do whatever needs to be done to gain access? I looked in the q&a section of the board and didn't see anything on it in the last month or so.

Thanks!
post #38 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by cthulhugrrl View Post
I am super interested in all of this, so I was finally able to find a link to the coop section via the MDC TP FAQ, but I apparently do not have permission to access that area. Can you give me any ideas on how to be able to see it or do whatever needs to be done to gain access? I looked in the q&a section of the board and didn't see anything on it in the last month or so.

Thanks!
I *think* you need 50 posts - looks like you just have a few more left!
post #39 of 109
I have had a Frontier wholesale account for almost a year, but have only placed one order in that time. Would those of you that buy from there frequently mind posting the items you get? I get really overwhelmed looking through the catalog, there is just so much to choose from!
post #40 of 109
Frontier Catalog

What do I buy:
Frontier's Brand:
Whole Wheat Flour in bulk (I buy five 5-lb bags at a time to get the best price)
White Flour in bulk
All my spices
Yeast (1lb bag)
Cane Sugar in bulk
Baking Powder
TVP
Vanilla extract (best price I've seen)
Cocoa (both baking and hot cocoa)
Seasoning mixes (to keep on hand to try something new or to save a little time)

I also got some powdered milk, dried fruits and veggies, egg powder, etc., for long-term emerg. storage. I'm slowly building that up as well, trying to keep things I will be able to work into our diet so they don't spoil (so, organic fruits/veggies, etc.)

I also got some glass storage jars through Frontier that I LOVE . I buy (at the store, although I'm looking into some bulk sites) lots of beans, rice, dried fruits, etc., so, I'm trying to build my collection of storage jars.

Other brands:
Tea (lots of brands, although Frontier has their own tea)
Coffee (lots of brands)
Fenugreek/St. John's Wort/Multi-vitamin
Arnica cream
Sunblock (although I'm now in on an MDC coop for sunblock)
Bubble Bath for DD
Candy *not* made with corn syrup (Yummy Earth brand)
All-purpose cleaner (I usually use vinegar/water, but, sometimes I need something stronger)
Deodorant
Toothpaste
Christmas gifts (Burt's Bees, organic clothing, bath toys, etc.)

That's off the top of my head.
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