Frugal Mamas in January - Page 13 - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-16-2005, 05:52 PM
 
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Khrisday, I think where you live makes a huge difference in what's a reasonable budget. I live in the Midwest now. When I lived in Philadelphia, my roommate and I used to marvel that, with our incomes combined, we were a $45,000 household and we could barely pay the bills. The cost of food out there was outrageous! Perhaps $100 a week in Cali IS a frugal food budget!

Maybe we eat less of certain higher-priced foods than others do. We only drink 2 gallons of milk a week. We only eat 1 pound of cheese a week (including what's used in cooking). The kids' main snacks are oatmeal, raisins, bananas (usually bought for $0.37 a pound; today they were on sale for $0.27/lb), toast with peanut butter (and I do buy the expensive, all-natural PB, but the cost is counter-balanced by the lack of packaged snacks), or generic-brand all-natural granola bars. Occasionally I splurge for the Paul Newman's arrowroot crackers (ok, they are cookies, but we call them crackers, because then they aren't viewed as more desireable!), which my daughter loves, or Goldfish, but that's a once-every-few-months treat. We do buy fresh-squeezed oj because the taste is worth the cost over canned, but we buy it at the discount-food store for $1.79 a half-gallon instead of at the regular grocery for $3.29. I've recently eliminated boxed cereals from our breakfast repertoire. I buy 90% of my canned goods at the discount store; for example, a 15-oz. can of diced tomatoes is $0.33; a 20-oz can of pineapple is $0.79. Anything that's not a necessity (meaning anything that's not used for a lunch or a main dish at dinner) runs on the as-available principle: I buy what I think is a reasonable amout; when it runs out, there's no more until I decide to buy it again.

I don't know if these ideas are helpful to you or not. If you do all or most of them and still spend way more than I do, then I guess it's just the difference in prices!

Namaste!

Ps. I still think I spend too much on food, so it's all relative.
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Old 01-16-2005, 05:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st
My question is though- if we do not buy any of the junk and processed garbage I see in other peoples houses, fridge, shopping carts- what could they be spending??
My friend mentioned that a friend of hers spent $330 on a new dress for a conference she was going to. I said, "That's more than our monthly food budget!" My friend looked at me like I had 2 heads. I REALLY wanted to ask her what she spends, but I didn't. They ALWAYS have Goldfish and Cheese Nips and Triscuits, etc., at their house. My kids love to play there because they get snacks!

Namaste!
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Old 01-16-2005, 06:35 PM
 
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Thanks dharmamama--you sound like your family eats very well! I have noticed that not buying meat has been a LOT cheaper. I think I will definitely stick to this vegetarian, low-dairy diet. Plus I feel great. I am learning to use dried beans which is very cheap and so far has turned out yummy.

On Friday night I made a big pot of three-bean chili and we have been eating that with fried polenta or corn chips for three days now. It's cheap, nutritious, and mostly organic. (Actually I'm quite tired of it. Next time I will freeze half.)

If you would send me your meal plan, that would be great. I do so admire organized people! I'll pm you with my email.

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Old 01-16-2005, 07:46 PM
 
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Thanks dharmamama
We do already do most of that
Can't get canned good for that cheap here, though. Sometimes I can get things 2 for $1, but I think that's the cheapest.
My dd's sensitive to dairy, so we don't generally keep much dairy in the house. DH likes to have real milk for his coffee- but he's the only one who uses it, and maybe once a month we have a cheese dish.
That's why I can't understand why it's so high! But then, I know that my mom spends about $100 for just two people, so I guess we're not doing that bad. I drove to my local Trader Joe's last week- 45 minutes away. Now that I know what they have, dh can pick things up when he's out that way. Next week I am going to drive (even farther) to the Wild Oats to see what I can get in bulk. Hopefully I can save buying some of my stuff there since I will be spending $20 in gas.
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Old 01-16-2005, 08:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Rowdypea
I do so admire organized people!
Hee hee, that wouldn't be me! I've been married for 3 1/2 years and it's probably just been within the last 6 months that I have gotten the meal plan thing in good working order. I'm still struggling with my (extremely basic) housekeeping routine!

I hope the meal plan is helpful!

Namaste!
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Old 01-16-2005, 08:07 PM
 
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Btw, what's the best way to store muffins and breads (like banana bread) so that the top doesn't get moist and sticky?

Namaste!
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Old 01-16-2005, 08:19 PM
 
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"I use a recipe just like this in the crockpot with soaked beans but add a jar of salsa or a can of tomatoes. Very yummy."

Selu, why didn't I think of that? I always add salsa when it is done.

"Anyone got some tips on how to have some quick to eat or what kinds of things they have pre-prepped for foods on the go?"

Nisa, I find thinking outside the box helps with this. If you cook with leftovers in mind, throw your leftovers into a cup or bowl and micro - viola! Quick and easy meal. Others suggested making soups, chilis, casseroles, etc. So make enough for leftover and you have on-the-go foods - I take all kinds of crazy stuff w/ me in the car. As far as snacks, fruit is always quick and easy, cereal with or without milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese (if you eat it)..

"I'll make what I think is enough for two dinners (dinner for two + leftovers for another night's dinner) and he will eat it ALL."

Rowdypea, I'm with you there - no suggestions, though I've even tried putting the extra away before serving, but he just goes digging for it!

Tracey, mama of 5 beloved children here with me on Earth and one precious son I will meet again in Heaven 6/17/09 - 9/6/09.

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Old 01-16-2005, 10:53 PM
 
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I think the price of groceries varies greatly accross the US. What do you pay for staple type items where you are? I am in upstate NY.

ex: I can buy canned veggies at discount store for 29 cents/ can, bananas for 25 cents/lb, but the produce tends to go bad quickly because it is stored at room temp.

At grocery store: gallon 2% milk 1.99, bananas 49 cents/lb, whole chick 59 cents/lb, celery 1.69, minute maid oj 3/$6(sale today)
okay I am blanking....
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Old 01-16-2005, 11:38 PM
 
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I would love to spend less than $330 on food a month. But, I would stare at the lady like she had 2 heads that spent that on a dress- not at you. I would stare in admiration at you.

We have pretzels, fruit cut up, goldfish (if mil buys them for dd- I don't), raisins, nuts, fruit leathers, granola.

So if I'm not buying lunchables, colored sugar water, garbage in a bar with your favorite tv/disney character, cereal from grocery stores, Where is it going???

We buy choice meats on sale and freeze, organic when possible, organic milk- $5 a gallon, del checco pasta, fruit, veggies

BUT as dh just pointed out to me- he roasts his own coffee. He also is on discussions with other roasters online like I do this.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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Old 01-17-2005, 01:38 AM
 
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ex: I can buy canned veggies at discount store for 29 cents/ can, bananas for 25 cents/lb, but the produce tends to go bad quickly because it is stored at room temp.

At grocery store: gallon 2% milk 1.99, bananas 49 cents/lb, whole chick 59 cents/lb, celery 1.69, minute maid oj 3/$6(sale today)
okay I am blanking....

At the discount store, canned veggies are 2 for $1, or maybe 75 cents
bananas at the discount store are probably 49 cents a pound, whole chicken on sale once in a while is 59 cents a pound
celery I don't remember, and oj I have no idea because I don't buy it
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Old 01-17-2005, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ack! No comments since yesterday?!

I went to the dreaded Sam's Club yesterday and priced the deep freeze that I want to buy in March. It's $137 and a GE brand. I like it, but I think I shall research and see what the going price is at my local appliance place and even the big corps. I want a freezer so bad!
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Old 01-17-2005, 01:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla
If using dried beans, soak them overnight, then cook on high for about 8 hours, being sure to add enough water!!! I second the idea to sautee the onion and garlic on the stove before adding to the crock pot with the other ingredients.
Instead of a crock pot look out for a pressure cooker. I found one second hand and only had to replace the seal and it was like brand new. It could cook this soup in less than 20 minutes and still have all the flavor. I imagine this would save a lot on energy costs. One of my favorite books is by Lorna Sass Cooking under Pressure. It is a great reference for cooking beans and grains under pressure.

Cooking with beans and grains and replacing a couple of meat meals a week with them has helped us save a lot on our weekly grocery bill. I like to buy whole chickens on sale and then boil them in a big pot. I then pull the meat off and freeze in two cup portions for future quick meals. I also freeze the broth for soups. I try to stretch a pound of meat to work it into many meals. I make soups with mainly veggies, handful of pasta (ds loves abc pasta in his soup), several cups of beans and then maybe 1/2lb of small meatballs -mostly to satisfy dh.

I am certain that baking my own bread does save money compared to the "artisan loafs" that it is comparable to. I use organic flour and these are $3-4 at our grocery. If you compare to 50cent loafs then no probably not. It is however the yummiest and a slice of fresh baked bread still warm from the oven is the best ever imo.

I can so relate to the high food budget. Every week I tell myself to try for $75 and it is almost always closer to $100. I found that by going less often helps. The past month I have been buying 3 gallons of milk and 2 doz eggs-this lasts almost two weeks. this would have cut my trip to the grocery to twice a month however I don't think it will work because we ran out of fresh veggies and fruits.

Better butter:
1 stick butter
1/2 cup canola or safflower oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon dried milk
1 Tablesppon water
1/8 tsp lecithin (optional- will stay a solid longer at room temp)

blend in blender or food processor- makes a geat spread!
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Old 01-17-2005, 03:15 PM
 
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I'm so glad this had gotten around to groceries!

I'm in Socal, and I'm certain things are just naturally higher priced out here. I found a box of Autumn Harvest cereal by Kashi at Big Lots for $2.49 and was proud of myself when I got to Trader Joe's and saw they sell if for $2.99. That's usually how it goes for me -- .25 cents here, maybe .50 cents there. The best was a time when I was able to get Pacific Soy milk at the 99 cents store, but that was short lived.

Also, I'm on the eastern side of the county, and we just got a Henry's Marketplace (Wild Oats chain) in the last year. Everything else like Whole Foods is on the other side of the county (as in 1 hr + drive). My farmer's market is very limited, so I'm going to try the next town over. I'm just getting into the bulk bins at Henry's, but much of it isn't organic and I'd rather purchase organic if possible. I've also had to comparison shop between them and TJ's because they recently started to raise their prices.

The other problem with my grocery bill is dh and dd. He's a die-hard carnivore, so I'm always having to purchase some kind of meat. This really does add up. Of my $80-90/wk bill, a good third is just on meats. That's why I try to do a lot of crock pot things because this tends to stretch stuff out for us. As for dd, she can only drink soymilk (well, non-dairy, but soy is the cheapest). But those 1/2 gallon containers add up pretty quickly. I'd love to get a soymilk maker to help with that.

I also tend to buy frozen veggies because if I buy them fresh we never seem to get through them. I've tried freezing fresh ones, with less than favorable results. Does anyone have a primer on how to freeze fresh veggies?

Ok, I meant to post this list a 150 replies back. It's the pancake receipe I use to make pancakes for dd and freeze for the week. You can substitute various fruits and veggies for bananas (like pumpkin, berries, etc). I originally started doing this because it was one of the few ways I could get her to eat some fruits and veggies when we hit the toddler picky eater stage (which we're still working on!) The receipe comes from my Betty crocker cookbook:

2 large eggs
2 cups flour
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
1/4 cup granulated or packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup of nut (pecans), optional

Pretty quick and simple.

Oh and this one I got from Kraft we just made this weekend in our crock pot and is delicious! The instructions are for stove top:

Creamy corn and Turkey Soup
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup red pepper, divided
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 can cream-style corn
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup of milk
2 cups of shredded turkey

Cook onion and half the peppers in butter in large saucepan on medium heat until tender, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low.

Add cream cheese, cook until melted, strring constantly. Add corn, broth, milk, and turkey. Mix well.

Cook until soup is heath through, stirring occasionally. Serve topped with remaining peppers.

Makes 6 servings of 1 cup each.

Or my version -- throw all the ingredients in the crock pot, cook on low for 4-5 hours.
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Old 01-17-2005, 03:29 PM
 
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Heket, your post makes me feel a little better. What county are you in? Our closests Henry's is an hour away. I am actually going to see what's in Nevada as they might be closer to us. I just don't usually drive out that way.
I decided this orning that I am not buying boxed cereals anymore (except for maybe an occasional treat). They are such a rip off! I have some recipes, and I will find something healthy that the kids wille at, as well as making more hot cereasl for breakfast. I found a copy of the New York Times Healthy Eating Cookbook at Goodwill for 99 cents, and I have already found some recipes in there that I like- like this one:
Breakfast Rice

put 1 cup of brown rice in the blender (I use brown Basmati) and chop until the grains are half size

add to 4 cups of milk (I am finding that 4 cups is way too much- I used 3 cups today, and I can probably even cut that down) I use rice milk and add a teaspoon of vanilla- the recipes suggest raisins but my kids don't like them, in a pan and bring to boiling under high flame

reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until it reaches a oatmeal like consistency

serve warm with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a swirl of maple syrup

Yum!
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Old 01-17-2005, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Heket both of those recipes look divine! Thank you for posting them!
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Old 01-17-2005, 03:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heket
Does anyone have a primer on how to freeze fresh veggies?
I just did this yesterday. I had bought an extra head of cauliflower last week because it was one sale and I just got around to freezing it yesterday. I blanched it for 2 minutes and then cooled it in ice water until it was chilled. Then I put it in a colander and set that on a towel and drained it until it was pretty dry. Chopped it up, stuck it in a freezer bag, and "vacuum-packed" it with a straw. Then I froze it.

I've done this before and it's yielded good results.

Namaste!
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Old 01-17-2005, 07:14 PM
 
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Well, we just got back from visiting my mom in the Chicago area (3 hours away), and I went to Costco, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods, and stocked up on a ton of things that we can't get here. I spent about $200 total on pantry staples, cleaning supplies, organic meat, healthy snacks. I'm totally sigining on to the Pantry Challenge now, so I can make it last.

Prior to our "Live Simplifying" crusade, we spent about $300 a month on all our groceries--food, pet supplies, cleaners, toiletries. We'd usually spend $100 a week for 3 weeks and then skip the 4th week. Now that we're trying to eat more organic foods, it's hard to keep our budget from spiraling out of control, so I'm trying to balance that by using reusable cloth products, making my own cleaning supplies, and cooking from scratch. Right now, our grocery budget looks like "feast or famine." We stock up on sales, and then try not to go shopping for a long time.

When it's time to stock back up, I'm going to look more into buying from the Amish. I knew that they had stores for bulk foods and baked goods, but my mom just told me that they also have a butcher shop and a homeopathic health store. Hopefully, I'll be able to get organic-quality goods at good prices.

Oh, I realized another frugal thing I do. This weekend, my mom cut my hair for me. I have straight hair and just have her cut it straight across slightly past shoulder length. I don't think I've paid to have my hair cut in almost 2 years.

BTW, my DH will only eat Post frosted shredded mini-wheats for breakfast. Does anyone have a recipe or frugal substitute to suggest?
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Old 01-17-2005, 11:13 PM
 
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Speaking of haircut- DH has cut his own hair for about 10 years now. Before that his younger brother would cut it, and before that when he was a teen, his mom cut it.

I cut DD's hair. I cannot see going to my lady who would charge me $15 or kidsnips like sil goes to who charge $15 and she brings all 3 kids there every 5 weeks or so. DD has naturally curly hair like mine. It gets dry on the ends and her hair at age 2 1/2 is way down her back when wet. But dry its right past her shoulders. When she is taking a bath, I rinse it and while it straight down her back from the water, I cut it. BUT the other day she moved and I botched the top up. So another few weeks of her looking kind of funny on top. DH said next time- he will do it since he knows what he is doing.

My mom cut my hair until I was 13. Then I protested that I wanted to go like everyone else to get it cut. I was going to a lady that charged a lot before but now I have a lady that does it in her basement for $20. I give her $30 though. Around her the average is between $50-80 to get your hair cut. Add coloring etc, a lot more.

But my sil spends money like it is water going down the drain. I have seen no one spend it like she does. Its a damn good thing my brother has an excellent job or they would be bankrupt.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:08 AM
 
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Amy, before we bought our house--i.e., before we had to afford a mortgage--I used to get my hair highlighted at Mario Tricocci's (sp?) in downtown Chicago. Almost $100, but damn if my hair didn't make strangers stop me on the street to compliment me. Now, w/ a baby, my hair is usually in a ponytail and not even washed half the time. :LOL
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:26 AM
 
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Whew! Just read all 19 pages. Boy am I glad I "stepped" into the tribal sections this weekend! I've really enjoyed this thread, and I've learned a lot.

You all have really inspired me. I want to do more scratch cooking and learn to make my own bread. BUt now I'm torn: I've been wanting a bread machine cuz frankly baker's yeast and I have never gotten along, but now I'm not so sure cuz of the energy expenditure. I never thought of using my stone to make bread. Can someone tell me more about that?

As I've been reading I've been opening links in other tabs, and now have 9 other pages to look through. Plus I keep going to the library website and requesting different books! Wow, so much to process.

I'm also glad groceries came up. That is one of our biggest expenditures. *sigh* Part of it is that I tend to shop at Safeway: it's just up the street, they have a decent organic section, and they have a starbuck's in store. I'm in Howard Co, MD. Anyone else? Where do you shop?

I do some shopping at a store called Roots. They do have some bulk bins, but I've never looked into them, cuz.... well, I dunno why. I need to see what they offer I guess. But one of the things I've been buying there is this cereal that I It's by Breadshop, and I think it's called Mocha almond crunch. I could care less about the almonds, usually pick them out even, but the rest is like toasted oats with this yummy, not too sweet, mocha flavor. Any ideas how to recreate it? Oh and ds likes oatios, which I get cuz they are organic and gluten-free (he's not allergic that I know of, but he's only 9 mos)


Ok, last question for now: I was thinking of how to save on litter, and I wondered whether I could use shredded newspaper (cat-permitting, of course). Is it better to reuse the newspaper this way or better to recycle it?

Thanks, and please keep the ideas coming!!!
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:57 AM
 
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Ok, last question for now: I was thinking of how to save on litter, and I wondered whether I could use shredded newspaper (cat-permitting, of course). Is it better to reuse the newspaper this way or better to recycle it?
Wow, good question! I have to admit that this is one area where we are deeply entrenched in the "buy and throwaway" habit. However, DH does ALL the litter box cleaning here, so I don't know that I'd be able to buy anything else besides our Fresh Step Scoopable. :LOL I'm interested to hear what others do.
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Old 01-18-2005, 03:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mama Rana
I want to do more scratch cooking and learn to make my own bread. BUt now I'm torn: I've been wanting a bread machine cuz frankly baker's yeast and I have never gotten along, but now I'm not so sure cuz of the energy expenditure. I never thought of using my stone to make bread. Can someone tell me more about that?
I just wanted to pass on a good trick for not killing your yeast that someone passed on to me. I noticed earlier in the thread someone else had the same problem and wanted a bread machine. Making your own bread really isn't that time consuming, it's the waiting that's time consuming. So, here it is: Before putting the yeast into your bowl, run your water to the warmest temperature that is comfortable to your wrist. Run your bowl under the water to warm up the bowl. Put in your yeast and then add the water using that same temperature water. Let yeast sit for 5 minutes before adding flour and other ingredients.

As far as using the stone: I just shape my dough into a nice shaped loaf and put it on the stone. Anyone else?
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Old 01-18-2005, 11:47 AM
 
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i forgot who brought it up but try this next time...

buy a jar of organic applesauce and spread it on a cookie sheet lined with plastic wrap and dry in a preheated 275 oven with door closed for 30 min turn off oven leave overnight to dry 8-10 hours

it is finished when it is at least tacky letting it dry more will make it last many months....easier to cut if chilled....

gotta go to work
peace...
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Old 01-18-2005, 11:58 AM
 
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We've been trying to cut back on hydrogenated fats, so of course crisco is out to grease pans with. I was going to buy the healthy crisco knock off from the co-op until I discovered you can use the wax paper wrappers from sticks of butter to grease with. This works suprisingly well since I rarely bake something that doesn't have butter in it. We've also started saving the wrappers when we fill the butter boat, just fold them in half & put in a baggie in the fridge.
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Old 01-18-2005, 11:59 AM
 
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When we bake our bread we put it on the stone either in a baggette shape or in a twirly fun shape then let it bake.

The yeast trick is a good idea.

Someone mentioned Safeway. We have Dominicks here in Chicago area which is owned by Safeway. They also have Starbucks in them as well as Bankone. The bankone part is very comvenient.

When shopping avoid the starbucks (you did not say if you stop there ) and stick to your list. If need be go in a hurrry so you only get whats on your list and you can avoid the pretty flowers, the funky baked breads that are 3-$5, and also study the ads that they send out or go to their website and have them email you a list of their sales this week.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If you need a good Crisco or lard replacement, espeically in baked goods, try unrefined coconut oil. It makes the best cookies ever.
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:15 PM
 
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Mama Rana - I live in Howard County, MD!!!! Where are you? Email me!!! Roots is actually pretty expensive....the best bet would be to take a trip to Trader Joe's in Towson and really stock up. Also if you go to either of the Asian Markets on Route 40 (Lotte & Han Rhee) you can get a great deal on much of this stuff.

I do think that the cost of food varies greatly depending on where you are - my brother lives in Los Angeles and we spent a week there over Thanksgiving and I thought that groceries were cheaper there than here...esp. California-based Trader Joes where everything was actually 10 - 30 cents less....Of course, I only went to Ralph's & Trader Joe's and was shopping for the essentials my kids couldn't get through the week without (rice/soy milk, cereal, etc.) When I lived in rural West Virginia the food was actually more expensive because there is less competition between grocery stores and they didn't need to bother with doubling/tripling coupons to attract shoppers like they do in urban areas....

Anyway, here in the Washington, DC/Baltimore suburbs - I spend about $50 on food per week in the winter and about $60 in warmer weather (in the winter we eat a ton of soups and homemade breads & cookies) but I find that my summer menus are a bit more expensive (even with a garden) This includes all of our toliet paper, toothpaste, haircare products, sposies (I mostly use cloth but do pick up sposies for outings and overnights at Target or BJs every couple of months)

We mostly eat...
Dinner....pasta with beggies, marinara or pesto sauce; fried rice, lots of asian inspired food, rice & beans, dried bean based soups, baked/roast chicken, homemade pizza, bean burritos, ground turkey tacos, meatloaf or burgers, etc.

Snacks....popcorn, homemade cookies, rice cakes with peanut/soy butter or hummus, pretzels, fruit

Breakfast...homemade waffles, pancakes, breads/muffins, oatmeal

Lunch....leftovers, soup, pb & j, fruit

We mostly drink water and in the morning the kids get apple juice or mango juice (pick up the mango at the asian market)

Anyway, I hope that helps and appreciate all the great ideas for trimming it further!

BJ
Barney & Ben

P.S. Thanks for the diaper link - I made a trial diaper from an old turtleneck & piece of towel on Saturday. DS loves it and it seemed to work - I am laundering the diaps right now so I will have to see how it holds up
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:23 PM
 
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If you need a good Crisco or lard replacement, espeically in baked goods, try unrefined coconut oil. It makes the best cookies ever.
Is there a source for this that doesn't cost a fortune? I've checked out both my local health food store and a web site somebody mentioned in the healthy eating forum and wow, that stuff is $$$$.
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:29 PM
 
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: I do stop at the starbucks! I love to have that nice warm drink (in the winter) or a nice cold one in the summer to keep my cravings down while shopping. It's usually my first stop in the store :

Thanks for the tips on making bread. I think I will buy some flour and yeast when I go shopping later and make some today. It's so cold, I'd love to have the oven on!

WildMonkeys, you're right the roots is expensive. But there are a coupe things I can't seem to find elsewhere. The breadshop granola is one, and the Just Bananas is another (as I mentioned in my p.m. ) Does anyone know how to make dried fruit the way that brand is: yk, crunchy not sticky? Is it freeze-dried or dehydrated?

Oooh, and thanks for the fruit leather recipe. I may have to make some of that! Anyother fruits that you can do that with?
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is there a source for this that doesn't cost a fortune? I've checked out both my local health food store and a web site somebody mentioned in the healthy eating forum and wow, that stuff is $$$$.
Yeah, the cost... I bought a small quart from Tropical Traditions and it was spendy. If you like it and bake a lot, the gallons are a good deal for what you are getting. I only use mine for cookies and cakes, which I don't bake that often, so my quart is lasting me.

WRT food prices in different parts of the country. I live in Ohio and prices are ok here. They are better in South Dakota, at least in 2001, they were good. I buy pretty simply, but do most of my shopping at my co-op, Wild Oats, and TJ's with an average bill of $50 a week for 2 adults. It could get it lower, but don't have any more time to dedicate to scratch cooking at the moment (or space until we get out freezer).

My typical gorcery list for the week includes: half gallon organic milk, quart of organic half & half, sale veggies, sale fruit, sale meat, staples we are out of, organic FT coffee, organic FT chocolate bar, organic yogurt and possibly soda water if we are going to TJ's.
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