Stretch your food budget tribe - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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#91 of 109 Old 05-09-2008, 04:45 PM
 
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Getting inspired here! When it was lunch time today, actually went to the fridge to see what leftovers we had that could be eaten instead of making something new.

I know that might be an obvious thing to do, but it is a good first step for me!
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#92 of 109 Old 05-10-2008, 04:02 AM
 
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I have been trying to cut down on our grocery bill lately also. I'll do really well for awhile, and then start to feel deprived and make bad decisions. I have managed to shave a couple hundred dollars off our monthly grocery budget, but I never do quite as well as I hope to.

I've always meal planned for dinners, and I've continued to do that. A new thing I've been trying for the last month or two is to actually pack a lunch for everyone ahead of time. Three of my kids are in school, so I pack their lunch to take to school. When I pack my own lunch and DD2's lunch (even if we're staying home all day), I feel so prepared and the day seems to flow better. Packing my lunch ahead of time also helps me to eat healthier- if I wait until I'm hungry I usually make not-so-great food choices.

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Originally Posted by BananaBreadGirl View Post
I love breakfast for supper (pancakes, french toast, cornbread, eggs on toast), but my dh (ha, that's the first time I've used that abbreviation and it still seems strange to me) is very reluctant about it. Without meat (protein coming from eggs, etc.) he thinks it is just not hearty enough or something, and breakfast meats such as sausage and bacon are greasy/unhealthy and make him feel sick. Right now we compromise and do it just every once in a while. Is there anything I can serve with breakfast to make it seem...less breakfasty? Hmm, maybe I should try hashbrowns.
Have you tried turkey bacon? I've found that I like it best when I use it in another recipe (ie I make egg & turkey bacon on english muffin sandwiches). But my kids really enjoy it plain. Cooking it in the microwave will make it nice and crispy. Turkey bacon is much lower in calories and isn't greasy like regular bacon. Do look at the label, though- some brands contain MSG.

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#93 of 109 Old 05-10-2008, 10:30 AM
 
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I made it to the discount store yesterday and to Aldis. My new plan is to try and just shop 2x a month to cut down on impluse buying. So, I spent $150, however I got a boatload of food, 4 cases of canned goods (beans, green beans and tomatoes)- lots of cereal for dh, snacks for our upcoming vacation and 20lbs of strawberries to freeze for the coming year.

Staying away from the regular grocery store really helps a ton. Plus we are able to get a few treats as well. I found serveral gluten free/dairy free items- crackers and cookies which will make a nice snack for me- I hate the terribly high retail price $4+ here so I don't ever buy anything- however at the discount store they were .60 a piece.

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#94 of 109 Old 05-10-2008, 06:17 PM
 
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Question: What's the benefit of participating in a Frontier co-op here v. ordering directly on my own?

Suggestion: turtle makes fabulous sushi, including a roll she made up--it's sweet potato, cream cheese, and crunchy fried onions. Yum.
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#95 of 109 Old 05-11-2008, 08:01 AM
 
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Question: What's the benefit of participating in a Frontier co-op here v. ordering directly on my own?

Suggestion: turtle makes fabulous sushi, including a roll she made up--it's sweet potato, cream cheese, and crunchy fried onions. Yum.
The only benefit is that you don't need a $250 minimum order.

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#96 of 109 Old 05-11-2008, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Question: What's the benefit of participating in a Frontier co-op here v. ordering directly on my own?
I have done both and several of the particpants have posted on this thread.
The difference- I buy several bulk items from frontier. I buy loose tea, seventh generation detergent, cleaning stuff, dishwasher powder, and paper towels. Plus I buy a few packages of sposies to have on hand since I cloth but need sposies occasionally. This stuff is all $$ to ship to partipants. I also buy beauty products, spices, and so many other things.

My own order every 2 mos or so is right under the $250. But I know several mamas here who order but order around $30-$100 worth of stuff sometimes combining a family order to do so. They dont have a local person doing this for them so they jump on mine. This helps me fulfill the min and help them out as well.

IF you want to purchase the big stuff, get an account and have a few people order as well and you will hit the $250. Otherwise, jump on one of the ones on this board and buy a few things here and there.

I offer it up to the mamas here because I partipate in so many other coops so I need to keep that spirit alive by hosting my own coops. Otherwise it will loose the coop feel. HTH!!

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#97 of 109 Old 05-12-2008, 03:37 AM
 
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home made pizza and make your own dough is a huge food stretcher. We do it weekly. The cost of cheese in bulk that I shred and freeze is the cost of one take out pizza.
I've made what I call "use up what's left" pizza twice these past couple weeks. Both times it was before grocery day, and almost everything was eaten up. Made my own dough and scrounged around. The first pizza was a quarter jar of pasta sauce, all the left-over ham, & a can of pineapples that I forgot about.

This week I used up the half package of sausages, a few leftover asparagus', a quarter of our mushrooms and the rest of a can of olives that were sitting in the fridge.

Both pizza's were delish! And it was so fun to figure out what pizza to make with what was left. I think this will be a weekly thing.

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#98 of 109 Old 05-12-2008, 10:05 AM
 
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Wanted to subscribe...
There is a lot of great info here. I need lots of help with the grocery bill. I don't really buy convience foods & make most things from scratch. But it's still so stressful going to the store. It's hard with DD allergies too.
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#99 of 109 Old 05-12-2008, 06:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HappyLamb View Post
I have a question for those who bake their own bread:

how do you slice it?

I always try to bake my own bread for sandwiches, but I always end up frustrated: I always get slices that are too thick to be useful for sandwiches or toast. any suggestions?
A good bread knife! I find it makes a huge difference.

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#100 of 109 Old 05-13-2008, 07:53 AM
 
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Ooh, post 100. I get excited by small things these days...

DH and I are doing OK with the whole not-buying-food thing. I wish we had canned tomatoes, more potatoes and butter, but we can still do a few meals before we absolutely have to buy veggies. Tonight was hotpot with leftover lamb. Tomorrow I'll do a beef curry, using up our last few tablespoons of tomato paste and the random can of coconut milk. Hmm, I won't be able to do that yellow rice with the peas in it, we're out of peas! Oh well. The night after *that* we'll have a kind of weird tuna casserole (with no peas, no butter for the white sauce--maybe I can sub coconut oil?--and no pasta), and then we'll need to start eating frozen meals. We have more of those than I realised, though, luckily! And oddly enough, we have way more frozen meat than usual--a farmer from church gave us some--so we can have casseroles and things. Next week at some point we'll *have* to buy veggies--we currently have one carrot, four onions, two potatoes, a huge pumpkin and some frozen sweetcorn. And as many beans as our dwarf bean plants can give us before they die of cold.

This is kinda fun.

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#101 of 109 Old 05-13-2008, 11:52 AM
 
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smokering- sounds like you have got some interesting meals ahead...I have been doing better about making meals lately, which is good as we are nearing vacation in which time food expenses will be up. I was trying to plan this am on what to take for snacks and breakfasts. I think I will hardboil a bunch of eggs and premake some turkey bacon and apple pancakes(shredded apple with eggs and cinnamon) maybe- I really don't want to buy breakfasts out. I don't know about lunches. Sandwiches for 5 days straight would be a bit bunch- besides the fact that I don't eat them. Plus, we will likely be out for lunches anyway- perhaps it will be best to focus on ordering cheaply while out.

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#102 of 109 Old 05-13-2008, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We made pork fried rice last night. I dont know if anyone else noticed pork is like the most cheapest thing at the store right now??? Any how had two nice pieces dh chopped up and doused w some bbq sauce. In the wok of peanut oil and grapeseed oil, he added the pork and let it cook. Also some fish oil (just a small dash) and a bit of mushrooms and brocolli we had in the fridge. Then added the already cooked rice I made earlier that I let dry out. I used 2 cups and less water to make it that way. Add as much soy sauce as you like- fry it up.

The meal took 10 minutes total (rice cooked earlier which took 20 seconds to get ready and then 20 minutes to cook, plus letting it cool, get older) and was a nice food stretcher.

We didnt have enough pork chops to make a meal for the 4 of us, and a few bits of veggies left. But I always keep a huge vat of rice on hand which is still a cheaper staple. We all ate and ate and ate!

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#103 of 109 Old 05-13-2008, 03:57 PM
 
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Amys1st, fried rice and other types of stir fries like that can be super cheap!
NOM, pork fried rice sounds so good, too! Your fried rice sounds nummy!

Here's my tips on fried rice and such, too.
What I usually do (though I haven't in a long time, cause we don't eat much meat and when I buy it I don't think about it, so thanks for the reminder!) is buy a value pack of pork chops when I can afford it, like boneless loin chops when they're on sale, and then freeze them each individually.

When I'm ready to use one, I take it out of the freezer, let it defrost just a bit, then use a very sharp knife to very thinly slice the meat while it's still frozen. I'll usually then marinate it in some soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, etc, for a bit before cooking it. BBQ sauce sounds good too. I have made an Asiany sauce before with hoisin, ketchup, 5 spice powder, a little oj, and marinated pork in that.

If you do it this way, you end up with pork in just about every bite, but just a little bit goes a long way. This is apparently how most Asian cultures do their meat for most dishes like fried rice and stir fries. It makes sense! Stretches it, you don't eat too much, it only takes a few seconds to cook through, but you still get to enjoy the flavor.

Ok, now I am totally wanting to make pork fried rice!! I don't think I have any pork in the freezer though I could do tofu, but it's just not the same.
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#104 of 109 Old 05-13-2008, 06:19 PM
 
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We made pork fried rice last night. I dont know if anyone else noticed pork is like the most cheapest thing at the store right now???
The canadian government is paying pork producers to kill off 1/3 of thier herds and to not restock for 3? years.
Too many pigs apparantly :

Decluttering 500/2010
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#105 of 109 Old 05-13-2008, 06:23 PM
 
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If you do it this way, you end up with pork in just about every bite, but just a little bit goes a long way. This is apparently how most Asian cultures do their meat for most dishes like fried rice and stir fries. It makes sense! .
It does make sense, I have been making mine like that, only with chicken, it really stretches the meat

I use one breast per salad, or stir-fry, or casserole. I feed 3-5 daycare kids per day plus myself. Figuring out a little can go a long way has been a real money saver.

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#106 of 109 Old 05-13-2008, 07:17 PM
 
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The canadian government is paying pork producers to kill off 1/3 of thier herds and to not restock for 3? years.
Too many pigs apparantly :
Yeah! I was reading about this a few weeks ago. Ugh!

AND, though, one thing I have been a little wary of it that there have been a few documented cases of MRSA coming from pork in Canada. I am not in Canada, but heck, it's still North America. That's a little scary. I like chicken ok, but pork is my favorite meat, but only a rare indulgence as all meat is for us. But that definitely gave me pause about the pork I may purchase in the future. I want to find out more about this.
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#107 of 109 Old 05-13-2008, 08:02 PM
 
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we have plenty of stuff in our extra freezer for now as well as the pantry. The only things we NEED are milk for dd & me when I'm craving it, eggs, & fruit (another big craving right now) I am trying to get DD to cut down on her milk consumption,. we rarely do juice so she goes between water & milk with a little ovaltine.

Our biggest thing is using what we have & not going to the store for whatever sounds good. Thats a baaaad habit that we have!

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#108 of 109 Old 05-28-2008, 02:18 AM
 
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Ok, we've been looking through the Frontier Co-op catalog and comparing prices on things that we buy now... I think that we've decided that Frontier will be worth it for us.

We can't get everything we need from there, obviously, but it will help.

Where are some good places to buy things like inexpensive gallons of organic apple cider vinegar, organic soy sauce, etc.? I was horrified at how expensive white vinegar has gotten lately... I use it for cleaning, so I was less worried about the white variety being organic, but I use apple cider vinegar in food.

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#109 of 109 Old 05-28-2008, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It does make sense, I have been making mine like that, only with chicken, it really stretches the meat

I use one breast per salad, or stir-fry, or casserole. I feed 3-5 daycare kids per day plus myself. Figuring out a little can go a long way has been a real money saver.
It really does make sense to do these ideas. Thanks ladies! It also dosent make meat the starring role in the meal and still be a well rounded, wholesome meal that is filling and healthy. Need to take a breath after writing that!! LOL

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