Help me reduce my food budget? (Detailed and messy, sorry) - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#61 of 68 Old 09-10-2008, 06:32 PM
 
Natsuki's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 557
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Grocery stores won't let you return frozen/refrigerated items due to concerns about spoilage.

FWIW, frozen vegetables are usually HIGHER in nutrients than fresh b/c the frozen are picked at the peak of freshness and retain the majority of their nutrients whereas fresh vegetables at the store are picked unripe and driven cross-country on trucks then sit in the store - and the more time since they've been picked, the more nutrients lost.

We *love* frozen fruits and vegetables at our house, my freezer is full right now and 80% of that is frozen produce.
Natsuki is offline  
#62 of 68 Old 09-10-2008, 09:45 PM
 
sewingmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 309
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
But food, maybe we're paying through the nose for it, I don't know. Avocados are $3.00 each - double what we paid a couple years ago. I love them, but they went bye-bye from my salads now. Teddy's peanut butter, $2.99, don't know how that ranks against others. Milk is $4.09 a gallon for whole milk. Cheapest pasta (not bulk) is $1.33 for a pound. Grapes are $1.99/pound, so no more grapes. I can tell you it's all more expensive than it USED to be, but don't know if it's expensive for everyone.
Yeah, that sounds more expensive than I pay. I haven't bought white pasta in ages, but it's less than $1 a pound; $1.33 a pound would buy whole wheat pasta around here (mid-Atlantic, not near a city). $3.00 would buy 2 or 3 avocados. Peanut butter -- I buy low-sodium (very little salt added), no sugar added for $2.25 a pound. I buy raw milk (and pay over $6 a gallon for it but consider it worth the cost), but last time I checked, conventional milk was $3.30 or so a gallon. Our COL is definitely cheaper than yours, even if you're not paying Boston prices!

Mama to four: 10, 7, 3, and 1

sewingmama is offline  
#63 of 68 Old 09-11-2008, 12:59 AM
 
wannabe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,790
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCattS View Post
Try Goodwill or Salvation Army for your bread machine. I recently got a 2007 model WITH instructions and recipe book for $12 at GW. It's already paid for itself multiple times! Good luck!
No need for a bread machine (or dutch oven)
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-...ad.aspx?page=2

We use a pound of flour a day and negligible amounts of salt and yeast for our bread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
- Take the next step of making my own stuff, such as making bread, pizza dough and possibly pasta.
Pasta I dont agree with the PP on. It takes a long time, and you use a bit more than an egg and 100g of flour per person, which takes it up to more expensive than bought pasta.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
And no, we have no snacks in there. And not nearly as many vegetables as I'd like. I did plan small salads for many meals, but I also had to chop out several meals that included brocolli, asparagus and zucchini because it's just too expensive. I'm not sure if the salads are also really expensive but we gotta eat some greens.
This is why I think you're coming at this from the wrong angle. Instead of sitting down at the computer with your cookbooks and thinking what should be cheap/expensive, you need to be at the supermarket looking to see that zucchinis are as cheap as anything right now, and that broccolli is always reasonable. Come May you'll be able to have your asparagus relatively cheaply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
Aha, so frozen veggies. OK, if I have to (I guess I'm a fresh veggie snob, but the point of this is to let go of certain things!!!)
Peas and corn are better frozen than fresh. Peas are good nutrient rich food. Carrots are OK frozen, but cheap fresh. I avoid most other frozen veggies. For fruit other than berries tinned is the way to go out of season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
But food, maybe we're paying through the nose for it, I don't know. Avocados are $3.00 each - double what we paid a couple years ago. I love them, but they went bye-bye from my salads now. Teddy's peanut butter, $2.99, don't know how that ranks against others. Milk is $4.09 a gallon for whole milk. Cheapest pasta (not bulk) is $1.33 for a pound. Grapes are $1.99/pound, so no more grapes. I can tell you it's all more expensive than it USED to be, but don't know if it's expensive for everyone.
This week avocados were 2 for $5 (on special), cheap pasta is about $1.50 not on sale, grapes are $3-4 a pound at their very cheapest.
wannabe is offline  
#64 of 68 Old 09-14-2008, 10:40 PM
 
misswerewolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 364
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You may want to consider joining a CSA (community supported agriculture) in your area, if you prefer (and who doesn't?) fresh organic produce at an affordable price. Search for one through Yelp.com or Localharvest.org. I live in a very high cost of living area, and joining a CSA is great for the wallet.

For breakfast, I recommend porridge-type meals that are heavier and filling, like oatmeal with dried or fresh fruit of your choice (raisins or cranberries), or quinoa, or soupy rice cooked in broth (popular in my parents' home country). Muesli is also an option (google for recipes online), as are eggs and potatoes. Potatoes are cheap and versatile.

My guy and I eat heavier lunches and have lighter suppers, because it's better that way for overall health and fitness (and also because of cultural reasons). For lunch, I suggest things like pasta, beans and rice, and rice and vegetables. It's verrry easy to make your own pasta sauce. We never buy pasta sauce, because home-made is just so much more delicious. My guy makes a pot of sauce once a month or so and stores it in jars for later use. You can look for yummy bean recipes on Allrecipes.com. We'll also prepare rice (which we buy in 50-lb bags from an Asian store) and have it regularly with some sort of veggies-and/or-meat dish. Old cooked rice can be turned into stir-fried rice. Leftover veggies and meat can be turned into soup or stew.

For dinner, we have something light, like soup or a salad or even a simple spread with bread, jam, and butter. Sometimes, we have nothing at all.

I recommend, in addition to joining a CSA, that you shop at places like Trader Joe's, co-ops and farmer's markets. Also, I used to frequent Asian markets when I lived closer to those, and I found that Asian markets are CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP!
misswerewolf is offline  
#65 of 68 Old 09-15-2008, 04:04 PM
 
Guinevere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,092
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A really lovely book that would probably help you immensely in learning about menu planning with seasonal, local food (which is therefore fresher and far less expensive than those out-of-season avocados) is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It's probable that you can find it at your local library. It's a really fun read!

It has lots of recipes and menus based on the seasons (most of them are vegetarian, btw) and a whole section on raising chickens, too.

We're heading into fall now, so that means the peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, basil, and eggplants of summer are starting to finish up (get the last good ones at your farmer's market and freeze, dry, or can them for the winter) and the season of the squashes -- spaghetti, butternut, acorn, kabocha, pumpkin, you name it -- is upon us. Squashes are super nutritious, filling, and cheap at this time of year. Think spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and parmesan, butternut squash curry in coconut milk, baked acorn squash with butter and honey, kabocha chunks and garlic stir-fried in fried rice, baked pumpkin soup with nutmeg. Mmmmm....

Another bonus is that these vegetables, along with root crops like onions and potatoes, store well for long periods of time, so you can stock up on them when on sale and they'll last you for months. Kale and swiss chard are cool-weather greens you can still rely on at this time of year and they make yummy soups (with potatoes or lentils especially) or you can make dolmades (middle-eastern "rolls" stuffed with rice and seasonings -- use the chard as the wrapping instead of grape leaves).

And I'll echo the others and say to reconsider your position on frozen veggies -- depending on the time of year and the vegetable in question, they are much fresher and full of nutrients than their grocery-store counterparts. Not to mention frequently more affordable.

I applaud your grocery cost-cutting efforts. I encourage you to continue to explore the wide variety of seasonal food out there, though, so that you can still have best of all worlds -- yummy, nutritious, AND cheap vegetarian food.

Guin

caffix.giftoddler.gifnocirc.gifBusy, grateful mama to: Kieran (12); Hanna (10); Cameron (8);
Charlotte (6);Sophie (5) Down Syndrome & so beautiful! brokenheart.gif(9/08), & rainbow1284.gifDuncan 8/26/09
Guinevere is offline  
#66 of 68 Old 09-15-2008, 04:39 PM
 
Alyantavid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,724
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Peas and corn are better frozen than fresh. Peas are good nutrient rich food. Carrots are OK frozen, but cheap fresh.
You can buy good carrots (or pick your own if possible) blanch and freeze and they're amazing! I spent alot of time picking veggies and freezing them this summer and the carrots turned out really well.
Alyantavid is offline  
#67 of 68 Old 09-15-2008, 05:23 PM
 
Caneel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Small town in a rural area
Posts: 3,869
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
We are drinking only Poland Spring water. It's $48 a month, and it's included in the $500. DH and I are debating getting rid of that. I know what y'all will say about it
If you need any motivation on breaking the Poland Spring water habit (or any bottled water habit in general) check out Bottlemania from the library. It is a non-fiction book about the water industry. The author is well known, not some wacky sensationalist.

It totally changed my attitude about spring water. Poland Spring as well as other national and international companies are doing some pretty awful things to the environment by pumping so much water out of the ground. There are towns in Maine that don't have enough drinking water for their own residents because of all the spring water being pumped out for shipment to the bottlers.

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
Caneel is offline  
#68 of 68 Old 12-05-2008, 10:23 PM
 
AngelBee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New Brighton, MN
Posts: 20,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
:

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

AngelBee is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off