Saving food saves money. What's your food-saving strategy?
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Jennifer - posted on 10/22/2010
I save the most money when I actually plan the week of meals before-hand. Then, I'll make sure I have all the ingredients I need. That way, I don't end up going out for dinner because I don't know what to make and am pressed for time. Another money saving tip is to use leftovers for a different meal the next night. Try buying a ready-made rotisserie chicken for a chicken salad or pasta dinner one night and then use the leftover meat and bones for soup the next night.
Stephanie - posted on 10/28/2010
my husband and i did a comparison when it comes to cuts of meat. added up the cost of buying meat already cut up and that added up to 80 dollars, we bought meat in bulk and he cut it up into the same cuts and the bulk meat only costs us about 40 dollars and we get 80 dollars of meat out of it without paying the extra 40. its a pain i the rump sometimes to cut up but worth it for us to save 40 dollars on just meat.
My eldest son (3 1/2 yrs) and I grow most of the veggies for the family in 3 large beds. We also have about 10 various fruit trees and are soon going to get a mini Dexter (cow) and some laying hens. That will cover most all our food needs.
Since we live in subtropical Australia, our gardens are going year 'round and all excess is either frozen, dehydrated or preserved.
Because I tend to cook for an army (and there are only 4 of us), there's usually enough to freeze for future meals.
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I cook only enough for my family. If I miscalculate how much we'll eat, I make sure the leftovers get eaten for lunch the next day.
I plan all of our meals a week in advance and go to the store with a list, which I don't deviate from. The week's menu is what we eat so none of the food goes bad.
Jodi - posted on 10/31/2010
We are often left with a small serving left over, so I package it all up and put it in the freezer. About once in every couple of weeks, we have leftovers night where everyone chooses a dish from the freezer. We all end up with something different, but it is a great way to get rid of the leftovers even if they are only small quantities.
I also make double batches of food and freeze half of it for the days we don't have time.
I find planning my meals a great help in minimising waste, because I plan my shopping around the exact meals I am cooking, so I don't buy things I am not going to use.
Cheryl - posted on 10/31/2010
Use Zip lock for food prep. Make bread or a few coffee cakes ahead, without the liquids, write on the bag what needs to be added, the date you put it together and the name of the item. This will save you time later and help you resist buying a baked good at the bakery when you have one of your own prepped at home. I use this one for my bread machine. I always put the yeast in at the time of baking and any liquids as the machine reccommends. When you make a batch of cookies,before baking, use an ice cream scoop to set them up on a cookie sheet to freeze. When you set them up to freeze put them on the sheet just barely apart, freeze, after freezing put them in a gallon zip lock bag label and bake as needed. Saves money at the store, those premade cookies can run a pretty penny.
Rachel - posted on 10/31/2010
Keeping vegetables fresh longer is a great way to save - I hate the waste of throwing out moldy peppers, zucchini, whatever... Wrap your veggies (especially open, cut veg) in a paper towel, then place inside a plastic bag and store in the fridge. They stay fresher and mold-free longer this way.
For lettuce, wash lettuce leaves, shake off excess water, and wrap them (still damp) in a clean dish towel. Store in the fridge. Lettuce stays crisp and fresh for quite a while this way.
Sylvi-jane - posted on 10/28/2010
Shopping around different supermarkets and make use of the indian and other culture shops you will find they cheaper for rice, pulces and herbs and spices and even fruit and veg depending on what you are looking for and they sell in bulk too.i do this quite a lot a lot of it can be store for a long time in storage jars and the freezer
Carolyn - posted on 10/28/2010
I am a big fan of casseroles. They are inexpensive and I always prepare half for dinner one night and freeze the other half for an easy meal another night. It's just me and my husband for now (our daughter is only 5 months old) so it works great for us!
Kriss - posted on 10/27/2010
I am lucky ro live on Alaska. We plant a garden and can like crazy. The men make their own beer. When they hint they split the moose or beer and share. We fish two to three times for halibut so our meat is taken care of. We also split a free range cattle and sow with three other families. We also vaxn seal and o cool a lot of meals ahead of time and freeze them. Isle fresh red sauce on all different flavors. We grow all oirbown herbs and we fo mishro picking especially for morrells which we barter some of for things we don't grow. With the daylight almost 24 hours our gardens rock. We swhseaye excess herbs. Smoke meat. And this year we got a doEm chickens. Slaughtered 6 the rear we will winter for eggs. For fruit and other essentials our grocery bill for a family that at times is seven dolls is no more then $140. The two of us $40. Pee cool and planning is a must!!
Bonnie - posted on 10/27/2010
I make lists of meals that my family likes, using what we have in storage, left overs, etc. Then, I shop for the planned menu for two weeks at a time. Freeze or use left overs for another night. Cook often with the crock pot, so I can save time and make many meals. These left overs make great packed lunches for my sweeties work lunch, and for others at home the next day. Try to buy raw foods that can be bought in bulk, for making many different meals over a two week period. I also try to be flexible when shopping. When I see something on a great sale, I am willing to change my menu to compensate buying the sale item to save us money. Some things can be frozen for another time, others need to be used quick, so I walk in the store with a plan, but ready to switch out to make use of awesome deals.
Melissa - posted on 10/26/2010
I have one of those vaccuum ziploc things that you suck all the air out, so I buy meat in bigger quantities when it goes on sale and then when I get home I break down the package. I have an entire freezer full and spent $40. It is great, I do it with Hamburger too, I had gotten a scale for my wedding 6 years ago and when the big chubs of hamburger goes on sale like the 5 lb ones I take it home and break it into 1 lb, it is great! I keep saying that but really if you do it right and cycle the food in the freezer it works. Also if you use the crock pot, and make a big meal, i usually have left overs for lunch at work so I don't spend money on extra things and whatnot. But I am also a HUGE SALE shopper! Around here Hy-Vee, Bag N Save, and Super Saver have AWESOME sales on meat so I stock up.
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