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Old 09-24-2012, 07:29 PM   #21
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The one thing I'm really lacking is freezer space, which stinks.

Another thing I do is I reuse my fry oil (I only fry things once in a blue moon). If need be I strain the oil.

Also, parmesan or other hard cheeses are easy to grate, especially if you have a cuisinart, so you save a buck here and a buck there whenever you by a block of it. Also, it stays fresher this way, and you get the rind to put in soups.

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Old 09-24-2012, 07:36 PM   #22
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The one thing I'm really lacking is freezer space, which stinks.
Just do what I did and but a chest freezer for the garage. And no, I haven't done the math to see how much bulk meat I'll need to pay for the ~$180 freezer.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:37 PM   #23
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Hehe, for that I would require a garage!

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You are more likely to have a threesome with members of the Japanese women's curling team whilst spinning a plate on your head than you are likely to screw up a batch of JAOM.

YES, WE HAVE TRIED OTHER YEASTS! USE BREAD YEAST FOR JAOM!

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Old 09-24-2012, 07:40 PM   #24
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Hehe, for that I would require a garage!
Yeah, when you said "freezer space" I was thinking more along the lines of space in the freezer, not space for the freezer.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:48 PM   #25
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Great thread.

A few themes:
You do the work: Buy whole chickens, whole carrots, whole fruits, etc...slice/chop/peel yourself.
Grow your own: Herbs are HUGE cost savers, root veggies don't need much space, and tomatoes are easy
Reuse: Pan drippings into sauce / carcass into soup / oil multiple times / leftovers in soups, omelettes, etc

PS - dandelions are edible. Spray less, pick more. Balsamic + honey counteracts bitterness.

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Old 09-24-2012, 07:50 PM   #26
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Great thread.

A few themes:
You do the work: Buy whole chickens, whole carrots, whole fruits, etc...slice/chop/peel yourself.
Grow your own: Herbs are HUGE cost savers, root veggies don't need much space, and tomatoes are easy
Reuse: Pan drippings into sauce / carcass into soup / oil multiple times / leftovers in soups, omelettes, etc

PS - dandelions are edible. Spray less, pick more. Balsamic + honey counteracts bitterness.
The Greeks call that horta. Great with a little lemon at table. Also, if you pull them early in the season, the root is palatable, and tender.
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You are more likely to have a threesome with members of the Japanese women's curling team whilst spinning a plate on your head than you are likely to screw up a batch of JAOM.

YES, WE HAVE TRIED OTHER YEASTS! USE BREAD YEAST FOR JAOM!

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Old 09-24-2012, 07:52 PM   #27
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The Greeks call that horta. Great with a little lemon at table. Also, if you pull them early in the season, the root is palatable, and tender.
Yum...I'll try with the lemon. And I'll try the roots next spring...thanks!
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:03 PM   #28
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some more tips:

1. Age your own beef! -- 'Family-packs' of steaks are usually $1-$2 cheaper per pound but I also don't believe in freezing them. When I buy a pack for me and SWMBO, we'll cook two and I'll dry age the rest for 2-3 weeks. Dry aged steaks are usually $20-$30/pound retail and we stopped going to steak houses regularly since my aged steaks are so much better.

2. Green onions. Seems silly to save the $0.88/bunch but it is too easy. Cut down your onions to the white root with an inch or so of stalk left. Replant. They grow like weeds as long as they are getting water. They are also fairly hardy when they are not. I use a ton of green onion but a dozen or so roots replanted supplies the house all year. In the winter, we just move it to indoors by a window. Top off with fresh soil and mulch once a year and it'll never need fertilizer.

3. Whole fish. Same deal as whole chicken or larger cuts you break down yourself. Fish fillets are usually $8+/#. Whole fish is $2-$3. Go whole and filet it yourself and then use the rest for fish stock and make Thai soup, chowder, gumbo, or any other seafood soup. More work but the homemade stock will make your soups taste more gourmet while saving on the filet.

4. Dead bananas get turned into EBNB.

5. BMC or Subpar Homebrew gets turned into Beer Bread.

6. Food saver is my best friend. I never throw out protein since it's usually the most expensive part of a meal. Fresh meat is best, but frozen meat beats no meat!

7. Don't be afraid to ask about saving money. I asked the local big-box grocery butcher about saving money and he let me in on the discount schedule: starts on Tuesday, ends on Thursday. Now Tuesday is grocery day instead of Sunday.

8. Asian Markets. Seriously. They smell weird, you can't read at least half of the signage, but their prices are generally lower. They are usually friendly with custom orders too. Example: XL Shrimp is $9+/# at the local grocer. At the Asian place, XL Head-on shrimp is $5.99 -- even after head weight, you're saving at least $2/#. Sliced ribeye is $5.99 per pound. Ask the butcher for a few pounds unsliced and you got ribeye for under $6/# while the big box grocer will want $8.99+. Like Yooper mentioned, if you are a foodie and adventurous, you'll love these places: squid, sting ray, cheap white fish you can't pronounce, shellfish you've never seen, but it's all fresh and relatively cheap.

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Old 09-24-2012, 08:39 PM   #29
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Buying any cut/sliced/diced/shredded vegetables or cheese is a waste. If you have a grater and a knife you can buy the ingredient in whole and process yourself in a few minutes.

Your freezer is your friend, especially if you have a chest freezer. If you are going to make a meal for one or two out of something, you can usually buy the ingredients for many more servings, prepare and cook it for marginally lower costs and spend slightly more time to produce extra servings. Freeze them and bust them out for meals when you don't want to cook. Time and cost efficient.

Buying whole birds is really cost efficient. The best time to buy is pre-thanksgiving. All the grocery stores put turkeys on deep discounts to get you in the store. Last fall I saw turkeys going for as little as $.29/lb. You can buy a few turkeys, give them a basic bake in the oven, break them down and freeze. Cheap and healthy meat. You can eat for a while on a few turkeys. Other birds can also be used to greater benefit, too. I usually make a duck on valentine's day. After I chop off all the meat I make stock out of the carcass. Then I freeze the stock. The stock forms a thick layer of fat that can be peeled off and added like butter to various foods. The stock itself makes the best risotto and soups. It can class up a cheap chicken crock pot meal, too.

It's usually cost inefficient to buy groceries for one person, sometimes even for two, because you usually have to buy food in larger quantities than you could use before you got tired of eating it. Freezing the leftovers sometimes helps but not everything can be frozen. An easy way to get around it is to prepare all your meals for the week on the weekend so you can use more of each ingredient you buy. It will also prevent you from stopping for less healthy fast food because you know there's already a meal prepared at home.

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Old 09-24-2012, 08:54 PM   #30
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Word up on whole chickens and crock pots. If you put a whole chicken in a crock pot, you actually make money.

Butcher shops and meat markets.

You have to shop around a little to find one that suits you because some are way more expensive than the grocery store and some are cheaper but lower quality. We found one by us and even though we spend $100-$200 a trip, that's meat for 2-3 months for two people. And we're talking steaks, lean ground beef, chickens, pork, roasts and sausages. Yeah, some of it comes frozen and we do freeze most of it at home. Whatever. Wrapped in the butcher paper it comes in and maybe bagged into a ziplock, it holds just fine.

We've also taken to the farmer's markets, like EACs do. Some stuff is a little more, but some is the same as the regular grocer. All of it though has been better quality. Jams and jellies with actual food as ingredients. Fresh fruits and veggies.

When we do go to a regular grocery store, we go where it gives us discounts on gasoline. Kroger gives .10¢ off per gallon at Shell. It's only .10¢, but we're not put out to get it.

Store brands. They can be hit or miss in price and quality. I want Q-tip brand cotton swabs, damn it. They cost more, but the store brand sucks. Kroger ketchup is just fine. Watch though. The store brand is not always the least expensive.

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