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Thread: Budgeting

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    England
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    9

    Budgeting

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    Hi all

    I'm putting together a list of food and ideas to keep costs low. I have a brilliant supplier with grass fed beef and high quality meat, fruit and veg but it can be very expensive if you're not careful. Any advice would be gratefully received. Thanks

    Sam

  2. #2
    Urja's Avatar
    Urja Guest
    Where do you live? I'm in the UK and I find shopping at Indian/ Caribbean grocery stores and local green grocers actually surprisingly much cheaper for fresh produce than in the big chain supermarkets. I can get huge bunches of dill, methi, spinach, mustard greens, etc. for offers like 3 bunches for 1. Potatoes and onions are very cheap, and calorie for calorie I also find african yam, jamaican sweet potato, plantain and taro very good value. Some of the local green grocers near me do big bags or bowls of produce all measured out so that one is 1. This always turns out to be great value as it tends to be seasonal stuff that needs to be sold fast every day.


    I also found that it is cheaper for me to buy 2 half dozen boxes of egg from my favourite Indian grocer than it is to buy a dozen eggs from the supermarket. And this is even though both are free range! In fact, the Indian grocer sells higher quality eggs...

    If you like to use coconut oil and palm oil, these are also cheaper from Indian, African and Caribbean stores. They may not be organic oils, but you have to pick and choose your battles if you are on a budget.

    For me cheap cuts of meat are as follows:

    *Oxtail
    *Liver
    *Brisket
    *Beef neck
    *Shoulder of lamb - depends on the season really but lately my butcher has had some gorgeous stuff for less than 5 a kilo
    *Goat
    *"Stewing" meat
    *Beef shin

    Fish wise, sprats are very cheap year round where I am. So good for you too. Sardines are very cheap when I can get them, which is a lot of the year tbh.

    I don't really eat chicken so not sure how that stacks up - to get non battery farmed chicken I'd probably have to pay too much, so I find red meat more ethically pleasing and also delicious.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Minnesota
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    2,325
    Food retail is definitely strange. I had to catalog receipts for about two years to develop a proper frame of reference. Now I'm much better at dodging the high-markup land mines.

    My weekly routine is to hit 1 (rotating) specialty store for animal products + bulk seasonings and supplies as needed, inspecting their specials online for a few minutes to decide. The next day I hit the big discount chain for produce. Flexibility to prepare and enjoy any type of plant & animal can save much cash.
    37//6'3"/185

    My peculiar nutrition glossary and shopping list

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Calgary Alberta
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    Organ meats. I don't know where you are but over here they are very cheap and a great source of nutrition.
    Out of context quote for the day:

    Clearly Gorbag is so awesome he should be cloned, reproducing in the normal manner would only dilute his awesomeness. - Urban Forager

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    land of the glass pinecones
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    do not fear frozen vegetables and berries. finding fresh inexpensive produce can be great, but it's money down the drain if the stuff goes off before you get around to cooking it. most often i cook for just one or two, so always have frozen spinach, cauliflower, artichoke hearts and berries on-hand.
    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

    Ernest Hemingway

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Silicon Valley
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    Quote Originally Posted by noodletoy View Post
    do not fear frozen vegetables and berries. finding fresh inexpensive produce can be great, but it's money down the drain if the stuff goes off before you get around to cooking it. most often i cook for just one or two, so always have frozen spinach, cauliflower, artichoke hearts and berries on-hand.
    And when you do find fresh berries cheap, buy a bunch and freeze them. I do the same with greens now that I use in my smoothies.

  7. #7
    Urja's Avatar
    Urja Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by noodletoy View Post
    do not fear frozen vegetables and berries. finding fresh inexpensive produce can be great, but it's money down the drain if the stuff goes off before you get around to cooking it. most often i cook for just one or two, so always have frozen spinach, cauliflower, artichoke hearts and berries on-hand.
    I have also heard that frozen produce is often fresher too.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Northern NJ
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    45
    I usually use the web to find local farmers markets. You can consistent find great deals on local grown fruits and veggies while they are in season.

    If you are really economizing, consider growing local veggies. I had the best organic tomatoes, cukes and peppers last year with a garden all summer. It wasn't that hard to do and the rewards were great. I planned a small garden using the concept of square foot gardening.

    I've also invested in an Food Saver vacuum sealer which helps me jump on discount deals to pack and store in the freezer.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Lexington Park, MD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urja View Post
    I have also heard that frozen produce is often fresher too.
    And actually ripe.

    M.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    land of the glass pinecones
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    if freezing your own berries, put them loose, on a sheet pan, to freeze, then portion and bag. this way you don't get a solid rock of fruit and can shake out however many you want.

    frozen produce is flash-frozen within hours of being picked so it is definitely fresher than what is in the grocery store.
    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

    Ernest Hemingway

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