Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(15,841 posts)
22. I do so many things to save money on food
Wed Feb 28, 2024, 12:17 PM
Feb 2024

The biggest one is to not waste food, of course. The most expensive food you buy is the food you throw out.

I'm fortunate to have time, money and a kitchen. I know not everyone has time, or money, or decent cooking facilities. I also had a grandmother than grew a garden, cooked from scratch and canned a lot. That knowledge didn't get passed along to my mom, but I've embraced a lot of those skills in adulthood, long after my grandma died.

An example: I buy whole chickens when they're on sale for .99/lb. That usually means $3.50-$4 per chicken. Generally, I roast the chicken, and we'll have that for dinner the first night. The leftover chicken will give us two more meals - usually something like chicken quesadillas and chicken salad. The carcass gets thrown in the fridge the first night, then plopped in my instant pot with a few bits of veggies and some spices (bay leaf and thyme for the most part, both grown in my yard) for an hour. Once that cools down, I'll strain the broth and heat it back up, putting it into pint or quart jars and pressure canning it on my stove. I usually get about 4 quarts of chicken broth from the carcass (I find that I prefer having pints, so 8 pints). Of course I could raise meat birds too, but I have egg layers and they live out their lives after their egg laying years are done.

Scraps of veggies get thrown into a container in the freezer until I feel like I have enough to make some veggie stock. Once I strain the stock, the remains get thrown either to the hens or to the compost heap.

I find that if I choose one or two new food items each year to learn about, then I am not overwhelmed with developing new skills. For example, we eat some sort of food in tortillas once or twice a week. I used to buy flour or corn tortillas in those bags. They're fairly cheap - maybe $2-$4 a bag? But I can also buy the masa reasonably cheap, and make my own. Not hard at all, as it turns out. I use a cast iron tortilla press and make enough for the meal. That way I don't find a bag of old tortillas at the back of the fridge. Yes, it adds about 15-20 minutes to my lunch or dinner plans, but it is not hard at all once you get it all down. I also make a pumpkin tortilla from puree and flour.

Of course I grow as much food as I am able to in my backyard. This time of year, one of our spare bedrooms has a couple of NSF/metro stainless multi-shelf racks with simple LED shop lights set up, and plant starts everywhere. I grow pretty much everything from seed, and have a couple of heat mats for plants that I rotate seeds on to start. It is fancier than starting on the top of a fridge or radiator, but the concept is the same. A bit of soil, light, heat and you have plant starts. I give away a lot of plant starts to family, friends and neighbors and then if I have any left that I absolutely cannot cram in somewhere, I'll toss them up for free on the local buy nothing group.

Again, I have space in my home and my yard. I can afford a dehydrator, a pressure cooker, a pressure canner, etc. I have oodles of canning jars (which I see for cheap all the time at yard sales, goodwill and Facebook marketplace). Growing and preserving food for home use is a bit of a lost art, but it isn't that hard to pick up the skills. It's taken me a fair number of years to get to where I am, but I'm confident that if the grocery chain is broken, we won't starve.

On average Americans eat too much... MiHale Feb 2024 #1
Great messaging ... redqueen Feb 2024 #4
Love the advice. limbicnuminousity Feb 2024 #6
Never meant it as the only solution... MiHale Feb 2024 #13
You're right. limbicnuminousity Feb 2024 #18
Didn't take your response as snarky... MiHale Feb 2024 #19
Well, that's a gross take. Cuthbert Allgood Feb 2024 #9
The problem was that food prices were taking a bite out of income... MiHale Feb 2024 #15
Really Always Blue Feb 2024 #17
This OP is about saving our personal income on food... MiHale Feb 2024 #20
Funny Always Blue Feb 2024 #21
HOW ABOUT... the FTC slapping a huge windfall profits tax on their historic profits CousinIT Feb 2024 #2
You are correct. I don't think it's possible without Dem supermajorities redqueen Feb 2024 #14
Creative thinking helps. no_hypocrisy Feb 2024 #3
I'm a whole foods homemade fanatic. I was going that way hard in the months leading up to COVID. brewens Feb 2024 #7
Try this book. I love it. no_hypocrisy Feb 2024 #11
That's part of it too. Knowing what not to waste time and money on. One of my big successes last year brewens Feb 2024 #12
Beans and corn together provide a complete protein. raging moderate Feb 2024 #16
My wife did a two month "pantry challenge " this time last year underpants Feb 2024 #5
I'm a bulk meals food prepper. I buy two turkeys every year at Thanksgiving time just for myself. brewens Feb 2024 #10
you can really see that whole top chef, eating out craze on the chart from 2010 until Covid shut it down Blues Heron Feb 2024 #8
I do so many things to save money on food MissB Feb 2024 #22
Latest Discussions»General Discussion»Food Is Taking a Bite Out...»Reply #22