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Old 07-23-2009, 08:11 AM
 
120 posts, read 266,863 times
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I do one large shopping trip a month. I eat almost no prepared foods other than a good quality pasta. I also eat "relatively" little meat. I can't remember the last time I had steak. While I do love ice cream, I very rarely buy cookies or crackers.

My monthly shopping from the supermarket includes: 1-2 packages of chicken legs on sale, 2-3 lbs. ground chuck, 3 1/2 gals of brand name OJ, 2 quarts milk, frozen vegetables, 5-6 rolls paper towels, 4-pack toilet paper, 1 lb. butter, 8-9 large cans of crushed tomatoes, 1/2 doz eggs for baking, 2-3 boxes of facial tissues, 5-6 boxes of good quality pasta, brown rice in bulk, several bags of almonds & walnuts, cheeses, detergents for laundry & dishes, bath soap, various fruits as in season, various staples such as spices, flour, sugar, raisins, etc as needed. I am probably forgetting some items, but you get the idea.

I stop maybe once a week at the market to pick up odds & ends.

I get raw rolled oats from the health food store that I use to make my own granola.

I do NOT buy prepared cereals or other prepared foods. I do not eat white bread, but will splurge on a good quality whole grain bread from a local bakery.

Because my weekly schedule is crazy, I cook and freeze staples such as pasta, brown rice, chili, and sauces so that I can pull them out and re-heat as desired.

I make my own chili and tomato sauces. I also make a lot of stews. I do eat a lot of pasta and brown rice, but in enough combination with other ingredients that it isn't boring.

My monthly food bill usually runs right around $150. This works for me because I like eating low on the food chain and making my own cereals, stews, chili, sauces, etc. I also eat very few sweets, and almost no cookies or crackers. This might not be workable for others who preferred prepared foods or who wanted to eat more meat.
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Old 07-23-2009, 08:33 AM
 
8,649 posts, read 14,867,845 times
Reputation: 4563
Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
I do, the only difference is more things to measure out.

I don't make brownies from scratch, they never come out as good as the ones from the mix.
I'm an old retired guy and I would like to learn how to make a real good home made pie dough.

My mother used to make one that was really good and flakey..

My brother in law makes pies but he uses store bought pie dough. Just not the same...

I'm not a cook and when they talk about cutting in, I have no idea what they are talking about....LOL
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:31 PM
 
3,634 posts, read 9,231,775 times
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Cutting in is just getting the fat mixed with the flour. For years I just used two table knives and using both hands used the knives against one another (swipe them back and forth against one anohter) to cut the butter into smaller and smaller pieces with the flour. Now I use a food processor or a hand held cutter for pastry use.

Note that handling dough too much makes it tough. Must keep it cold. Mother probably used lard.

The best recipes I have found for me come from Cook's Illustrated. Check out your library for their baking book.
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:02 PM
 
8,649 posts, read 14,867,845 times
Reputation: 4563
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetana3 View Post
Cutting in is just getting the fat mixed with the flour. For years I just used two table knives and using both hands used the knives against one another (swipe them back and forth against one anohter) to cut the butter into smaller and smaller pieces with the flour. Now I use a food processor or a hand held cutter for pastry use.

Note that handling dough too much makes it tough. Must keep it cold. Mother probably used lard.

The best recipes I have found for me come from Cook's Illustrated. Check out your library for their baking book.
Thanks for the help on the cutting in thing...
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Denver
682 posts, read 1,827,183 times
Reputation: 337
Quote:
Originally Posted by swlmc2 View Post
I do one large shopping trip a month. I eat almost no prepared foods other than a good quality pasta. I also eat "relatively" little meat. I can't remember the last time I had steak. While I do love ice cream, I very rarely buy cookies or crackers.

My monthly shopping from the supermarket includes: 1-2 packages of chicken legs on sale, 2-3 lbs. ground chuck, 3 1/2 gals of brand name OJ, 2 quarts milk, frozen vegetables, 5-6 rolls paper towels, 4-pack toilet paper, 1 lb. butter, 8-9 large cans of crushed tomatoes, 1/2 doz eggs for baking, 2-3 boxes of facial tissues, 5-6 boxes of good quality pasta, brown rice in bulk, several bags of almonds & walnuts, cheeses, detergents for laundry & dishes, bath soap, various fruits as in season, various staples such as spices, flour, sugar, raisins, etc as needed. I am probably forgetting some items, but you get the idea.

I make my own chili and tomato sauces. I also make a lot of stews. I do eat a lot of pasta and brown rice, but in enough combination with other ingredients that it isn't boring.

My monthly food bill usually runs right around $150. This works for me because I like eating low on the food chain and making my own cereals, stews, chili, sauces, etc. I also eat very few sweets, and almost no cookies or crackers. This might not be workable for others who preferred prepared foods or who wanted to eat more meat.
Thanks. Chili is a good idea, I didn't think of that. I'm sure I can make that pretty cheap. I think another issue I was having is that I wasn't buying in bulk. I'd just buy the smallest package of whatever, because I wouldn't need more than that for one week. I think I'm going to stop doing that. Pretty often, the smallest packages are the worst value.

I don't each much meat, either. And I rarely ever eat sweets. My guilty pleasure snack is crackers and ranch dip. Although, it's not a totally unhealthy snack...just a little pricier than fruits and vegetables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetana3 View Post
You do need to rotate your frozen food. Good idea to use a grease pencil or label to know the date it was frozen. Should not waste any if you do that. Especially important if you have an automatic defrost freezer since leaving them too long can cause freezer burn and dehydrate the food.

if you practice a simple white sauce recipe, you can make a great number of things like mac and cheese or fettucini alfredo. My hubby loves homemade much better than packaged. I use butter, flour and usually skim milk or evaporated milk and cheese. I use the juice from canned peas and skim milk for creamed tuna.
Oh, I love fettucini alfredo. I'll have to try that out.

So, for this frozen food, will it last in the freezer for two or three months before it goes bad?
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Old 07-23-2009, 05:50 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,095 posts, read 12,738,022 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjohnson4381 View Post
So, for this frozen food, will it last in the freezer for two or three months before it goes bad?
Frozen food doesn't go 'bad'. It may lose quality and get freezer burn. Freezer burn is just a fancy name for moisture loss.

Freezer burnt meat, I just cut off or use it in soups and chili.

The USDA has a chart on how long things will 'keep' in the freezer. They say some foods smell rancid after too long in the freezer, but it's never happened to me. I cooked a turkey that had been frozen for over a year. It was wonderful Most of the stuff I freeze goes WAY past the USDA storage chart, LOL

Anywho ... google "USDA" and then when you get to their page search on 'freezing'.

You could also join a OAMC (Once a Month Cooking) email list. You can pick up lots of pointers there, even if you don't cook much or have a big freezer. I don't know if it's allowed to put the address for the group here ...
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Old 07-24-2009, 05:03 AM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,939,688 times
Reputation: 12963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Houston3 View Post
I'm an old retired guy and I would like to learn how to make a real good home made pie dough.

My mother used to make one that was really good and flakey..

My brother in law makes pies but he uses store bought pie dough. Just not the same...

I'm not a cook and when they talk about cutting in, I have no idea what they are talking about....LOL
You need a pastry blender/cutter. This is an example: Stainless-Steel Pastry Blender | Williams-Sonoma

Basically you slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and "cut them in" to each other with the tool above. The idea is you want to get them mixed together but not "whipped" or you'll lose the flakiness.
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Old 07-24-2009, 05:06 AM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,939,688 times
Reputation: 12963
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjohnson4381 View Post
Thanks. Chili is a good idea, I didn't think of that. I'm sure I can make that pretty cheap. I think another issue I was having is that I wasn't buying in bulk. I'd just buy the smallest package of whatever, because I wouldn't need more than that for one week. I think I'm going to stop doing that. Pretty often, the smallest packages are the worst value.
But keep a watchful eye, because sometimes the largest packages aren't the best buy either!

Quote:
So, for this frozen food, will it last in the freezer for two or three months before it goes bad?
Sure thing! Some things are even good for six months as long as you freeze them airtight.
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Old 07-24-2009, 09:43 AM
 
3,647 posts, read 9,307,282 times
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Pretty often, the smallest packages are the worst value.

Although this is the general thought everyone has, it's not always true! I've found many items that we buy to be cheaper in the smaller packages... block cheese, crackers, chocolate syrup, frozen veg, granola bars, cereal... to name a few.

Always compare!
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Old 07-24-2009, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Denver
682 posts, read 1,827,183 times
Reputation: 337
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandalara View Post
Frozen food doesn't go 'bad'. It may lose quality and get freezer burn. Freezer burn is just a fancy name for moisture loss.

Freezer burnt meat, I just cut off or use it in soups and chili.

The USDA has a chart on how long things will 'keep' in the freezer. They say some foods smell rancid after too long in the freezer, but it's never happened to me. I cooked a turkey that had been frozen for over a year. It was wonderful Most of the stuff I freeze goes WAY past the USDA storage chart, LOL

Anywho ... google "USDA" and then when you get to their page search on 'freezing'.

You could also join a OAMC (Once a Month Cooking) email list. You can pick up lots of pointers there, even if you don't cook much or have a big freezer. I don't know if it's allowed to put the address for the group here ...
Thanks for the OAMC suggestion! I googled it and found a ton of information. I'm really interested in doing this. Even on months that I'm really busy, I can spare a day or two to cook. Plus, my meals will probably be tastier and healthier because they're home-cooked. I'm pretty excited. I hope this works out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
But keep a watchful eye, because sometimes the largest packages aren't the best buy either!



Sure thing! Some things are even good for six months as long as you freeze them airtight.
True. At least Wal-Mart breaks everything down to unit prices. That's thoughtful of them.
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