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Old 03-04-2024, 09:56 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
32,668 posts, read 48,104,757 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruckeeTami View Post
I love StealthRabbits idea of potlucks as. way to save $ on food. ........
I suppose it must be possible to save money by eating at potlucks if you are one of those persons who take a little bit of cheap crap food and stuff yourself on whatever the others bring. My own experience is that when I go to a potluck I want to take something that everyone will really enjoy and that will all be eten up. Everyone else seems to have the same feeling about it because in the groups I potluck with, the food is outstanding and nobody is saving any money. They are putting forth their best efforts.

I will concede, however that it would be less expensive than everyone getting together at an expensive restaurant to have a get together and visit.
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Old 03-04-2024, 10:59 AM
 
239 posts, read 108,592 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
I suppose it must be possible to save money by eating at potlucks if you are one of those persons who take a little bit of cheap crap food and stuff yourself on whatever the others bring. My own experience is that when I go to a potluck I want to take something that everyone will really enjoy and that will all be eten up. Everyone else seems to have the same feeling about it because in the groups I potluck with, the food is outstanding and nobody is saving any money. They are putting forth their best efforts.

I will concede, however that it would be less expensive than everyone getting together at an expensive restaurant to have a get together and visit.
It never occurred to me to bring "cheap crap" to a Potluck to save $ then stuff myself to the gore. Wow, you are a real doozie! Many decades ago, we had a weekly church potluck on Saturdays (Seventh Day Adventist, boy can they cook!) so pretty much every dish was delicious. Most people brought leftovers home, sharing with each other. We raised free range chickens at the time which produced the tastiest eggs!
herbs we grew, peppers we grew, & homemade crust. We also grew potatoes so it could be potato salad.

If someone is poor and must limit their costs, even if it's a bag of chips I have no problem with it. It's your attitude which is a much worse sin, nothing wrong with bringing what you can to a potluck.

P.S. I believe Stealthrabbit is very self sustaining. I bet his idea of potlucks is bringing some high quality meal he's somehow grew, raised or traded for. People like that are not into cheap crappy food but generally consume healthy, often organic, food but you can ask him yourself

Last edited by TruckeeTami; 03-04-2024 at 11:09 AM..
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Old 03-04-2024, 07:34 PM
 
13,133 posts, read 21,021,767 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
I suppose it must be possible to save money by eating at potlucks if you are one of those persons who take a little bit of cheap crap food and stuff yourself on whatever the others bring. My own experience is that when I go to a potluck I want to take something that everyone will really enjoy and that will all be eten up. Everyone else seems to have the same feeling about it because in the groups I potluck with, the food is outstanding and nobody is saving any money. They are putting forth their best efforts.
I fully agree. These gatherings isn't about saving money but sharing something with others. I know some manage to to save money on their offerings but it's usually not because they are cheap but simply they have an item that isn't that expensive to make. In my circle, it's not so much the expense of the item, but the thought. A simple item that took effort (last one was someone made little chicken parmigiana snacks on toasted bread cubes) is often more appreciated than some restaurant bought platter of braised duck that only effort was calling in the order for delivery.
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Old 03-05-2024, 12:39 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
23,652 posts, read 14,019,839 times
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Okay, lessons from the campout cook....who is supplying all the food for around a max of 40 people for a weekend.

2 briskets. These days, that's not cheap as it was but shop and buy early when the prices are best, put it in a freezer, and cook up before the trip the week of.

The rest is essentially....Wally World is your friend!

Bread: shop their day old bread, perhaps a few stores, a day or two ahead.
Cheese: buy block cheese, have cutting boards, slicers, knives on site. You can go for sliced cheese packets, but that will massively drive up the cost. Here, Parmesan is considered a spice and would be with that option.
Condiments: Buy and store for the weekend. The usual such as ketchup, mustard, mayo and lots of BBQ sauce, a few bottles of Tabasco. Butter, honey, syrup
Eggs: at least 2 cartons of 18 each
Jugs of milk and OJ, 1 or 2, in the food coolers

Flour, Sugar, Bisquik. This stuff is sent out with old coffee cans for protection.
Instant Cocoa and Coffee
Tea (bags) and Ground Coffee. I do carry a box of coffee filters and the perk pot inwards just in case they aren't for Cowboy Coffee.
Sweeteners and Creamer
Baking powder & soda, instant milk

A bag of spaghetti, perhaps a box of noodles or a carton of ramen, a jar or two of spaghetti sauce or canned tomato sauce for the non meat eaters.

Graham crackers and Nestle bars for smores

In the past, I loaded up with cheap sodas but they aren't drinking that as much now, so lite on the sodas. more on the bottled water with the truck being loaded up with water coolers, too!

Spices: I send out a box with every kind of spice I can find in my kitchen, even chicken base. The idea is that if someone wants to cook up something for themselves, they can find something in the field kitchen. Carry at least a bottle of olive oil if someone wants to season their pan.

Buy most of your spices at Dollar Stores and Big Lots.

Of course, there are the associated materials such as tin foil, paper goods, soaps, bins, etc..

I tend to bake 3 pan cookies before these affairs, different flavors, which I cut up into cookie squares and baggy. Quick energy before the main course, stuff to go with coffee, etc..

Some basic considerations. Especially with the cold stuff, that first paragraph after the brisket, anything opened is TOAST! At the end of the campout, I am giving away food to the participants for three main reasons. First of all, it would be difficult for me to store it.

Secondly, most of my campers are "starving college students" and I know for them, money is tight, and they should get the spoils...........and it pleases me to be Godlike.

Finally, this is part of selling the industry I am in.

Opened dry goods vary. They can take it if they wish, but I often come home with a lot of it. They go back into my camping and emergency supplies.

So two big lessons here for how to eat cheaply. First of all, think of the basics and what can be made from there. You don't need Bisquik to make pancakes but it is cheap enough to have some. Further, for those who don't cook, the recipes are right on the box.

And secondly? Get involved in activities where there is someone like me who is the cook!

Last edited by TamaraSavannah; 03-05-2024 at 01:07 AM..
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Old 03-05-2024, 01:02 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
23,652 posts, read 14,019,839 times
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Phase II: Read Personal Quest books for a lot that I learned about cooking I learned there.

I learned about lentils by reading Robyn Davidson's "Tracks" (and related writings):
https://www.amazon.com/Tracks-Womans.../dp/0679762876

Growing up, I read a lot of Nat'l Geographic. In one, decades ago, there was an article on cod fishing and it told on one page of the cook on the mothership. He served cod every night but with different spices and sauces, he could make each meal seem different.

In another decade, I read of kayakers of Portugal doing the Northwest Passage. They landed on oil lands in Alaska, were taken to the grocery store for supplies and found no food for sale (no one cooks in a company town). It was the cook at one of the cafeterias who set them up with the basic supplies.

Learn how they ate, where there was no or little refrigeration (Cod fishing excepted), where the food was only with what they could carry, like Robin Lee Graham's voyage on the Dove and use that to inspire you to how to shop.
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Old 03-05-2024, 02:15 AM
 
2,687 posts, read 1,194,460 times
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Eggs are not cheap by me. I pay a little over $6.00 for a dozen. I buy a name brand owned by a family. They are the only eggs that don't give me that sick feeling.
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Old 03-05-2024, 06:37 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
23,652 posts, read 14,019,839 times
Reputation: 18861
Quote:
Originally Posted by staystill View Post
Eggs are not cheap by me. I pay a little over $6.00 for a dozen. I buy a name brand owned by a family. They are the only eggs that don't give me that sick feeling.
Well, I mostly use eggs for baking and the Net is full of suggestions for substitutes.


Now, if one is making scrambled.......shudders!
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Old 03-05-2024, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
23,652 posts, read 14,019,839 times
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A few more tips.

Find fillers of nutrition. For me, I use pinto beans. Pinto beans aren't easy to cook nor probably appetizing by themselves but I throw a cup or so into each stew. They are cheap, they are good fillers, and in a stew, they cook decently easily.

Before I toss out my cheese containers (Feta, bleu, Parmesan), I fill the container, swish it around, and add that water to the stew. One last use of those crumbs.

Remember that in a "stew" (here saying salads as well), any seasoning, just a little, can go a long way.

On stews and salads, if you can find a way around store bought croutons, you can be better off, wallet wise. I moved away from them for two reasons. First, I just watched the cost go up and up. Secondly, they weren't any good for my Type II. Now, if it is a meal (time of the day) where I "could use croutons", I use my home made corn bread.

Finally, the more processed a source is, odds are the higher the cost. Selected greens cost more than a head of lettuce. Fat trimmed brisket costs more than packer. Boneless fillets are more expensive per pound than buying the whole (headless and gutted) fish. A can of shredded chicken for me is at least $1.25/5.5 oz while frozen quarter or drumsticks run at $1.19-1.39/lb.

Last edited by TamaraSavannah; 03-05-2024 at 08:49 PM..
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Old 03-05-2024, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
19,811 posts, read 22,703,567 times
Reputation: 25046
Quote:
Originally Posted by staystill View Post
Eggs are not cheap by me. I pay a little over $6.00 for a dozen. I buy a name brand owned by a family. They are the only eggs that don't give me that sick feeling.
Wow I can go a mile down the road to a neighbor and buy a dozen for $3
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Old 03-05-2024, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
19,811 posts, read 22,703,567 times
Reputation: 25046
Quote:
Originally Posted by lair8 View Post
Food is actually not that expensive if you shop mindfully. I spend <$50 per week on groceries (U.S.) while still being able to eat a healthy diet.

Look at foods from a macronutritional standpoint. Look at the back of the label and see what you're getting for your money.

Examples of foods that offer a lot of macros per dollar:
* Protein: Eggs are dirt-cheap. Protein powder, if bought in bulk. Tofu, dairy and nuts too.
* Fats: This is the most calorically dense macro. Protein and carbs have 4 calories per gram while fat has 9. This means that many fats, even if it doesn't seem like you're getting high volume per dollar, are still affordable from a calorie per dollar standpoint.
* Carbs Breads, pasta, rice, oatmeal, etc. are all dirt cheap.

Use these as a base for the majority of the calories. Then add in fruits, veggies and herbs to your dishes to complement them.

Carbs and fat aren't inherently bad for you. You can eat complex/low-glycemic carbs (i.e. whole wheat bread) if satiety and blood sugar are concerned. You can eat unsaturated fats like canola oil, olive oil, avacados, nuts, etc. Saving money on food doesn't necessitate always having a diet of soda, fast food and walmart brand icecream.

You can mix less calorically dense and more calorically dense foods together to get a good mix of value and nutrition. For example, sauteeing veggies with oil. It has enough calories to be filling, while also having micronutrients and the overall cost isn't too high.

The other factor is not exceeding the calories/macros reach your goal weight/physique. Many people in developed countries are overweight; I know this sounds crass, but people can save money on food by eating normal human portion sizes instead of the large portion sizes Americans have been accustomed to.

Calorie-dense foods don't inherently make you fat; you can get fat on them quickly if you eat them mindlessly, but if you track your calories/macros, you can eat as much as you need without going over.
It's the other staples that cost us the most. TP, paper products, hygiene products, sugar, flour, corn starch, soy sauce etc.. You get the picture. Proteins and vegetables we have all that pretty much covered.

















For just two of us we pretty much grow or harvest 75% of our food. Bread and butter, rice and grains- things like that we need to buy.
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