Monday, June 17, 2013

Food Frugality: Sales and Buying in Bulk

I've been trying to be very careful with our food budget lately.  We've decided to try to eat more locally than organically (aside from the dirty dozen).  Now that the farmer's markets are starting up, that's a lot easier.  We get our eggs from our farmer's market for two dollars fewer than those in the grocery store.  And this lady lives just up the road!  I know that she sells eggs in the off season, too.  We're going to have to visit her once the farmer's markets end for the year.

There's a farm in a town about half an hour away that has a large farm stand and restaurant.  We dropped by today while wandering around my old stomping grounds.  There are two things I love about this farm:  their peaches and their "seconds" deals.  Their peaches are to die for.  For the seconds deals, they put all of the produce that is bruised, damaged, or about to go off into bags and boxes and sell them for a deep discount.  I love it when huge baskets of peaches go up there.  I can them and enjoy them all year.

But tonight, we were treated to a nice surprise.  There were four bags of produce on the seconds shelf.  They were mixed packages of parsnips and small potatoes.  Each bag was fifty cents.  Rather than just buying one, I figured we could afford the $2 for all of them.  When I got home, I weighed them.  For two dollars, we got:
  • 10.5 pounds parsnips = $1.27 = $0.11 per pound
  • 5.75 pounds potatoes = $0.73 = $0.13 per pound
That is a FANTASTIC price!  I didn't realize how wonderful a deal that was.

These are the potatoes before doing anything to them.  I'll deal with them tomorrow.

 Parsnips as I started to peel them.  That's a four quart bowl.

 Yes, I peeled and cut them into strips on my living room floor.  I was watching Doctor Who :o)

 I blanched them in batches in boiling water for two minutes each per the instructions I found from the National Center for Home Food Preservation

 Stage two of the blanching:  submerging them in cold water in a freshly scrubbed sink.

 Stage three:  let the parsnips drain by putting them in a colander or steamer basket.

Finally, I vacuumed sealed them in one pound packages.  

So with peels, tops, and bad parts, I lost about 2 pounds of parsnip weight.  But still $1.27 for 8 pounds is definitely not bad :o)


I had bought a spiral sliced ham a while ago.  I had never bought a spiral sliced ham before, just the regular old kind.  I threw it in the freezer, and mostly forgot about it.  I'd open the door, feel guilty about not dealing with it, and shut the door without giving it another thought.  Finally, I thawed that and decided to repackage it.

This is the original price of this arganically and humanely raised ham.  I got it half price since it was after the holiday (which holiday?  Christmas?  Easter?  I can't remember.  It was in the freezer THAT long.)
Since it was spiral sliced, all I really had to do is carve straight down the bone and I got ready made lunchmeat.  I repackaged it in 8 bags of 8 (ish) ounce packages, plus two packages of ham chunks where the ham had not been spiraled PLUS a ham bone and all of the fat scraps I trimmed off.  Regular old ham in the grocery store runs about $6 a pound.  I have a bunch of delicious, humanely raised ham for merely $2.50 a pound.  Talk about frugal and responsible!  I have two more hams in our freezer that aren't spiral sliced, but I'm excited to cut them up when we run out of this lot.


My next project is to part out *B*'s Christmas bonus.  Every year, he gets a turkey AFTER Christmas.  It's very kind of his company, but we obviously can't use it for our holidays in the year that we get it.  So we've been freezing it until the next Thanksgiving for a few years.  But now my brother also gets a turkey as a bonus, and we are up to our ears in birds.  Since things are a little tight, I'm going to follow these suggestions to get our best usage out of it now.

We'll see how it goes.  So long as I can get it all done while Miss F is down for a nap, it should be a snap.

No comments:

Post a Comment