Eating on a Budget

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Replies

  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,426 Member
    yirara wrote: »
    perryc05 wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    perryc05 wrote: »
    First of all, look into Asian style cookery as they have so many recipes where food goes a very long way and it's not usually expensive to purchase the base ingredients.
    If you have access to an Asian supermarket check that out. You can often get things there for a steal -- not only the food items and condiments but cooking implements and utensils are also very well priced.
    Some staple items in my household are Thai curry pastes and tins of coconut milk. These can be used to make a simple simmer sauce that you cook veggies and protiens in which can then be served up with rice or noodles.
    You can freeze curry leftovers for months if you make in bulk.
    Stir-fries are also a good option and you can make large batches which reheat pretty well.
    Outside the Asian sphere soups are always an excellent option which can make pasta, veggies, beans and meat go a long way. If you need more Americana on a budget check out the WolfePit as this YouTuber has lots of very cheap meal vidoes here:
    https://www.youtube.com/hashtag/budgetmeal
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnJm8wC-ABOvOn2piAt2WYg

    When I have been in hard times I often purchased meaty soup bones. I would boil up the bones for several hours, take the meat off and then use the broth and flaked meat for a number of meals.

    Raw meaty soup bones make the most amazing stock!

    I save cooked bones in the freezer for stock, or make stock with the carcass from a rotisserie chicken. I simmer in the crockpot for at least 8 hours. FAR superior to store-bought stock.

    People in the Boston area in search of an Asian supermarket should check out Kam Man - fabulous prices and selection!

    http://www.kamman.com/quincy

    Oh yes -- I love that. I always keep all my bones (chicken, beef, lamb, pork, ham) in the freezer. I also freeze carrot, celery, turnip, swede, parsnip, onion, garlic offcuts/peelings and any stripped herb stems as well. Every few weeks I make up a big pot of stock from these, strain it off, and bury the scraps in my garden. Lots of ways to extract food value before it's turfed out.

    All these things only work though if you have a big freezer. My freezer is so small that I can freeze 3 loafs of bread, about 6 tupperwares with precooked food, and a few portions of chicken, fish, mince or other things that are cheaper per 600g compared to 100-200g servings. Most places I've lived in Europe tend to have smaller freezers, especially when you live in a flat in a town. Plus those things eat up tons of electricity, which is a reason why many people don't have big fridges (apart from space, and people eating more food you can't freeze well compared to meat) I don't know how much electricity 8hrs of crockpot costs, but electricity prices here are currently over 30 Eurocent per kwh, thus if you've short of money it might be a lot cheaper to buy a pack of 10 stock cubes for 60 or so cents.

    If you have a freezer (or freezer compartment in a fridge) and you're running it, it's cheaper with respect to electricity to keep it packed. A freezer has to work a lot harder to keep air (empty space) cold than to keep food cold.
  • perryc05
    perryc05 Posts: 141 Member
    edited May 13
    yirara wrote: »
    perryc05 wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    perryc05 wrote: »
    First of all, look into Asian style cookery as they have so many recipes where food goes a very long way and it's not usually expensive to purchase the base ingredients.
    If you have access to an Asian supermarket check that out. You can often get things there for a steal -- not only the food items and condiments but cooking implements and utensils are also very well priced.
    Some staple items in my household are Thai curry pastes and tins of coconut milk. These can be used to make a simple simmer sauce that you cook veggies and protiens in which can then be served up with rice or noodles.
    You can freeze curry leftovers for months if you make in bulk.
    Stir-fries are also a good option and you can make large batches which reheat pretty well.
    Outside the Asian sphere soups are always an excellent option which can make pasta, veggies, beans and meat go a long way. If you need more Americana on a budget check out the WolfePit as this YouTuber has lots of very cheap meal vidoes here:
    https://www.youtube.com/hashtag/budgetmeal
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnJm8wC-ABOvOn2piAt2WYg

    When I have been in hard times I often purchased meaty soup bones. I would boil up the bones for several hours, take the meat off and then use the broth and flaked meat for a number of meals.

    Raw meaty soup bones make the most amazing stock!

    I save cooked bones in the freezer for stock, or make stock with the carcass from a rotisserie chicken. I simmer in the crockpot for at least 8 hours. FAR superior to store-bought stock.

    People in the Boston area in search of an Asian supermarket should check out Kam Man - fabulous prices and selection!

    http://www.kamman.com/quincy

    Oh yes -- I love that. I always keep all my bones (chicken, beef, lamb, pork, ham) in the freezer. I also freeze carrot, celery, turnip, swede, parsnip, onion, garlic offcuts/peelings and any stripped herb stems as well. Every few weeks I make up a big pot of stock from these, strain it off, and bury the scraps in my garden. Lots of ways to extract food value before it's turfed out.

    All these things only work though if you have a big freezer. My freezer is so small that I can freeze 3 loafs of bread, about 6 tupperwares with precooked food, and a few portions of chicken, fish, mince or other things that are cheaper per 600g compared to 100-200g servings. Most places I've lived in Europe tend to have smaller freezers, especially when you live in a flat in a town. Plus those things eat up tons of electricity, which is a reason why many people don't have big fridges (apart from space, and people eating more food you can't freeze well compared to meat) I don't know how much electricity 8hrs of crockpot costs, but electricity prices here are currently over 30 Eurocent per kwh, thus if you've short of money it might be a lot cheaper to buy a pack of 10 stock cubes for 60 or so cents.

    Fair enough. Stock cubes are totally fine. I was a chef for 18 years and I still use them. It is all dependent on having the space in the fridge and freezer. Slow cookers have very low current draw. Also modern fridges and freezers are (in the main) more efficent than they have ever been. At least here in Australia we have an energy efficeny rating system which indicates which models are more energy efficient at the time of purchase:
    https://www.energyrating.gov.au/retailers-tradies/fridges-and-freezers
    I'm not sure what standards and initiatives occur elsewhere and of course the size is another factor. Eating cheap just may not be part of the general European experience. In this case I would be doing more Asian style food.
    Here are some power calculations about slow cookers: https://littleupgrades.com/electricity-slow-cooker/
  • sarabushby
    sarabushby Posts: 651 Member
    edited May 19
    I can’t recall the names and in any case it’s probably something different in the US, but we have various apps that are designed to eliminate food waste.
    One people post up excess/unwanted items and others collect, the other you can signup to collect from cafes, restaurants, supermarkets at the end of service what they would have otherwise have to throw out. Granted it’s hit and miss but I’m sure if you could find similar it would save some pennies (or cents even).

    Ah! Olio and ‘too good to go’ are the ones I was thinking of !