Thursday, August 25, 2011

Defending the Deal

A friend read my post a few days ago and said she thinks I could still get by cheaper if I didn't buy fresh meats and vegetable.  It was suggested that I might try packaged frozen meat and veggies. Well, I think I mentioned that I do stock packaged frozen veggies in the freezer. I have meat in the freezer as well but I don't buy the frozen varieties simply because they are more expensive.  If I purchase the frozen boneless, skinless chicken breast, I could spend anywhere between $9 and $12 bucks.  Yet I can spend much less by putting a little effort into the bone-in, fresh.  Here's an example of what I do with them. I do have to warn you, it's raw. Lol. I hate dealing with raw chicken but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!

$1 per pound bone-in breast

Deboned (butchered by me)

Leaves 6 large breasts (with tenders)

Separated by waxed paper and ready to freeze.

The bones are baked and then boiled.

Results in rich chicken stock for another dish.
As you can see, I try to use most everything to maximize my dollar and I keep that in mind when purchasing a product.

Vegetables are another way to save.  Although I do buy frozen, I like to freeze my own when I find a good deal in the produce section.  I will use peppers as an example. We like the packaged frozen fajita mix of green and red bell peppers and onion strips.  It cost anywhere from $2.50-$3.00 depending on the brand.  Because we use them for more than fajitas, they last us a while and this is a good deal.  Every now and again, I find red bell peppers and green on sale and buy several.  I don't like to store all of them in the fridge because I risk forgetting them and they go bad very quickly.  To prevent this, I leave only a couple out for fresh eating. The others are chopped or sliced and then frozen.  I recently found green peppers for $.49 each and red bell peppers for $.88 each.  I sliced them along with an onion (we buy onions in bulk) and put them in the freezer.  I spent less than half of what I would have spent on the frozen package.

Now when it comes to fresh, I almost always peruse the online ads before heading out the door. Most times I find good deals....other times not. But even if the price is not the best, I get it if it's something we eat all the time.

Small, but two for $.88
Let's use lettuce as an example.  The price on lettuce seems to fluctuate more than I care for, but we eat a ton of salads (in this heat who doesn't?) so I like to have it on hand for those quick dinners. Sometimes the heads are not as large as I would like but I have to remind myself that I've saved money on several other items and this is something I know we will use.  Sometimes I can be too cheap and talk myself out of it but once I get home, I kick myself for not picking it up.

So, I hope I gave good examples of cheap yet healthy food habits. And again, I  apologize for the raw chicken picture. Hope it doesn't turn you off! Lol. Have a good day!

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