Wednesday, October 16, 2013

For Those Who Pay for Their Own Groceries

I have not commented on the rash of food thefts this past weekend. Daughter C tells me it happened at the Kroger in Starkvegas-- although the Walmarts in Louisiana are getting all of the attention. The lack of shame in some corners of "society" is despicable. 

But as I try my darnedest to stay upbeat, I thought I'd pass along a few money saving tips to those of you who actually see your hard earned money slip through your fingers as you pass that check over to the nice lady at your local market.

From Most for Your Money Cookbook (Cora, Rose, and Bob Brown, Modern Age Books, Inc., New York, 1938) come these ways to stretch the food budget.
... few cooks know the advantage of snow as an ingredient, yet a cup of freshly fallen snow actually takes the place of two eggs in making a pudding light and toothsome. Likewise, snow saves on milk in making Snow Waffles and Pancakes which have a finer texture because of the chemicals released in melting-- some say it's the ammonia.
"Toothsome." Now there's a word. They include a recipe for Snowy Plum Pudding.

The Browns also remind us that jam and preserves can be cooked in a sunny window (though I don't see any instruction) and that in former days, "frugal housewives kept an iron 'stock pot' constantly stewing, into which they tossed all meat and poultry trimmings, ham bones and leftovers, to provide a continual supply of strong meat broth for soups and gravies."

From The Settlement Cook Book: Treasured Recipes of Seven Decades Third Edition / Newly Revised (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1976; originally published in 1901) a tip at which Mr. Big Food is expert:
Weekly "special" sales of meats and vegetables at your food market can provide a variety of economical bases for meal planning, even including foods usually considered high priced, such as steaks, chops, and roasts. A roast that can be served hot, then cold, then in a casserole dish or in lunchbox sandwiches can obviously have its original cost spread over several meals.
And looky here! 

Fats that are not fit for food may be made into soap.
As we have discussed many times, menu planning is an excellent way to stretch the food dollar. New Delineator Recipes: Including Ten Exclusive Recipes by Ann Batchelder Delineator Home Institute (Butterick Publishing Company, 1930) has seven pages of "Simple Menus" including these for Luncheons or Suppers (not to be confused with Dinners):

Sounds yummy!
Finally, from The American Woman's Cook Book (Ruth Berolzheimer, ed., Consolidated Book Publishers, Chicago, 1946; first published in 1938) some advise on how the "modern woman" should divide her food dollar. 
ONE-FIFTH or more for whole milk, cream, cheese and cod-liver oil for growing children. Plan to give each child 1 quart and each adult at least 1 pint of milk in some form, per day.

ONE-FIFTH for vegetables and fruits, with emphasis on green leaf and yellow fruits and vegetables. Serve at least one cooked vegetable, besides potatoes, and 1 fresh vegetable each day. Serve fruit twice a day, with citrus fruit at least once.

ONE-FIFTH or less for meats, fish and eggs, serving liver in some form at least once a week.

ONE-FIFTH for breads and cereals, especially whole grain.

ONE-FIFTH for fats, sugar and other groceries. 
By the way-- the giveaway at the Piglet is up to $750!



  1. Hello! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy reading your blog posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same subjects? Thank you so much!

  2. " in former days, "frugal housewives kept an iron 'stock pot' constantly stewing, into which they tossed all meat and poultry trimmings, ham bones and leftovers, to provide a continual supply of strong meat broth for soups and gravies."

    I suspect they were "in former days" when they used cast iron stoves for heating as well as cooking. If you're using an electric stove - and maybe even a gas stove, though gas is pretty economical in my area - your savings would be likely to be used up pretty quickly. Also remember that you have to keep adding keeps evaporating!

  3. I did a recipe last night for "Tortilla Tower"...a recipe I copied from a magazine many many years ago. The kicker is that I also wrote a note on it ... "serves 6. about .20 per serving".

    Hah. Those were the good old days!

    1 large onion
    1 clove garlic
    2 tsp chili powder
    2 tbsp oil
    1 lb hamburg
    2 cans of tomatoes
    2 cans of beans
    2 tsp sugar
    2 tsp salt

    You do the math!!

    It also has directions for cornmeal pancakes - but living in California, I use corn tortillas. Then you layer the tortillas and the mix, top with grated cheese and bake long enough to heat the whole thing, melt the cheese and brown it a bit.

    I've also changed the recipe over the years - one can of beans plus one can of corn instead of two cans of beans, and I add green pepper and some red pepper(sweet) if I have one.

    But...twenty cents a serving???? I can't even come close to that! That's only $1.20! I paid $1.00 for the can of beans yesterday, on special! (10 for $10, regularly 1.49).

    Things _have_ changed!


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