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Don’t get your knickers in a knot, I used to do this shit all the time. And now I feel like doing it again. It’s my damn blog and I’ll write about whatever I want. Or in this case, whatever someone sort of half-assed requests.

My new pal Sian (I apologize that my keyboard is a racist bastard and won’t make the correct bits above your A) over at My Purse is Closed and I were talking this morning about being broke. For some reason I mentioned making killer Eggplant Lasagna last night and we started talking food and food tips.

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Incredibly ugly, but really very tasty. If anyone is actually interested, I’ll type up the recipe. And then translate it for you. My grandma wrote pieces of it down before I was born, and then I went and fucked around with it. But I digress, the idea was inexpensive food that doesn’t taste like turds. I think several folks are searching for tips on that right now.

So here are some of my tips for keeping the food costs on the down-low:

  • Keep staple items like rice, potatoes, ground beef, broth or stock (chicken and beef if possible), milk, and the cheese you like on hand.
  • Buy meat when it’s on sale and then buy as much as you can comfortably afford AND have room for in the freezer. We buy in bulk and then portion it out at home.
  • If your area does grocery ads for the different stores, look through those to see what’s on sale each week. Then…
  • Make a weekly menu based on what you already have on hand and what you can get on sale that week. Your grocery list should be based on the bits you’re missing for your menu plus the minor household junk we all end up needing each week.
  • Cook seasonally, and by that I mean, certain foods tend to be cheaper during certain times of year. Take advantage of that.
  • Some things are better cooked BIG. If you’re going to take the time to make spaghetti sauce, you might as well make extra and freeze it. Later all you’ll have to do is defrost it in the microwave and boil some noodles. Soups that don’t have noodles in them are another perfect food to make in quantity and then freeze.
  • Don’t go overboard on convenience foods. I prefer to buy the little envelopes to make my peach tea than to buy individual bottles of it. It’s cheaper that way, and better for the environment. I mix my 2 quarts of tea in recycled 2 quart bottles that once held fruit juice.
  • Speaking of convenience, it’s actually way more convenient to buy your snacks for work at the grocery store than to get them out of the vending machine. I’m quite fortunate in that I’ve got a mini-fridge in my office for beverages and left-overs and a file cabinet that is affectionately known as The Snack Cubby. I keep crackers, cookies, extra fruit cups, Ramen noodles, etc in there so I really never have an excuse to order delivery.
  • Don’t think that every dinner has to be gourmet. It’s not uncommon for us to have sausages cooked on the stove, a veggie out of the freezer, such as green beans or broccoli, and either a pouch of noodles or instant mashed potatoes. It’s nutritional, fast, and still fairly tasty. I like easy food that tastes good.
  • If you have a BBQ grill, learn to make that thing your bitch. In the heat of the summer, nothing is nicer than not having to heat up the whole fucking house making dinner. We grill a ton. I do chicken, sausages, burgers, salmon, kebobs, pork steaks, and lots of veggies. We even do a sausage/potato/onion/red pepper thing on the grill in an aluminum pan. Works beautifully.

Wow, I kind of went overboard with that…