The secret of cheap groceries by Anita Sands Hernandez
A lot of poor people who are chubby, ill, spending megabucks on doctors, whine " what can I do? I'm poor. I eat junk food cuz it's cheap!" That is a shoddy rationale. It just won't wash. The BigMac meal is 4$ for one person. I can buy a WHOLE chicken for .79c an lb, and a bunch of raw spinach or two bunches as it cooks down, Smother greens with butter garlic and a tsp of AMINO BROTH. Better than soy sauce, no headache. For that 4$, I can feed eight people at a fabulous, joyous meal, I cook up a pot of basmati rice, we split a bottle of red wine and it becomes a memorable party. YOU MISS ALL THAT when even one member of your family spends 4 bucks on a BIG MAC MEAL !
Like Junk food, snacks can take a serious bite out of your life. CHIPS are extremely costly and 2$ worth of trans fats is something you don't want to pay to have in your life. Candy is costly although I find these big 8oz Hershey bars on sale for 1.59c and I snap them up, nurse 'em over a week.. But the reliable candies I eat are: soak dried figs in lemon and water in cup in fridge. Every time you want a sweet, take one. WOW! Lemon sure improves the thing! But a good Kadota fig, the light kind, amazing when reconstituted. Now, another handful of TV watching sweetness, with crunch is HONEY NUT CHEERIOS. Bought on sale with coupon. Throw a 1/3 cup in a saucer. But cereals mean super markets. It is possible to live without markets, with a goat, a few pigs, you can easily google up websites see A YEAR WITHOUT GROCERIES website,written by folks who make everything from scratch and blog about it. Very inspiring. I have to buy basics, rice, milk, eggs, nuts, meat coffee and then make something out of those items. "YES I AM CHEAP!" We are proud to say it! click here and read the great ideas of one frugalite the YES I AM CHEAP guy or GIRL. It is the wonderful "YES I AM CHEAP" website which I ADMIRE! And you will too, and learn from that writer, researcher. In fact, make yourself a bowl of pudding and gnosh it down while you hit the various pages at that wonderful website.
BEST EVER PUDDING TO READ A CHEAP SITE BY. I can make a pot of rice pudding up in a half hour and (as I live alone), cool it, baggie it up in small bags for the freezer, thaw one an hour before eating. But if you're going to read the YES I AM CHEAP SITE, go make a pot of this RECIPE now and down it while you read. THAT INFORMATION will really stick to your ribs! Cook up some white rice (basmati or jasmine or even leftover rice). Add a lot of milk, half and half, dried coconut, raisins, cinnamon one or two beaten eggs, orange rind, nutmeg, sugar, simmer lightly a short while, cool add any liqueur on hand like almond liqueur, coconut milk, even whiskey or vanilla, or almond flavoring, and add blanched, chopped toasted almonds. WOW!!! Gnoshing while watching "THE GOOD WIFE" CBS Sunday nites my ideas of happy hands, mouth, brain. My other fave MI5 is too thrilling for snacks. You'd choke.
ALMONDS AS A FOOD GROUP- Aurevedic doctors recommend you get skins off as it's too astringent. They give stomach lining PAIN! So Soak nuts l hr, the skins slide off, you can shoot an almond across the room doing that. So I lie in bed watching tv, the bowl of nuts that soaked all day with me. I use garlic cloves raw, nibbling the edge then eating a nut. Or arugula. Or I use peanut butter off a spoon. I make a snack meal out of them. Or add a few dates, they're dessert. Another thought: dry the soaked nuts for a day...then, toast with amino broth, tamari or Braggs brand. If you want snacks, But raw they are really good for you and as filling as a steak. Eat with bit of a lemon-soaked dry fig. Or dates. Or dry well, chop, make into NUT PATTIES.
THE ART of the BROWN BAG LUNCH. Save yourself 4k a year for sure.
TV DINNERS are mega costly and Banquet at a dollar was ok but no longer. They undercut their own recipe for cheapness. So I 'fake up tv dinners with leftovers. Look the same as I save packaging trays. Foil is foil. Or use plastic wrap or leftover produce bags. Good healthy FOOD is CHEAP. I'll prove it here, today, right now so keep reading.
I do understand that poor people tend to chow down on a lotta starch which creates Alzheimer's, they tell us, now. Must be the same mucus that clogs lungs, sinuses clogs brain! Noodles, macaroni, taters are indeed cheaper than vegies, fruits or meats but you don't have to go that route, plus chemicals PUT in with those RAMEN NOODLES can KILL YOU: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/05/ramen-nutrition-information-salty_n_5621918.html and http://www.westword.com/restaurants/the-top-five-reasons-why-ramen-noodles-are-tasty-little-death-traps-5768068
Another thing: refined Starch gives IBS or gluten sensitivity and ultimately DIABETES which is super costly as well as expensive! And LETHAL. Using numbers, we'll prove that going short on the costly stuff, finding it in secret CHEAP WAYS....you can achieve a diet upgrade and even a BUDGET upgrade. Buy buckwheat SOBA noodles at Asian market, keep in freezer so when you want to cook up a pot of broccoli and don't want to do my triple cream recipe which is a tad fatty: (butter, yogurt and chunks of cheese as well as garlic,) you can do your noodles, ginger, dried mushroom chicken broth, or make a fish broth (I buy cheap fillets, frozen, rinse and simmer with broccoli...) one egg, onions together with tamari and sesame oil and broccoli and that's ASIAN SOUP.
CARB ADDICTS LIKE US KNOW that 4 bucks for a box of cereal, (up to 5$ these days for Grape Nuts or Granola) is highway robbery! No way we can buy less than a POUND of food for 5$. I make it a habit to buy nothing that is MORE than a buck a pound. Most breakfast cereals including most oats are costly and worse, clogging. We tend to get sniffles from all the gluten in 'em. Upgrade to quaker oats on sale, not instant, old fashioned... and make your own granola. And stay away from all flour based products. Switch to Bible bread! It's everywhere now. (made with Whole grain that is soaked overnight until it sprouts and is alive. Then the acid unleashed is rinsed out.) The grains are drained, then ground into live dough.) At the supermarket here in Calif we get EZEKIEL 4:9 from Nature Valley or Nature sunshine or someone. and other brands, bon marche ($3.29) at the Healthfood Store! No need to eat white bread cuz it's half the price of dark breads, when it makes you mucusy, sick and fat. Never put anything in your mouth high on calories and low in nutrition. Especially if it has toxic factors. Every chance to eat is a chance to invigorate the body. It's time to get sick of being fat, and upgrade all our usual food choices to the THINNING, healthfood version.
THERE's PLENTY you can do about being fat, sick and poor. FRUGAL & healthful meals confer energy to jazz up your entire life so you can earn more money. You're only as good as the nutrients sailing around in your brain! Food upgrades are not costly; they aren't even HARD. You won't have to bust your budget or spend elbow grease to have health and frugality combined, just make some wee changes.
DITCH POTATOES AND WHITE RICE. Low nutrition, high carbs, drive you toward diabetes. Get brown basmati rice at the ethnic market. For a long while, my 99c store had two lbs of brown rice for 99c. a half buck an lb. ---but no longer. Brown Rice generally has gone beyond the 1 buck an lb mark. Brown rice has huge amts of minerals and Vit B. And for that reason it's highly perishable. Wherever it IS, rats will eat it. They won't touch white rice. So it's harder for warehouses to keep. But you must eat brown. White is a waste of time, nutritionally speaking. I mean, if a rat won't eat it....why should you?
Just to feel good about paying ETHNIC MARKET PRICES for rice, first Check Whole Foods POSH MARKET for bulk rice, bagged rice. Get a sense of price, then go to a Persian, Middle Eastern or Indian market, see when the whole brown rice is on sale.. Many healthfood stores buy brown basmati from Hindu importers. Check oriental markets too. My fave SESAME OIL is 6$ a half oz at super market. For l0$ I buy a two quart can of it, keep it in fridge..I season all savory dishes with toasted sesame oil. It has that umami flavor food requires.
Not all stores have brown rice basmati but you can ask them to stock this super food. No super market will ever have the two quart sesame oils however. This rice is brown as it didn't have the nutritional HUSK GROUND off, 'polished'. Grinding takes off the brown layer thick with VITAMIN B. Brown rice has had chaffy/fibrous husk removed but the second, outer layer is brown pigment, real high in vit B. White rice had that POLISHED OFF. You can buy rice polish at healthfood store though, put it in your cookies and cakes, homemade noodles.
I avoid WHOLE FOODS for everything! My gal pal was in a hotel her brother managed, very posh and costly so for two months while she babysat bro twixt surgeries, she ate at WHOLE FOODS deli, fresh/ ready to go 3x a day and came back to her home town, she herself became ill, went straight into surgery. Too many dishes with blackpepper. Her duodunum and bile ducts went out. But I used to love Whole Pay Check. I used to find EGGS at below supermarket price there, and also the 2 quart size of plain, full-fat yogurt at a low price there, they were acquired by a Texas Corporation and it's sheer exploitation ever since. In fact, I emailed WHOLE FOODS (or WHOLE PAY CHECK as some call it,) LAST MONTH. (First time I'd been there in ten years.) telling them what was wrong with the TWO PRODUCTS I had just purchased. I only bought two things and BOY was I SHOCKED! HOUSE BRAND Peanut butter that had no taste at all. Krogers/ Ralphs super markets has a TWO DOLLAR natural p-nut butter with HONEY that is tasty as can be but now I moved on to only pnut butter with no hydrogenated fats whatsoever.As doc said my chol was 350.
Second product, and the worst of all, surpassing PNUT butter in toxins and BADNESS...their WHOLE FOODS BIBLE bread. Their own, in-house brand, had AUSTIN TX headquarters label on it, (Did it travel to SoCal?) Get tuckered out on the trip? It was very very expensive yet this loaf of near black bread was SUB PAR for any 'bible bread' out there. It was GUMMY AND VERY VERY SOUR. More sour than French sour dough! It was THICK DOUGH like old world PUMPERNICKEL which can give you lock jaw! That kind of gummy! ATROCIOUS!
And it was their OWN IN HOUSE brand, the only BIBLE BREAD that they SOLD. No alternative. My way or the Highway! It was darker than the darkest European pumpernickle you ever saw. Dry it out, you could make fenders of it, firm mattresses. Shock absorbers. MY regular super market brand (EZEKIEL BIBLE bread is distrib at all top chain markets,) avail. at a way better price, (BY 2016, it was 5$ too high for me.) it is good, made of 14 grains, tastes divine espec when one buys the Sesame flavor which toasts up into crunchy heaven. THEY DID NOT even OFFER THAT BRAND! They're trying to grab the whole BIBLE BREAD market for themselves. Force THEIR brand down our throats and out thru our wallets!
I WROTE THEM MAD AS A WET CAT. I wanted to be heard --so I clearly said I didn't want my money back, I wanted to tell them they HAD to 'fix' or upgrade their product as word would get out, PAY MORE MONEY, GET HORRIBLE STUFF? is that logical? ! And previously, I had regarded Whole Foods highly. And this product was SUB PAR! No answer. Emailed it to their contact their 'board' their public email... nothing. I deduce from this that COMPETITION makes for better quality and better price. NOBODY really competes with Wholefoods so they get away with murder. People really have to step in with this arrogant chain of shops.
But do seek BIBLE BREAD at Supermarkets. Demand they get EZEKIEL brand. DITCH ordinary BREAD, ditch ALL FLOUR products and baked goods! (*Click on that URL, on why GLUTEN is bad, see why!) In fact a whole new way of baking desserts with gluten free grains, nuts, has evolved. I saw it on Martha Stewart show and wrote it up (BABYCAKES DESSERTS!) . For your breads, buy whole grain flourss like millet, brown rice, and buy healthfood store 'flourless" bible bread made entirely of whole grain (soaked, overnight, rinsed well, drained then triterated in a VITA-MIX grinder). Try making your own bread now that grain has doubled in cost in one year. Read MAKE YOUR OWN. Next, always toast your bread so it provokes saliva which is how starches are digested. Chewing starches well so they are soaked in spit, i.e. ptyalin enzyme, assures you digest grains & get all those minerals into your BRAIN! Wheat just doubled in price, In 2006, it cost 4$ a bushel, in mid 2007, it's 9$ a bushel. So never more than now is it time to leap into breadmaking. It's incredibly easy and fun. Many cooks find it the most addictive of kitchen pleasures. I have not been able to find the true FLOUR-less recipe online. Bible bread is described as a mixture of grains, legumes, and I found recipes for it, but they entail FLOUR. Perhaps you could find the grains in the recipe, hole, and use a vitamix to grind the soaked, rinsed grain to turn it into dough. Here are the recipes: http://www.razzledazzlerecipes.com/cooking/bible-bread.htm
GOOGLE UP online recipes for bible-bread. Some people make it without a VITAMIX.
To get healthy is it necessary that we SHOP ORGANIC? NOt unless cancer runs in your family and pesticides are really dangerous! Washing produce well takes care of most of the pesticide residues. A basin of soapy water to dissolve the oils, then a rinse and a dry in rack, and into fridge when dry!
My Mexican super market chain, VALLARTA were rumored to be ex pot importers/ dealers from Mexico who laundered their money with ONE store, hit it big, so they went straight and God rewarded them. Today they have 26 stores. Jack cheese is on sale once a month $1.99 an lb. Buy it freeze it, use a piece, rub smear with fresh garlic, you have GARLIC JACK that is 8$ an lb even at Krogers chain super market. One thing I will pick up on sale at my huge Kroger Super market is the AGED CHEDDAR CHEESE which has more flavor than the other varieties. Whereas all artisan cheeses are 7$ an lb, the Kroger jack cheese and cheddar are $3 a pound on their sales, which are very regular. The trick is to pick it from under the pile, in back, down, next to the fridge unit as cheese on top, exposed to the market's air --especially the jack--, has gone SOUR. Ditto with Yogurt. Milk, sour cream etc. Pick from the Back of unit.
COPY THE YOGURT - BUY a 32 or 64 oz YOGURT on sale. Always around 2$ an lb if on sale. I go to Lebaneese or Persian markets. In SOCAL these are the size of chain markets. I buy this first TIME, then COPY THE batch the REST OF THE YEAR. Throw a heating pad up in cupboard, where the large dishes are. Use last few tbspons yogurt to start a new batch.SMALL BATCH or google up ways to do big batches. You'd have to mickey mouse a heater under say, l00 old yogurt cups.
BREAD is the staff of life only if it's sprouted grain. (Cuz if it ain't, it's the staff of death. Yep. All that pneumonia, --the senior's pal as it kills em comes from MUCUS you ate in your flour. Milk powder is the second PNEUMONIA creating product. Tiger's milk is an old time healthfood from sixties by Adelle Davis? LETHAL!) In the sixties I used it daily and had to have doctor do a lavage to my sinuses.(My healing tricks were, no more flour milk and fast one day on fruit while I stuck onion slivers up nose,tickled sinus making it expectorate.)
Really spectacular Bible breads are now available at super markets. I find that if I shop at 8 a.m, the bakery gal is going thru the loaves, finding DATED ones, stacking them in a basket for the mark down shelf. On the day-old shelf, they're half price. One can buy BIBLE BREAD at Whole Foods but we've all heard the joke: Whole Foods, whole paycheck. The humor seems exaggerated, until you shop there or at some other natural foods market. I don't know about you but pouring my money into their cash register doesn't make ME healthy! KROGER chain has BIBLE bread. THANK YOU GOD! Only 20c more than Trader Joes.
You can go to WHOLE FOODS if you have discipline and frugal skills because if you don't know what you can get products for elsewhere, you'll spend $100 bucks on an impulse purchase of organic coffee beans when all you came in for was an apple. I find their bulk grains/ pulse, nuts affordable. Find their cheap, real culture 32 oz yogurt priced low. The great organic eggs which beat all other shops in taste and price are good there. So where is it written that we must buy their croissant, or have their pricey, artisan cheeses or organically grown coffee beans? Less pesticide and they charge more money? Go figure. I'll stick to my small list of things that actually are cheaper at the WHOLE FOODS shop. Eggs, Yogurt, bulk nuts, grains, Bible Bread, and get my fruits & vegies elsewhere and make my own egg salad and skip croissant and other flour foods altogether. CARBS give ALZHEIMERS it turns out.
So continue to shop big chain super markets. And they are the only shops to have BENT CAN shelves so I like that about them. Coffee at $1.50 a can? Beans at 39c a can? WOW! Catfood reduced to 20c? Then the coupon thing. Collect those coffee coupons in the ads for the major super markets, carry your folder with you in your shopping cart. Or in your purse, a collection of coupon envelopes, (PAPER, CAT food, HUMAN FOOD, COFEEE/ SHAMPOOS/ TOOTHPASTES, all organized.) Leave the packet in the car so you can take it in to the store with you, every time you go. When you see some brand is on sale, and you also have a coupon, snap it up. I even snap up things on the bent shelf and use coupons to get double down savings.
ALWAYS STOCK UP ON THE CHEAPEST HEALTHFOODS, Never let them run out on your shelf. If these goodies are in the fridge you will eat them: brown rice, lentils, beans, peas, barley. I am told whole wheat is very hard to find, even at feed stores. See if you can locate it, split the bushel with other families (to make bible bread.) I see bent cans of PORK & BEANS, at 69c, I grab them. An African American woman at the bean shelf cued me how to make it primo: A shot of barbque sauce in each of the two servings you'll get. Dinner for 35C!
Start paring down your cravings. Where you can capture a delicious resolution to a craving by making or baking it yourself, do so. My neighbors tree had so many crunch apples that I have to run out and get brown sugar and flour to make a pie. As I live alone now, I cut the cooled pie into 12 slices, freeze individually. Not a jot less tasty thawed, twice a week.
Upgrade what you snack on. Sure, you could bake your own baguettes but flour is not a healthy food. So get Bible bread. Pay for it, it's costly unless you have a food mill and can make your own...then use your 2$ Nut butters or spread butter and your homemade low sugar jam on it, and skip the white flour with sat fats altogether.
A PERFECT PROTEIN food for everybody is your FRESHLY MADE WHOLE FAT YOGURT! YUM! Make it yourself. EZ! Bring milk almost to a simmer. Turn off, cool to body temp. Even a bit hotter, you'll kill the culture. Whisk in remnants of your old yogurt, set on heating pad in cupboard where plates are. Shut the door for five hours. BETTER, the crock pot? Line it with heating pad, then some toweling or rags, then the yogurt container. Same heating pad is used under my feet in winter.
Healthfood stores have Yogurt at competitive prices & Bible Bread there is also quite reasonable. You can seek these at chain supermarkets, espec if it's with a COUPON or on the weekly sale. Greek, Arabic, Iranian markets have better yogurt, lower price, sometimes on sale under 2$ for a 32 oz. container.
As I mentioned above, there's one way bible bread can turn up on sale, and daily too. I visit the 'half price' shelf for baked goods as usually at 8 am, my market has a few loaves of EZEKIEL 4:19 Bible bread that hit their expiration date. Take note of expiration date on this pricey loaf, be there that morning! I freeze loaf immediately so there's no problem there.Even full price, I freeze that too! You can't always see mold spores! Remove slices that I need toast them and bag goes back in freezer.
CHEESE SECRETS- When confronted with major chain cheese, yes the monterey jack, cheddar are really nice, a lb for $3.50 but a French woman at the cheese counter tipped me, only get the aged sharp cheddar, the rest have no flavor. Well not NO FLAVOR but SuperMarket chain COWS are not known for full flavor milk!
KEEPING CHEESE. Cheese left in the fridge goes bad, it dries out, it gets green fur growing on it, so cut it in four pieces, freeze 3 in ziploc baggies. (I wash my baggies with strong detergent, hot water, prop upside down on my 2 foot long carving fork or knife and re-use when totally dry so they're very cheap to use for years on end.) But check the BIPHENOL content as clear plastic... well! You know. Next, Before you put cheese in baggie, cut off a slice for that very night's dinner, (to melt on vegies, to put on toast squares,) but the BIG POUND BLOCK (divided) back in the freezer, wrapped in plastic, cold as an ice cube!. An hour before you want to give someone a slice, (teaches everyone to think ahead,) partial thaw to cut thru it, cut off what you need, refreeze. That $3.50 you spent for an lb of big supermarket brand cheese will LAST. THROWING away food with fur on it is throwing away money.
CHEESE TIPS: If we didn't win the lottery, what to do about that big slab of Garlic cheese we crave?. Well, I can go without SONOMA JACK GARLIC CHEESE for weeks or months on end as it is mucus forming and it tends to give seniors gout. Cheese is like wine; it should be used rarely or just as a condiment on top. Cheese was costly and it grew green mold as I'm alone now, however I finally found a way to have cheap cheese so I began to buy a brick, keep it in the freezer, tightly wrapped the rest of the time. It won't mold. I will buy it when there's a cheese coupon out there or on sale at a big chain super. I smother each hunk I cut off with smushed garlic from the press (throw the cheese on toast or corn tortillas, add salad, olives it's a meal.)
Why pay 7$ an lb. for that SONOMA JACK? I used to cuz I had to have my SONOMA GARLIC JACK which is very WOW! TRES CHERE is all. Nobody else makes it, either. Then it hit me. How diff is the basic cheese you get elsewhere from that Artisan stuff when you can flavor it yourself with garlic or basil or the other herbs they use. A squeeze on the cheese is no biggie. I own a GARLIC PRESS so now I squeeze raw garlic on the 5$ an lb KROGER market chain cheese and stick it in quesadillas, cheese melts, omlets or broccoli relleno (egg batter, tomato sauce around each florette,) and my own garlic jack is delicious and very affordable. Garlic was made for cheese, ya know? Don't even tell the kids you're doing it, they'll just think your quesadillas or cheese sands are better than usual.
Today, I carried my cheese coupon to the supermarket, found all the California cheeses were 9$ a pound. My coupon was for Progresso sliced packaged cheeses, but even a COUPON didn't get me a lot of savings on packaged sliced cheese, if you calculated the ounce price. So instead, I picked a big whole pound brick of Colby CHEDDAR mixed with Jack like a ZEBRA cheese, from Minnesota, cost $3.50 a half pound, vowing to take good care of this chunk of INVESTMENT CHEESE, in the FREEZER, tightly wrapped so it wouldn't dry out once opened, or absorb flavors. Went home and had two cheese quesadillas. To get that flavor of the Fancy Sonoma Jack Garlic cheese, I smashed a clove of garlic into them. A savory bellyfilling triumph and as I never touched cheese with my fingers, just used a sterile knife, and rewrapped it in a clean plastic bag and put it in Freeze as last time I bought cheese I put it in the BUTTER section of the fridge, that little door, however it did not stay pristine. In a few days I had tad of mold WHICH WOULD SPREAD. That time, I cut mold off, FROZE the sucker.) From that day forward, I freeze my cheese! (I live alone now, four kids moved on. If kids were in the house, I might freeze half, wait til they'd eaten the one in Butter section, then moved the frozen one down into it.)
With Freezer Tech, I don't have to eat it all in a week! I may get another 20 meals of of it, (grated on vegies, 33c cheap frozen burritos, on home made pizza where I get MY TOPPINGS: eggplant, onions, garlic, anchovies in the sauce,) all before that brick is history.
THE BEST TORTILLAS: Only Mexican super markets have the pure, yellow corn tortillas, no preservatives at all, no cellulose which unfortunately all super market tortillas ONLY offer. My Mex market charges $1.80 for 3 dozen preservative free yellow corn tortillas! I separate them into 4 plastic bags, Fold top down til airtight and freeze three!) Then I make a batch of salsa verde to dollop inside of my quesadillas. (simmer Tomatillos, jalapenos one minute, drop into fried onions, garlic, add cilantro, salt ) Ingredients are very cheap! You can't buy this stuff anywhere. They have red salsa but not the preferable green. I'd freeze it, too, if you notice spoilage, throw a chunk on hot food, it melts. But then I realized m veins were getting clogged and I wasn't supposed to have inorganic calcium which is what they soak dry corn in to get tortillas. I had to quit my fave food group. (*I am watching my iris of eye to see if the arcus senilus, calcium in brain clears up). No way I'd ever supplement calcium either. Again.
HIGH PROTEIN FISH SOUP, ORIENTAL STYLE - A feast in a bowl, and I always seem to get two bowls so one is for midnight. MY KOREAN SUPERMARKET has frozen pollock fillets at 99c, an lb, in 3 lb bags. It's gone up to $1.50 in 2010. RINSE NITRATES off, Take a fillet a day, make my ORIENTAL SOUP with SOBA NOODLES and Broccoli, ginger, chile, using their ORIENTAL SEASONINGS like soy sauce that is mainly soy, no MSG, check the label. Soba noodles are on sale there, 3 lbs for 5$ and that'll last me a month. I keep them bagged in freezer. The sesame oil and soy sauce and tiny sliced or grated ginger root are the special seasonings, greens in season go in the soup part, kale, chard, spinach.. Broccoli of course. Tofu goes in after soup is made, in small chunks to kick up the protein gramages. As I cook chicken for cats I have tons of clarified chicken broth in fridge all the time. So noodles, fish, onions, ginger & broccoli are simmered in broth. Might put toasted sesame seeds and scallions on top. LATELY, I Note that I can't rinse nitrates off those frozen fillets that come in a stack from CHINA. A food I used way too much. These fillets come from CHINA, the same people who gave you plastic in catfood! The nitrate headache was the key. I rinsed thoroughly and didn't have it! Fail to rinse, right after you eat, brain swells up and hurts. I really MUST CATCH MY OWN FISH. which thank God is the most fun you can have without chocolate or boyfriends.
THE ETHNIC MARKET HABIT - Take the time to walk through this kind of barrio ethnic market vs. always the WHOLE FOODS. My barrio arab market has the great GREEK YOGURT cheaper than super markets, like $2.39 for 32 oz. I need a lot on hand as I put a honey sweetened dollop on top of Pumpkin pie, a savory dollop on enchiladas, quesadillas and I throw my home made jam in yogurt for a dessert pick up, I like my yogurt a full milk product and some cream in the mix, which GREEKS do, no skim milk at all! Same market, in Dec 08 has Walnuts shelled, a pound bag for $2.99. SUPER has it 6$. Another barrio market had fresh crop walnuts in shell $1.39, also a good deal. I use walnuts on the semi baked pie crust before I pour my pumpkin in and rebake. Always lotta orange peel grated into pumpkin, some raisins too. Bake a pie once a week, freeze in slides, in plastic. If I had kids with me still, I'd have to make two pies a week. I grow pumpkins all year long. This year, an OCTOBER pumpkin decorated my living room until 1st JUNE when I boiled, peeled, froze in baggies.
CANDY- I make a great HEALTHY candy in my blender jar: Drop in seeded dates, figs, other dried fruit cranberry apricot, etc pear even...pre soaked in lemon juice, throw in pulenty of lemon rind, any nuts available, coconut then GRIND AWAY. Add Brandy or Rum. I roll in coconut, freeze in individ. wrapped plastic squares.
DRIED FRUIT- I take a dozen dried fruits out of pckg, soak in lemon/water mix in plastic container in fridge. When I want candy, this lemony sweet is divine. I keep soaked, peeled almonds ready at all times to go with em.
For these staple foods, -- dried fruit, coconut, soba noodles, humus, visit ethnic markets and WHOLE FOODS or TRADER JOES. Make a price comparison then go to the SUPER MARKET CHAIN where they offer double coupons. Don't just automatically go to the healthfood store and plonk down 9$ a lb for cheese gratuitously. A man in a recent study admitted it costs him $800 a month to purchase his groceries from Whole Foods, (WHOLE PAYCHECK he called it, I got that phrase from HIM,) and he's only buying for himself, his girlfriend and an average-sized dog that he feeds like a human. That's $200 a week between $28 and $29 a day for a man, a woman and one satisfied pet. Who can afford that? I cook for my cats and they get pork at 99c, chicken 69-99c and it's a quarter of what canned cat food costs. (40c to 55c a can that is 5.5 oz.)
People are not thinking, they're just shopping and throwing food into the basket over at the healthfood store and going broke. According to recent statistics 73 percent of the U.S. population consumes organic food and beverages at least some of the time. What's more, the research shows that it's not just the stereotypical highly-educated, high-income, Caucasian female who buys organic. African Americans, Asian Americans and Latino Americans are a fast-growing segment of organic consumers.
In fact, almost as many households with an annual income of less than $50,000 are buying organic foods, as are households with incomes higher than $50,000. This means that people who earn less are still choosing more expensive organic products. But that leaves a fundamental problem: How can you eat healthily without going broke?
To find out, let's pretend we walk thru a few stores and compare prices. Our mission: To see if a single person can eat a healthy and predominantly organic or health food diet on 7$ a day. That's $50 a week, $200 a month.
This means you have $2 for breakfast, $2 for lunch, $2 for dinner, and $1 for a snack. With that reality check, we hit the aisles.
Work the Healthy Combinations - Before pricing produce, consider healthy combinations of food that help when on a tight budget. The first is balance. About a quarter of your plate should be protein, one-third veggies, and a quarter to a third starchy carbs. For the rest, fill it out with any of the three, along with a smaller amount of healthy fats.
Combining certain foods helps complete a meal. One mainstay combination for this Healthy Eating on $7 a Day mission does not just mean beans and a grain. We can have steak, pork, chicken or eggs. (*Your veins will thank you for making meats like beef and pork occasional!) Chuck steak is $2.29 an lb. on sale. Get a big one, make little 4 oz steak-ettes which you freeze. That's how you do it. Each steak costs 50c!!!
Beans have great protein and good, complex, starchy carbs as opposed to refined starch which is useless. Special 'tips' on how to avoid gas in beans is req'd. Always combine the beans, late in their cooking stages, with chiles. Rice alone is not going to banish hunger for as much time as it does when paired with beans. Add a tiny piece of viand, you will assure yourself of a whole amino acid meal but if there's no meat in the house, it's fine to combine a grain and vegetables, topped off with a plant-based protein like almonds or tofu. (Yogi Bhajan says AUROVEDIC DOCTORS tip us to skin the almonds. Soak two hrs, peel skin off, throw away , that water is astringent, now. Eating skins is bad for your gut. ASTRINGENT.)
EAT GREENS & LETTUCE GROW STRONG: To kick up the aminos, use olives, nuts or eggs on the salad. I love egg salad, make my own mayo, always use relish, celery, chile sesame oil..serve it with the romaine that has been 'dressed.' On the side you would either have whole grain bread, or a cup of bean soup, or hummus which is garbanzo bean dip and which costs l0c an oz, and comes in 79c cans at the Iranian or Asian market. (You add your own garlic/ lemon). Buying your own sesame butter and using bulk garbanzos brings it in even cheaper. REGARDING OLIVES: My neighbor's tree gave 6 1/2 lbs, I followed the easy breezy recipe using yogurt cartons,32 oz size to do daily salt-water-brine rinse. WOW. Better than any store bought olive. MAKE YOUR OWN.
Pair vegetables with inexpensive fish. Tuna is 49c a can at 99c store. Meat is out, at least on a regular budgetary basis, for the $7-a-day shopper. Most meats and fine seafood are too expensive. Which brings us back to the produce aisle.
Veggies and Fruits- Eat dairy and fish once a week, meat about twice a week, but clearly, on $7 a day it's got to be much more of a plant-based diet because if we go look at the prices in the meat department and the fish department, even in smaller portions, a lot of those foods are pretty high dollar.
Want to break the junk cereal habit? I suggest vegetables and rice as a breakfast choice. They are balancing, they make your brain work better, they alkalize your system, they help with stress, And they have a natural sweetness.
Vitamin- and mineral-packed organic broccoli at $2.99 per pound, or approximately 60 cents a serving is affordable but at my local ethnic market, broccoli is 50c. lb now. I load up. I could blanche and freeze it, but I bag it, use it daily. The discipline is...when you bought three lbs of broccoli, you promise yourself you will serve it daily! Lots of butter, garlic and lemon so everybody adores it, cut stems right in when I chop and season.)
In January, in CALIF at least, one can put out a lot of broccoli seedlings started in a flat on TABLE on south side of house. (GARDEN INDEX) so I expect broccoli this year for free! Read CHANGE THE WAY that we GET OUR FOOD, an article. When you shop for this costly vegie, you don't need a whole pound. Buy a single stalk and don't worry about stalks, peeled cooked with the rest, they are just as delicious as the tops. Maybe MORE SO! So use the stem. A lot of people throw the stem away. Sometimes it is too fibrous, but they skin up tender & a lot of the nutrition is in the stem.
Check the price of organic cabbage, at $1.49 per pound. Thats half the price of organic broccoli, and it gets the nod. So do carrots, at 99 cents per pound. But hit the ethnic market (Asian, Iranian, Korean, ) Carrots are 33c on sale, 50c regularly. I like the 1-lb bags as I lift a dozen to feel which is heavier and always get a bag that's 1 1/2 lbs in weight that way!
Nutrient-dense chard, spinach and kale, broccoli when organic are more expensive at $2.49 per pound, but they're economical because a little goes a long way. Buy these items at an ethnic market, you'll pay a third of that price. You have to wash off pesticides in sink. Dry in colander, then bag and fridge.Grow it yourself, you save money to buy a country acre. Camp there weekends. Grow a garden there.
An organic head of organic red-leaf lettuce is $2.49, or approximately 62 cents per serving. 89c a head at an Ethnic market. only l0c a serving. On sale, at the independent super market Romaine is 50c. Always weigh the object in your hand to get the heaviest one. I try ten heads of romaine before I buy. Bagged almonds, try ten pick the heaviest. Bagged up l0 lb bags of chicken legs, some are 9 lbs some are 11. Use your hands to weigh.
Cabbage greens, carrots, chards are all fabulous cooked in broth with tofu chunks, sesame oil, chile and are popular "peasant foods" in third world villages for that reason. We move on to root vegetables and the starchy group in cold weather. Root veggies: turnips, rutabagas, potatoes, yams (33c an lb, on sale at barrio market, especially around holidays in Autumn.) Above ground we have winter squash type starches. We wouldn't compare these to broccoli. I would compare them to starches like rice, they're better. They bring minerals into play. Green vegetables have less calories and more antioxidants. The root vegetables grow in the dark, under the ground but have vitamins and minerals which rice does not. Have some of both daily. If you eat potatoes, be sure to eat the nutrient-rich skins otherwise they're just diabetes food.
We turn to organic fruit. Exotic fruits would seem to be out but where I live in California, some Mexican immigrants with a little start up cash, (Rumors fly on how they got it!) created a chain of supermarkets called "Vallarta". And when V. has a special on big, red papayas, 33c an lb, I run over fast and get a couple of these big guys, a dead ripe red one for the front part of week, a greener one that will ripen in five days. These big, fleshy fruits becomes a blended drink. Spoon out flesh into blender; scoop til you hit skin. Add a chunk of banana to sweeten the drink & add the juice of one lemon, to give it sour power, blend into a drink or pudding. WOW! Sometimes you add pineapple chunks, coconut. Sometime milk, even ice cream or dates. Whizz away! The milk shake is a great breakfast, Add yogurt for bowel health.
AUTUMN GRAPES. One vine gives me thirty lbs of grapes. When they're sweet I do five lbs at a time thru juicer, throw into plastic jars, keep in fridge. IT REALLY keeps well. OJ starts fermenting second day. Grapes never do. Jar is empty and it's still the way it was on the vine. I drink OJ first and second day it ferments though. Grapes can stay on the vine for a long time before they start turning to raisins so I'm not forced to juice the whole harvest in one week or even month.
Fruit is expensive --especially organic apples so turn yours organic with a nailscrubber and soap. Fruit truly is a luxury these days but you can find bargains when you buy bagged apples, pre-packaged in plastic bags, the organic ones at $2.50 for a pound and a half, or 25 cents each, and pears for about the same price. But want a real bargain? Hit the 99c store or the ethnic market which has 3 lbs of fujis or braeburns or Galas for 99c. Barrio market 50c an lb for those. Can't beat a dime an apple, same price as in the DEPRESSION!
Bananas are a good choice at 99c store, too: three pounds for 99c.
EGGS- I go for medium, always cheaper. I always feel the various bundles, pick the heaviest. Do that with the Frozen fish, they can vary. And with all pckgs of carrots, bags of tortillas.
JUICES in bottles are costly. They aren't quite REAL, either. They're pasteurized, and loaded with diabetes provoking CORN SYRUP so I have a trick. I buy them only if there's a hefty coupon and then I cut the juice with real grapefruit juice. My bumper sticker says "I brake for garage sales," but I also brake for grapefruit trees around my California barrio. Every house has a citrus free in front which strews fruit on the lawns. I ask the neighbor, want that stuff on the lawn? They say 'take what's on the tree.' I say , no, I wouldn't but I will come every time I see things on ground. By the time I return from market I've got a dozen graepfruits or lemons bouncing around the front seat. I juice them quick and throw this sour power juice into my Strawberry/kiwi/ concord type phony juice bottles. Like a dope dealer, I 'cut' the juice. It's way tastier, way more alive and I feel holier than if I were drinking straight supermarket juice. Not to mention the cash I save!
FLAVORINGS/ SPICES - Sesame oil, Garlic and onions are my fave food spices. I eat them in everything savory. Scrambled eggs, refried beans. SESAME oil in all soups and stews. The 99c Store gives us 3 lbs of onions for 99c. Sometimes the Arab, Iranian, Mexican or Korean supermarket has onions for 25c. an lb. These markets send me technicolor circulars weekly. I keep those in my purse or coupon holder or on floor in car. There I shop the specials. Maybe I'll buy bags of six garlic heads for 99c. If any start to sprout, they get planted immediately. All your usual cooking spices are bonmarche at the 99c store. Why pay 8$ a jar at supermarket? The red savory mixture is of course something you make yourself: cayenne/ paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, celery seeds, tumeric, thyme. Also, my wealthy clients throw old spices away. I tell them all, old spice isn't a shaving cologne. It's what I'll drive over to your house to pick up AND give you a free 7 day/hourly horoscope for a few weeks (see http://www.luckinlove.com/star.htm ) and they give me the really great Spice Islands in jars.
Chile sesame oil is my fave flavor in stews, soups, and salad dressings. (try soft tofu, vinegar, chile sesame oil, as a salad dressing, whizzed in blender!) Sesame oil is very cheap at the Asian market. My local Korean market is huge, full of fabulous things. It had a quart of sesame oil for l0.99 on sale. I fridge it, pour ounce at a time into spice islands bottle, keep jes a lil bit on stove. Asian markets great for other things, dried shrooms, seaweed for soup. There's an Asian market a few miles from here that has a wall of fish swimming! They fly it in to California from CHINA in tanks of sea water! Gotta get chink fish alive cuz the dead unfortunately they DRENCH in nitrates, no headache like a nitrate headache. Some of their flavoring powders have so much MSG, same thing.
Anchovy paste is my REAL favorite for the kitchen, the best seasoning that exists for tomato or pizza sauce. Put it in salad dressings, too, mash the little fishies into your olive oil, crunchy choppped onions, mashed avocado all in the salad dressing, lemon is healthier than vinegar. No one knows why your dressing is suddenly better. Nobody knows it's a fish.
At Healthfood store, Avocados are costly ($2 each), my Iranian market has them for 50c each. Both Iranian and Mex market sell 5 Haas for a buck on sale days. That's when you load up. Pre-mixed salads ($5.99 per pound) are over my head. The concept is bewildering. How hard is it to wash new heads of salad in the sink, drain and bag? I even eat SPINACH at times when the price comes down. Ferinstance during the SPINACH poisoning of 2997, that wonderful, high mineral green stuff went for 50c a bunch at the little markets. I always pick the biggest, heaviest bunches, weighing one after the next in my hand. My ethnic super market has green peppers at 59c, an lb, ($3.99 per pound at WHOLE FOODS). I wash pepper carefully, get all poisons off.
If possible, garden with your food. How? YOU CAN GROW the center part of SPINACH in your garden! Fingernail clip off all outer leaves and plant the center with its little red root and your garden will be full of spinach! Same with onions, garlic. We use the mother plant as a bulb or cutting! Same with berries. Get the ruined boxes out on the dumpster, squish them in water, and "plant" the squished berries in potting soil in flats. You get thousands of berry plants! Squish a tomato into a glass of water. Next day, take those seeds and strain, air dry.
You could go broke at WHOLE FOODS eating Tomatoes ($1 for one). Sales at ethnic markets procure them for 59c lb.but this week, our local Mexican market chain, "Vallarta" has 'em 33c an lb. Don't fridge the little gems. Arrange on window sill not touching one another. They are meant to sweeten up at room temps! They ROT in the fridge. And why buy organic canned tomato sauce at $1.69 for 14 ounces? I buy the tomatoes for 33c an lb, fry in real olive wi. real garlic, onion and get a pound can of organic sauce 16 oz for 40c!
ORANGES at WHOLE PAYCHECK are $3 a pound, this doesn't make sense to me. I drive one block north,every alley has guavas, oranges,lemons, grapefruit. Or drive one mile to the market on back streets, one sights multiple citrus trees scattering fruit, find lemons, grapefruits, tangarines, oranges all over the ground. I've memorized where the trees are. You can't do that in MINNESOTA I'll admit but you may have an ethnic supermarket where you get a fair shake.
Seafood, Dairy and Meats- FERGAWDSAKES, Don't buy fish at WHOLE FOODS 10$ an lb. Just check the prices as you breeze by the seafood section toward the dairy section (where FRESH YOGURT with 4 cultures is cheaper than anywhere else, even an Iranian market, 32 oz costing $1.99 for years but now up to $2.50 or the 64 oz is $3.99). At WHOLE FOODS, Wild salmon is $18 per pound. If you have that kind of money, use it to buy stock in the 99c store! Tilapia, is $7.99, even at SuperMarket Chains it's soared 8 times to that price now. Fish is out, unless you
1) hit the ORIENTAL market. Asians demand fresh fish be flown in. Many stores have huge aquariums on the walls, fish swimming around inside, live. How do they catch it live and bring it to CALIFORNIA? Man Asians are smart! My market has fabulous frozen fish, too. I buy a bag of fillets for $1.59 an lb, POLLOCK is the cheapest of all the fish they offer. DELICIOUS. ( I realized that head ache was connected to the nitrates in the filets and nitrates cannot easily be washed out. It's even in fresh, raw fish if it's from CHINA. So now I rinse A WHOLE LOT! Or I visit:
2.) VALLARTA a Mex market chain had whole TILAPIA on sale at 69c an LB. Then it was 99c on sale. Now $1.39. I buy ten fish, a pound each, freeze 9. But the headache came back I realized, they come from CHINA (are farmed,) and chemical treated then FROZEN, then they're soaked in nitrates so you have to thaw in a bucket of water, or sink, keep rinsing to get nitrates off. Fry them whole, eat the skin and pull the tiny bones out of my mouth. I don't fillet the little guys! Another thing from Mex market, Chipotle peppers a buck a small can. Freeze pcs in plastic, add to every salsa or tomato dish. But i f you must shun seafood entirely as you get headaches after eating it, then quit the nitrate soaked chinese fillets. Your brain is worth more than the extra buck for fresh raw. Send your sons out to fish. Garage sale rods. Tackle boxes. Reels have to be in good condition. Rinsed well sundried after every use.
3.) KROGER foods was once a meat wholesaler before they bought 900 stores. West of the Rockies' its biggest super market chain is RALPHS They used to bring 2 lb bags of fish in by the hundred. Fairly inexpensively, too. 2$ an lb, bagged pollock fillets! It's gone up a quarter. HALIBUT is not that cheap though. WHITING is good stuff, though. Again, check the headache test. Send boys out fishing.Clamming.
4.) Canned sardines are not pricey at the 99c store. Sardines are a great way to get omega 3 oils, of the essential fatty acids needed in your diet. They're also high in calcium as bones are consumed. Whole Foods has 'em at double the price, offering a tin for $1.79. But that's 89-cent for two servings. I am incapable of eating a sardine --however I appreciate anchovies as a seasoning agent. You grind an anchovy into pizza sauce or olive salad dressing, it tastes double good and nobody knows you even used a fish. That's what ANCHOVY PASTE is for. I distrust the tin element in the tube form they sell so I'd advise: buy your anchoves fresh or salted at Asian market, tight wrap them in plastic, freeze the whole bunch like cigarettes. Take out one fishie for a new blender jar of salad dressing, grind into the mix, or mortar/pestle it into paste and slowly add olive oil if you're making a jar of dressing. NOBODY will know why your salad dressing tastes so amazingly good. HINT: Never let a child under age of 13 see you do it! If they knew little fishes were ground into .......too weird!
In the dairy area of WHOLE PAYCHECK, we discover that organic milk costs 50 cents per cup, but flavored milk that is packaged in single servings, sweetened and marketed to children costs $1.29 per cup. At 99c store, price drops to a dime a cup for homogenized, full fat milk. A gal on my frugal list had this trick for costly milk: My husband had the light bulb go on last summer as we were buying milk like crazy when the heat was umbearable - why were we buying 1% or 2% milk at $ 4.30/gallon (here in Canada we have marketing boards which keep the prices high) when we could buy homogenized milk at 3.25% for 20 cents more... we fill a glass 1/2 full and add cold water. Makes our gallon turn into two. Tastes just as good if not better than 2% milk at half price." I wouldn't cut anything you expect TASTE from.
YOGURT- You'll note that plain organic yogurt is way less expensive than sweetened yogurt, and after some searching circulars you'll find a market that has it for $1.99 for a 32 oz container. Then show the kids the yogurt jams. Make a selection of flavors, keep in fridge. CUTE LABELS. PLUMMY APPLES and PINEAPPLE/MINT. The only good cheap cheese is aged cheddar. The rest are bland. My KROGERS has it for 3$ a half lb. My Mex market chain (Vallarta,) offers Mexican JACK CALLED QUESO MONTEREY at $1.99 lb o nsale. You'll find an 8-ounce package of mild cheddar cheese for $2.99, or approximately 37-to-50 cents per serving. As we leave, we price tofu at $1.90 for 19 ounces, or 47 cents per serving. I wouldn't live on tofu, but you can have one to two meals of it a week, in soup. My Korean market always has it at 89c an lb much better price. Check the ASIAN markets in your area.
MEAT: There are no organic meats within our price range. So who cares what the animal ate during his lifetime? He's dead. What does it matter? We poor folks eat meat so very occasionally, we can dare to BUY NON-ORGANIC MEAT! Small fryers are on sale a WHOLE FOODS for $1.59 per pound. At those high prices, what you're paying is even higher really as there's so much bone in it. (Although My neighbor's dog Blinky Ramirez is a veritable garbage disposal and triterates chicken bones of their knobs, spitting out shafts which are dangerous.) By steering away from RED meat, I get my protein cheap. I go to the KOREAN market and headachey frozen pollock fillet full of nitrates you can't wash off is $1.59 a lb, but 1$ when it's on sale, a delicious fish! The only cheap one they offer. And at Vallarta ethnic markets Pollo is often 49c. an lb, and when it is, I walk out with 20-lbs. I rewrap these chicken leg quarters in small plastic bags and freeze 2 or 3 quarters thigh/legs to a bag. Bones don't bother me when they cost me 49 an lb. The Possums get chicken skin and bones. The soap makers get the fat, which I get off top of clarified broth after fridging, put in Craigs list. I meet nice soap makers that way. Blinky is the garbage disposal dog who comes in under the fence to beg. He gets the bones, chews them up and digests them like an Insinkerator with his amazing muzzle, like the Jaw of a BUICK with an overbite, four legs and a waggy tail!
Want to eat beef bottom roast at $5 a lb over at WHOLE CHECK? Beef is $1.49 at the ethnic super market. I will chop into very small pcs, so I can fry it very lightly ten seconds in garlic, add water and stew for a minute at low temp with a pre-steamed mix of vegies, throw some curry powder, garlic, chile sesame oil & cilantro on top and serve on rice or simmer it with vegies for soup to stretch it out. Buy several pounds of whatever viand is on sale and freeze it in small pckgs for later.. Ground turkey thigh at WHOLE PAYCHECK is no deal at $2.99 per pound. At the supermarket I pay 99c for a plastic bullet of triterated turkey burger weighing a pound. Great in chili or meatloaf or enchiladas or --if you like work, -- in CHILE RELLENOS w. onions/ raisins (called picadillo.) Very tasty stuff. I cook it with carrots and give it to the cats, too. POULTRY fat is not nearly as hard-tallow as beef, so is kinder to your veins. I fridge soups overnight, skim fat into coffee can. l0 cans takes about a month or two, then advert them in CRAIGS LIST on FREEBIE page "Do you Make SOAP? I will give you ten quarts of free tallow" And some URLS with soap making instructions. Meet a lot of nice, adventurous people that way.
Forget WHOLE FOODS for meat. You are better off shopping the specials at Major SuperMarket chains. When liver goes down to 89c, and Chicken quarters to 59c, and blade cut steak is $1.49 and pork shoulder is 99c, buy a lot. Cut into smaller pckgs, freeze them.
On this diet, you don't need to worry about overeating carbs because you are not going to be able to afford to. Chips are way too costly and they've toxic, oversalted, full of harmful canola oil. But if you must chip, add dip. You can get yourself into CHIP trouble if you don't put protein with your starch meal. Read ENTER THE ZONE. *clickable URL. The Zone books are summarized there. They suggest a balance that is important. Never let carbs dominate. What is going to be tricky is getting adequate protein because the protein sources are the most expensive, but that's where you are going to get your minerals.
LAST, MINERALIZE THE WHOLE BUSINESS. Get good sea salt. Hit Oriental grocery and get seaweed to add to your meals a couple of times a week to improve your mineral intake. Dulse and kelp, are expensive at WHOLE FOODS, (dulse, for example, is $4.99 per bag) a sprinkle of seaweed over a stir-fry could amount to only 31 cents. But hit the big ASIAN market, you find these items for pennies. Along with oyster flavored soy sauce (for tofu in brown sauce, with shitake mushrooms.) the dried shitake mushrooms, real aged tamari soy sauce and other goodies like fresh fish! And dashi (bonito flakes,) absolutely necessary for oriental soups. And chile sesame oil, totally needed for any meat or fish dish!
The All-Important Bulk Aisle- WHOLE FOODS always had a bulk aisle, the backbone of affordable food shopping. Here you get nuts at lower prices than big supermarket chains, organic almonds and cashews at an unheard of low price, $3.99 per pound. I find walnuts, shelled, at an Iranian market for $3.65 a pound, nibble them with dates instead of candy. Throw them into home made baked goods. TV gives me mega munchies so I'm chomping my omegas as happily as if it were fudge if I add some dried fruit to it.
Check out the flax seed to grind in your blender, throw into your oatmeal to amp it up. Nobody will know it's there. Get sesame seeds to toast, use as a topping. Toast pumpkin and sunflower seeds for kids to munch on. Get almonds, dry then toast them. These are used to make vegie burgers chopping them a bit then adding to your tofu, onion, celery, mushroom, bell pepper, creamed corn and corn bread mix to make patties. Moderation is the key to eating nuts affordably. You have to find them for a good price and use them in your snack and meat dishes along with other things.. Dont just grind away at the bag of nuts as if it were popcorn. It's ten times the calories! One meal you might say I need two tablespoons of nuts to help fancy up things. Stringbeans amandine. Vegieburgers based on almonds and toasted sesame seeds.. Cookies with walnuts in the batter.
Price out bulk organic brown rice ($1.39 per pound), remembering that at the 99c store it's 70c an lb Buying basmati at an Arab market you'll pay 70c an lb for that buttery, nutty variety of rice. A l0 lb bag is about 7.99 right now. At WHOLE FOODS, whole wheat pasta ($1.99 per pound), is pricey but probably better for you than the refined pastas available at other shops. GET A PASTA MAKER and Roll your own seminola flour, make fresh pastas. Serve with a dozen vegies in tomato sauce, with olives on top. The real deal, Ethnic markets sell good olives 3$ an lb.
Remember pasta is easy to make from scratch.
Oats while high in gluten, are useful if you make your own cookies or keep fresh cream and cinnamon in the house for steaming hot breakfasts. (89 cents per pound) Cornmeal (59 cents per pound) helps you throw together healthy pancakes, muffins. We see dried beans that translate to 30 cents per cup once cooked, and lentils at 22 cents per cup. After some searching, we find whole grain or multi-grain bread that costs 20 cents per slice. Brown rice and pasta are about the same if you buy bulk versus prepackaged, but bulk oatmeal and cornmeal are much cheaper.
Splurge Suggestions- CANDY ANYONE? Get dried fruit, on sale at ethnic markets, dried figs, dates. Get HEALTHFOOD store unsulphured apricots, cherries but they cost double. Me I soak the dried fruit, try to get sulphur out. drain. Then throw a mix of these presoaked drained dried fruits into blender or food processor with some lemon juice and lemon rind, coconut meat, (cut out of a real whole coconut, -- a buck each at ethnic markets). You get a pasty candy dough. You can add walnuts, chopped almonds toasted for one flavor, blanched for another flavor...Roll finished ball in coconut flakes which you make yourself with food processor. Wrap in candy papers, or wrap in plastic. Tissue paper. Store in glass jar. Call them pinatas. Make a rule, no more than two a day and none in the two hours before dinner!
Have an ice cream maker? - Make a custard, with milk, eggs, little salt, some sugar. Cool it down. Then add a carton of real cream, whiz it up with some fresh nectarines. Throw into those FREEZER-containers with the little SPIN WHEEL as you have to keep spinning it as it freezes to keep it creamy, non granular. Press finished ice cream into a carton, keep in freezer ready to go. Kosher salt required for chipped ice if it's an old fashioned churn means a trip to the store! CHIPPED ice hard to find, too!
Tip for Healthy Family Eating on a Budget- To feed a family of four, stretch out the protein by making chopped meat into soups, stews and chili. Try a WHITE CHILI one night to make things interesting. Chopped turkey with yellow jalapenos for heat. White beans and double douse the recipe with millet all of which will cook up white. Try meat loaf another week. Then steam peel chiles, stuff them and try Egg batter (chile rellenos). Serve fried beans,corn tortillas with that.
The Budget-Breakers: Foods to Avoid- Which foods should you avoid no matter how much you want to spend? Crackers, chips, sweetened drinks, convenience bars and juice (if you don't cut it with real grapefruit,) is like pouring money down a hole. All cost a lot and are barely nutritional. If I have a coupon, I will buy 64 oz of juice but I rationalize, I can easily juice citrus and add that fresh juice to each half glass of bottled pop or juice. Lemon and grapefruit really perk up "JUICY JUICE" and bring the cost down. (Try getting kids to do that! Yeah and if you succeed, try your hand at bilateral disarmament or rebuilding Haiti. ) What else brings the price of costly bottled juices down is coupons. I never go near juice without a coupon and without its also being on sale!
NEVER buy Crackers; they price out at $1 per ounce! Instead, take a cup of your whole grain flour, throw some melted ghee and sea salt into it, a little vegie water, a few tbspns of sesame seeds, a 1/3 tsp of SESAME OIL, roll into a ball. Fridge a half hour. ROLL THIN, throw on a baking pan in hot oven. QUELLE CRACKER. A few pennies an ounce. Store in big jar wi. tight lid! (Thrift store has 'em) And this cracker has REAL TASTE!
~^~^~^~^~~^~^~^~^~~^~^~^~ TYPICAL WEEK ~^~^~^~^~~^~^~^~^~^~^~
Tofu (20 cents), veggies (pennies), brown rice (20 cents)
or Oats (30c) cream, (25c) honey. (pennies) stir in salt, raisins, grated apple, cinnamon, honey or brown sugar while cooking your oats.
or 2 Eggs (18c if from 99C store) and hashed brown potatoes (30 cents) Homemade sausage done with 79c. an lb pork shoulder you mince with a knife (Don't want pig in MY blender!)....seasoned salt, fresh sage.
Snack: Two dates (5 cents), 12 almonds (22 cents) glass milk. (10c)
Lunch: Raw spinach salad, home made garlicky olive oil, 20c, two corn tortillas, (5c)
Dinner: Fryer chicken ($1), veggies ($1), brown rice (20 cents)
Breakfast: Oatmeal (30 cents), 12 nuts (22 cents), raisins (22 cents), dates, cinnamon. REAL CREAM (30c)
or Milk (10 cents), protein powder (20 cents) and some banana and whiz up, serve on your cereal.
Or Eggs (18 to 39 cents) and veggies ($1) Bacon has gone sky high. So grind up sausage from a single chop of pork. Sage, fennel seeds, salt, pepper, make into patties.
Lunch: blade steak 4 oz (60c on sale) Spinach salad, 20c. stale bread fried into croutons.
Snack: One organic apple (25 cents), dollop of organic peanut butter (14
Dinner: Turkey chili ($1), lentils (22 cents), veggies ($1), stock from
fryer chicken (50 cents), whole wheat berries (5 cents)
DESSERT: home made ICE CREAM, (eggs, custard, milk, cream, sugar, fruit)
Breakfast: Cornmeal (14 cents), tasty pumpkin/ sunflower seeds (30c), nuts (22 cents), real, raw honey (10cents) Make all that into a corn batter, heat butter in a heavy skillet, fry up their breakfast. JOURNEY CAKE
BAG Lunch: Chili beans from last night, inside your salad roulades, with cream chese inside. (50c.)
Snack: Veggies (20c), homemade hummus (90 cents) as a dip.
Dinner: Salad (62 cents) with chicken ($1), veggies ($1),
dressing lemon/garlic your homemade seasoning salts and olive oil ($1)
Breakfast: One egg (39 cents if organic, 10c if from 99c store), whole grain toast (20 cents), piece of
fruit (25 cents)
AT HOME Lunch: Beans (30 cents), rice (20 cents), veggies (50c)
Snack: Carrots,(pennies) cheese piece (50 cents) Wrap cheese in romaine or spinach which was buttered lightly with your homemade ranch dressing. YUM!
Dinner: Half can sardines (89 cents), pasta (49 cents), tomato sauce (16
Breakfast: Veggies (90 cents), brown rice (20 cents), sliced cashews (22
cents), sprinkle of cheese (50 cents)
Lunch: Hummus (90 cents), whole wheat bread (20 cents), lettuce leaf (30
Snack: Banana (50 cents) and peanut butter (14 cents)
Dinner: Whole wheat pasta (49 cents), veggies ($1), beans (30 cents), nuts
(22 cents), brewer’s yeast (20 cents)
Breakfast: Brown rice (20 cents), red beans (30 cents), miso (15 cents),
greens (cents.50)All greens are free in spring from parks/ yards
Lunch: Romaine Lettuce arugula and veggies dressing ($1), second half of sardine can (89 cents)
Snack: Sliced pears and apples (50 cents), cheese (50 cents)
Dinner: Brown rice (20 cents), veggies ($1), tofu (47 cents), toasted sesame seeds (5 cents)
Breakfast: Plain yogurt (60 cents), sliced apple (25 cents), coconut,
sunflower seeds or ground flax seeds ($1)
Lunch: Kale (pennies), chard, (pennies) rice (20 cents), onions (5 cents)
Kick up the protein with tofu
Snack: Roasted yam (30 cents) with butter, chopped onion . 12 cashews (22 cents)
Dinner: Soup from chicken stock ($1), lentils (22 cents) veggies ($50c), quinoa grains (20 cents), one slice whole wheat bread (20 cents) (QUINOA SALAD, has tad of mint, cukes, dressing, tomato, YUM
Healthy Investment on Eating for Less
If your family is committed to eating on $7 a days, you may want to invest in some assistance:
PASTA MAKER - Italian versions are the best. 40$
Rice cooker, as low as $27 on www.veryasia.com
Wok, between $25 and $40 on www.amazon.com 2$ at thrift store, pre seasoned too!
Glass jars for bulk items, $23 for 36 8-ounce ball canning jars but I save peanut butter jars and don't pantry my jam I freeze it, so doesn't have to be l00% sterile.
Go to www.freundcontainer.com for jars but a jar is a jar. EASY to collect thousands, free.
Extra freezer, if you get serious, $234 for a chest freezer that will hold 10 pounds of frozen food, www.appliancesworld.com. Investigate propane fueled fridges for the inflation coming on electricity
Supermarket vs. Whole Foods
You might not have a Whole Foods or comparable natural grocery near you. Here is a side-by-side comparison for many of the items covered in this Eating Healthy and Organic on Pennies a Day story:
Safeway Whole Foods 99c store
Organic brown rice .50c lb
$1.29 per pound $1.39-$1.49 per pound
Brown Basmati rice Ethnic market 79c lb.
COSTLY cheaper not basmati but brown, 3 lbs 99c
Organic bulk beans (lentils) two yrs ago, but not now. 3x that!
$1.79 per pound $1.39 per pound 25c lb
$1.99 for 19 ounces 99c w. coupon n/a
$1.90 for 19 ounces
$9.99 per pound $4.99 per pound (BULK) n/a
$ 7.19 per pound $3.99 per pound n/a
$1.50 per pound .89 per pound 99c big bunch
50c lb on sale occas.
Bulk organic oats
$1.19 per pound 89 cents per pound 99c a cannister
Bulk organic corn meal cheap n/a
69 cents per pound
59 cents per pound
$1.40 per pound, bagged 2 lbs 99c
$1.67 per pound, bagged not organic tho, WASHEM!
Organic peanut butter Cannot be found at 99c store. GRIND
$2.99 for 18 ounces your own with VITAMIX and organic
$2.99 for 18 ounces peanuts. 99c store pnut butter has lard.
So do all major brands except LAURA
Scudders! Use Coupon at Sup Market.
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Our POSTER is ANITA SANDS HERNANDEZ, Los Angeles Writer, Mother of 4 and career Astrologer. Catch up with her websites TRUTHS GOV WILL HIDE & NEVER TELL YOU, also The FUTURE, WHAT'S COMIN' AT YA! FRUGAL LIFE STYLE TIPS, HOW TO SURVIVE the COMING GREAT DEPRESSION, and Secrets of Nature, HOLISTIC, AFFORDABLE HEALING. Also ARTISANRY FOR EXPORT, EARN EUROS... Anita is at firstname.lastname@example.org ). Get a 15$ natal horoscope "my money/future life" reading now + copy horoscope as a Gif file graphic! No smarter, more accurate career reading out there!
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