THE FRUGAL FRIDGE
There are two ways to save big money on food. The first big savings will be achieved when you learn to make your own product. You can do that with entrees, but also with staples like bread, hot salsas, green and red, salad dressing, jam, pickles, pies and cookies. You always get higher quality, most obviously in the case of salad dressing. OLIVE OIL is very cheap at a barrio market, on sale, 32 oz for 3.99. I go to big, elegant Armenian, Lebanese, Arab or Persian markets for that. To the Mexican markets for my organic yellow corn tortillas, (no preservatives,) and to the ORIENTAL markets for frozen fish fillets, dried mushrooms, buckwheat soba noodles, soy sauce, (caution on this one, causes headaches) lobster sauce, olive oil.. No super market has those prices although supers have terrific generic in house salad dressings. Most commercial dressings are only part olive and they are ten times the cost. My way, buying olive oil on sale at Arab market, garlic you squeeze in is fresh, onion pieces are raw, Braggs (which is better than soy sauce,) real LEMON JUICE fresh Oregano, drops of Worstershire sauce. Powdered mustard. NO STORE BOUGHT dressing has all that!
Sweets? Your candies are tempting in big glass jars where kids can see them. Your fruit candy ( Pinatas I call them,) of dried fruits and lemon rind, lemon juice grated coco are rolled into balls, wrapped individually, jarred. Fridged! YOUR JAM is made of local fruits found on trees in your suburb or bought on sale at the smaller non -chain markets that have bargains, special weekly offers. In 2010 I got Chilean nectarines in dead of winter 99c. In Summer, California nectarines for 59c. Early Spring I'm getting strawberries for jam making, one big pound box $1.50. Wait til you see a dozen kiwis for a dollar, then peel lemon rind into them, strips, add lemon juice, grated apple (pectin,) to thicken it, you have jars and jars of a superior jam for no money. I never sterilize I make 3 jars, freeze two.
The second way to achieve savings is to keep ANY FOOD fresh longer so there's no throwaway or staleness. FREEZING gets me two weeks out of a loaf of bread. Two months out of a lb of TOFU. a Month out of a pound of bacon. (My super market chain marks down bacon when it gets near a due date. I pay $1.49 an lb. Freeze it in a dozen little baggies and it takes one month for me to finish it. They stay fresh. I get a month out of a lb chunk of sale cheese. (Ralphs chain (KROGERS) has aged cheddar house brand, on sale very often, 3$ an lb. My Mex Market's sale price is $1.99 but not aged cheddar, I freeze it in a baggie as that much would get moldy in a week. Frozen it never does. The great BIBLE Bread (Ezekiels) gets frozen, the whole loaf. I need some, no mold, it's there. I remove slices re-seal the bag. I need Tofu it's already been cut into a half dozen chunks by me, each thrown in a baggie with what you'd need for a single bowl of soup. Once sliced it is marinated in sesame oil, Braggs or soy sauce, and frozen in single serving, marinade and all. I don't use alum for wrapping, just plastic bags. Alum gives Alzheimers.
Sometimes my super market sells bacon ends way cheaper than brand name bacon. Each piece gets pulled out and laid in a piece of plastic. Roll plastic to cover, then in goes a second slice. Close plastic, Bend, freeze. Do about a dozen of those double pckgs. Come Midnight, I want eggs, a single strip rolls out of the plastic, rest goes back in freezer. I have all the bacon I need, or dare to eat, in a month long period and it only cost 2$, no waste. All summer long the alleys near my house drip fruit, grapes, apricots, citrus . I can't afford a 3$ box of pectin, and I always have sale fujis in the house, 25c an lb today. Peel apple, grate into jam, the pectin in the apple clots your jam. SEE THE FOOD INDEX PAGE
Today in 2010, Chicken quarters are 49c an lb on sale, at Arab market. (Twice size of any big super in town.) And at Mex Market today, quarters 59c. lb in a ten lb bag. Last week Krogers/ Ralphs had whole California foster Farm chickens 67.c an lb. Buy a few, freeze them whole. Just get the paper bags of guts out of them so you can just throw into an oven frozen. The liver, kidneys get one minute in hot butter, chopped with raw onions, butter, spread on toast. To avoid VIT B Deficiency you need liver once a month minimum.
THE SALSA THING. Salsa verde keeps like jam in a jar. Sliced Tomatillos get
simmered with cleaned up jalapenos in a cup of water. Take off fire. In
saute pan, oil, onions, garlic. Give it a minute to soften, then add the
green tomatillos, all soft now, mash. Add cilantro, salt, cook a tiny bit,
2 min, then cool, throw into old glass jars.
RED FRESH SALSA. Tomatoes (take seed, plant in garden) cilantro, onion,
jalapeno. Blend or cut together. Doesn't keep long. Only make enough for
three days at a time. Or get those glass peanut butter jars cleaned, FREEZE the rest.
TORTILLAS Buy the ones with no preservatives. Real mex markets have them. Buy big big bag. Break it down into three bags & Freeze two, a dozen to a bag. The regular supermarket kind are just cellulose and chemicals, preservatives, however there's a yellow tortilla with chemicals that has a good taste. I sometimes buy that one.
SEASONING SALT- Pals give me boxes of their old spices. I mix the savories, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, thyme, oregano, celery seeds, throw it in old spice jars, I also save those. The sweet ones, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, go in my endless fascination with pumpkin pies.
NOTHING CHEAPER than PUMPKIN PIE. I grow pumpkins on my curb strips figuring few barrio thieves can carry away a big one, as they're very hard to cut free and tear up your fingertips but all can grab CORN or string beans so those don't go out there. Nor do I offer raspberries to passersby!
As for pie crust. I make a butter crust pie as lard crisps it great but doesn't taste as good, I know I tried. And I bake crust empty 15 min to get it slightly crisp, then fill, bake an hour, slow oven. Cool, cut into 8 pcs and freeze 7. In about two weeks that's gone, I have to find another pumpkin, make another pie. I usually have pumpkins around the living room all winter long.
QUESADILLAS - Slice a few small pieces of onion & cheese onto a pre-heated (over the flame,) tortilla. Lay them in thick skillet (I use antique iron) or saucepan until cheese melts. Serve with salsa verde. If jack cheese, add crushed garlic. So, Have any of your own special innovations or tips for me?
NOTE: Freegans use the Dumpsters outside TRADER JOES posh markets which are just overflowing with berries, (which I cull, throwing bad ones into compost pile to get vines.) And every other posh fruit or vegie. Speaking of freegan frugal, Oprah Winfrey's television network OWN is looking to interview avowed "freegans" for an upcoming reality series they are developing. Go to the OWN website and sign up. Kinda like JUNK RAIDERS a great show on a back channel (ION) of my digital TV coming out of CANADA!
THE FRUGAL LIFESTYLE, SOME IDEAS
FREEGAN LIFESTYLE - GOOGLE some great online news articles with this search term "freeganism:" These people are MADCAP and wonderful. They PICK UP GROCERIES at small food boutiques, end of day, promising to distribute it to needy families who'd never shop at such a posh place and they DUMPSTER DIVE.
Our POSTER is ANITA SANDS HERNANDEZ, Los Angeles Writer, Futurist and Astrologer and mother of four. Catch up with her websites TRUTHS GOV WILL HIDE & NEVER TELL YOU, also The FUTURE, WHAT'S COMIN' AT YA! & HOW TO SURVIVE the COMING GREAT DEPRESSION, and Secrets of Nature, HOLISTIC, AFFORDABLE HEALING. Also HOW TO LIVE on A NICKLE, The FRUGAL PAGE.* 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!
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