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BastardAus
Jun 3, 2003
Chunder from Down Under

slinkimalinki posted:

Yeah apparently there are people who buy meat that is not on special and is not a cheap cut of meat. I am not those people.
I am one of 'those people' and I probably will be one until I die. Properly treated cattle deserve proper prices at market. They taste as good as they cost.

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ExtrudeAlongCurve
Oct 21, 2010

Lambert is my Homeboy


BastardAus posted:

I am one of 'those people' and I probably will be one until I die. Properly treated cattle deserve proper prices at market. They taste as good as they cost.

There's a difference between a T-Bone from a local butcher who can tell you exactly where they sourced their beef and a shrinked-wrapped T-Bone from the giant supermarket down the street who is overcharging you.

The former is worth paying extra for and you will get amazing, quality meat. The latter is fairly meaningless and supports lovely beef. The latter also does not, "taste as good as they cost" and someone trying to save money on groceries should focus on how to make on-sale and low-cost meat taste good.

tl;dr: Don't buy expensive meat at supermarkets.

Walk Away
Dec 31, 2009

Industrial revolution has flipped the bitch on evolution.


Giant Goats posted:

Prices really do vary. The current prices for these at my local grocery store: bone-in chicken breasts ($6.49/lb. for the family pack), ground beef ($4.99/lb. for the family pack), pork chops ($5.99/lb.)

For that matter, a 5-pound bag of rice is $4.00 minimum, and a 1-pound bag of lentils is $3.00.

It really gets me when people act like those of us with $50 a week or more grocery bills are just retarded. Some of us live in places where food is expensive.

I feel you on this sentiment. I try to make dinners with some kind of meat and some kind of vegetable and maybe a starch, perhaps some bread when we have a pasta dinner. Then there are lunches, which can be leftovers sometimes. Breakfast can be really cheap since we usually have a frozen waffle each or a bowl of cheerios and split a banana. Then there is juice/juice boxes which I pay a premium for because those are the ones with only a couple of grams of sugar as opposed to others with like 25 grams in one serving. Oh yeah, and snacks for the little one. But if I can get everything for a week for $75, I am thrilled.

I guess I'm lucky that my kid is a really light eater, but I still have a hard time keeping my food budget a low as some of you guys in here, even with coupons. Call me jealous, I guess.

slinkimalinki
Jan 17, 2010

Through moonlight and shadow she'd prowl and she'd pry.


BastardAus posted:

I am one of 'those people' and I probably will be one until I die. Properly treated cattle deserve proper prices at market. They taste as good as they cost.

I guess cos I live in a country that only has grass-fed beef I don't think about it too much. Generally I'm getting a cheap cut off the same cow as the expensive cuts.

StealthStealth
Aug 28, 2007

dogs eatin' cake

My favorite cheapass food lately has been turkey hash. The only required ingredients are leftover cooked potatoes and some ground turkey. Add in whatever else--leftovers, I usually throw in frozen veggies too. Cook in a pan. Salt and pepper. Fry an egg in it. DELICIOUS and filling.

Happy Abobo
Jun 21, 2007

Looks tastier, anyway.

Make some hummus. Don't think of it as a spread or dip: hummus can be the main component of any number of easy, complete meals. The ingredients cost next to nothing, it takes two seconds to make, and it's delicious. One of my favourite quick lunches is a sandwich of fresh tomato, raw sweet red peppers, and a massively thick layer of hummus with plenty of salt and black pepper. I tend to make hummus much thicker than most because I find it more satisfying that way.

Also, you can make a huge batch, then freeze individual portions for later use. Just get an ice cream scoop, lay down a sheet of parchment, and dollop the portions onto it. Stick that in the freezer, then snap them off the parchment once they're frozen and toss them in a ziplock.

SoundMonkey
Apr 22, 2006

I just push buttons.


If you're buying in bulk (and god drat can you save a lot of money that way), it doesn't hurt to put your stuff in glass jars. Ask me about getting sawtooth grain beetles (which are nearly loving immortal) from some bulk flour I bought

Check the dollar store for large glass jars, I think I paid $1.25 each for my huge ones, and they're great for pasta and grains and whatnot. Also, as has been mentioned, buy a huge thing of white vinegar for cheap, it's useful for so many cleaning jobs around the house.

I'm sure it's obvious, but buy store-brand stuff as much as possible when it's something where you're not stuck on the brand name. At the store here, the store brand stuff is typically 15-20% cheaper than the stuff next to it, and for things like pasta and basic ingredients, you're not losing much in the way of quality.

Make your own pizza. It's pretty easy, you can shape then freeze excess dough for later, and tomato paste costs something like 49 cents a can here. One of my biggest problems when trying to save money was that pizza was sorta my treat food, and a relatively expensive one at that. I've saved a lot, and eaten a lot better pizza, by making it myself.

Jyrraeth
Aug 1, 2008

I love this dino
SOOOO MUCH


SoundMonkey posted:

If you're buying in bulk (and god drat can you save a lot of money that way), it doesn't hurt to put your stuff in glass jars. Ask me about getting sawtooth grain beetles (which are nearly loving immortal) from some bulk flour I bought

Sawtooth grain beetles? Do they live everywhere?

My mom got really excited and bought me a tonne of flours (including some blue cornmeal, which is super neat and I can't wait to make... something with it) for a birthday present, and I don't want anything to go bad, or get eaten by creatures that aren't me or my friends. Though I have a really nice dollar store nearby, so I will be buying some containers if they have any.

Mach420
Jun 22, 2002
Bandit at 6 'o clock - Pull my finger

I'm pretty damned poor at the moment, but I can make pulled pork and feel like a king. If you have a smoker or grill, that's the best option, but if not, go for pseudo BBQ in your oven or crock pot.

Get a big chunk of pork shoulder, Boston Butt. 5 to 7 pounds should work nicely. Rub it with spices and such. Put your smoker/grill/oven at 225 to 250F. Put that bigass butt in and let it go until it can be pulled. That'll take 190F to 200F internal temperature inside that beautiful butt. It takes the better part of a day to cook it, but it'll leave you pounds of delicious pork meat.

Monkey Trouble
Apr 28, 2009


Already a ton of good suggestions here - as has been said before, pizza is easy to make. Once you've made the dough, a little variation is to shape it into several mini pizzas rather than one large base, and fry them for 30 seconds on each side in a pan of olive oil (again, as has been mentioned before, get the best quality you can afford). Once they're fried, top them with whatever you want; tomato paste is very cheap, and you can add salt, garlic, sugar, lemon juice and some herbs to make it tastier. You can also get away with using cheaper cheeses like cows milk mozzarella rather than the more expensive buffalo variety as they tend to be drier and don't make the toppings as runny when they melt. I sometimes add chicken and/or veggies, but it's nice enough without. Grill until the cheese is bubbling and you're done.

Also, try searching DepressionCooking on Youtube. It's a grandma showing you how to make some recipes she had as a kid back during the Great Depression, pretty interesting to watch, and a couple of the recipes aren't bad with a bit of extra flavouring. I tried Pasta With Peas and a couple of others (though she tends to salt the poo poo out of everything, which I avoided when I tried the recipes!)

Noricae
Nov 19, 2004

cheese?

SoundMonkey posted:

If you're buying in bulk (and god drat can you save a lot of money that way), it doesn't hurt to put your stuff in glass jars. Ask me about getting sawtooth grain beetles (which are nearly loving immortal) from some bulk flour I bought
Oh yeah, great advice! Also those flour/grain pantry moths (they're -all over- southern California) live forever in the tiniest crevices and chew through bags and paper to get to things. Any bulk stuff I would recommend freezing for a couple of days to kill anything in it (heh, gross but not as gross as larva in it a month later). Loose grain? Cocoa? Dried peppers? Nuts? They eat all sorts of stuff other than flour.

This isn't something that "shop at a better place" fixes - Whole Foods, expensive vegan hippie places that have bulk stuff, and the like are all affected by it. Simply the nature of lots of open containers of stuff that hasn't been irradiated or coated with anything. Hell, I've had sealed name brand flour mixes develop bugs inside them - while still sealed. Blech. Someone's never touching pancake mixes again and all cake flour goes into the freezer and then bagged up (outside the sealed container).

I like those jars with a rubber gasket that make tight seals (from Cost Plus, etc) for this. Probably $3-4+ and upwards but well worth it.

Noricae fucked around with this message at Oct 17, 2011 around 13:04

bloody ghost titty
Oct 23, 2008

tHROW SOME D"s ON THAT BIZNATCH


Great advice about buying in bulk, especially the jars. Buying in bulk will also reduce your costs if you learn to bake bread, make pasta, etc. Granted, there is a labor investment which seems significant if you find cooking stressful and not joyful (hint: the difference is alcohol), but you can live higher on less if you do your own fabrication.

Nevvy Z
Jan 3, 2004



Vegetable Melange posted:

Great advice about buying in bulk, especially the jars. Buying in bulk will also reduce your costs if you learn to bake bread, make pasta, etc. Granted, there is a labor investment which seems significant if you find cooking stressful and not joyful (hint: the difference is alcohol), but you can live higher on less if you do your own fabrication.

It really is fun to cook before passing out. Too bad it's never fun to do the dishes.

Kenning
Jan 10, 2009

I really want to post goatse. I wish I had 10bux


Though the feeling of waking up suddenly and realizing you've left <large pot of food> on medium-low for the last 7 hours is pretty depressing.

branedotorg
Jun 19, 2009


Noricae posted:

Oh yeah, great advice! Also those flour/grain pantry moths (they're -all over- southern California) live forever in the tiniest crevices and chew through bags and paper to get to things. Any bulk stuff I would recommend freezing for a couple of days to kill anything in it (heh, gross but not as gross as larva in it a month later). Loose grain? Cocoa? Dried peppers? Nuts? They eat all sorts of stuff other than flour.
The thing that made the biggest difference for me with those little bastards is pheromone based traps. If something dry is in the pantry for 8+ months i still find a little webbing in there & toss it but the problem is minimal compared to even just using glass storage.

Lyssavirus
Oct 9, 2007
Symptoms include swelling of the brain (encephalitis), numbness, muscle weakness, coma, and death.

A plastic bin will also ward off annoying little weevils and stuff, too, though it could make things taste a bit plasticky.

Last time I had a problem with the bastards, I discovered them when I was trying to make some bread and had literally zero money, and we were on the edge of actually going hungry. I put the flour through a fine sieve and used it anyway.

Extra protein.

(oh god don't follow my example unless you absolutely have to, which is highly unlikely)

CrystalRose
Sep 16, 2006

I like sparkly things

My Little Puni posted:

On more thing to ask about. My boyfriend and I work 12 hour days and usually just stock up on crackers, muffins, cup fruit, applesauce, etc. and our lunches are microwavables. This is really killing the budget, so some good meal ideas that are still great reheated would really help out too.

I think this was implied (if not said outright earlier) by the people talking about freezing food, Glad/Ziplock containers are your friend. They have lots of single serving size containers which are prefect for storing lunch-sized portions.

Try making your own “Chef Boyardee.”* It will taste better than what you get from a can, it will be healthier and (most importantly) homemade is cheaper. How much effort you want to put into this is up to you. On a really basic level you could just boil pasta, brown hamburger/ground turkey/ground chicken and add spaghetti sauce. Then just divide up your pasta into your freezer containers for quick lunches.

You can easily upgrade this idea by making your own pasta sauce, playing around with seasonings and using different meat. Buy some onion and garlic, fresh peppers, zucchini and mushrooms and cook them with the sauce. That gives you carbs, protein and veggies in one meal.

*A brand of canned pasta

Taft Punk
Jan 11, 2011

Fish are the vegetables of the sea.

My Little Puni posted:

I'm not very much of a cook, but I love making food! But I get saddened when I see a new recipe I want try and find out the ingredients for one dish would come close to breaking my food budget.

I'm on a very small food budget, about $50 a week and am sick of making the same thing every day because it's cheap.

One site that has helped me out is Supercook -- I don't work for them or get kickbacks in any way, and please let me know if this counts as advertising so I can take down this post. There are probably other sites that do the same thing.

Basically, you set up an account (free) so you can type in what ingredients you have in your cupboard. It then presents you with recipes that you can make with your current ingredients, and suggests other ingredients to buy to make an even larger number of things. The point of logging in is that it saves your list, so you can modify it when you run out of something or do a big grocery run.

The up-front time investment was a little annoying, but it's saved me money. Whereas before I would go "what sounds good for dinner?" and run out and buy the ingredients, now I can surf the recommended list first and see if any of the suggested recipes ring my bell.

Jonny 290
May 5, 2005

[A]sk me about OS/2 WARP


Kilersquirrel posted:

my Costco membership

If you do shopping very infrequently, you can even get by on free membership days or through sheer ignorance!

The day before my wedding I brought my brother to Sam's to shop for the food. He thought I had a membership, I thought he had one. So we get to the checkout with $500 of food in our cart and no membership. I just walked up to the service desk and looked confused and explained myself and they laughed and said "that's hilarious, here's a day pass" and we checked out.

Or you can find a buddy that for sure has a membership and they can have you in as a guest. My suggestion: offer to bring the boxes/bags for their stuff (these places usually do not box/bag your items so you have to bring your own), that seems like an even trade.

Noricae
Nov 19, 2004

cheese?

branedotorg posted:

The thing that made the biggest difference for me with those little bastards is pheromone based traps. If something dry is in the pantry for 8+ months i still find a little webbing in there & toss it but the problem is minimal compared to even just using glass storage.
Yep! Never do without these, even if you think you don't need them. Trap early, trap often! Put them by any bird seed, in your garage, outside by any bird feeders, etc. Oh god, I had the worst experience bringing home dried bulk peppers in grocery bags that infested my entire pantry. And these moths don't really die when there's no food - they make 3-4 more generations of smaller, and smaller, and smaller moths from no food somehow.

Weevils I only found in an Aunt Jemima mix that was -not- expired. It was so not expired it had over a year left on it. *shake fist*

CrystalRose posted:

I think this was implied (if not said outright earlier) by the people talking about freezing food, Glad/Ziplock containers are your friend. They have lots of single serving size containers which are prefect for storing lunch-sized portions.
I find those containers to be fairly expensive. I use sandwich bags, fill them halfway, flatten them into thin pancakes, stack them and freeze them. It's much more compact and a cheaper (and less waste generating) way of freezing sauces, blanched vegetables, pesto, tomato sauce, etc. Spread them thin enough that you can just break off hunks for use easily. For making premade lunches that you take & go the containers are good though.

Noricae fucked around with this message at Oct 18, 2011 around 13:23

A Fistful of Dicks
Jan 8, 2011


I'm trying to figure out ways to incorporate more vegetables in my diet without constantly resorting to freeze dried broccoli and the like or salads all-the-loving-time. Since I didn't grow up in a culinary household, I don't have a lot of ideas of for creative recipes to help make sure I get a goodly bit of tasty veggies on the cheap for all my meals (esp. breakfast).

Please help me not eat like poo poo, kthx.

Submarine Sandpaper
May 27, 2007

ASK ME ABOUT HOW I GHOULISHLY CELEBRATE THE DEATH OF CHILDREN TO TEACH THEIR PARENTS "A LESSON"


Most all veggies are good just sauteed with some oil salt and pepper. Grab some cheap protean and braise/stew for an easy and different use. Use garlic. Dopn't be afraid to make a simple marinara if tomatoes are still at the farmers market in your region. Easy pasta, eggplant parm etc...

Learn to braise meat and you'll cook with cheaper cuts but also the braise itself will involve veggies which are normally reduced with the liquid to make an amazing sauce on either the meat or something simple like carrots or mashed potatoes.

For breakfast incorporate them into eggs via omelets or scrambled or saute and make a hollandaise sauce for them. Hell, use a hollandaise for dinner too. If I am cooking healthy though I prefer fruit and yogurt for breakfast and save veggies for lunch/dinner.

Also just browse ethic cuisine to get more savvy to make them into a cheap veggie curry and the like. Indian and Asain food convert veggies into tasty treats.

And beans, lots of beans. Although that's been covered.

CannonFodder
Jan 26, 2001



Outrageous Lumpwad

Liquid Communism posted:

Neither am I. You can tell you've been poor too long when your idea of splurging on a steak is picking up a piece of chuck.
Chuck eye steaks have the same muscles as ribeye, just further up the steer. They are smaller and fattier and don't hold together as well as a ribeye, but are a great value for money.

A chuck steak is the same as a chuck eye with a big solid muscle over top. Chuck roasts are just really thick steaks on one end, and just regular meat lumps on the other.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Mr. Wookums posted:

Most all veggies are good just sauteed with some oil salt and pepper.

Yeah, this basically. My Chinese mother-in-law stays with us now, and supper is usually a couple of stir-fried vegetable dishes, and a fish or meat dish and alternately a soup. I've so far seen her stir-fry cauliflower, celery stalk (a favourite), celeriac, cucumber, iceberg lettuce (!), cabbage, potato - still crispy, quite tasty! - and of course zucchini, carrot, aubergine (takes time, add a little pork), and her favourite of sugarsnaps. Any vegetable I buy, she cuts up and cooks. Seasoning is usually just white pepper and salt, and often a little sprinkling of granulated chicken stock. It's delish in its simplicity, I'm eating really good these days.

SoundMonkey
Apr 22, 2006

I just push buttons.


Noricae posted:

Oh yeah, great advice! Also those flour/grain pantry moths (they're -all over- southern California) live forever in the tiniest crevices and chew through bags and paper to get to things. Any bulk stuff I would recommend freezing for a couple of days to kill anything in it (heh, gross but not as gross as larva in it a month later). Loose grain? Cocoa? Dried peppers? Nuts? They eat all sorts of stuff other than flour.

This isn't something that "shop at a better place" fixes - Whole Foods, expensive vegan hippie places that have bulk stuff, and the like are all affected by it. Simply the nature of lots of open containers of stuff that hasn't been irradiated or coated with anything. Hell, I've had sealed name brand flour mixes develop bugs inside them - while still sealed. Blech. Someone's never touching pancake mixes again and all cake flour goes into the freezer and then bagged up (outside the sealed container).

Yeah, I shoulda mentioned that, it's not like you just get them from shopping at greasy stores or something (although you'd probably be more likely to), it's just sort of a hazard to be aware of when buying bulk food. And yeah, the ones I had chewed through plastic bags routinely to get at the delicious flour within. They also live for a good while for small insects (up to 3 months I think). I did finally get rid of them, then later moved to a new house, and while unpacking... a dead one between two tightly-stacked bowls. That was it though, free of them now and my flour's in a big fuckoff jar as god intended.

I also had a pretty decent macro lens then, here's what the little bastards look like (to give you a sense of scale, it's around 2mm long, and the white crud on its back is grains of flour).



EDIT: And yeah, I think they live pretty much everywhere, or some relative of them.

SoundMonkey fucked around with this message at Oct 19, 2011 around 03:28

Jonny 290
May 5, 2005

[A]sk me about OS/2 WARP


Noricae posted:

I use sandwich bags, fill them halfway, flatten them into thin pancakes, stack them and freeze them. It's much more compact and a cheaper (and less waste generating) way of freezing sauces, blanched vegetables, pesto, tomato sauce, etc. Spread them thin enough that you can just break off hunks for use easily. For making premade lunches that you take & go the containers are good though.

I use this tactic for making rice. I make a HUGE batch of rice but stop it about one or two minutes shy of perfectly done. Then I take a heavy quart Ziploc and lay it on the counter and spoon in about 2 cups of cooked rice. Seal it almost all the way, flatten the rice out to a nice even thickness in the bag, then evacuate the air and close the last bit of the zip.

When it's time for rice, just take a frozen bag and toss it in the microwave for a minute or two. It's not quite fresh, but it certainly suffices for bachelor-mode stir fry weeks.

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

A Fistful of Dicks posted:

I'm trying to figure out ways to incorporate more vegetables in my diet without constantly resorting to freeze dried broccoli and the like or salads all-the-loving-time.

Freeze dried? Frozen vegetables are 2nd only to fresh. Buy a few Pyrex containers with lids, throw frozen vegetables in there with a tablespoon of water and microwave about 6-8 minutes, then saute them if you like. You can also steam fresh vegetables in the microwave but you need a little more water... I don't measure, just enough to cover the bottom. And no, this will not make rubbery or gross vegetables, you're just steaming. For salads, break out of the lettuce/dressing/crouton mode if that's what you do and mix up 4-5 different ingredients. Nothing says a salad has to have lettuce or be mostly lettuce.

Noricae
Nov 19, 2004

cheese?

SoundMonkey posted:

I did finally get rid of them, then later moved to a new house, and while unpacking... a dead one between two tightly-stacked bowls.
This is my biggest fear when I move. I need an industrial freezer in the garage to put everything into for days when I move to a larger house, or something. I'm not afraid of bugs (put them outside usually if I find them in the house), but in my food is pretty gross (and those black dots in your flour? bug crap.)


Jonny 290 posted:

It's not quite fresh, but it certainly suffices for bachelor-mode stir fry weeks.
That's a good idea. I bet it's great for stir fry because you want the rice to be a bit dehydrated/stale too (and freezing does that after a few days).

As for vegetables - definitely freeze. Buy frozen or buy bulk in season, blanch and freeze. Stuff like spinach, kale, collard greens, chard is great done like this. About a minute in boiling water, remove, let cool, press out all the excess water and pack them into sandwich bags. They end up taking like 1/5th the room of the fresh versions and usually the above gets cooked down in dishes anyway. Defrost them, use in pasta, stir fries, toss them in a hot pan with olive oil & garlic and lemon, etc.

Also: for things like cucumber, squash, herbs, lettuce and anything that liquifies in your fridge (and is a vegetable) wrap paper towels around each vegetable (or around 1-2 if smaller) and then put them back into the plastic bag you had them in. It'll stay non-rotten for three times longer (like two weeks if starting with non moldy or rotten stuff). The humidity and contact with plastic is what liquifies stuff fast. -Don't- prewash vegetables that will be in your fridge (or counter). You probably want to label the bag or keep track of what's in your fridge full of mysterious paper towel bundles though.

Noricae fucked around with this message at Oct 19, 2011 around 10:05

Drimble Wedge
Mar 10, 2008

Self-contained


You can still treat yourself once in a while, but don't buy chips or Doritos; if you want a munchie snack, buy a bag of popping corn (yep, just the plain kernels). Add some oil to the bottom of a large pot, add enough corn to cover the bottom, put lid on, shake. You can stuff yourself for literally pennies at a time. There's a popcorn thread a page or two down which is closed now, I think, but has loads of great ideas. You will not believe how good freshly-made popcorn is. (My favourite topping: sprinkle white vinegar on, douse with that ghetto parmesan cheese in the green can)

Edit: also, pay attention to when certain fruits/veg are in season in your area. Even if they're usually available year-round, they're usually a little cheaper at certain times, and they probably haven't been shipped from a gazillion miles away either.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Freshly baked bread with butter is the best snack in the world. I'm serious. And it costs less than a bag of chips for the additional value of having something for lunch for days. It's also fattening in large amounts, so what's not to love?

EgillSkallagrimsson
May 6, 2007


Noricae posted:

This is my biggest fear when I move. I need an industrial freezer in the garage to put everything into for days when I move to a larger house, or something. I'm not afraid of bugs (put them outside usually if I find them in the house), but in my food is pretty gross (and those black dots in your flour? bug crap.)

Um, am I the only one in here who just tosses a few bay leaves in with the flour/rice, etc and then gives no gently caress about super airtight containers? I assumed this was pretty common knowledge among bakers and cooks for keeping pests away.

therattle
Jul 24, 2007

I'm a family man - I run a family business. This is my son and my partner, H.W.


Soiled Meat

EgillSkallagrimsson posted:

Um, am I the only one in here who just tosses a few bay leaves in with the flour/rice, etc and then gives no gently caress about super airtight containers? I assumed this was pretty common knowledge among bakers and cooks for keeping pests away.

Never heard that before but I am not sure if I want everything tasting faintly of bay. I had an invasion of Indian meal moths and had to throw everything out and get sealed containers. Those fuckers get EVERYWHERE. Keep your cupboards clean.

Also seconding the popcorn suggestion. In fact, I made some on Sunday! Knowing how little a bag of popping corn costs, and how qick and easy it is to make popcorn, I never buy popcorn now that I know how much I am being ripped off.

Noricae
Nov 19, 2004

cheese?

EgillSkallagrimsson posted:

Um, am I the only one in here who just tosses a few bay leaves in with the flour/rice, etc and then gives no gently caress about super airtight containers? I assumed this was pretty common knowledge among bakers and cooks for keeping pests away.

I do this with birdseed actually (especially since a lb of bay (a 2footx1foot bag) leaves at all the online herb places is $4-8 ), but they go stale, dry out and get ineffective pretty fast and they have to be pliable and somewhat oily for them to keep bugs away.

Apparently desert woodrats (aka packrats, related more to large gerbils and chinchillas) pad their nests with bay leaves regularly to keep the nests pest free. Hehe.

Another thing similar to the bay leaf suggestion is boric acid. I wouldn't sprinkle it everywhere (because I don't want to kill spiders and all sorts of beneficial bugs), but I make little packets with two pieces of paper glued together with a bunch of boric acid in between and put them behind bookcases/on the shelves with books. These tend to keep silverfish away and anything that eats paper will preferentially go for the glue filled packets. Boric acid is also a good cleaning agent, a whitener, and safer/cheaper pot cleanser or scrubber etc. Get a giant container of white vinegar too (food grade) and you'll double the cleansing power of it, and have vinegar for pickles, souring milk to make buttermilk imitation, and lots of other cooking uses.

Noricae fucked around with this message at Oct 20, 2011 around 13:57

Darryl Lict
Mar 17, 2009


Noricae posted:

I find those containers to be fairly expensive. I use sandwich bags, fill them halfway, flatten them into thin pancakes, stack them and freeze them. It's much more compact and a cheaper (and less waste generating) way of freezing sauces, blanched vegetables, pesto, tomato sauce, etc. Spread them thin enough that you can just break off hunks for use easily. For making premade lunches that you take & go the containers are good though.
I buy bulk deli containers from Smart & Final. They are a lot cheaper than say Ziploc containers and have the enormous advantage of having the same size lid for 16, 8, and 4 ounce containers, so no searching for the right size lid. I haven't used a Tupperware in years! Here's a photo of similar containers from Amazon (ignore larger diameter containers):

Hypnolobster
Apr 12, 2007

What this sausage party needs is a big dollop of ketchup! Too bad I didn't make any.


Sjurygg posted:

Freshly baked bread with butter is the best snack in the world. I'm serious. And it costs less than a bag of chips for the additional value of having something for lunch for days. It's also fattening in large amounts, so what's not to love?

Making bread is hilariously cheap. I essentially lived off of various rice and bean dishes with giant pieces of the no-knead style bread for about 2 years (also potato based things every few days). It was less than $10/week and I always had too much food to finish.
Meat was always something extremely cheap like whole chicken, beef heart, etc.

Starch is cheap and tasty.

paraquat
Nov 25, 2006

Burp


Drimble Wedge posted:

You can still treat yourself once in a while, but don't buy chips or Doritos; if you want a munchie snack, buy a bag of popping corn (yep, just the plain kernels). Add some oil to the bottom of a large pot, add enough corn to cover the bottom, put lid on, shake. You can stuff yourself for literally pennies at a time. There's a popcorn thread a page or two down which is closed now, I think, but has loads of great ideas. You will not believe how good freshly-made popcorn is. (My favourite topping: sprinkle white vinegar on, douse with that ghetto parmesan cheese in the green can)

I've been following this thread, and lots of good suggestions have been made.
The popcorn thing however, changed my life! :-D
It cost nearly nothing and the variation is endless!! Wow!!!!
Just made myself a big bowl of choco-cayenne-popcorn
(some hot chocolate powder, a bit of cayenne powder and a drizzle of liquid butter (not too much of the latter, so it didn't get messy).
YUM

Next up: popcorn with normal spices, so I look like a normal person and all.

Anyway, this costs a couple of cents for a big bowl, that wasn't an exaggeration.
woohoo!!

Noricae
Nov 19, 2004

cheese?

Darryl Lict posted:

I buy bulk deli containers from Smart & Final.
I need to check Smart and Final for these - it's a good alternative for not having a Costco membership. So do you also save jars and plastic containers from cream cheese too? Because I do Glass jars I feel particularly bad throwing out, especially if they're jam jars or nice screwtop pasta sauce jars. A lot of my smaller bulk foods are in those rectangular Ragu/related pasta jars; the ones with leaf patterns and such on them.

Also canning! The above pasta and jam jars can be used for canning if you get the universe two piece canning lids. Isn't there a canning thread somewhere? It's a pretty awesome way of preserving for beans. If you're nervous about it (for stuff that isn't that acidic) just store them in your fridge after canning.

11b1p
Feb 5, 2008

This picture is worth 20 words or something.

Shred up the meat from a store cooked rotisserie chicken and put Frank's Red Hot Sauce on it. Eat it out of a bowl or on a sandwich.

feelz good man
Jan 21, 2007

deal with it


11b1p posted:

Shred up the meat from a store cooked rotisserie chicken and put Frank's Red Hot Sauce on it. Eat it out of a bowl or on a sandwich.
How many bowls in do you have to be to make this appetizing?

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11b1p
Feb 5, 2008

This picture is worth 20 words or something.

feelz good man posted:

How many bowls in do you have to be to make this appetizing?

I did it while doing low carb, you have to like hot sauce to begin with though to appreciate this.

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