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Save More Money on Food
Sweet Fruit Market in Ecuador
How to Save Money on Food
The best way to save money on food is to always keep your eyes open for good deals. When the cost of chicken or beef is down per pound, buy three times more than you need and freeze it when you get home. The next week when you go to the store maybe there will be a deal on chicken so again, repeat the above process of buying three times more than you need and freezing what you won't use within a week.
If you repeat this with most foods, especially the grains and legumes that you may tend to eat, then you will find that you are able to get the best deals on everything you need every time and you will never run out of food either. You will always have some on hand. Buying extra frozen veggies and fruits when they are on sale too will help you so that you will never run out.
Avoiding an emergency trip to the store will save a lot of money on gasoline.
Make Cutbacks on Your Pocketbook, and your Waistline!
I don't really have to tell you that cutting back on junk food and soda would help your pocketbook too. However, it is fun and festive to have interesting drinks for when family or friends stop by. A nice alternative to soda is to have several bottles of club soda stored in your pantry and also keep a good supply of concentrated frozen juices in your freezer. When you mix club soda with juice, you can have an endless array of healthy "sodas" for your family and guests.
Condiment Party, Anyone?
Next to meat, the biggest expense for most people are the condiments, to flavor the meat. If you visit recipe websites on the internet, you will be able to easily find good recipes for ketchup, mayonnaise, barbecue sauces, marinades, meat rubs, herbal seasoning mixes, spice mixtures for all applications of cooking. Making these necessary but usually expensive items at home could prove to be much healthier and less expensive, not to mention rewarding on a personal level. A fun idea would be to have a group of your friends all bring different ingredients and make all of your condiments together. It could be a fun party and you would have happy memories of this day every time you cook for your family in months to come.
If you are in an area where they have a local farmers market for veggies and fruits, this is usually less expensive than imported fruits and vegetables that are in your grocery market. Also this way is best for your health because farmer's markets tend to promote only organic foods.
Fresh Meat is Best!
Fruit Snacks that will last for YEARS
Another neat way to save money on fruit and to always have healthy fruit at all seasons of the year is to make fruit roll ups. Look on Craigslist or E-Bay for a food dehydrator for this task.
The best dehydrator that I have seen is the Excalibur, which is a company based in Sacramento, California. My dream model has 9 trays. I like it because it is a square dehydrator and easy to work with. You tend to have more surface area to dehydrate more items and also it is more energy efficient than other companies I have researched.
In the season of your favorite fruit, such as plums, cherries or peaches, buy as much as you can and put it all in the blender with a little bit of honey for preservation. If you have a preference for maintaining the original color, add just a smidgeon of lemon juice to the mix. Taste it to see if it is sweet enough. Then pour onto wax sheets and dehydrate. When they are finished, they can be cut in half and rolled up. Put them in a sealed freezer bag and store in a cool, dry cupboard. They can last for a couple years if moisture is kept out.
Years ago, when my husband and I first moved to the forest, we had 18 fruit trees. We had plums, cherries, three kinds of apples and at least two kinds of pears, grapes, wild strawberries and figs! It felt like a miniature paradise on our little quarter-acre plot.
We looked forward to "harvest time" and would spend up to 3 weeks just picking, washing, cutting up, blending, mixing, and dehydrating our fruits.
One thing we noticed is that it is easier to remove our fruit from the waxed paper roll if we sprayed them with PAM first. That first season, we spent a lot of time eating waxed paper bits. We couldn't help it... our organic fruit tasted so good that the occasional extra chewing on the paper seemed worth it somehow...
We did also notice that it is well worth it to mix and match the fruits as well. The pear roll ups seemed better mixed with plums, and the plums were too sour when left alone. Strawberry mixes well with everything and watermelon is a refreshing change of pace too. Have fun and mix it up. You will smile in the winter for things you created in the summer!