Last week I chose to share recipe and cooking ideas matched up to the sales flier for a grocery store in the W. Virginia area– a Kroger’s, I think. This week I chose Food Lion in the Maryland area- again, I mainly chose this area because I am assuming it’s more expensive.
According to the online flier, today is the last day for these prices:
Sliced cheeses are 5.00 a pound.
Apples – 3.00 for a 3# bag
Sweet potatoes- .79 pound
Carrots- 3.00, five pounds
Onions, .75 pound
2.5 pounds boneless chicken breasts, BOGO- but I don’t know what the regular price is.
Mayo- 2 jars, 6.00 (it’s 2 jars for 7.00 starting tomorrow)
1.99 pound, bone in blade chops
2.49 pound for the ground beef chubs
However, Food Lion, it turns out, has a dandy feature where you can get a preview of next week’s prices, which start tomorrow. Here’s what I would get:
Grated Sargento cheese- 2 8 ounce packages for 4.00, if you can swing extra, get it and freeze it. I am assuming that this is a good price for the D.C. area, here, I watch for closer to 3.00 a pound.
10 pounds of potatoes, 4.00
Apples, a different variety, same price, approximately 3.00 for a 3 pound bag
Oranges are 4.00 for a 4 pound bag
Celery is 1.79 a pound
Limes are 5/1.00
Onions, 2 dollars for a 3 pound bag
Perdue Roasting chicken, 1.29 pound
If you use Food Lion, check out the price of their Holly Farms chicken breasts (boneless)- it’s BOGO today, but it’s 1.99 a pound tomorrow, and not knowing the regular price, I don’t know if that’s a good deal or not.
Things you should have for filling out meals and snacks (not necessarily all of them at once, gradually build up your stores):
Dried beans (not canned, dried, and this is why), lentils, and brown rice
Dried fruit for sweetening (coconut, raisins, dates, whatever you can afford)
Oatmeal from the bulk section of a store, not from the cardboard carton because you do not need to pay 3-5 dollars for the cardboard carton. It’s just not that cute.
Grow your own sprouts with lentils and mung or hmong beans.
Flour, unless you’re opposed to grains, or at least, unsoaked grains.
Some frozen vegetables (not corn, it’s not all that nutritious)
Fats- my preferences are butter, coconut oil, fat skimmed off the top of meat I cook at home and saved in the fridge, lard, or beef tallow, but…. you get what you can afford.
Herbs and spices (get them from ethnic stores or find a local co-op and share)
Here are some ways to use the above grocery items:
Fried apples and onions with a smattering of cheese- this was a favorite lunch of ours for years when our five oldest girls were young. We picked it up doing a ‘pioneer meal’ with our school studies one year, and we loved it. Dice the onions, fry until golden, dice and add apples, cook until the softness you prefer, sprinkle a bit of cheese over all, serve. REally, really good when the apples and onions are cooked in bacon fat.
Salads can be simply diced apples, mayo, and chopped celery with and green leaves or home-grown sprouts; Rainbow salad; turnip slaw (they are a seasonable food and inexpensive in the winter) or carrot-raisin salad.
Or make a fruit salad- grapes are also on sale for 1.29 a pound, so have diced apples, grapes, oranges, and squeeze some juice from the orange and a lime over it all to keep fruit from browning.
With the fruit: salads, between meal snacks; dice, top with a crumb topping made of flour, sweetener, and butter, bake for a few minutes; grate apples and put the in muffins or pancake batter, dice apples and add to add to oatmeal or granola, have the fruit in salads, slice the lime very thin, freeze it on cookie sheets, store in covered container in freezer and add a slice to your water when you feel deprived. Slice the lime very thing, string it in a line of a thread, and hang it up in your kitchen to look pretty, smell nice, and cheer you. It was 20 cents. If it’s only you and a small child and the two of you can’t eat 3 or 4 pounds of fruit (really? My kids are SUCH fruit fiends)- go in with a friend- you get apples, she buys oranges, split the bags so you both get some of each. Or simmer the apples in a very tiny bit of water or orange juice and then freeze for pancake toppings, cobblers, yogurt mixings, or….?
With the Pork:
Orange glazed pork chops
Thai Style Pork Noodle Toss– use any noodles, even Ramen. Use any oil or fat, not just the sesame or olive oil suggested.
Make a paisano
Have roasted winter vegetables with diced pork, including diced pumpkin from your jack-o-lantern if you had one.
Save the bones. Add them to the beans when you cook them to add some extra flavor (and nourishment)
With the Potatoes:
Potato pancakes (really good with applesauce, which you can make with the apples)
Colcannon and soup
Dice them and fry them with onions, a bit of cheese, and bits of leftover meat if you have any.
Make corn tortilla wraps and fill them with meat cooked all day in the crockpot, or serve with soups, or fill with lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes and a bit of cheese, or fill with cooked beans mixed with onions and bits of leftover meat.
When you dice an onion, you might as well dice a bunch, and freeze the rest (put on a baking sheet or any flat surface, a flat bit of cardboard torn from the side of a box works, freeze, when solid, put in a covered container and keep in the freezer, taking out what you need for soups, stews, and skillet meals. not so great in meals where the onion is supposed to be kind of raw.
Same for celery.
Here are some other tips on drastic, really drastic, budgeting in the kitchen.
A reminder- 1 in 7 Americans are on Food Stamps. In 2008, it was 1 in 11.
The average food stamp award is for 4.50 dollars a day per person. That’s average. That means some get much less, and some get much more.
Food stamps are intended to be supplemental, not your entire food budget.