Thursday, March 14, 2013

Update On Brody--Thriftology Thursday, Clearance Foods

March 14, 2013

A quick update on Brody--he is doin' better today. They have been able to draw a lot of the toxins buildin' up in his little body. He had been retainin' about 4 litres of fluid in his body--that is TWO LARGE SODA BOTTLES. They are keepin' him in a chemical coma for now. Thank ya'll for your prayers--please continue askin' God for this child's welfare.

Okay--on to Thriftology Thursday.

Today, I wanna take ya'll on a quick tour of my local grocery store's CLEARANCE sections, and show how I save a lot of our food budget dollars by shoppin' there.

You really need to find a smaller local grocery store to get your best chance at clearance deals. Bigger stores don't do them as much, and even if they do--the 'clearance' prices are not that good.

The first place I go is the produce aisle. There is a cart where the produce manager places bags of produce that are marked down due to it no longer bein' pretty enough to put in the regular bins. Here is where you will find bell peppers that usually sell for $1.00 each for .99 cents a bag. With about 5 or 6 peppers per bag--that's a good deal. Onions, zucchini, avocados, cauliflower, and even bags of salad greens can be found here at different times of the month, and if you are careful in your choices, and prudent in your use--you can buy enough to either eat fresh, juice, or process for dryin', freezin', picklin' and even cannin'. Many times we find bags of bananas for .99 cents. The only thing wrong with them is that the skins are a little dotted, yet the fruit itself is still firm. I keep them on the counter and use them as snacks, put them into fruit salads at breakfast, dry them for chips, or when they begin to soften more than is desirable--I peel and freeze them in baggies so they can be thawed and baked in bread, muffins or cakes--and they make great additions to fruit smoothies.

Next, I check the deli counter. This is where pre made potato salad, Texas caviar, puddin's and cakes are placed when on clearance. I don't buy a lot of them, but occasionally we enjoy a little treat of Texas caviar, and I snag a container that normally sells for $2-3 dollars for about $1.50. A container lasts about 3 meals as a side dish, so it's a good deal in my book.

On to the meat cooler. Here I can find all kinds of goodies marked way down. I have purchased packages of hot dogs, bacon, sausage, and boudin for as little as $1.00. I freeze the meats for later use. A good use for hot dogs is to slice them long ways, then across the center, and place them in the dehydrator overnight. When they are completely dry--pop them into a jar or plastic bag in the fridge to use as doggy treats. My mutts LOVE 'em.

Also, I find packages of hamburger, roasts, steaks and chops for less than the normal price. I don't get charcoal steaks for a buck (wouldn't THAT be nice?), but I do find them for about $5.00 off the package. I pop these into the freezer for when the Redneck is off on the weekend, and we have a grilled dinner. If you get a 10 pound package of hamburger and don't have a huge family--just divide into one pound portions and freeze them in whatever container works best for you. I do the same with ribs and chops.

Around the corner there is a shelf where the store places cans, bottles, bags and boxes that are a bit 'unsightly' due to dents or crushed corners. This is also where products that didn't do as well as the store had hoped go.

Yesterday, I found cans of NESTLES Mexican Brand of sweetened condensed milk for .99 cents. This product usually sells for $2.50 and sometimes up to $3.00 a can. I also found several boxes of rigatoni pasta for .99 cents. This brand sells normally for $2.00 a box. I have found many products that I have wanted to try but wasn't certain if I would like them, so gettin' a dented can of chipotle baked beans for .50 cents is a decent risk margin. If we liked the product (and we did, btw), I will add it to my list of staples to buy later.

Movin' on down the store to the dairy aisle, I can really make out big here. I can buy quarts, half gallons and even gallons of milk for .99 cents. I take these home, remove a cup from the gallons and freeze the remainder for later use. The cup that I remove gets planned into that evenin' or next day's menu for gravy or sauces. I don't remove any from the half gallons or quarts--just pop them in the freezer. I sometimes find half gallons of orange juice for .99 cents, and I stock up for the month and freeze them also.

I recently found YOPLAIT yogurt for .25 cents a carton. I snagged all they had, and we have enjoyed them as snacks, smoothie ingredients, and even as a 'sauce' for fruit salad. I buy large containers of plain yogurt when on sale, and we not only use it as yogurt, we use it as a sour cream substitute, and in place of milk in baked goods. You can also  make a form of cheese by drainin' the whey from the yogurt usin' a strainer and a coffee filter or clean thin cloth in the fridge over night.. And don't dump the whey--COOK with it.

Last but far from least is the frozen section, where I have found sherbert and ice cream for $1.50 a half gallon. I save those in the freezer for church dinners. The kids don't care that it's clearance--they just see ICE CREAM AND A SCOOP.

Sometimes there will be good quality, family sized lasanga at half price. This is normally due to a corner bein' squished down, or maybe a sell date is past. I just chunk them into the freezer and save them for times when I need a larger casserole.

Well, there ya have it. Some of the ways that I save money for my family. I don't always find a pile of great bargains, but I keep lookin' anytime I come into town. As a result of takin' a few minutes when ever I get a chance--I find that I save around 30-50% of our food budget each month, and my pantry and freezer stay stocked.

Well, I got chores. Later ya'll.
© 2013 by Evelyn Edgett


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