Bulk cooking saves me a TON of time. So to do this effectively, I bargain grocery shop and buy numerous things in bulk. One of the ways I save big is to shop at low priced grocery stores like Aldi and now bulk stores like Winco.
I went to Winco with my babydoll this past weekend and WOW! I will definitely be returning soon! This place was amazing! It was a lot larger than I expected, had much more options and variety than I thought, and prices were incredible. I bought 5 lbs of bacon for $1.95 ea and a 50 lb bag of flour for $20 SCORE!
The ways my family saves on food is simple. I really only spend about $250-$300 per month for a growing tween boy who’s into soccer and my big boy babydoll trucker. I go back to my basics of “single parenting” and use most all of the same principles. After being a single mama for almost 12 years, I’ve learned that things can be used for multiple things. You learn the art of “pantry cooking”, “one pot recipes”, and meals that consist of “everything but the kitchen sink”. You know things like…..a basic tomato sauce that could be transformed into pizza sauce, marinara, sloppy joe’s, ketchup, puree, BBQ sauce, tomato soup, or as a base for stocks and stews as well as my all time favorite spaghetti! So I have this in mind when I shop because if I can’t make it into something else on a whim then it really isn’t worth me buying. Food for me needs to be versatile and not a one use item. I’m creative with my food and all my dishes are packed with flavor and have a homemade taste. Even if semi-homemade. That’s important especially if you’re budgeting and your budget is a lot lower than the national average cost per person for food. Our budget should be more like $500ish per month but I think this is absurd! I hand make 75% of the food we consume and mostly all from scratch. It’s a heavy feat especially seeming I work outside the home and have an hour commute each way. So this weekend at Winco, we ended up buying 5 lbs of green beans, 5 dz eggs, 10 lbs of meatballs, 20 lbs of chicken, 50 lbs of flour, 1 lb of yeast, 5 lbs bacon, and much much more.
I came home and ended up making 9 freezer meals and I have enough flour, yeast, and baking soda to make months of breads, rolls, and pancakes. I’ll be oiling my eggs this weekend and will probably end up oiling 2 dozen. I got a good deal on eggs by buying a 5 lb box of Grade A Large for less than $5. Oiling eggs is coating clean and washed eggs with mineral oil and storing in a cool, dry, dark container like a coffee tub/can. They will keep up to 8-9 months this way. From what I hear, the only change in the egg is that the egg white is a little looser when cracked than a super fresh egg. But no worries if all I’m going to do is either boil them or fry them. People have had really good success stories baking with oiled eggs or eggs preserved by other methods like a lye bath. I will keep you posted. I won’t do a posting on how to oil eggs as that would just be boring. Simply wash and dry fresh eggs, coat completely with food grade mineral oil found in the pharmacy section of your grocery store, line a can or plastic tub with a towel and pile your eggs in. Seal tight and store in a dry dark place. That’s it.
I’m looking very forward to winter coming and love that we are now in the middle of Fall. Cooler weather means more comfort foods, PJ’s, slippers, and endless cooking sessions. This weekend my project is to pull up my garden and prepare for next year. Next year we will be doing some raised beds and container gardening versus in the ground as we did this year. The backyard flooding and those “UGHHHHH” snails drove me nuts!! Along with this project, I will be posting on composting. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m sure it will be comical LOL. Stay tuned!