Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cost Cutting: 2- Make it from scratch

Not only is making everything from scratch healthier, it will almost always be cheaper. I have always been a firm believer that anything they (big business, industry) can do, I can do better (No you can’t, yes I can, no you can’t, yes I can, yes I can, yes I cannnnnnn…. Sorry, little Annie, Get Your Gun). Anyway, where was I. Oh yes, make it at home…
I will always utilize great sales on key ingredients to process my own foods at home, that I will inevitably need in the future. Great example: applesauce. Unsweetened applesauce is a staple in my house. Between my children, my baking, using as a topping on pancakes, we use a lot of applesauce. I recently took advantage of a great sale my local grocery store was having where they had Organic Fuji and Braeburn apples for $.88/lb. Yes, that is right, $.88/lb. Crazy, right. Hello, stockuportunity!!!!!!
Over the week of the sale I purchased about 20lbs of apples, and was able to can 15 jars of organic applesauce, for under $18 in total.  I worked it out that each jar was actually less than $1 each because of apples eaten raw, eating applesauce as we worked, and I had a small bowl left over that we used during the next week that never made it to the jars. Was it work, yes, but will it be worth it over the next couple months when I have my own applesauce, with exactly what I know is in it, to feed my family for much cheaper than I can purchase it? ABSOLUTELY!!!

Another great example: sausage. I talked in CC:1 about grocery store’s reduced meats. Well, when you find those great deals on ground meats, take advantage of them in 2 ways. Freeze some for use in meals, and make some into sausage. It is so hard, and even more expensive, to find good quality paleo sausage meat. So, I make my own… I know what I put in, so I know what I will get. I was recently able to make 10 lbs of sausage, 6lbs breakfast and 4lbs Italian for less than $14. That is right, quality, guaranteed Paleo sausage for pretty much the cost of the cheapo, crud-filled excuses for sausage in the grocery store. My freezer is now stocked for breakfasts, dinners, and everything in between, for a great price, and it took me maybe an hour and a half in total.

These are just 2 examples, but the theory works on almost everything! Here are some more:
1.       We are getting into berry season in most areas. Make a day of it with your family and pick a ton.  Freeze them up and eat off them for months at a fraction of the cost of store purchased fresh/frozen.
2.       When a good beef sale come along make a ton of jerky. If prepared correctly it can last a good amount of time, and is SOOO much cheaper than purchasing, let along purchasing strict Paleo.
3.       Almond Butter- Stock up on nuts when you find a great sale, and grind it fresh or into jars as you need it. I can make it for at least 2/3 the cost of store bought, and when you bake a lot you can go through it fast!
4.       Yogurt- I know not everyone Paleo does dairy, but for those that do. Look into making your own. I have been doing so for years, and the savings is absolutely unbelievable, and it is so easy with a Crockpot. I love giving my kids yogurt and knowing exactly where it came from, from farm to table and nothing but my hands in between!
5.       Flavored vinegars- You can make incredible salad dressing by flavoring regular old (cheap!!) white vinegar with fresh herbs from the garden. Just soak herbs in the vinegar in a mason jar for a couple days, and you will have incredible stuff. Try chives (a great use for the flowers as well), dill, parsley, basil, or any combo you like. So inexpensive (especially if you have your own garden) and adds great flavor to salads, stir fry and any dish you like.
6.        Fruit leathers- My kids love fruit leathers. They are so easy to make at home. I simply use a jar of homemade applesauce (though you could use purchased), spread it on a silicone baking mat on a cookie sheet and bake on 225 for an hour or so, depending on how thick you make them. No added sugar, no wasted packaging, and I have healthy snacks for my family. 1 large jar of applesauce makes about 2 cookie sheets of leather, so you can see the incredible savings there!
I hope this was of some help, and I hope to continue to add more as I think of them!

1 comment:

  1. I was reading this post and was wondering if you would ever put up your recipes for how you make yogurt and sausage. My email is mrsespinoza0304@yahoo.com.