Everyone has been talking how job loss and recession effect diet – both the quality and the quantity of your diet. The question remains, do you get the most out of your grocery dollar? Below are a few small steps that take time, and sometimes planning, but will help you out as dollars get fewer or need to be stretched more.
If you buy fresh citrus fruit, what do you do with the skin? Have you ever priced dried zest – lemon usually but also orange – in the grocery store? It will cause you to have a coronary. Before you cut or peel a piece of citrus fruit, zest it. I have a grater that I use for this purpose. I zest the fruit and then lay the zest out in a bowl or on a plate until it dries. I, then, put it in a freezer safe bag and put it in the freezer. In the dead of winter when I have a recipe that calls for lemon zest, I just open the freezer door.
My kids like rotisserie chicken. It is expensive at the grocery so we do not buy it often. I am, though, likely to buy a whole roaster and roast it myself. That is the easy part of the money saving here. The more intense, more labor intensive part of saving money comes with what you do with the bones to that chicken. Whether you have roasted a chicken yourself or you have bought one at the grocery, do you keep the bones and make broth? Containers of broth, off brand, at my local grocery cost almost $3.50 a container – not a can as I do not buy broth in cans. You can take your bones from a chicken or turkey – I don’t do this with beef bones as I don’t serve beef all that often and it takes longer to get enough beef bones – and make your own broth. My mother prefers freezing the bones and using several chicken carcasses to make broth. I do not have a stock pot big enough for this. I do, though, regularly, make broth. If I am not making soup after making the broth, I will freeze it.
I will post again as I come up with additional ways to get the most out of your grocery dollar.