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Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy

 
SouthernLight
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05/19/2008 04:03 AM

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Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
There are many ways to cut costs on food while maintaining health. Living well through high prices, shortages and plain hard times may depend on some of this 'old fashioned' know-how.

I am sure many of you have recipes, stories and information that would be helpful to pass along. Too many folks today simply have no idea how to pinch a penny double while keeping a growing family healthy. Many “survival” comments seen on GLP and the fact that my own children know so very little about cutting costs without cutting corners nutritionally shows me what a problem this may be in the near future.

Just to get things started, here are a few quick gems my "Gen-Depression" family members taught in regards to eatin' well on less... I will try to add recipes, more detailed information and links as time allows, but hope others of you will take this ball and run with it.

_ Plant a garden, of course! Get rid of those useless, albeit lovely, decorative houseplants. Prettying up the house and freshening indoor air with edibles just makes good sense, and these days… dollars!

Most kinds of lettuce, lots of savory herbs and many vegetable varieties will grow in a bright window. Growing sprouts is pretty much an "under the cabinet" venture, requires very little light and provides good nutrition as well.

Don't have outdoor space for a garden? Squash, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, all the greens (spinach, mustard and so on) and even potatoes can be grown in containers on a driveway, patio or balcony with at least moderate sunlight. Some of these plants will continue to produce okay for a month or more if you have room to bring them inside come frosty weather, even with fairly low light.

_ Never, but Never! throw away your veggie trimmings and scraps. When you peel potatoes, cut the top and base off that celery or strip the outer 'paper' off those onions, instead of tossing them directly into the compost or trash, wash 'em and put 'em into a separate pot... add water and cook.

Sounds yucky? Not so fast… All chefs know this makes the BEST stock base for soups, sauces and more. If there are some minor roots on the onion or greens, even better. Just make sure they are well washed. This broth is a power pack of nutrition since many veggies actually contain more nutrients in the skin, along with trace minerals from the fine particles left in the base and fine root remnants.

Once cooked, strain out the solids and package the liquid. Store in fridge for use within 5 days or so… freeze or can for use later. Depending on veggies stewed (no onion, garlic or much cabbage in the case of dogs ‘n cats), you can feed a lot of it to your critters, which will help extend their feed and cut some costs too.

_ When preparing meats, save the bones. Bones contain calcium and marrow (fats & fatty acids), both of which, can be essential to health with any ‘hardship’ diet. Add a teaspoon of vinegar to any simmering pot containing bones and the broth will contain more calcium. You won’t taste the vinegar either. Also start using meat more sparingly. Used as an addition to a dish, rather than the main attraction of an entire meal, is cheaper and far healthier for the most part. Get additional and more easily digested proteins from a variety of sources like soy, peanuts, beans and rice combo and so on.

_ Eat the weeds. No, Alice B.’s infamous brownies are Not what I had in mind! Search the Internet or go to a used book store and see what you can find on “foraging in the wild”, “wild edibles” or other eating from the wilderness type information.

You will discover that many of those pesky weeds are not only edible, but also far more tasty and nutritious than you might imagine. Dandelions are a good example. Young dandelion leaves are excellent and elegant in a mixed green salad, as are the yellow flowers. They have a very mild flavor and are a good source of several vitamins and minerals. The root can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute or chopped and dried to be used medicinally. It is a good diuretic and helps replace potassium lost with the flushing of excess liquids from the body. Lambs quarters, Dock, Day Lilly, Mallow and countless other “weeds” are good to eat and good for you too.

Check out the chart on this site ( [link to www.edibleplants.com] ) , for a quick look at the nutritional value of many wild plants, along with a wise call for caution. Sorry, couldn't find the thread that told how to insert links, etc. Need to put that stuff in the FAQ, Mods! :)
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Evil Twin

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05/19/2008 04:13 AM
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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
_ Eat the weeds. No, Alice B.’s infamous brownies are Not what I had in mind! Search the Internet or go to a used book store and see what you can find on “foraging in the wild”, “wild edibles” or other eating from the wilderness type information.

 Quoting: SouthernLight

I just discovered that I have a huge patch of ginger growing, that has been here for several years before I bought this place. I thought they were just interesting looking weeds!
SouthernLight  (OP)

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05/19/2008 04:25 AM

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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
You will probably be surprised what else you find that is better food than you can get at the markets once you get interested!

I quit using commercial fertilizers and pesticides many years ago when I learned enough about my natural "wild" garden.

Love the idea for these Recession Proof threads! Could turn out to be great sources of timely information.
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SouthernLight  (OP)

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05/19/2008 01:22 PM

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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
Specific ways I’ve drastically cut our monthly food costs and gotten the family to eat healthier…

1. Stock up on the basics regularly used.
This saves money because it allows me to take better advantage of sale items. On limited our food budget, it wasn’t easy getting the extras, but I did it a little at a time over the course of three months. I made a list of the non-perishables we use the most and started there. Beans, rice, pastas, canned goods, flour, corn meal and cooking necessities like baking soda & powder, oil, sugar and spices all led the list. Instead of purchasing one, I’d get two. If something was on a good sale, like the recent 3/$1.00 canned veggies, I shorted on other things to load up on these. We also purchased a small, economical chest freezer for about $100. It increased our electric bill by a little less than $10 a month, but allows notable savings with meat sales particularly. If milk, butter, cheese, bread or other perishables that will freeze are on sale, I get an extra. This cuts down on those costly quick shop trips.

Notes on freezing dairy… A gallon of milk takes 24 to 48 hours to thaw completely at normal room temperature. When it is still a little frosty, but mostly thawed, shake it well because the cream tends to separate with freezing. Most block cheese will get crumbly and you won’t get pretty slices once it has been frozen. American cheese slices freeze beautifully. I purchase 5 lb blocks of sliced American cheese (not cheese food) at $13 on sale and repackage convenient size blocks of 20 to 30 slices per into plastic quart freezer bags (two stacks to a bag). Pull a stack as needed and put in a plastic cheese keeper, it will be ready to use in a couple of hours if left at room temp. Real butter should be plastic bagged because it will pick up that “freezer” taste through the paper box and wrappers alone.
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SouthernLight  (OP)

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05/19/2008 01:24 PM

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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
Specific ways I’ve drastically cut our monthly food costs and gotten the family to eat healthier… continued

2.Use shopping lists and sales flyers to best advantage.
When the flyers come out each week, I sit down and make a list noting the store, items we use and prices. Additionally, I make a general meal plan for the week based primarily around what I can get on sale.

This cuts down on impulse buying and saves gasoline. How does it save gas? I plan my work/errand route to eliminate backtracking and needless mileage.

3.Buy bulk and save.
Once I had my staples stocked up, I started buying what I could in bulk quantities, beginning with packaging goods. Trash bags, plastic freezer bags and freezer paper for repackaging meats specifically are all far cheaper when bought in small commercial size packages. If you don’t have one of the warehouse (Sam’s) type stores locally, check with your retail outlet manager to see if they can offer discounts on case lot purchases… many will, if specifically asked.

Cereals, crackers, nuts, dried fruits, cooking oils, sprouting seeds and many other items that store reasonably well cost a good bit less purchased in bulk. Repackaging into smaller containers is advisable to retain freshness. That way, you only have open what can be used within a week or so. If you plan on going the bulk route, stocking up on airtight plastic containers is a good idea too. This will prevent using your savings to feed opportunistic rodents during storage. Some of the links provided below have great information on acquiring these, different types and other essential storage tips.
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SouthernLight  (OP)

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05/19/2008 01:26 PM

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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
Specific ways I’ve drastically cut our monthly food costs and gotten the family to eat healthier… continued

4. Quit “convenience” eating out..

Bag lunches save tons of cash! Get a couple of those freezer packs and a small fabric type cooler. Packing a tasty, healthy lunch requires a little pre-planning and an extra 10 minutes each morning, but will cut costs by $3 to $12 a day at the very least (that’s $15 to $60 a week folks!), depending on what/where you normally eat. It will certainly be far healthier for you than those low-end dollar menu items too!

I keep a couple of pizzas and at least one of those pasta entrees in the freezer for those occasional evenings when everyone is too tired to cook.

If you have kids, bag up some easy to eat sandwiches or burritos and drinks before picking them up after school instead of hitting the drive through. This will save the gasoline used to get there and back as well.
We know more than we know and understand less than we think.
SouthernLight  (OP)

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05/19/2008 01:30 PM

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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
Specific ways I’ve drastically cut our monthly food costs and gotten the family to eat healthier… continued

5.Cutting those pricey snack items.

We love our chips, cookies, sodas and all the rest of those expensive, fattening, chemical and preservative loaded treats! Cutting these out entirely would have caused a civil war in our household. This requires an additional two to four hours of effort a week, but can be incorporated into regular meal prep and made fun with family participation.

Homemade cookies are easy and fun for the children to help make. Instead of one batch, make 4 or 5 to bag and freeze or put up in cookie tins. Tins can be purchased used for a quarter each at most thrift stores. You just need to wash and dry them well, and wrap the completely cooled cookies in paper towels or tissue prior to sealing. Most hard cookies will keep for several weeks in a cool location; soft seem to have only a week or two shelf life unless chilled.

Making your own trail mix and other healthy snacks is easy and far cheaper. It may cost you more initially to get all the ingredients, but mixed and bagged or made into bars with honey (or like a candy using melted dark chocolate!) will save tons over the ready-mades. For example, bulk purchase at Sam’s: large bag each pecans, walnuts & almonds… total about $40, large bag dark chocolate chips $7 I think, big box granola style cereal about $6, bags dried blueberries, cranberries, raisins and pineapple or mixed tropical… total around $40 to $50… The grand total of about $100 sounds like a lot, right? Now look at $4 to $6 per box or bag of ready made at even 12 bars (usually contain 8 or 10 at the most) or a 6 to 10 oz bag… on the cheap end of $4 per, that is only 25 packages. Make up 25 of these size packages of your own and you will still have plenty left for adding to bowls of cereal, cookie making, fruit for pancakes and other treats.
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SouthernLight  (OP)

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05/19/2008 01:31 PM

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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
Specific ways I’ve drastically cut our monthly food costs and gotten the family to eat healthier… continued

Cutting those pricey snack items cont.

Corn or tortilla chips are a breeze and far tastier when home cooked. The key is to use deep, hot (350 – 400 degree) oil and a wire basket or scoop to get them out quickly. Buy the thinnest corn tortillas available and cut into quarters. Separate the pieces so they don’t stick together while frying. Start with 5 or 6 pieces to get an idea of how long it will take to get just the right amount of crispness and best flavor. We like them slightly darker. This gives a better holding crisp and mellower flavor. Most folks like theirs salted. Do this immediately upon removing from the cooker so the salt adheres to the chips. Draining the chips on clean newspaper prevents oiliness.

I just watch the sales for other chips and limit consumption to meals. Cutting out the pigging on a bag instead of eating a healthy snack has dropped our purchase to less than a bag a week.

When I buy sodas, I get the off-brands by the case of 24, at $4 to $6 each. It will take some sampling to figure out which ones taste best to you. This will depend largely on whether you prefer Sprite or 7-Up for instance… some are more Sprite-like, other more like 7-Up. Same goes for all of them. I ration these to a couple per week, per person and they are now a real treat instead of an unhealthy but easy grab ‘n go. Now we keep a pitcher of lime or lemonade in the fridge and some tang or other drink mix in the pantry. Good old water consumption has gone up noticeably too, and I think we are all healthier for the change.
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SouthernLight  (OP)

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05/19/2008 01:33 PM

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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
A few useful information links to get you started:

Bulk food purchasing, storage and more

[link to www.stretcher.com]
[link to www.backwoodshome.com]
[link to jenniferlance.greenoptions.com]
[link to waltonfeed.com]

Budgeting & money saving tips

[link to www.pioneerthinking.com]
[link to www.frugalfun.com]
[link to www.betterbudgeting.com]
[link to www.thedietchannel.com]
[link to frugalliving.about.com]
[link to www.star-telegram.com]
[link to www.dallasnews.com]
[link to www.jsonline.com]
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Anonymous Coward
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05/19/2008 03:04 PM
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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
Great tips and ideas there; Thanks for posting!

cheers
SouthernLight  (OP)

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05/19/2008 03:20 PM

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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
Processed baby food is largely an unnecessary expense!
Here are some simple guidelines for making your own baby food found through the University of Georgia.
See links at the bottom of post for more good baby food information.


Making Your Own Baby Food

From the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service

[link to www.fcs.uga.edu]

Feeding Infants (4 to 12 months) and Children
Making your own baby food from family foods usually costs less than baby food you buy and allows the baby to get used to the types of foods the family eats.

What you need
Something to mash or grind the food such as a:
food grinder
blender
potato masher
strainer or
fork
Good quality food without added salt, sugar, fat or spices.
Do not make baby food from leftovers that have been kept for more than one day.

How long you can store homemade baby food in the refrigerator or freezer

Refrigerator In Freezer
Fruits & vegetables 2 to 3 days 6 to 8 months
Meats or egg yolks 1 day 1 to 2 months
Meat & vegetable 1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
combinations

Feeding Infants (4 to 12 months) and Children
What to do

1. Wash your hands with hot soapy water. Wash all equipment in hot soapy water, rinse it
under hot water and air dry.

2. Wash fruits and vegetables by scrubbing under cool water. Peel fruits and vegetables and remove seeds.

3. Remove bones, skin and visible fat from meat.

4. Bake, boil or steam food until cooked and tender.

5. Use the food grinder, blender, potato masher, or fork to mash the food until it is of a
smooth texture. You may also force the food through a strainer. Throw away any tough
pieces or large lumps.

6. Add liquids such as cooking water, breast milk or formula if the food is thick or dry.

7. Do not add sugar, honey, salt or fat to baby food.


More baby food links:


[link to www.askdrsears.com]
[link to www.babycenter.com]
[link to www.thenewhomemaker.com]
[link to www.pioneerthinking.com]
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Anonymous Coward
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05/19/2008 06:17 PM
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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
I don't hunt anymore, but make a point to let those who do know that I will take whatever they don't want come deer season. You'd be surprised how many only want the tenderloin.

Come summer, I usually send fresh garden produce their way, so it works out for all of us.

We've just about stopped eating out and I carry a lunch to work even though I could go home. It's only a few miles each way, but it sure started to add up in gasoline!
SouthernLight (OP)
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05/19/2008 06:42 PM
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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
I don't hunt anymore, but make a point to let those who do know that I will take whatever they don't want come deer season. You'd be surprised how many only want the tenderloin.

Come summer, I usually send fresh garden produce their way, so it works out for all of us.

We've just about stopped eating out and I carry a lunch to work even though I could go home. It's only a few miles each way, but it sure started to add up in gasoline!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 435883


Good point AC. We know a couple of people who take hunters on their ranches and one that has exotics he has to cull. We let them know too, and usually get some of the extra to pass around to family and friends as well.
passing
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05/19/2008 07:03 PM
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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
aren't there processors that will give you the meat that hunters' leave if you pay the cost of processing?

just curious
Wasayo

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05/19/2008 10:37 PM
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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
bump hfterrific thread, SouthernLight! Thank you. Wasayo
"Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him." Prov. 30:5
Anonymous Coward
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05/19/2008 10:44 PM
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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
Thank you for the post. Good ideas galore!
paladin

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05/19/2008 11:07 PM
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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
bump hfterrific thread, SouthernLight! Thank you. Wasayo
 Quoting: Wasayo






thanks....wasayo.......


SouthernLight.....WOW......this is a great thread.....great info...


paladin
SouthernLight (OP)
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05/19/2008 11:19 PM
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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
aren't there processors that will give you the meat that hunters' leave if you pay the cost of processing?

just curious
 Quoting: passing 435910


I have heard that, but I have also heard in TX that the State encourages the meat be donated to various services for the elderly, etc.

Honestly, I don't know if either are true... We always process our own. Thrifty is as thrifty does lol

BTW, thanks all! I will try to get some more info up tomorrow. I know more of you remember what your grandparents and others taught from their Depression experience... Share some stories and advice! :)
Anonymous Coward
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05/19/2008 11:28 PM
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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
Here's what I did when gas hit $2.00/gal a while back:

I started grocery shopping on the bicycle. OK,granting that I live by myself and don't have a family to shop for when I make the trip,it still saves a bunch of cash. Here's how I do it,and why it seems to work so well:

Forget the expensive bike saddlebags that are sized for one brown paper grocery bag apiece. Not that they don't work,but they're a hassle to keep balanced,and have been known to come completely off the bike right at the top of a speed bump. A couple of episodes of me running around in traffic picking up soup cans convinced me that there had to be a better way.

And there was. I took a plain old generic duffel bag and equipped it with a shoulder strap. Then I added a bootlace and a cheap carabiner to one of the end handles on the bag.

The shoulder strap goes over my shoulder and neck (bag sort of on my right,shoulder strap all the way over my head on the left shoulder,in my case. ) Then the carabiner that's tied onto the bootlace is yanked around my left side,and hooked into a beltloop just to the left of my zipper. The bootlace/carabiner is important,since that's what keeps the bag centered on your back when you're riding,instead of suddenly deciding to shift around and throw you off balance.

With a little bit of effort,I can carry a week's worth of groceries for me. And it's good for several reasons;

1)exercise. Plain old cardiovascular exercise is a great way to stay in shape,keep from getting sick,and all the other benefits associated with keeping the heart and lungs in good shape.

2)Saves fuel. You wouldn't think a 10 block round trip to the store uses as much gas as it does,but over a month's time,I can see a noticeable difference in the fuel bill.

3)The bicycle/duffle bag shopping method pretty much eliminates almost all impulse buying. I used to go shopping every week,and load up on a bunch of crap,and wound up throwing a significant amount in the garbage after it sat in the fridge for a month and turned an interesting color.

Not having a great deal of space or weight carrying ability while shopping using a bicycle has been a real money saver. I now make two trips a week,and buy what I know I'll need and use in the next two or three days. And once that duffel bag is full,that's it. If I want to get something that isn't on the list,well and good. BUT if I do that,I know that something has to be put back on the shelf. Amazing how much money this saves.,,

Not saying this is for everyone,but it works for me,and I most certainly intend to keep doing it!
GREY LENSMAN

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05/19/2008 11:32 PM
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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
SL SOME GOOD STUFF HERE.

SKIP THE PROCESSED CHEESE. LOOK UP HOW TO STORE REAL CHEEESE AND HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN. COTTAGE CHEESE IS EASY AND SO USEFUL AND HEALTHY.

START TAKING STUFF BACK TO THE SUPERMARKET. I HAVE TAKEN MANY THINGS BACK INCLUDINNG CHOCOLATE THAT ON READING THE LABEL TOLD ME THAT IT HAS SOY IN IT. ALSO SAUSAGES THAT HAD SOY PROTEIN.

DO NOT KNOWINGLY BUY SOY OR CANOLA, MARGARINE, TRANSFATS, ASPARTAME, FLUORIDE PRODUCTS. IN THE UK MANY SUPERMARKETS INSIST THEIR BRANDS DO NOT CONTAIN. AJIMOTO GOING NUTS.

A GOOD IDEA EVEN IN A SMALL GARDEN IS TO MIX VEGGIES IN YOUR FLOWER BEDS. THIS ENABLES YOU TO GROW MORE DIVERSE STUFF AND SOME HELP EACH OTHER AGAINST INSECTS OR DISEASE.

WE GROW LEMON GRASS, GINGER, TUMERIC, LEMON LEAVES, CURRY LEAVES, MANGOES, JACKFRUIT, PAPAYA, CHILLIES, TOMATOES, YAM, ANTI CANCER HERBS, LIMES, BAMBOO SHOOTS ALL IN TINY SPACES. EVEN GREW SOME POTATOES BY ACCIDENT, FROM PEELING PUT ON THE SOIL. CAN ADD GARLIC BUT BEEN TOO LAZY

GL
not
Anonymous Coward
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05/19/2008 11:51 PM
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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
rhubarb grows like a weed almost anywhere and has lots of vitamin C, you can make stew, cake, all kinds of stuff out of it and it just grows endlessly, keeps you fed forever.
Beans
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05/19/2008 11:53 PM
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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
Don't forget about beans. Particularly when mixed with rice, beans are incredibly healthy and dirt cheap. In fact there is new research showing that beans are great sources of antioxidants, in addition to the protein, iron, and other great stuff. They can be flavored with almost anything. Some people consider meat an important staple but it is absolutely positively unnecessary as a protein source and in tight times should be viewed as a luxury item. On a global scale, less meat consumption would mean less starvation, since many more people can be fed on an acre used to produce human food versus the number of people that are fed by animals raised on food grown on that acreage.
Anonymous Coward
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05/20/2008 02:12 AM
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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
Great info everyone.

One way that I have dealt with the 'crumbly cheddar cheese out of the freezer' problem is to us an old-timer cheese refresh method used to rejuvenate old cheese that's become crumbly:

Just make up a glass of salt water, then dip a wash cloth or a few paper towels completely into this salt water, then wrap them directly on and around the completely defrosted cheese, and wrap all that in aluminum foil. Then put back into the refrigerator for 24hrs or so.

This should soften up the cheese a good amount, eliminating the crumbliness, and it makes the cheese taste surprisingly good.

Cheers.
stoidi
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05/20/2008 03:59 AM
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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
Whenever possible, buy a fully cooked chicken for a dollar or more extra. First, you will save that you don't have to dook it. Second you have an immediate meal. Third it is easy to clean it as soon as it is cooled and plan soup and other small quick meals. We like to add chicken pieces to stove top dressing or rice a roni. I like to use peices for soup that I can take to lunch. All is ready and you can make it into three or four meals if you plan. Plus you saved the hour of baking it. When you have to bake, plan at least two items to cook at the same time. Like casserole and bread, or cookies and a casserole. Think energy conservation as well as cost savings. Have a great day. Oh, I like to buy a chunk of meat, like round, that hasn't been cut up in the less expensive bulk packaging. I can cut off a few steaks, a roast, teri meat and chunks for stew or chili...so I can get 5 to 8 meals out of something I could have spent going to McDonalds or a Pancake House.
Anonymous Coward
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05/20/2008 10:07 AM
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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
bean cake recipe..
smash up any kind of beans with a little of their juice. add enough flour to make it like a batter. spoon onto hot skillet w/oil and fry like a pancake. delicious, a good way to finish off that pot of beans. can top with salsa, or grated cheese, be creative.
Grower
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05/20/2008 10:46 AM
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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
rhubarb grows like a weed almost anywhere and has lots of vitamin C, you can make stew, cake, all kinds of stuff out of it and it just grows endlessly, keeps you fed forever.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 187006

I just made a rhubarb pie!!! YUM! for some odd reason if i eat it raw i cant stop? the taste sickens me but i just cant stop.
If your a Grower like my self i suggest planted per annuals. Garlic,onions,asparagus,strawberries,black berries and the like. Anything that will come back year after year.
SouthernLight  (OP)

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05/20/2008 11:13 AM

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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
Eat Weeds!

Food and medicines from the wild are one of my favorite topics. It could be important if TS(really)HTF for us to have a good idea about what common wild plants are edible. Since just about everyone knows/has dandelions, those are a good place to start.

The first thing to know is if chemicals have been used on the area the dandelions are growing. If they are in a previously treated lawn or within 15 – 20 feet of asphalt, caution is advised. The nice thing about them is they will grow readily and rapidly so you can gather a couple of their ‘puff balls’ and seed them in nearly any soil to have greens quickly. If in a container, it must be at least 8 to 10 inches deep to accommodate their sturdy taproot.

Talk about good for what ails you… dandelions are amazing. Since no description is needed for these, let’s jump right into nutrition and some yummy recipes!


Raw greens (1 cup serving), best picked young and before the plant flowers, provide minimum daily requirements of 112% of Vitamin A, 32% of C, 9% of Iron, 535% of Vitamin K and 10% of Calcium. They also contain Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin E, Choline and more.

Check out this awesome site for comprehensive information:
[link to www.nutritiondata.com]

This site is less technical and has an informative and easy to read write up on them:
[link to www.leaflady.org]

Ohhh, now on to the tasty part! I’m not going to go into the fresh salads… just know that you can use the fresh, young greens with might near Any mix.

Greens ‘n Taters

Serves 6

7 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 qt. or more, fresh picked greens chopped
1 or more cloves minced garlic
¼ cup finely chopped onion
2 tbsp oil
chopped red pepper or sliced, chopped or minced fresh jalapeno to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Place cubed potatoes in pot, add water to cover and bring to a slow boil. How long will depend entirely on the size of your cubes, but cook until fork tender. About half way through add the greens.

While the potatoes and greens are cooking, heat skillet with oil on medium high and sauté onion, garlic and pepper until onion and garlic are golden to slightly crusty, depending on personal taste. We like ours a bit darker, almost crisped. Once done, set aside to cool.

When potatoes are tender, drain well, retaining broth. Add potatoes and greens to sautéed onion, garlic and pepper and stir to mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.

I fix this two ways… with the potatoes either boiled until tender with the greens (as detailed here) or cubed and pan fried slowly to a crispy golden, then adding the greens and seasonings, browning a bit until the onions are caramelized. Either way is delicious, but we prefer the fried with beans and tortillas, as a side for our breakfast eggs or even with meat and eaten as a burrito.

About the broth… I keep this cooking water (containing many of the nutrients) to use for soup base or even season it a little with what ever strikes my fancy to sip as a hot drink. It is excellent with 1 tsp oregano and used as a tea for congestion with a nasty chest or head cold.


Here are some great links to more dandelion recipes! Did you know you can make Dandelion wine? The root makes a pretty darn good coffee substitute too.

[link to astray.com]
[link to www.natureskills.com]
[link to www.prodigalgardens.info]
[link to www.mountain-breeze.com]
We know more than we know and understand less than we think.
Feign

User ID: 380424
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05/20/2008 11:31 AM
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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
Here is great article for anyone looking to cut costs. This woman grocery shops for a family of four for about $10 - $15 a week. It's amazing.

[link to consumerist.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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05/20/2008 11:44 AM
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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
for some odd reason if i eat it raw i cant stop? the taste sickens me but i just cant stop.

 Quoting: Grower 435644


When you find yourself eating something this way it usually means it contains something your body Really needs! Rhubarb is fairly high in Potassium and Calcium, but I wouldn't use it as a major source. Bananas and dark leafy greens, like mustard greens, seem safer bets.

I love Rhubarb too, but this is one of those plants you Can have too much of and some folks have even had reactions to eating stewed leaves. I suspect this might have been due to literally pigging out on them or something in the soil it was grown in though. Rhubarb seems to "pick up" and concentrate chemicals in poor soil or low water conditions.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 421424
United States
05/20/2008 11:49 AM
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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
Here is great article for anyone looking to cut costs. This woman grocery shops for a family of four for about $10 - $15 a week. It's amazing.

[link to consumerist.com]
 Quoting: Feign


WOW! Now that IS amazing!
Anonymous Coward
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05/20/2008 12:35 PM
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Re: Recession Proof GLP... Food: Cut costs & stay healthy
I think this is the best thread I've ever seen on GLP!!!! Thanks!





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