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1. Yep, what you buy as "regular" Cream of Wheat in the store is a rip-off. 28 oz for about $4.50 = ~ ~$2.57/lb. This is a joke. Even the generic, at 24 oz for 2.99 is about $2/lb. The stores like United Grocers and Smart & Final no longer carry bulk sizes of it, either.

Go to your local Indian grocery store (or even Food Max in the Asian section). Find "Sooji". I got a 7 lb bag for $4.99, at Patel Brothers in Santa Clara (http://www.patelbros.com). That's $0.71/lb. It's the same thing!!

Sure, it isn't the "instant" stuff. It actually takes a few minutes to cook. For 1/3 to 1/5 the price, you can wait a couple minutes longer. Just start the cereal before the eggs or toast.

Also, Patel Brothers had 25# bags of US grown long grain rice for $9.99.

For things like rice, lentils and certain simple grain cereals, don't go for the boxed crap. You pay a lot for the box. Find ethnic stores that treat these things like the staples that they really are.

2. Smart & Final (http://www.smartandfinal.com) says they are "down sizing their packaging". WTF?? Why would I shop there, then, if I can get the same size and price closer to home at Food Max or Safeway? Gas costs count, folks.

Bulk food shopping doesn't happen if the store goes back to regular consumer sized packaging. Sorry, bozos.

Lesson: Keep track of your unit costs. I may have to start posting mine to a Google docs spreadsheet or something.

3. Frozen vegetables, "steamer bags", premixed blends and shrinking portions

Frozen vegetables used to be a nice, cheap way to get your daily veggies without having to haul your butt to the store twice a week. Now, though, you pay for the "convenience" of "steamer" packaging, whether you want it or not, and some marketing schmuck deciding that a 12 oz bag is just the right size for your family, instead of the traditional 1 pound package.

Plus, I had the devils own time finding plain carrots. I could find 6 different fancy ass "medleys"[ with carrots in them, but no plain carrots.

Not only no, but fuck no. I want to make my own medleys, not have my choice of some marketing asshole's idea of how much fucking squash I want with my little portion of vegetables in my single serving for my typical family's steamer bag. I want a resealable bag that I can snag a cup out of for my caserolle, not be forced to throw a pissant twelve ounce bag into the microwave.

This crap with premade blends and yuppie bags is for the birds, and wasteful, too. Don't buy the "steamer bags". Boycott them. Don't buy fancy blends with made-up names. If they don't sell, they'll stop pushing this horrible, wasteful shit, and give us back our ingredients, not ready made "sides".

4. Soybean "vegetable broth" in tuna, and the rip-off 5 oz can.

I've gone off about this before, but read your ingredients labels!!!!. What is sold as "tuna in water" isn't, it's "tuna in vegetable (soybean) broth" If you are soy sensitive DO NOT BUY THIS.

Also, what used to be a standard 6 oz can is now a 5 oz can, and again the marketing schmucks think you won't notice that the price has gone up, but the size has gone down, and you are being cheated. Some people are, of course, rebelling and saying "No, we'll sell a 7 oz can for a little more."

So recipes that used to call for 1 can of tuna? They're now all screwed up.

5. Prepared crap sucks. I am getting pretty disgusted when I see just how much easy stuff is now made as box mixes or premade meals. Yeah, I used to eat a lot of it. I'm still wearing a lot of it, too. Cooking in bulk and freezing home made "TV dinners" helps me appreciate just how bad those things were, and how expensive.

Hell, it's even cheaper to take noodles (egg noodles for a smidge extra protein), chicken bouillion, and canned chicken to make chicken noodle soup than to buy it in the can, plus it actually has less fat and less sodium! You can freeze the extra. Plus, you get to pick khow much of what veggies and spices get added!

Same with a lot of other stuff. Try it.

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 17th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
Dec. 17th, 2009 05:33 pm (UTC)
It's the Grocery Shrink Ray at work. It's really awful, sometimes. I prefer to buy in bulk, or buy 'font-free' foods (produce, etc) and make my own stuff. Instead of getting a steamer bag in the frozen food section, I'll get the fresh produce, and use a Ziplock steamer bag to make my own steamed veggies.

I cook in batches. I keep my foods simple. And if I can't tell what it's actually made of, or the ingredients list has things that don't sound like 'food' listed on it, I won't buy it. I can fix my own mac+cheese. I can make my chili from scratch. An apple or some cheese are better snacks than chips, candy, cookies, or 'snack-bars'.
Dec. 23rd, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
I buy bulk if at all possible. If I had a freezer, I'd get all my veggies at the farmer's market and freeze for the winter.
Dec. 25th, 2009 08:27 am (UTC)
Groceries et al
Hi my Ravan beauty! I agree completely. I have found a couple of places to get non-soy cheap tomato soup i.e. Family Dollar and Wal-Mart for 50 and 54 cents. Best thing is to bake my own bread in my bread machine --cheaper and no soy flour. Problem is I eat the stuff. It tastes sooo good and is good for me in moderation.

Another big savings is my Magic Jack. Don't buy it on line though. Go to Wal-Mart or you local drug store and buy it there, same price without the hassles they give over credit cards. Also protects your privacy and some folk complain about not getting one when ordered online.

Had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand on Tues. Can't wait until I get up in the morning to take off my big bandage and put on just a bandaid. The big mitten is in the way and itches like crazy. I wonder what kind of tape and tape allergy I will find under all of the gauze. I told them I was allergic and still one nurse put plastic tape on the IV removal place ---think I'll go back and show him what "tape allergy" on my form means! Will try to call you on Christmas or this weekend. Love you ---Mom
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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