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Old 12-02-2011, 11:15 AM   #11
Brian Flynn
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Re: Eat real food without going broke or being chained to the stove: a case study

Great information as always Katherine.

Matt, my wife is always at that Market Basket in Bellingham or the BJ's in Franklin. I would never wait in those deli lines. Thankfully, grocery shopping isn't in my job desription.
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Old 12-02-2011, 11:45 AM   #12
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Eat real food without going broke or being chained to the stove: a case study

Cost estimate? I'll see what I can do.... The following prices are based on Seattle area store web pages, which of course are going to be the best prices they can possibly offer, and not necessarily what you would actually pay. These prices are for typical grocery store products: not grassfed, not organic.

Beef brisket -- 4-5 lbs. -- $3-$4 per lb.
Deli ham -- 0.25 lbs -- $8 per lb. You could use bacon or salt pork, ham is just what I had on hand.
Ancho chilis -- small pkg. -- couldn't find a price. A couple dollars?
Potatoes -- 1.5 lbs. -- $0.80 to $1. per lb.
(Subtotal: ~$25)

Flour Tortillas -- pkg. of 10 -- $3.50
Lettuce -- one head romaine -- $1.70 -- you'll only use a few leaves. Put the rest in a salad.
Tomatoes -- 2-3 small -- $1.
Avocado -- one -- $1
(Subtotal: ~$7)

Ground bison -- 1 lb. -- not always available locally, this was mail order. Very lean ground beef is about $5 per pound.
Tomatoes -- 1 large can, diced -- $2-$3
Tomato sauce -- 2 8 oz cans --$1
Green chilis -- 1 sm. can -- $2
Yellow onion -- one -- $0.50
Bell pepper -- one -- $0.70
pinto beans -- 1 can -- $1-$2
black beans -- 1 can -- $1-$2
(I actually use dried beans, which are effectively free, but take longer.)
(Subtotal: $15)

Grand total: $47.

Other ingredients -- these are staples that a well-stocked kitchen would just have. Used in such small quantities here that I didn't price them out. If you're starting from zero, avoid those overpriced "spice sets" and just buy what you need recipe by recipe. You'll find that any given regional cuisine will use the same spices over and over in most recipes, so you'll be fully stocked before you know it.

(spice mix for the brisket)
Garlic (fresh)
cinnamon (stick)
cloves
marjoram
thyme
oregano
black peppercorns
slivered almonds

(other staples)
white wine vinegar
lard or vegetable oil

(for the chili)
chili powder
cocoa powder
cumin
allspice
plus some of the spices also used in the brisket

If you didn't already have any of these, buying all of them would add quite a bit to the bill. But a 1 oz. bottle of thyme might last you a year, so the cost per meal is very low.

Katherine
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:07 PM   #13
Summer Evert
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Re: Eat real food without going broke or being chained to the stove: a case study

I am on VERY good terms with my slow cooker now. I usually spend about 30 min on prepping the ingredients, I plug it in, and I forget about it. The stuff that comes out of that appliance after not having to think about it for 8 hours is absolutely delicious! I love that thing.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:46 PM   #14
Ryan Eddy
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Re: Eat real food without going broke or being chained to the stove: a case study

A 40 clove chicken is a pretty righteous way to use a slow cooker. This is a pretty common recipe and can be easily "googled". Dont forget to blender up all the garlic and the "leavins" for a wicked sauce.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:58 PM   #15
Luke Sirakos
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Re: Eat real food without going broke or being chained to the stove: a case study

I don't do it because I am lazy but if you want to cook cheaply getting whole chickens is by far the best way to go. So much cheaper than just buying the pieces already butchered.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:05 PM   #16
Andrew Thompson
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Re: Eat real food without going broke or being chained to the stove: a case study

Learning to cook is key!

Buying large cuts of meat is not only more cost effective, but the large cuts usually have more flavor as well, and provide lots of leftovers.

A slow cooker, and a pressure cooker, are musts in the kitchen.

Here are two great cookbooks, one for each applience. They are by the same author, and everything comes out amazing!

Slow Cooker

Pressure Cooker

All links WFS
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:42 PM   #17
Luke Seubert
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Re: Eat real food without going broke or being chained to the stove: a case study

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Sirakos View Post
I don't do it because I am lazy but if you want to cook cheaply getting whole chickens is by far the best way to go. So much cheaper than just buying the pieces already butchered.
Yup, whole chickens are mighty cheap.

For those who want to learn how to quickly bone out a chicken, this instructional video by Jacques Pepin (WFS) is one of the best.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:47 PM   #18
Michael Dries
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Re: Eat real food without going broke or being chained to the stove: a case study

I cook 95% of the food we eat and jus my wife and I spend about $140/week on groceries before eating out.

I guess it's just wear I live. There's no where I'd be able to buy a $4 chicken that would feed me let alone a family of 4.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:56 PM   #19
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Eat real food without going broke or being chained to the stove: a case study

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Sirakos View Post
I don't do it because I am lazy but if you want to cook cheaply getting whole chickens is by far the best way to go. So much cheaper than just buying the pieces already butchered.
Actually, a grocery store butcher will usually cut a whole chicken into pieces for free. Useful when the recipe calls for "one chicken, cut in serving pieces."

Katherine
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:07 AM   #20
Renee Lee
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Re: Eat real food without going broke or being chained to the stove: a case study

Loving the MB love in this thread. NEVER go to the Chelsea market basket on the first Saturday of the month.

Just do NOT do it!!
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