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In This Economy, I'm Sadly Doing Without...


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.....dining out. We eat almost 100% of our meals at home, and my husband brown-bags his lunch every day. Learning to make my own potstickers has taken the edge off that one.

.....expensive sources of protein. Rib-eyes and ahi tuna are a once-a-month treat. We're eating a lot more chicken, and I'm learning how to roast a really good one (and that is partly thanks to you, Chris), although Rocky and Rosie aren't exactly cheap dates. I've also perfected my meatloaf. And we eat a LOT of beans--although I admit to purchasing relatively expensive heirloom beans. Still a deal, though!

.....store-bought marmalade. We consume vast amounts of this, but now we make our own. This is production season!

.....high-end scotch. Although in fairness we quit that one a few years ago.

.....cheeses. This is mostly a health thing for me, but I'm surprised at how much I used to spend per month on Clarins, La Tur, Stilton, etc. Now I buy it when company comes and bliss out with an itty bitty portion.

.....Panzanella crackers. Okay, I haven't kicked this habit totally, but I have cut way back. Original flavor's pretty good with Stilton.

Edited by Katie Meadow (log)
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Organic vegetables.

I refuse to eat non-organic meat, but when the budget is tight, organic vegetables are the first to go. I now tend to buy them only for special occasions.. it´s become a thing to splurge on.

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... pimped wine refrigerator to use as a curing chamber.

I'm with you, there; I'm reticent to sink money into more expensive items or hobbies -- charcuterie, smoking, and cheesemaking. All things I am very interested in, and have been wanting to do for a while, but I just don't want to spend $400 on a Bradley smoker or hundreds on a good curing chamber for meat and/or cheeses.

So, I'm spending the time to figure out how to do those things on the cheap, or to do the methods that are cheapest or require the lead amount of equipment.

Also, re-stocking my liquor cabinet, which is missing vodka, boubon, vermouths, and campari. Smartest thing to do is an occasional bottle, not all at once.

Edited by Reignking (log)
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...the monthly shipment of Peet's coffee.

I am ever grateful to my FIL who filled my freezer with 1.5 venison (that's 1.5 animals). Suppose you folks can guess what we're eating for meat these days?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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...the monthly shipment of Peet's coffee.

I am ever grateful to my FIL who filled my freezer with 1.5 venison (that's 1.5 animals).  Suppose you folks can guess what we're eating for meat these days?

Susan~when I was in undergrad in Pennsylvania, I was really really poor. My Dad and brother both got deer that year........and my Mom hates venision ! It was the only meat I had for a year..............ask me for a recipe, go ahead ! :wink::wacko::raz:

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...recipes. I'm a good cook, but the only way that I may try something new is with a recipe. But if it has too many ingredients, and I can figure that it is going to cost more than what I'd normally cook, forget it.

Good time to have a new vacuum sealer, though.

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Good butter. My family doesn't seem to know the difference, but I do. I can buy organic private label way cheaper than my *sob* Vermont Dairy.

“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”
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Me too on the beverages outside of the house. These days, it's a travel mug of green tea.

Booze, also. The only thing I've bought in the past...8 months, has been a handle of Applejack.

Shopping at Whole Foods. Lately, it'e been the managers specials at Shop-Rite, and good old Aldi.

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I hear you on shopping at Whole Foods. Even though the milk/eggs/butter I like are actually cheaper there, I can't go in and just buy those things b/c the trip takes me past the cheese/meat/veggie departments--and that's death to any willpower I thought I had. Now that I think about it, though, my husband is immune to the siren call of Whole Foods--I bet I could send him in and he'd come out with just what was on the list.

...delivery meals. I'm making a concerted effort to eat out of my own pantry/freezer. In fact, I've embarked on an inventory project to make sure I know what I have on hand so I can consult the supplies before I head to the grocery store.

...can't give up the wine, though. It's making my stress level manageable.

Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.
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To be honest, when ever times are tough, I'd rather give up other things than quality ingredients or meat. Those are what sustain us. I can live without a cruise, or a latte in the morning, or other things.

Edited by Marlene (log)

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I'm curious...are any of you cutting back because you HAVE to..or out of fear or higher prices or why? It seems to me that grocery prices have stopped going up so much or have even come down.

I had a full pantry, refrigerator and freezer on Jan. 1 and decided to go to the grocery store as little as possible and use what I had. Assuming I have no trips to the store between now and Feb. 1, my total grocery bill for January stands at $68 for one person. That's good, because my heating bill is creeping up around $300 now.

So what have I given up? Practically nothing. I've learned that if I buy what I really like, I'll eat it. If I buy something cheaper which I don't like so much, it will sit there and rot or mold or somehow self-destruct before I'll eat it. For example, I love Brie but am not so keen on eating other cheeses although I cook with them, so I buy Brie and save money by not throwing out the other cheeses I didn't eat.

Over the past six months, I have been trying to cut down on waste so now buy 1 or 2 pieces of each kind of fruit instead of a bunch of bananas or a bag of apples. I put meat in the freezer the minute I get home from the store, so it won't spoil while I'm procrastinating about cooking it tonight or tomorrow or the next day. When I buy hamburger for meat loaf or chili, I'll sneak out enough for a hamburger patty or two for "free" main dishes.

The number of people I have cooked for in my life has looked like this: 5-6-2-3-4-3-2-1. So for the first time I have had to adapt to cooking just for me, and I tend to indulge myself. Can't see this working for a family but it works for me.

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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I'm curious...are any of you cutting back because you HAVE to..or out of fear or higher prices or why?  It seems to me that grocery prices have stopped going up so much or have even come down.

I hear you. I'm not giving up anything and don't plan to. Our family is fortunate enough to have stable jobs. In general, I don't tend to buy a lot of luxury products. But I do spend a fair amount on fresh fish, shrimp and produce from the farmers market. Those producers need to live, and as long as I can afford it I'll keep buying their products.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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Well, at Casa Amirault y Castañeda, we absolutely have to cut back for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, I can't cut out cruises! We don't spend much on clothing, non-food hobbies, fine dining, nor on other likely candidates for the chopping block. With two kids in school and a parent off to get a masters in the fall, plus the constant expense of education, a mortgage, health insurance, plus a 100-year-old house that likes to make things go kablooey... well, a $40 bottle of arbequina olive oil is gonna get the axe.

That's not to say that all food-related expenses are reduced to a minimum. Since I buy very little processed food, I like to get meat, fish, and produce from reputable (and thus pricier) grocers. We also have a small number of restaurants that we frequent, run by people who have known us for years, that can feed our family of 4 for under $10 per person, and there are nights that I simply have to step away from the stove and eat someone else's kim bop or polenta. But never more than once a week -- and I'm afraid we're looking at doing that less often....

edited to clarify -- ca

Edited by chrisamirault (log)

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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My rampages through the cheese case at Traders Joe's are infrequent now. Otherwise I haven't given up much, because I don't have much to give up.

I haven't eaten out since a year ago November, and even then kind friends paid.

Edited by maggiethecat (log)

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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I'm curious...are any of you cutting back because you HAVE to..or out of fear or higher prices or why?  It seems to me that grocery prices have stopped going up so much or have even come down.

I had a full pantry, refrigerator and freezer on Jan. 1 and decided to go to the grocery store as little as possible and use what I had.  Assuming I have no trips to the store between now and Feb. 1, my total grocery bill for January stands at $68 for one person.  That's good, because my heating bill is creeping up around $300 now.

So what have I given up?  Practically nothing.  I've learned that if I buy what I really like, I'll eat it.  If I buy something cheaper which I don't like so much, it will sit there and rot or mold or somehow self-destruct before I'll eat it.  For example, I love Brie but am not so keen on eating other cheeses although I cook with them, so I buy Brie and save money by not throwing out the other cheeses I didn't eat. 

Over the past six months, I have been trying to cut down on waste so now buy 1 or 2 pieces of each kind of fruit instead of a bunch of bananas or a bag of apples.  I put meat in the freezer the minute I get home from the store, so it won't spoil while I'm procrastinating about cooking it tonight or tomorrow or the next day.  When I buy hamburger for meat loaf or chili, I'll sneak out enough for a hamburger patty or two for "free" main dishes. 

The number of people I have cooked for in my life has looked like this:  5-6-2-3-4-3-2-1.  So for the first time I have had to adapt to cooking just for me, and I tend to indulge myself.  Can't see this working for a family but it works for me.

Our family business is seasonal work, we do landscaping. Every single winter, we face a severe economic slump, no matter what's going with everyone else. In the past year, we've been cutting back, and living like that all the time, and just socking money away. Job stability is a thing of the past, in our little world, and even though we are currently doing suprisingly well, we're not blind. Essentially, we're preparing for a long winter.

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I haven't really cut back on anything in terms of purchases, but I am cutting back on waste. I waste an enormous amount of food every year (as many people probably do), but this year I'm trying to use up everything I buy (and that goes for all the stuff in my pantry, too). It's helping because I'm not buying as much as I used to, but I still eat out too much. That has to be limited, too.

I don't have any loss of income, nor any additional expenses (although I hear my health insurance will go up quite a bit starting in April), but I will be leaving my very cushy relatively well-paid job in March 2010, so it's really time to start saving up my pennies.

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. . . cheese, booze and drive-thru coffee.

Good cheese is so damn expensive here. When the big 700g block of Cracker Barrel Old Cheddar is half price, I'll get some. I don't care much for processed cheese, and the big bag of grated mozza is just awful. I don't think I can totally give up Port & Stilton, I'll just have it less often.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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[

Excellent point. I'm sadly doing without inexcusable disposal of perfectly good food that's gotten old.

Me, too. I am making soup of veggies I probably would have tossed yesterday, but this does seem like a different world, now.

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