26 May 2010, 11:07am
life Of Food and Love:

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  • Of Food And Love: This is how I shop. Like a crazed coupon clipper who listens to the rhythm of her pantry.

    It took me over the course of six months to get this crazy.  Mad hunting for coupons, sitting the library filtering through miralax, puppy chow and Excedrin coupons to find the gold nugget — .55cents off Land o’ Lakes Butter.  Yes, I’m that crazy.  But I don’t mind.  Even my four year old understands how important those “coopuns” are to me.  I faithfully buy two, yes two, Sunday papers.  One from the town I live in and one from a neighboring town.  The coupons are not always the same in each paper.  The $3.25 I shell out every Sunday, except for Holidays because they don’t print coupons, pays for its self ten, sometimes twenty times over.

    So, that is step one.  TWO papers, every Sunday.  Not too shabby.  Because I know when I go shopping I will save NO less than $30.  The most I have ever saved in one go was $98.  Yeah.  I gulped.  Waited until I was outside, did the shout dance and called my husband.

    Now, on to the nitty gritty.

    Here is a list of items that I buy consistently to stock:
    Chicken broth/ Beef Broth
    Cream of Mushroom, chicken, celery
    Tomato sauce, paste and diced tomatoes
    Beans (black, pinto and pink)
    Noodles (jumbo shells, mini penne, vermicelli)
    Marinated artichoke hearts (for casseroles)
    French Fried Onions
    Water Chestnuts
    Cream of Wheat
    Flour (depending on how often you use it, I now make my own pancake batter so I tend to use a little more)

    Here is a list of the items I buy to freeze:
    Shredded cheese (sharp, mild cheddar, colby jack, mozzarella, parmesean)
    Butter (yes, I freeze butter)
    Pork (shoulder, and center cut pieces, labeled frozen and cut according to how much we eat)
    Ground Turkey rounds
    Bell Peppers
    Potatoes (if I made too many mashed potatoes over dinner, I freeze the remainder…I will go more into depth about other ways to freeze your ‘taters’)
    Rice (more on this later)
    Green Onions
    Store bought, Pre-bagged mixed veggies (for soups and stir frys)

    Store bought, Pre-bagged frozen corn (for soups)

    Ok, there is SO much to talk about concerning these lists.  I buy a whole lot more than what I listed, but it varies.  It depends on what type of foods I’m cooking and what time of year it is.  I tend to buy more beans and frozen corn in the winter…all of the soups I make.  And in the summer I buy more hamburger buns(bread) and ketchup.  Either way, you will find the rhythm of your pantry.
    One trick is to — take advantage of the B1G1.  That is: BUY ONE GET ONE FREE.  Shoot.  If it’s something you use a lot, get it!  Especially if it has a long shelf life like: ketchup, soy sauce, juice, mayo.  Also, the bread( know it doesn’t have a lot of shelf life but it’s expensive and is frequently B1G1).  We eat a fair amount of bread.  Not so much sandwich breads but when it’s on sale I buy three loaves and pop two in the freezer.

    O. that’s the other thing.  My freezer.
    It’s a life saver/money saver.  Invest in a freezer.  There has to be some room in the garage for a small freezer.  That’s what makes all of my “stocking up” work so well.  My freezer.

    Back to the food…  It also comes in handy to freeze your leftovers.  I make rather large batches of homemade spaghetti sauce, chili, ploff and a few other things.  How many times have I NOT wanted to make dinner, or, been a little short on ingredients and it’s not convenient to run to the store?  Too many.  So, I pull out my reserves and dinner is served!

    I am going to stop here and do a second post on how to freeze some of these veggies.  And also talk about some of the other non-food items I stock up on.  I don’t want to system overload everyone.  I hope this has been helpful.  If you have any questions…

    I didn't know you could freeze cheese!

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