I love quality food and love cooking with quality ingredients. However, there are times when I'm on a very strict budget (like if I want to take a week-long vacation and splurge on food). So there are some things I do to save money that some Chowhounds might frown upon.
- I will buy the cheapest pasta and use it instead of rice vermicelli or bean threads for stir fries (SO doesn't like regular rice). That 50 cents vs. $2.50 makes a difference. I will also decrease the veg and meat amounts (or eliminate all together) and increase pasta in order to stretch it.
- I will buy the cheapest by-the-pound meats, or forego meats in general. However, I rarely buy ground beef and will usually pay more for ground chicken or turkey. I won't buy chicken breasts if they are more than $4.99/lb.
- I will buy frozen veggies as opposed to fresh. It's far cheaper and I don't have to clean or worry about spoilage. Same goes for fish. I know fresh is better. We're talking about a budget.
How do you deal with very strict budgetary concerns? I'm not looking for "Food is worth more of your budget" comments. I save at the grocery store in order to indulge when travelling. At times I have managed to eat from the grocery store on $20-30 a week. Luckily I have a good stash of spices and condiments as well as an herb garden to up the taste factor in these cheaper foods. But I want to know how other foodies do it.