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Monday, January 17, 2011

Rising Food Prices: A Solution

What will you do to keep your grocery bills stable? Or, maybe you have an unlimited income and can financially cope with the rise. Well, just don't read anything else in this post.

It's a fact. Food prices will rise. Prices are rising daily. This article will inform you. If interested, read here and here. Sure, the last article is from last November. You cannot say you were not informed. If you don't have a pile of cash somewhere to draw from, and you cannot make more money, or you just plain don't want to see your grocery bills rise more, now is the time to think about your grocery strategies. Even if you do have that pile of cash, why would you pay more if you don't have to.

How do you save?
Coupons work to lower the grocery bill. Not eating as much meat will help your finances. Shopping sales along with coupons, and eating less meat will help to lower costs. However, we all are going to have to further tighten our belts.

I have bought food at extremely low prices to save in Ball jars on the shelf--oatmeal, rice, raisins. Now, none of this is meant to feed me for years. Some items will. I am not a prepper for religious or other reasons. But, when the price is right, I buy many packages of whatever food I find that I will eat.

What do you do with fresh produce or meat?  Neither will keep without some sort of processing. Can, freeze, dehydrate, pickle, smoke--all are good options. These are all methods for another post, here or elsewhere.

What are the benefits of processing food?
*you know what pesticides are used if you raise it or buy locally
*you can buy fresh food in bulk and at better prices
*you can take advantage of an unexpected sale or windfall of fresh food
*you will have food bought cheaply when prices are higher
*You will not have to travel farther than your storage to access food

My focus today is taking advantage of an excellent price. You may not be into freezing bananas on sale, but I will be talking each week about how I save money by preserving food for later use. Or, I may discuss the use of preserved food in my stock that I am using right now. Here we go--bananas. (You know I love bananas?)

manager's special--9 bananas
There are nine (9) bananas in the pack. I bought it on Saturday. It is Monday evening. I put these in storage tonight.
 Can you see the price?--$0.29/lb for 3.22 lbs!  I paid $0.93 for 9 bananas. Let's say I paid a dime apiece.
The usual price is $0.69/lb. I would have paid $2.22 for these 9 bananas. At that rate, I would pay $0.25 per banana rather $0.10 per banana. My savings--$1.53 for the package or $0.15 per banana!

Price of bananas
Even if you can purchase bananas for less than my full price, what would those lesser priced bananas cost if you purchased them on sale? This is not about who can buy bananas in their prime the cheapest. It's about how much money you can save by purchasing at the lowest price and freezing them.

Later use
I make smoothies. You might want to mash them and store in the amount your banana bread recipe calls for. I have done that. If you freeze them in a jar, make sure it is a freezer jar.

My method
I take peel and little strings off; break banana in half; wrap in waxed paper; stuff in a quart freezer bag. Now, I am sure I could stuff these in a freezer jar (straight-sided Ball canning jar) but I don't.

One brown banana
Even "One Brown Banana" at My Zero Waste can be used. (I often only have one banana to rescue.) This is a great blog about the Greens in England and how they eliminate waste. I was not sure at first if their name was really "Green." I suppose it really is.

Two things
I wish these were in the brown paper bags as before, bags that could be reused. Also, the banana stems are removed so the banana will fit on the styrofoam. Soooo, I don't pay for useless stems--another tiny savings.

Your turn
Are you as adamant about reducing your food costs as I am? Does anyone else freeze your bananas that will spoil for later consumption? Do you ever do as I do and buy cheap bananas just to freeze? Do you have another use for frozen bananas other than smoothies or baking?


  1. I buy bananas to freeze. I use them in milkshakes or we beat frozen bananas to make what we call *nice cream* We don't add anything to it, it is just beaten, frozen banaa. It is so nice, hence the name.
    I freeze them in their skin as I am too lazy to peel and prepare them in any other way. I have tried peeling and putting them in snaplock bags but they don't stay as nice for as long as the ones left in their skin.
    I like ripe banana squished on toast for breakfast.


  2. That is such a cool way to describe your beaten banana--"nice cream." This name would surely appeal to a reluctant child. I will try that.

    Itried freezing whole and peeling later. I think I waited too late;they thawed mostly; I peeled. Oh, gag! it was like peeling snot! Maybe I should peel when the banana is still frozen? They do get a few ice crystals, but I ignore those and use them anyway. Thanks for the suggestion of "nice cream."

  3. I was on a raw smoothie kick, so we bought lots of bananas (Aldi's - $0.39/lb) and hubby froze them for me. I put them in smoothies, like you.

    HOWEVER, you can also use bananas when cooking when a recipe calls for eggs. You can substitute 1 banana for an egg. Of course, this is for sweet recipes. I use them in homemade brownies, muffins, waffles, etc. I just take a banana out of the freezer, put it in a bowl in the microwave for about 30 seconds and use it as a substitute for eggs.

    We have a grocery budget of anywhere from $150/month to $300/month. It changes based on if we are having company and the holidays. This month, our budget is $150 and we decided we would eat what we have stockpiled, because we've got PLENTY (all from sales, of course.) So far this month, we've spent $98 in groceries. I just picked up milk and some things we needed.

    I am trying to grow more vegetables in the garden to can so that we can eat those throughout the year without having to buy veggies. I plan on brussels, green beans,soybeans, zukes, and POSSIBLY corn (I am toying with that one. Cant make up my mind.) The more I can produce and harvest this summer, the less we have to buy at the store, thus making our grocery bill smaller.

    Hubby and I are eaters. We like food. When I hear about a pair spending $400/month on groceries, I wonder what they could possibly buy for that much!! Unless it's all organic, of course. But it still boggles my mind. We had two parties in December (one where a couple stayed over,) and we still spent less than that.

    We shop at Aldi's for our staples. And then we buy meat on sale at local grocers.

  4. I hear corn takes up valuable real estate with a low yield.


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