by Sally Strackbein
Velveeta Cheese: Use the form of Kraft Velveeta that comes in a yellow box. It can be found on the shelf (not the refrigerator section) with the other unrefrigerated cheeses.
From Deb El Foods. 8 oz. of Just Whites is equivalent to 4 3/4 dozen egg whites (dried). I've seen this product in many grocery stores. It never seems to appear in the same place, so you may need to be a detective. Ask the store manager if you cannot find it. I've seen it by the baking powder, the canned milk and in the refrigerator section with the eggs. It comes in a can with a teal and white label
Hormel Roast Beef: Canned roast beef that actually tastes like beef. The only place I've been able to buy it is at K-Mart.
Pasta: the thinner the pasta, the faster it cooks (uses less fuel).
Ramen: ramen noodles cook very quickly and can be substituted for pasta or noodles.
Rice: the quick cooking variety is more expensive, but will save cooking fuel.
Chili packets, spice packets: if you really like these, buy them, but they are expensive when you look at the ingredients. You can usually use your own spices economically.
You can get a variety of cheeses in jars. Also, don't overlook cheese pasta sauces. They can be used in other recipes also. I just got a whole bunch for 99 cents a bottle on sale. Parmesan cheese adds flavor to many dishes and some brands do not need refrigeration after opening. Read labels. Buy smaller containers.
Bacon Bits: Hormel (no, I have no association with them) makes some little jars of real bacon bits and pieces. I've used them in scrambled eggs and they taste great.
Salad dressing: I've bought a few bottles of various salad dressings, but some oil and vinegar really tastes pretty good and is much cheaper.
Chips, cookies, crackers, etc.: These all take up more room than their food value warrants. The only chips I am storing are Pringles because they don't take up much room.
Soups: You can stretch canned soups into good meals. Read the labels. Many canned soups don't have much real food value. You can pay a lot of money for the expensive ones and find
chicken, meat or fish as the last ingredient, which means that the can may have a teaspoon of meat in it. The fifty cent on sale cans are great for flavoring casseroles.
Canned meals, package meals:
If you can get really good bargains on these, or you have an unlimited supply of money, go for it, but usually (but not always) you will do better to put together the dishes yourself.
Vitamin C crystals are wonderful. You can buy them at vitamin or health food stores. A teaspoon of Vitamin C crystal mixed with water will substitute for lemon in your dishes or can make a passable lemonade.Mix a teaspoon of C in a bowl of water and dip your apples or bananas and they won't turn brown for hours (for every day, not for storage).
Hominy and corn:
Hominy is a type of corn that has a pleasant, mild taste reminiscent of popcorn. Adding hominy or corn to bean recipes makes a complete protein. Buy lots of corn and hominy to stretch your soups and stews.
Beans provide a lot of food value for cheap. Buy a variety of beans. If you are certain you will have water and cooking fuel, as in a wood stove, buy dry beans, otherwise, buy canned beans.
Oils: Buy some olive oil, cooking oil and shortening. If food is scarce, oils and fats are good sources for calories.
Mayonnaise and pickle relish: Buy a box of restaurant packets. You won't have to worry about spoilage. If you can't use a whole box, share with a friend. You can buy these at warehouse
stores or restaurant supply. Even your grocery store might be able to order them for you. Ask.
I've been castigated for leaving bottled water off the shopping list. I've had mixed experience with bottled water. Some of the plastic deteriorates very quickly and doesn't even reach its "use by date". Water is a topic all by itself. Examine your water plan very carefully.
Cereal vs. oatmeal:
Oatmeal is cheaper and takes up much less room than boxed, dry cereal. Have you priced those guys lately? We are getting ripped off. I've seen it going for 4 or 5 dollars a box. Yikes! Oatmeal can be eaten without cooking and can be used to stretch soups and thicken stews. Buy some. It's good mixed with canned fruit for dessert.
Canned vegetables: Be sure and have an idea of what you are going to do with the canned veggies you buy. They don't taste like fresh ones!
Canned meats, poultry and fish:
When you think you have enough, buy more. Taste test unfamiliar varieties before buying a lot unless you are willing to eat something yucchy because it is cheap and nutritious. I did this on canned salmon. I got the big cans on sale for 99 cents before I knew what to do with it. Then I got some good recipes. Yay!
Can your own meat: If you are able to, get a pressure canner and can your own meat. It's really quite easy to do. Only use a pressure canner for meat or it will not be safe to eat.
Salt, vinegar, baking powder: Stock up on a lot of these!
Potatoes: Fresh potatoes will keep for a long time in a cool, dark place.
Onions: Fresh will keep for a long time in a cool, dark place.
Tofu is a soy product that will serve as a meat substitute. It comes in little boxes and does not have to be refrigerated even though you may find it in the refrigerator section. Read the fine print on the labels.
Copyright © Sally Strackbein