A summer garden would be helpful too.
A summer garden would be helpful too.
I have a question for you Gregg. In changing you diet, what was the hardest, what was the easiest. What foods do you enjoy most now?
Frankly, I've not noticed much. Over the past year or so, since my regular Target has put in a pretty decent grocery department (still not a Super Target), I've gone from the regular chain grocery store to shopping almost exclusively at Target with an occasional trip to a local ethnic/international market for certain things (like great produce beyond the basic stuff at Target).
I've had an insane schedule for the past six months or so, and it's going to get even worse since I'm going to be spending virtually all my extra time outside of work studying for the October customs broker exam. I'm single and live alone. I did a low-carb thing for a week or two a few months ago and I felt great. Need to get back to that. It's more expensive, but it's actually simpler (a piece of meat - a pork chop or half-chicken breast - and veggies or a large salad for dinner) on my crazy schedule.
I don't really miss anything simply because denial isn't my style. I understand and admire anyone choosing a vegetarian or vegan diet, its just not for me. I'm not giving anything up, just altering portions a little and trying to add more options overall. I still LOVE a great steak, always will, but the somewhat surprising thing is that now a 6 oz. cut "petite" cut seems huge where in the past a 16 oz. steak was normal fare. Anyway, its now just a matter of fish a little more often, a little less red meat and white flour pasta, a little bit bigger part of the plate for veggies, a few less potatoes... As far as what I like most now: shellfish. I'm a total nose to tail eater and there are very few things I've tried that I don't like, but shellfish has always been a treat (still is). Maybe not the healthiest option, but OMG is it good!
Like Treehugger (Kara) I maintain a price book.
When something goes up, as dry roasted peanuts did from $2.50 to $4.39 per 16 oz jar, our response is to reduce consumption.
I'm somewhat fanatical about not letting anything edible go to waste. For example poultry bones... I collect bones in baggies in the freezer compartment until there is enough to roast and simmer for stock. The stock I make on the stovetop is quite tasty, although it takes a couple of days to prepare. (It really schmecks!). I remove the bones, chill and next day skim fat, then add diced rutabaga, new potatoes, carrots, herbs and lentils to the stock.
I make stock anytime I have bones and scraps. I don't cook it for two days though!!
I'm recently unemployed, but I start my new job in about a month,so we're trying to keep costs under control too.
Soda: husband loves the stuff but I won't buy it unless I can get it for $1 per six pack or under 80 cents a 2L. I haven't seen that price in a long time,so if hubby wants it, he can buy it himself. I make pitchers of store brand sugar-free fruit punch, "dose" it it with vitamin c and encourage him to drink that before he goes to the corner store to buy soda. For myself, I have a gadget called a fizz giz, to make my own club soda ( not that much of a cost savings, but it sure beats hauling it home on a bicycle!), I also drink a lot of hot or iced tea.
Protein: There's a store in my area that sells 5 packages of meat ( usually pork chops, bottom round steak, and boneless ribs) for $20.The pork chops are great for quick meals, the rest goes in the crock pot or pressure cooker. Another store usually has chickens at .99/pound or less and salmon fillets for 3.99. I also hit the farmers markets for grass fed organ meats, and "variety" cuts ( I like liver but CAFO liver or cheap ground beef.......ewwwww). I splurge on local eggs, which just taste a lot better.
I'm getting a fishing licence today since there's a stocked trout pond a few blocks away - not sure how that's going to turn out.
Vegetables:A huge bag of spinach at costco is about $4 ( and by huge - it's the size of a standard bed pillow), and I can usually find inexpensive basics like carrots, onions and celery for stocks, and frozen cauliflower for not too much. I just took a class on wild foods and went out for my first foraging trip today, so another "let's see how that turns out"
My advice- the best kitchen equipment you can have other than knives are cast iron pans ( especially a grill pan) a pressure cooker for making stocks much more quickly (and who wants to smell fish stock cooking?) and a pressure cooker for tough inexpensive meat cuts. Beef shanks in a pressure cooker are amazing.