I talk about it all the time, how do we save money on food? I have turned to books, I talk to people, I read people’s comments…and I am still scratching my head.
I got the book Cheap & Easy: A Cookbook for Girls on the Go out of the library and wow, what a disappointment. I guess the premise of the book is that if you make it at home, it will be cheaper than eating out. For women who eat out for every meal, this is a good basic cooking book for them to save some money for their designer shoes. For someone who rarely goes out and knows the basics of cooking, this book offers nothing new. In fact, one recipe for an olive tapenade suggests adding 1/4 cup of pinenuts to the recipe which is like adding $3 to a DIP for no reason at all.
I had an amazing Skype call with my sister Shannon the Movie Moxie the other day and we talked about buying what is local. Out in BC I could get pineapples, mangoes and avocados for cheap, probably because they were local out there. To see a pineapple here for $5 shocks the hell out of me every single time. So what is local and cheap around here? Fish! I got this giant package of cod for just over $3, enough protein for me and my husband. That’s more like it!
I wish we had a coupon system here, a lot of people have recommended that to me but so far I have not seen that kind of system here. I did get a President’s Choice bank account and save up points by shopping at the Superstore and when times are tight I cash the points in. Last time that happened I saved $20!
When my Mom was visiting we really wanted to get out to have lobster at a nice restaurant. When I told her that the Lobster Brewster at The Five Fisherman was $50 she was really disappointed and upset. Lobster is at a record-breaking low when it comes to market price right now but that was not being reflected in restaurant prices. I realized that I could just go to my local grocer and buy two cook lobsters for less than $20! We ended up saving a fortune and I came up with the genius idea of using my leftover homemade Bernaise sauce as a dipping sauce which made both me and my Mom very happy.
I think Shannon is right, you really have to figure out what is local and available and cheap. It is going to be different everywhere you go. I miss my pineapples but I do love lobster so for now, I will focus on fish which I love anyway.
So what is cheap and local and available where you live? Are you taking advantage of what your area has to offer?