Wednesday, January 18, 2023

My Wednes Pantry- Loss Leaders and the Economy

      Not that there's been many ad prices to write home about, but I'm trying to execute a better "stock up and shop my pantry" plan for 2023. Supplemented with just essentials and whole ingredients, I think we can have a healthy and well balanced menu. I hope to at least maintain our previous budget, average of $475, grocery, health, beauty, and household. If I can skinny off 10% or more, all the better. It got me thinking, if enough people do this, will the economy be harmed? Can stores afford this? 

     I came to the conclusion that will never happen. People with busy lives, kids and careers to juggle, social lives, and elder care, are the majority and won't shop this way. Seeing the USDA average budgets tells me this. Personally on my end, if I buy loss leaders at a variety of places, but basics in my local store, I'll hopefully balance out my budget and supporting local stores. I also don't plan on making special runs, but like Saturday, stop on route from somewhere else. 

There's some basics I want to keep on hand at all times:

  • Dry beans
  • Shelf stable milk and plant milk 
  • Flour 
  • Sugar 
  • Yeast
  • Ground flax
  • Variety of spices, salt, pepper
  • Baking soda and powder
  • Oil- olive and vegetables 
  • Canned tomatoes 
  • Rice
  • Assorted pasta
  • Assorted canned vegetables and fruit 
     I've been cooking with these, along with loss leaders, fresh and frozen veg and dairy, and lowest cost purchased meat. I'm still buying eggs, but more like a dozen every 2 weeks or so. I'm not saving for baking, but using flax eggs, frozen banana, or other substitutes, or looking for vegan recipes. We like eggs as a protein option and find as a scramble or bake, can stretch with other ingredients. For example the four egg bake, with getting close to gone veg and cheese, fed us both brunch, me a lunch, and we finished using as an egg sandwich between thin slices of toasted homemade bread. That was a delicious breakfast sandwich and quite filling. Here was a use up the remnants of deli meat and a hunk of Colby cheese made on slices of the same homemade garlic and herb bread.
The bread didn't rise much, this was a salad
plate. The bread didn't taste heavy though. These were the last of Christmas cornichons. 

     This is old school to most of you. It's old school revisited to me. I'm trying to see as a fun way to experiment in the kitchen rather than the stress of inflation and the chore of meal prep. DH loved the homemade bread, so I'll try to do weekly. At least for this month. I hope I keep it up as the year goes on.

63 comments:

  1. We get our eggs free from a friend and luckily with the warmer temperatures they haven't stopped laying this year. I would pay the higher prices if I had to though because it's still a good deal on protein.
    I've always cooked from scratch because I like knowing what is in my food but it truly is a good way to also save money.

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    1. I too likely will go higher, but there might be a tipping point. I have home cooked, but just got complacent lately and used convenience foods. But, I'm not knocking anyone else that due to resources, time knowledge needs those short cuts.

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  2. I am saving our eggs for things other than baking also. But I am not really baking right now so it doesn't really matter anyway.
    The food ads here have not had anything that I would call stock up prices.

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    1. I should have stocked up on more Red Gold tomatoes at 5 for $3.85. That's a good price on a quality product- less than store brands, and a staple in my house. I didn't get the liss leaders chicken as what was left looked thawed and refrozen. I'm not going to buy poor tasting stuff. This weeks add had nothing.

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  3. I had started trying to buy the loss leaders on meat for a while, and then I realized I still have a ton of it in my freezers. Then I realized I'd like to go as vegetarian as possible (I enjoy it), and then I realized I didn't actually go grocery shopping last week and never noticed! Makes me wonder what I just do out of habit!

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    1. That doing shipping out of habit, is how I often had so much in my pantry and freezer without awareness. Extra can here, another cut of meat here, and months later, there's more than enough for weeks!

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    2. "How I often had so much in my pantry and freezer without awareness." You said it! That is exactly what I learned I was doing; trying hard to change THAT habit in 2023!

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  4. I luckily have not many money woes and greatful to have a lot to spend on groceries. BUT. i see it apps as a challenge to eat cheap and use things in new ways, as you do. It’s a great strategy no matter what our budget

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  5. I stocked up at Sam’s on tp and paper towels, hopefully for the year, but at least for six months, bought organic spinach, sea salt, grape tomatoes, two cartons of 18 Ct eggs ( I eat an egg and tomato sandwich for breakfast generally), dog food, two large containers of cashews ( one for my son and one I keep in car to keep me from eating out when traveling), butter, chocolate, ice cream bars, and chips for grown kid who eats with me on weekends ( ok, ok… me too… lol)…..I detailed my tire drama involving tornadoes on Anne’s blog ( I did need two new ones but ended up getting all new tires, thank you tornado),…. so I won’t repeat that. Work is always hectic but especially so last week so my homemade sandwiches I take to work were especially appreciated by me. At night, I made mulberry smoothies from mulberries I froze from my tree last May. I made The Pioneer Woman black eyed pea jalapeño dip. It was not complicated bc I cannot do complicated food. I also am eating the seeds I baked from the pumpkin I cook over a week ago. I try to eat greens, some orange vegetables, nuts, and berries every day or at least every week for health reasons. Of course, I also eat chocolate and ice cream so I am fluffy…... Cindy in the South

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  6. We are not great at buying loss leaders. However, we do try & create a shopping list from a menu plan, and only buy what we need for our menu (plus, staples like salad, which M has with dinner every night). We are also entering a period where it's hard to know who will be home for dinner on any given night (tonight, for example, we thought there would be three of us, but there was just 2). That means we need some smaller quick meal options for Sam between school & work, or for Nick between sporting events. Those options aren't always the cheapest, but they are still healthier & cheaper than fast food or other meals out. We also keep smoothie options always on hand, as that's a go to for Nick.

    Core ingredients we purchase each week:
    -1-2 kinds of fruit
    -Salad ingredients (whatever we're out of it)
    -Protein as needed for recipes, or not, if already on hand
    -Milk
    -Pantry stock up items (only if we're out) - pasta, spices, oil, etc
    -Bagels for the kids

    More irregular purchases, only as we're running low:
    -Nuts
    -Eggs
    -Dairy. We keep typically on hand cheddar & romano, but we actually have quite a bit, post-holiday & need to eat it.
    -Snacks. This is widely varied, and we go in phases, based on what the kids want. Sometimes it's hummus & pita chips, other times it's croissants for Costco or a baguette bread.

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  7. There have been no loss leaders to speak of here. I will buy eggs no matter the price. I have 3 dozen to use right now. Since I don't bake often, these are for scrambled eggs and putting in as a binder in meatloaf and the like.

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  8. I stocked my pantry really well last year and my garden gives me fresh veg all year round. Saves me an absolute fortune.

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  9. Loss leaders in UK supermarkets tends to be nasty looking junk food - family packs of crisps, fizzy drinks, biscuits and beefburgers - not things we tend to buy.
    Cupboard staples like tins of chickpeas, kidney beans and tomatoes are always cheaper in the Asian section of the supermarket (often 4 cans for £1) and along with plain flour, baking powder, olive oil, canned olives, pesto, basmati rice, wholemeal pasta and Sosmix (dry vegan sausage mix) plus a multitude of herbs and spices are our staples. xxx

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  10. I don't bake so I don't maintain a stock of baking goods, but I do keep a stock of frozen veg and fruit, and loads of canned beans, tomatoes, refried beans, that sort of thing. I stopped having eggs for breakfast (oatmeal is so much cheaper) and also only buy every couple of weeks. I'm cutting back on a lot of things, and also shopping odd places (like my local drugstore, that has really good sales on cheese and frozen goods).

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  11. We love homemade bread here too and go through a loaf much faster than store bought. We’ve been buying eggs but saving them for cooking things like salmon patties. I think the idea of getting loss leaders at a variety of stores, but the basics at a local store is a good way to save the most money.

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  12. SAM,
    I am so sorry! I am glad all three children were home lately.

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  13. I thought I commented with condolences for the loss of your husband. I am so sorry and so glad all the children were home last week.

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  14. Sam, just saw the sad news that your husband passed away. I send healing sparkles to you and your family. My husband passed a month ago, as did Kim’s. Hilogene in Az

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  15. Sam, I am so sorry for your loss. I just saw Anne's post. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  16. (((((Sam)))))) I just heard your very sad news. I am so sorry. My heart goes out to you.

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  17. Hope everything's okay and you're off having fun.

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  18. I just saw Anne’s post on her blog. I am deeply sorry for the loss of your husband .

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  19. I am laying off eggs for a while too.

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  20. I am so very sorry. Prayers for comfort for you and your family.

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  21. Sam, just heard the terrible news. I am so so sorry. Sending you and the kids all my love. JoAnn

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  22. I am so so sorry for the loss of your husband. Virtual hugs and prayers. Cindy in the South

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  23. I am so so sorry for the loss of your husband. Virtual hugs and prayers. Cindy in the South

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  24. I am so sorry for the passing of your husband. It's such a terrible loss for you and your children. My blessings to you and them at this sad time.

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  25. Oh, Sam, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. I am at a loss for words. My prayers are with you and your family. Ranee

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  26. Oh Sam, I'm so very sorry to hear this. I am thinking of you and your family.

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  27. I'm more of a quiet reader than a commenter, but we have a love of coffee and many other things in common so I always enjoy keeping up with your blog. Was shocked and heartbroken to hear of your sudden loss. I'm sorry. (Mer at coffeetalking.com)

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  28. I'm praying for you and your family in this time of loss. You have my deepest condolences. Lynn Ewing

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  29. I am so sorry for your loss of your husband. Sending hugs, Janie

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  30. SAM - I am so sorry for your loss, Praying for God's love and comfort.

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  31. I just am shocked over this. I know how much you were encouraging his retirement!!! My deep condolences to you and your families. This is just tragic!

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  32. Sam, I was so shocked and sorry to hear of the loss of your DH, husband. I had wondered why you had not blogged since last Wednesday.
    Hold on to your memories for comfort, lean on your friends and family for support, and never forget how much you are cherished.

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  33. Sam, my sincere condolences on the loss of your husband. You and your family will be in my prayers. - Mary Ann

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  34. My heartfelt condolences to you and your children. I hope your faith steers you through this difficult time. Megan.

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  35. Sam - I am so sorry to hear of your husband’s passing. Sending heartfelt condolences to you and your children and the wider family. Kaye in the UK

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  36. I was sorry to see of the loss of your husband. Prayers.

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  37. I am such a big fan of your blog. I always read it but never commented. My sincere condolences to you and family. A fan from NJ

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  38. SAM I am so sorry about your loss of your husband. Been praying for you and your kids. I have no words but I'm truly sorry.

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  39. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. We all need to learn to live everyday to the fullest….
    Never a guarantee for tomorrows.

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  40. I am so terribly, terribly sorry that you and your family are suffering the loss of your husband. So very sorry.

    - A reader from CA

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  41. Sam, so very sorry to hear this news. So glad the kids were able to be home and all of you could be together just recently. Thoughts and prayers from Wisconsin for you and your entire family. chris

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  42. I am so sorry - my previous comment was obviously before I heard your sad news. Please take good care of yourself. We'll be waiting for you until you're ready to return.

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  43. We have never met Sam, although I have been a long time reader of your blog. When I do comment you always respond with love, and that is what I send to you today - I am so very very sorry to hear about your husband . Through you, I feel all your readers got to know him and learn about his future plans . I am devastated for you that these years have been denied to you both . My husband is terminally ill, and we are grieving what we will not share together, but also trying to celebrate what we have shared.
    May you and your children be held in the arms of love from friends near and far
    Siobhan

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    1. What a beautiful tribute! I know isn’t it how we feel close or as if we know someone through our blog village. I also feel just devastated for Sam and her family. Not only for the current shock and loss but also for the future. I was widowed at 40 he was 41 with cancer. I’m so sorry about your husband’s terminal diagnosis. Both situations are terrible. I was glad I was able to prepare but it was a nightmare and grief never goes away. You’re right it’s the future too! I remember a few years ago I was driving along the Blue ridge Mountain Parkway, it was so beautiful and at every stop were all these retired couples and I was alone and he missed this!! And I was alone not sharing it with him!!!! I bawled and bawled driving around! For me I was kept busy raising the kids etc. I have cried and grieved more after my retirement!! This is another not how it’s supposed to be period too.

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    2. Sending love to you Siobhan and what a beautiful tribute indeed. Sending love to you as well 2nd Anon.

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    3. Thank you both
      Siobhan x

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    4. Yes thank you also, I think it was from Sleepless in Seattle the quote you get each day and put one foot in front of each other……

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  44. Sending love to you and your family during this time. My condolences.

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  45. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Keeping you and your in prayer during this sad time.

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  46. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

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  47. I am so sorry!! Thinking of you and your family!! Jill

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  48. Patience above! I am now connecting the dots on your loss.
    I am heartily sorry;I am glad to see you surrounded by Love here in the comments.
    Finally there are not words of worth at these times. Only comfort is knowing you are loved and we care for you.

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  49. I just learned the sad news this morning, from Kim's blog. Thinking of you and yours at this time, Sam. And I will echo everyone else: we are all out here holding you in our hearts.

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  50. I too learned of the sad news from Kim's blog. I am so sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your family.

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  51. Dearest Sam, I've been away. I clicked on your blog as I was concerned that you hadn't posted in a while and I'm so very sorry to read in the comments of the loss of your beloved husband.
    I know from how you wrote about him that he was an absolute sweetheart, with a heart of gold. I can't begin to imagine your devastation. Sending you and your family my deepest sympathies. Much love to you. xxx

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  52. Sam I'm so very sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. Am thinking of you. Arilxx

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  53. Dear Sam.. (first time commenting here) I’m so sorry for your loss! I know you were planning your life towards your husband’s retirement— I can’t imagine the shock this has been for you and your children! Sending you much love and healing thoughts❤️xo, Ricki in the mid-Hudson valley, NY

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