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Overpaying in This Economy’s a Crime; Are You Guilty?

ShoppingPigForbes recently published an article about household items you may be paying too much for these days. Common items like aspirin (it’s pretty much all made by the same process), fancy cleaners (vinegar and baking soda get a lot of things out, and Bar Keepers Friend isn’t costly), shampoo and other beauty products (most of the product just goes down the drain anyway), personal electronics (fad controls the price more than function), and the list goes on and on.

Well, what about food? It’s not as simple as growing your own crops to cut cost. Commodity prices have a large sway on grocery prices, but that’s never the whole story. If you can believe it, there are fads and fashions in comestibles. (Yeah; I know. It’s a shock.) The locavore movement, vegetarian and vegan trends, “green” food production, anti-GMO/GMF activism and more are all having an impact on food availability and prices. Still, there are bargains out there, and learning to buy, store, cook and consume food differently can affect your food budget dramatically.

Here at the Underground we’ve made quite a few changes. No big individual items, just lots of little stuff. First off is cooking at home more. And eating leftovers for lunch. I learned to cook for a large family, so even scaling down the cooking portions leaves plenty for a second meal. (Sometimes more.) One benefit is, we get to eat our favorite meals. We have started using more coupons too. Oh, we’re not extreme couponers (yet). But saving a few bucks at each checkout event doesn’t hurt a thing.

We’re eating more fresh stuff too. That’s not always a savings, but it sure is a better experience. I can make and cook about three can’s worth of green beans for under three bucks. Well, three cans of beans cost less than three bucks, most places. But oh, the flavor!

We’re buying selected items in bulk, freezing or pickling in specific situations. We just have to remember that making an “economic buy” when cooking for two isn’t always a humongous pile of something.

What changes are you making in the kitchen? What bargains do you know about and take advantage of? How have you changed your relationship with food and cooking as a consequence of the recent economic woes?

Please share your thoughts here; inquiring minds want to learn…

If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Cook Smart (and Cheap)…

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