Monday 14 January 2013

What We Spent January 7 - 13

Have you noticed that the food I buy is often not related to the day's menu, or even sometimes the week's?

I've found that we spend less on groceries and waste less food if I stock the pantry, fridge, and freezer based upon what's on special, and then plan our meals day by day based upon what we have on hand.

This week I stocked up on cheese.  We eat quite a bit of cheese and, if I'm not careful, it can take a big bite out of our budget.  In order to help keep costs down, I check the dairy case on a regular basis, looking for cheeses that are marked down on manager's special because they're near their expiration dates.

Deli managers are constantly frustrated by "best by" dates with regard to cheese, because they are so arbitrary.  The law requires that every perishable product have an expiration date but, in the case of cheese, these dates are rarely accurate.  Cheese actually continues to mature in flavour as it ages.  With the exception of some soft or fresh cheeses, it's rare that cheeses will spoil within a week (or even much longer) after the expiration dates shown on the packages.

I stock up on cheese when I find it marked down or on sale.  Right now I have six pounds of cream cheese in my freezer, three rounds of brie, and various shredded, hard cheeses.

I buy hard cheeses in blocks, set aside what we'll use in short order, then shred the rest. I toss the shredded cheese with a little flour so that the shreds won't stick together, portion it into 1 cup portions in small sandwich bags and then package the portions in a larger, ziploc freezer bag.  I use this shredded cheese, straight from the freezer, in all sorts of dishes.

Aside from food, very little was spent at our house this week.  I stayed near home, driving only to and from work, so we just a single tank of gas.  No household items were required. We did buy some personal care items but had coupons to help offset the cost.

Here's what we spent last week:

Jan. 7/13
lettuce, green onion, & radish pack

1 bunch fresh spinach

1 English cucumber

5 lemons

4.54 kg/10 lb navel oranges

.75 kg/1.65 lbs gouda

3 x 500 g/1.1 lb brie

1 kg. brown sugar
Jan. 9/13
4 litres skim milk
Jan. 11/13

Personal care items
Jan. 13/13
.28 kg/.61 lb baby beef liver

Total Coupons Redeemed



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the cheese tips. We LOVE cheese as well and also picked up 4 large containers of Ricotta with 50% off stickers and it's awesome! I didn't think to freeze cream cheese. I also never shred and freeze cheese I just leave it in the bars in our fridge and it lasts until we get through it. I've never had a problem with it but now I know to shred it and dust with flour. Great tips! Mr.CBB

Aunt B said...

I'm glad you found the post helpful Mr. CBB. :)