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Nov 18, 2012

Food Prices, Rustic French Meat Pie, Chicken Feed & Sprouting

French Meat Pie

Food Prices & Creative Thinking-
Reading a lot of other blogs I keep hearing about food prices going up and up. It's true. Here's some things that have helped me do pretty well at the grocery store-

*Start some kind of a working pantry, that you add to, and use from, on a regular basis. You can do some of this in your garage depending on your climate, a cabinet with doors will work, but it depends on what you're storing. You can store under beds, in linen closets, you name it. If you have too much stuff in general, free up some space and store food instead! You can eat your other stuff.
*We aren't heavy meat eaters, limit that to about 1/2 the week. The rest is some form of vegetarian, protein foods. I use beans for chili, soups and make whole grain pastas.
*Our small chest freezer last spring was an excellent investment! I stocked up on a lot of fresh, freezable produce over the summer when prices were low- bell peppers, blueberries, fresh rhubarb from our neighbor, all kinds of things. Buy one now if you don't already have one. Theyr'e pretty reasonable if you shop around.
*We don't eat a lot of junk food. I see people loading up on boxed this and that, and I just cringe. I made sour cream noodles the other night, it's so easy! Just cook big, wide egg noodles til done, add sour cream, salt, pepper, chives, stir and all done! Cheap and tasty. I try to stay away from packaged cake mixes, etc., with all the additives. They also tend to be really high sodium. Ditto sodas. Bad for adults and kids. I do break down once in a while and keep something for emergency use, like a scone or brownie mix. No soda at home, I usually drink iced tea or sparkling water.
*I shop around, but I don't waste gas driving across town to save a buck, unless I'm going that way anyway.
*I go for quality, not quantity, on some things. Cheap produce, for instance, usually goes bad pretty fast. 
  Ditto cheap ground meats with added water, in tubes. Why buy water?
*Save money on bulk in the bulk section for other things like whole oats.
*Buy good chocolate :)
*Don't buy cereals, make your own or eat hot whole cereals. You can make ahead and heat as needed for kids.
*I saw turkeys on sale today for 50 cents a lb., with a $50.00 purchase. I'll go back in a few days and buy one. We were gifted with one for dinner, but I'd like to have one, have the butcher split it in half and freeze it. Great for farther into the winter. Gobble gobble.
*Buy some used kitchen stuff for cooking and food prep. We just got an expensive coffee maker for $4.00. I see crock pots, etc. at thrift sotres all the time cheap.
Rustic French Meat Pie-
I saw this recipe Meat Pie , adapted from here Swiss Chard Pie. I had lots of leftover french roasted chicken (just used herbs de Provence and olive oil), so I decided to try using it for something different. I used my fresh collard greens, left out the rice, used romano instead of the 2 other cheeses. I didn't want to deal with making pie crust, so I used store bought. Since the idea behind many rustic meals like this is use what you have, I did! It's frugality in action :)

Pie interior-

going into the oven-

                                   Next time I will squeeze out more liquid from the cooked greens

Chicken Feed & Sprouting-
I'm wondering what our chicken feed will be by spring? Our chicken feed and winter scratch mix is way up.  Luckily my egg sales pretty much cover that cost and then some. I charge $3.00 a dozen at work and always have buyers. The system works pretty well. I read about sprouting for chickens for feed recently, and so I grew some. I used mung beans. The first time I put some out they weren't too sure. The 2nd time they attacked it!

                                    Anya enjoying the heat vent on her bed


Kristina said...

My sprouts really helped egg production. Thanks for posting about it.

nancy said...

Sure! Did you see an increase?

Susan said...

If sprouts will increase egg production, then I am going to do it! My hens have gone through a hard molt and are just now getting their feathers back. Very good advice on dealing with high food costs. Every little bit helps.

nancy said...

Thanks, yes it all helps...

Candy C. said...

Good tips! I honestly can't remember the last time I bought a "box" of anything. It is so much cheaper to do it yourself. I'll have to remember the sour cream noodles, hubby would like that! :)

nancy said...

Sadly many people live like that
:( It's exensive and full of god knows what! I invented the sour cream noodles one year and they were a big hit! Just coat them really well...

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Your pie turned out great! Excellent work! My pal Freemotion makes her own chicken feed - and she sprouts a lot of stuff.

nancy said...

Thanks, I'm going to try a few different sprouts and see how they work...