We are all fighting rising food prices. I am now reading everyday in the mainstream news what I have been feeling for several years. This is why I wrote my book "How to Survive Inflation with the Rising Cost of Food".
All of us who do any food shopping at all have to notice how much grocery prices have increased. Food items and kitchen necessities are jumping by leaps and bounds and are expected to continue to rise.
Most of this information about food cost is coming through the USDA and the Labor Department. Ephraim Leibtag, senior economist for the USDA is quoted in a report stating that the potential for prices to continue rising is more than likely due to the commodity prices. We have all felt the increase at the gas pumps so it makes sense that this has to affect our food prices; this also has to affect the prices in the restaurants, delis or wherever one would purchase food.
With the rising cost of food prices, many people will eliminate unnecessary products from their grocery shopping. When products don’t sell, grocers will stop carrying them at all. I have already seen this taking place. Americans have been so abundantly supplied with available shopping and food items to cook with. I believe we will see grocery stores closing their doors due to slow business.
What can we do about all this? Is it just hopeless? The answer is NO! But the time to act is now. I have suggested to you before to keep your pantry stocked. It has always been a prudent and practical way of living. It prevents you from running to the store for an item needed in a recipe. Today stocking pantry is more than being practical; it means that your family will be able to get by these rising food prices comfortably until this bad economy improves. The time to act is now!
As many of you know, Painlesscooking.com was started to help get people back in the kitchens. It has always been the goal to do this as easily and cheaply as possible. The following are some tips and ideas to help you survive this bad economy and the rising food prices. You may have read some of these ideas already on the website.
Keep your eyes on the gas pump prices. Consider the gas expense when tracking down food bargains. If you have to track clear across town to pick up a sale item, more than likely that will cost twice as much as paying full price somewhere else.This certainly will not help you with the rising food prices.
As hard as it is for me to believe, I know of many people who stop at many different restaurants every evening on the way home from work to pick up different foods to satisfy their family’s taste buds. Forgive me, but this practice of restaurant hopping is insane and totally ridiculous! Not only is the food more expensive but the gas to do this is horrible even at the lower prices of gas.Cooking a meal at home requires less time, less money, less energy and will help you fight the rising food prices.
Speaking of buying gas, don’t even think about doing grocery shopping at the convenient stores. From my experience, those prices are horrendous! Now that is not to say if you only need a jug of milk and you are already there filling the gas tank, it probably is cheaper to buy the milk there instead of driving somewhere else. That depends on their price. (I keep dried milk on hand for this occasion so learn long term food storage practices.)
When doing your grocery shopping, the most important thing that I can impress on you is to NEVER go shopping without a grocery list; and stick to it! Keep a list handy in your kitchen (tape it to the refrigerator). Every time you run out of something or think of something you need, write it down. This practice will prevent you from forgetting something, causing you to make an extra trip back to the store. Before going to the grocery store, review the list. Try to add a few extras of staples if you can afford it. The more extras you can buy now will save you money and help to fight the rising food prices.
With these rising food prices you must not think that everything is cheaper in one grocery store. All groceries have their leader items which are cheaper but they all have their higher prices items. (Know your prices) If you have to, jot them down on your grocery list. Some stores are known to have good prices on canned goods, some on taxable goods and others on your staples. Here again, you have to consider the gas expense and time but it might pay you to go once in a while and maybe stock up on canned foods.
Many people are turning to dollar stores in these times of rising food prices. This idea that these stores are always cheaper, make people go in and purchase without thinking what they are buying and how much they are really paying. You must take into consideration the quality you are getting and the exact quantity in the package or can. For instance these cans could be 10 ounces and the other grocery store might be 13 ounces; when figuring price per ounce, you could be paying more at the dollar stores. You must outsmart this habit of manipulation and don’t believe everything is a steal if you are to beat these rising food prices.
It is a good idea to always have a small calculator with you. This will help you figure how much gas it cost to go to another store verses the savings you plan to make by doing so. A calculator will help to figure the food prices. Say you shop at Sam’s Wholesale Club where small packages of food might be bundled in three or four to a package. Figure how much each is and compare with store prices for only one. You might be surprised that sometimes it is cheaper to purchase these separately.
Recently, I have noticed what looks like the same items that I always purchased and for the same price that I had been paying; but now the quantity is much less. It is like the three pound can of coffee for you coffee lovers. Do you remember when it disappeared? Anyway, know your prices and carry a calculator to figure the best buy.
Coupon shoppers might think they are getting great buys with coupons. First some stores offering good prices will not take coupons. Generally speaking, I never use coupons. Once in a while, I might get one for a product that I always purchase; maybe one a year. I have found the coupons are usually for prepackaged items or mixes; products which I never buy. Most of these have added chemicals, preservatives and calories which I do not need but also are very expensive. Most of these products can be made just as quickly and much cheaper from staple products.
To save money during these rising food costs, skip the isles that have soft drinks, snacks and prepackaged items. These products for the most have no nutritional value and can run your food bill up. Take this money to help stock your pantry with staples. You will be glad you did later on.
Some of the basic staples you should have on hand in your pantry to combat rising food prices.
The following is a list of necessary staples that you might want to build your own list from. It gives you something to start with but basically stock up what you want to have on hand. Keep what you are use to cooking with and the herbs and spices which you typically use.
Cocoa, chocolate, coffee, tea, fruit or vegetables juice, canned or dry milk, packaged cereals, crackers/wafers, dried or canned fruit, canned or dried beans (dried beans are much cheaper), canned fish, meat etc., ketchup/ sauces, pickles, olives, salad dressings, canned soups, honey, peanut butter, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, corn meal, extract flavorings, macaroni, spaghetti, noodles, molasses, nuts, raisins, rice, syrups, spices/ dried herbs, brown sugar, powdered sugar, Vinegar.
Combine milk and flour; cut in shortening.
Keep in jars with tight lids and store on self.
To Make Biscuits: Combine 2 cups of mix with 1 cup of water.
Knead until smooth; roll and cut into rounds.
Bake at 400F degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.
CHEESE MUFFINS FROM MIX
Don't buy cheese muffins fight rising food prices and make your own.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in skillet over medium high. Sautee onion until tender.
Combine onion with biscuit mix and ½ cup of the cheese in a large bowl.
Combine egg and milk; add to onion mixture stirring just until moistened.
Spoon batter into greased muffin tins about ½ full; sprinkle with remaining cheese and sesame seeds.
Dot tops with remaining butter; bake at 400F degrees for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
CREAMED EGGS RECIPE
When fighting the rising food prices eggs make a great protein substitute for meat. They are convenient to keep on hand because they can be used in many different recipes.
Remove shells from eggs and cut each egg into six pieces.
Heat butter in frying pan; sauté onion until tender not brown.
Remove onions; stir in flour.
Add milk, salt and pepper; stir and cook until thickened.
Serve immediately over buttered toast.
CHICKEN PIE RECIPE WITH MIX
Fight rising food prices by making your own mixes.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; pour into lightly greased 9 X 13 inch baking pan.
Combine biscuit mix, sour cream and milk in medium bowl; pour over the chicken mixture.
Bake at 350F degrees for 50 to 60 minutes until top is golden brown. Serves 6-8