Saturday, December 3, 2011

Saving Money on Food- Sausage, Hamburger Etc.

Wasn't sure what to call this one as it is kind of a hodge-podge of things but it all started with our food prices here soaring so high lately. There have been some sales around for the holidays but while we were looking at the great turkey prices pork and beef nearly doubled in price here. Hamburg that used to be $2.49 a pound (I can remember when $ .88 a pound just a few years ago was a sale) went up to $3.79 a pound. I am not sure what the exact pork prices are but I do know that a package of pork chops that costs me $10 is way too much. Now we aren't hurting for meat -or vegetables for that matter. I bought three turkey's and a ham at Thanksgiving (we ate one of those turkey's, of course) and it was a mighty tight squeeze getting them into the freezers and there are jars of vegetables stacked  in every cupboard and in the spare room as well. My shopping almost always involves just looking for good deals. Unfortunately my kind of good deals also almost always end up in my doing more work.

Here were some of the good deals for today:
Potatoes and tomatoes. I got two 10 lb bags of potatoes, marked down, for $3.98 each. Yup, so that means tomorrow I have to can potatoes.
The tomatoes were needed and were 3 for $2.

Now for the meat. There is a section in our grocery store where they put the marked down meat. Sometimes there are some good things there and sometimes there aren't. Today there was a package of pork chops for just under $6. I don't normally get this size package because it is more than we can eat in one meal and less than we can break up into two meals but since this one was such a good price I got it. There was also three small ( just under a pound) packages of beef, sliced for stir fry. We never stir fry anything but I had an idea on what I could use it for so got all three packages. (Approx. $1.80 each).
The hot dogs were Michelle's, the pigs ears are for the dog. The other packages are a package of bacon bits and pieces. Phil likes these better than sliced bacon and it's cheaper ($3 for 2 lbs) . I split it in two but can even get more meals out of it if I use it for things like quiche or pasta salad. The other package was a package of red sausage that we like to make our spaghetti with. It was on sale this week and I can get two meals out of one package ($5.98). 
Other than paper towels, toilet paper, a few small Christmas gift items, and feed for the animals that was the whole shopping trip this week. (I did get a bag of oranges yesterday).

So the package of pork chops had 9 chops in it. I wrapped up 6 of them to have for a meal and then dragged out the old meat grinder. Those who have read the blog know I am not real partial to noisy appliances so it isn't electric, just an old manual one.
Ok, I don't use it a lot but I should have remembered from the last time (the deer post) not to use the attachment for humburger with the little holes in it. The  meat catches in it terribly. However I made it through grinding up the pork with it (I added a few pieces of fat from the bacon package but not much). I then added some salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, made it into a roll and we now have some perfectly good patty sausage. 
I could have just left the package whole and cooked them all and hoped that someone would eat the leftovers but that someone would have probably turned out to be the dog. This way is better, I think. 
Now for the beef. Yup, same deal, made it into hamburger that I knew we would actually use more than we would the beef strips. It did make some wonderful lean burger and instead of paying $3.79 a pound, I paid $1.80 a lb. for a much better product. 

So it took a good hour to do it all. I have read where people actually add in the cost of their labor to things like this, lol, that always makes me laugh. Well, I make just $8.50 an hour at my "real" job but I don't get nearly this much exercise --which, of course, is a benefit and if you subtracted the cost of going to a gym for an hour--(no I have never been to one)..and I think you have to subtract for the amount of enjoyment and satisfaction I get from being able to do something like this myself....well, I guess the labor was free- at least that is how I look at it.


  1. I am new to canning, how do the potatoes do when canned? I have been dehydrating them for soups and casseroles. When you can potatoes can they be used for mashed potatoes later? You can't use dehydrated ones to make mashed potatoes. I like you, am always in search of a way to feed the family with out breaking the bank. It gets harder and harder to do. We think alike, I have 2 turkeys in my freezer right now purchased for 59 cents a lb.

  2. Here is my post on canning the potatoes.
    I am sure you could use them for mashed potatoes, we like to fry ours with some garlic and thyme, but they would mash up just fine.
    I am canning some as we speak. Have 8 quarts so far and still have a 10 lb bag (I had a 5 pound bag as well as the 20 lbs I bought yesterday). We usually use two quarts at a time.