A Caterer's Shopping Tips
Bakery Outlet Stores
My Story: Another "Crunched" Box Treat!
During the summer I work a seasonal job as a professional caterer. Unfortunately, the job is only in the summer and the town I live in has no other uses for a professional caterer. That means money gets really tight in the winter. This winter my hubby is out of work also and can't return to work until he is cleared by a doctor. Since he gets no compensation for the present, my budget abilities have been stretched to the limit.
I found a crash, bent, and dent grocery salvage store in the neighborhood that sells quality food. Not all of them do, but this one is superb.
I have found:
- Lentil Soup mix in a box with real lentils, spices, etc. all it takes is water and time. Price .65 for enough to make 6 servings.
- Canned soups usually run around .80
- Bags of flour are .75-1.50 depending on size.
- Yeast for bread (with a really no-fail easy no-milk recipe). The last time I went in was 1.00 a 3 pack.
- fruit runs .65 - .80
- potatoes (scalloped, mashed, etc) .75
- tomato sauce .30>
These are just a few of the items that can be found in these kinds of stores. I can feed us (him, me and a dog that is a huge mooch) for less than $30 a week. All of the meals include at least one vegetable, pasta, rice, or potato, bread, and fruit. We do also include meat occasionally but we don't usually because we are almost vegetarians. On weeks where we decide we want meat for $40 we have meat every night.
I am not using much of my catering talents however. Anybody could do it. The essentials are planning our meals based on what we usually know they have, adjusting occasionally if they have something special, and using cookbooks that were published before convenience foods really came into being. I think the last thing helps more than the others. I have cookbooks from the 1930s-60s and most of the recipes can be modified to suit our modern day life. Most people think it took a lot of time. Some things did but even when the women were home all day that didn't mean they wanted to stay in the kitchen. Recipe books from ration days are excellent places to find low egg, milk, and butter recipes.
"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money please send it to MyStory@stretcher.com
Take the Next Step
Trending on TDS
- The value of a stay-at-home parent Slideshow
- Throwing a successful child's birthday party
- The one month budget squeeze
- 10 things teens need to know about money
- Making school lunch healthy and affordable
- 7 steps to becoming a stay-st-home parent
- Getting adult children still living at home to contribute
- 6 things to consider before taking on the care of elderly parents
- 6 cheap, effective home security solutions
- Grocery items you can find on sale in September
- Teen texting-while-driving cost: No LOL
- 5 colleges where your kid can go to school for free
- 6 secrets to saving more at discount stores
- What is the cost of raising a child?
- Spouse income calculator
- Should my spouse work, too?
- College savings calculator
- Home budget calculator