Low Cost Preparations

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What have you been able to find in the way of low cost preparations? By preparing on the cheap where we can, we can save money for more expensive (even luxury) preparation.

To start this off, I'll include a few that I've found...

(1) The local public library. Many times, the information is outdated, but it does often include a good selection of basic tomes. I recently found a good one on raising chickens.

(2) Pouring my own fishing sinkers and jig heads. The molds do cost money, but the lead can be had for free just by picking up old wheel weights from the street.

(3) Fruit/vegetables. Much fruit and vegetable produce goes to waste every year...rotting on the ground. We have a local park that has mango trees that no one picks up fruit from...said fruit makes good jam, and even packs similar to canned peaches.

Other ideas?

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), July 09, 1999


Where do you get molds for fishing sinkers & jig heads?

-- flora (***@__._), July 09, 1999.

Shop Asian/Hispanic markets -- not the tiny bodegas/convenience stores, but the small "supermarkets". There are two just four blocks from my house, and one of them has the 20 quart size powdered milk (4 lbs) for $3.15, at Sam's it's about $7.50 and at regular grocery stores it is almost $10.00.

They are also good sources of cheap dried noodles that can cook just by being soaked in hot water for 3 minutes or so. I've tried several kinds, the brand I like the best is called "Kim Tar", 59 cents a package, one package feeds four (I usually cook the noodles, then stir fry and mix it all together.) Their tea is cheaper than Sam's -- and the selection is incredible.

If there is a Vietnamese section, the spring roll wrappers don't require refrigeration and are priced right.

Spices are usually priced quite a bit less, they have cinnamon sticks, $2 for a bag much larger than the five or six dollar jars in stores. Also, cloves are cheap, as is the incense (and the varieties of incense are unlike anything I've found elsewhere, the packages are all in chinese, so I can't recommend anything particular).

They have 25 and 50 pound bags of rice, and they will have a dozen or more varieties (you can ask someone who speaks English about this, they will ask you, "what kind of rice do you like" -- sticky, loose, fat, skinny, whatever, they have a brand for it. Also big tins of European style cookies and biscuits at good prices.

Back to the noodles, they also have a huge assortment of ramen-style packaged noodles, and also a hundred variations on "cup-o-noodles", after trying some of them, I'll never settle for the american brand. Each Asian nationality appears to have its own brand; one store I like in particular caters to all Asians, so you can get your noodles Malaysian-, Japanese-, Korean-, Vietnamese-, or Chinese-style.

They have the best prices for soy/teriyaki/oyster sauce, plus the various Asian hot chili preparations (I recommend Sciracha sauce, a Vietnamese preparation), hoison sauce, and sesame oil.

Robert Waldrop http://www.justpeace.org/printflyers.htm

-- robert waldrop (rmwj@soonernet.com), July 10, 1999.

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