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Other than Brewing => All Things Food => Topic started by: bluefoxicy on April 03, 2011, 09:45:55 pm

Title: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: bluefoxicy on April 03, 2011, 09:45:55 pm
I'm trying to shrink my food budget to under $100/mo, without giving up good food.  Think about that:  eating (garbage) at the cafeteria at work or fast food places, buying tons of sodas, etc.  Cut that out.  Now what you have is expensive meat, excess cooking, pre-packaged crap that costs too much, etc.

For breakfast I can have pancakes, french toast, or a bagel with two eggs and sausage or bacon or ham for around $1-$1.50 depending on what I cook.  Lunch is about $1.45-$1.75 worth of sushi:

(http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/197011_1775919831131_1033398210_1944673_6462699_n.jpg)

You'd be surprised how far 3.5oz in volume of dry rice goes (and about $2 worth of fish):

(http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/199898_1827823928701_1033398210_1993510_3981536_n.jpg)

Dinner can be had for 2 nights with a $1.75 box of Stovetop, a $4 cornish hen (with some spices), and a $5 bag of Spinach sauteed in a tablespoon or two of expensive ($18/lb) high-quality farm-fresh butter.  Though that bag of spinach lasts a week, so the nigthly load is about $3.50.

(http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/164829_1701463889779_1033398210_1815502_6741662_n.jpg)

So that's what, $6.50-ish a day to eat?  $195/mo, in theory; somehow the numbers are always off and I can get away with that stuff in like $150-ish.

I've been thinking of adding dry beans to my diet--I have Great Northern, Navy, Red Kidney, Pinto, Garbanzo/Chickpeas, Black Turtle, and Black Eyed Peas.  These are way cheap and I'm sure I can make plenty, but my first attempt at black bean soup was fail.

I want to cut down on the time too, so maybe batch things up?  Stews, soups, things I can store for a week or so.  I'm not against rolling lunch meat sandwiches into lunch from time to time, too; and I'm always for good Japanese dishes like やきとり (yaki-tori ... fried chicken).  I've been known to go Scandanavian and make a lunch of 3-4 types of cheese and bread as well, but that's actually pretty costly.

Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: punatic on April 03, 2011, 10:06:50 pm
Depending on where you live, you can grow much of what you eat or get locally grown produce.  When produce is in season it is cheap - you can get a lot of that cheap produce and can (mason jars) and freeze it.  Rice is an inexpensive starch.  Beans and rice can be combined to make a meatless complete protein. Flour is cheap.  Make your own bread.  Soda substitutes can be made by force-carbonating water and juices.  Bulk popcorn is cheap...

Being frugal is good, but not at the expense of nutrition.
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: maxieboy on April 03, 2011, 10:17:46 pm
I'm with ya. Not on the simple carbs though. I cut the soda and fast food years ago, ain't real food. I do monster batches of bean soups, stews, and chilis. Portion them out and freeze. Simple. Lotsa whole grains, legumes, veggies, and lean meats. Eat close to the ground, no processed crap. I try to make my only simple carbs beer. $100 a month? IDK. Slash your food budget and eat a lot healthier, absolutely.
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: bluefoxicy on April 03, 2011, 10:19:19 pm
Beans and rice can be combined to make a meatless complete protein. Flour is cheap.  Make your own bread.

Ehhh, I tend not to mix beans and rice (or get rice on burritos etc) ... the vomit-like texture is not appreciated.  I've made rice pudding with glutinous sushi rice (glue-like sticky white stuff came out, which I liked).

Hmm I have basmati rice, I should make rice pudding right.

Baking your own bread/biscuits/etc is good, especially when you mix lard and butter for texture and flavor :D

I do monster batches of bean soups, stews, and chilis. Portion them out and freeze. Simple. Lotsa whole grains, legumes, veggies, and lean meats. Eat close to the ground, no processed crap.

Sounds good to me, though I don't do much "lean meats" (I mean I mix lard with stuff, come on).  Not much point in trimming out the non-excessive fat... just don't eat too much good high-test sausage.  Bludwurst is great, Jimmy Dean italian sausage is ... okay in moderation (it's like 70% fat, where the hell is the actual meat?), but not really good.
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: gordonstrong on April 03, 2011, 10:32:06 pm
Do you have any community supported agriculture (CSA) outfits in your area?  They are a good source of veggies for a decent price.  They usually deliver a fixed sized box of stuff every week for a fixed price.  We get a whole crate for $27 a week.  That's enough for 3-4 people eating veggies pretty much every meal.

Buy inexpensive cuts of meat on sale.  They often will need to be braised or stewed, but you can make quite a bit ahead.  Buy whole cuts.  The more butchering they do, the more expensive they are.

Buy in bulk where it makes sense.  You have to be able to store it, and also use it before it goes bad.  Same goes for fresh food.  It's not a good deal if you have to throw it out.  Buy only what you need.

Stop buying pre-packaged anything.  The more processed it is, the more expensive it is.  Bread, veggies and spices are cheaper than stovetop stuffing.

Soups are cheap.  If you are buying whole chickens and meat with bones, you can start with making your own stock.

Cook ahead.  Make larger batches where feasible, and freeze portions for use later.  Lunches are often just leftovers from dinner.

Watch sales, clip coupons.  When something is on sale, stock up.  Join the store club so you get the discounted prices.  These sounds lame, but you can easily cut your costs by 20% or more this way.  Don't go shopping when you're hungry or sleepy; it will keep you from making impulse purchases.

Store brands at larger chains are usually fairly reasonable quality, but at lower cost.

Basically, the more you can start with raw ingredients and do the more work yourself, the better you'll be.  Other things cost more because you're paying them to make it for you.  To really save money, you have to do that yourself.  It requires an investment in time, and also in picking up the basics of cooking if you don't have those skills.

Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: tschmidlin on April 03, 2011, 10:54:23 pm
Buy bulk spices to refill your empty spice jars.  Learn how to make your own blends and grind fresh when possible.  It will take a little extra money at first to get a good diversity of spices, but it will make meals more interesting in the long run.  When you're eating a lot of the same foods it's helpful if you can easily put a different spin on your rice or beans for example without much effort.  And the bulk spices are WAY less expensive than the jars.
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: euge on April 03, 2011, 11:09:47 pm
I eat lots and lots and lots of beans. They all go well with pasta, couscous- just about any grain based food. Vomit-like texture? With beans and rice? Oh my favorite combo won't be the same after that mental picture! :P

I'm with Gordon. In college I ate extremely well by buying cheap fatty cuts of meat like pork butt for under a dollar a pound. Made my own bread. Staples can be bought in bulk for much less. I limited an evening out to once a week (Friday) with friends.

While I spend more now the frugal lessons learned have stayed with me. A look in the fridge or pantry reveals pretty much the same food. Except, I won't shy away from a nice steak, piece of salmon, rack of ribs or whole brisket. All that stuff can be stretched out by vac-sealing and freezing cooked portions. I eat a soup-based meal at least once a day.

Despite being a homebrewer I still manage to spend a lot on beer when the brew runs low. Oh it's horrible I tell ya! ;D
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: tumarkin on April 04, 2011, 12:23:52 am
You said your first attempt at black bean soup was a fail..... hmmm, here's a really easy one that's yummy.


Spicy Black Bean Soup

 
1 pound dry black beans, soaked overnight
2 medium chopped onions
1 tablespoon green chili powder (or I've used dried chipotle powder)
4 garlic cloves – diced
1 jalapeno pepper – seeded & diced (can use more, or other peppers, as desired)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
6 cups chicken (or other) broth
andouille or other smokey sausage, or dry salami -  amount as desired
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons cilantro
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, salt to taste

at serving -
1/2 teaspoon chipotle Tabasco pepper sauce – as needed for preferred heat
low fat sour cream & yogurt
lime - zest & juice
 
Preparation
Soak beans overnight. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, green chili powder, garlic, jalapeño, and cumin. Sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add beans, broth, sausage and bay leaf. Bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until flavors blend, about 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves & puree 3 cups soup in batches in blender and return puree to pot. I use a stick blender right in the pot, acey easy. Mix in 3 tablespoons cilantro. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Add chipotle Tabasco sauce to taste.

Can be made ahead of time & refrigerated if desired. If so, heat soup on medium-low heat before serving. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with dollop of sour cream/yogurt sauce with lime juice & zest. Dress bowls with lime slices, and sprinkle with a little chopped cilantro or whole cilantro leaves.
 
We've been eating a lot of this recently. I have to make it less spicy than I'd prefer in order to please SWMBO, but it's easy to hot it up with a little chipotle tabasco or other hot sauce.
 
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: punatic on April 04, 2011, 12:24:28 am
I eat lots and lots and lots of beans. They all go well with pasta, couscous- just about any grain based food. Vomit-like texture? With beans and rice? Oh my favorite combo won't be the same after that mental picture! :P


I used to love okra.  I make some really tasty pickled okra.  I offered some to my dad once.  He said, "I don't like okra.  It's too slimey."

Do you know, up to that point I never noticed that okra is slimey.  Now I can hardly stand it any more.  Thanks Dad!
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: bluesman on April 04, 2011, 01:55:08 am
I go to a local farmer's market for all of my produce "out of season"...really good quality produce at very reasonable prices. In season, I grow vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, green beans, don't forget the hops, squash, zuchini and plenty of herbs.

I have a freezer so I can stock up on meats and such. I frequent Sam's Club for this task. They sell 25lb bags of flour, big bags of rice, etc.. for discounted prices. I have a pantry in my kitchen for bulk storage. This is a way to save but for one person it may be overkill. Just keep in mind that buying in bulk saves.

Harvest time is a busy time. I can tomatoes, peppers, pickles and other assorted vegetables to get us through the winter. It can be alot of work but it's worth it to me to be able to have fresh canned tomatoes and the like.

Soups and stews are a regular thing in our house during the cold weather months whereas fresh salads and grilling fish and smoking pork shoulders and the like are prime in warmer months.

There are plenty of ways to save money and have great quality meals all year long. Taking some time to plan and come up with great ideas and ways to save but yet have healthy and tasty meals is well worth it.

Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: jaybeerman on April 04, 2011, 03:30:29 am
Yep, rice and beans! You can make a million variations - red beans and rice, mex style, turkish style, etc.  I usually have a dollop of greek yogurt or sour cream to round out the meal.  blue, it looks like you have it figured out, might have to throw in a little variation every now and then.  Here's a general tip, check out jamie oliver's magazine (just flip through, don't buy it, that would more than double your weekly food expenditure) but he features a nice rotation of cheap healthy-ish meals.
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: uthristy on April 04, 2011, 11:02:55 am
I used to love okra.  I make some really tasty pickled okra.  I offered some to my dad once.  He said, "I don't like okra.  It's too slimey."

Do you know, up to that point I never noticed that okra is slimey.  Now I can hardly stand it any more.  Thanks Dad!

LOL, many years ago while eatting buckets of oysters a buddy asked if I knew what was inside the oysters ???
So we did a dissection at the bar only to find the nasty greenish/blackish stuff inside each oyster, ughhh :o

Never ate another oyster since that day ;)
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: phillamb168 on April 04, 2011, 11:14:19 am
I used to love okra.  I make some really tasty pickled okra.  I offered some to my dad once.  He said, "I don't like okra.  It's too slimey."

Do you know, up to that point I never noticed that okra is slimey.  Now I can hardly stand it any more.  Thanks Dad!

LOL, many years ago while eatting buckets of oysters a buddy asked if I knew what was inside the oysters ???
So we did a dissection at the bar only to find the nasty greenish/blackish stuff inside each oyster, ughhh :o

Never ate another oyster since that day ;)

This is why, for Escargot, most reputable vendors will starve the snails for several days before putting them out of their misery. No poopy when you no eaty!
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: tumarkin on April 04, 2011, 01:59:37 pm
I used to love okra.  I make some really tasty pickled okra.  I offered some to my dad once.  He said, "I don't like okra.  It's too slimey."

Do you know, up to that point I never noticed that okra is slimey.  Now I can hardly stand it any more.  Thanks Dad!

LOL, many years ago while eatting buckets of oysters a buddy asked if I knew what was inside the oysters ???
So we did a dissection at the bar only to find the nasty greenish/blackish stuff inside each oyster, ughhh :o

Never ate another oyster since that day ;)

This is why, for Escargot, most reputable vendors will starve the snails for several days before putting them out of their misery. No poopy when you no eaty!

I remember a party on one of the San Juan islands, years ago when I lived in the PNW. We dug clams on the beach, put them into a bucket of salt water, put in some corn meal. They ate the corn meal,pooped it out.... breading themselves from the inside out. Then just put them on the stone hearth near the fire. When the popped open, they were ready. Good time, good memory.

Still like to eat oysters, though I rarely eat them raw any more.
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: phillamb168 on April 04, 2011, 02:40:39 pm
I used to love okra.  I make some really tasty pickled okra.  I offered some to my dad once.  He said, "I don't like okra.  It's too slimey."

Do you know, up to that point I never noticed that okra is slimey.  Now I can hardly stand it any more.  Thanks Dad!

LOL, many years ago while eatting buckets of oysters a buddy asked if I knew what was inside the oysters ???
So we did a dissection at the bar only to find the nasty greenish/blackish stuff inside each oyster, ughhh :o

Never ate another oyster since that day ;)

This is why, for Escargot, most reputable vendors will starve the snails for several days before putting them out of their misery. No poopy when you no eaty!

I remember a party on one of the San Juan islands, years ago when I lived in the PNW. We dug clams on the beach, put them into a bucket of salt water, put in some corn meal. They ate the corn meal,pooped it out.... breading themselves from the inside out. Then just put them on the stone hearth near the fire. When the popped open, they were ready. Good time, good memory.

Still like to eat oysters, though I rarely eat them raw any more.

Brilliant! Now if only we could get the oysters to eat Bacon, we would have the ultimate angels on horseback.
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: denny on April 04, 2011, 03:41:23 pm
I like turtles....
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: maxieboy on April 04, 2011, 03:54:31 pm
I like turtles....

Rare, medium rare, soup?
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: markaberrant on April 04, 2011, 05:00:37 pm
Some great points have been made.  I prepare as much of our food from scratch as possible, pay attention to seasonal price fluctuations/sales, always read ingredient lists, always buy in bulk, and make large batches.  The end result is very healthy food at a reasonable price that does not take a lot of effort to prepare (save time by making large batches that can be portioned and frozen).

But you wouldn't believe how many people believe the myth that making meals from scratch is expensive and time consuming.  I suppose it is an easy excuse to continue eating over priced, pre-packaged crap because they are "too busy."
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: Hokerer on April 04, 2011, 06:17:33 pm
But you wouldn't believe how many people believe the myth that making meals from scratch is expensive and time consuming.  I suppose it is an easy excuse to continue eating over priced, pre-packaged crap because they are "too busy."

Not to mention the sheer fun of cooking that they're missing out on.
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: nicneufeld on April 04, 2011, 08:29:07 pm
Cheapest way to eat meat around here is either whole chickens or chicken leg quarters, which run from 50c to 80c a lb, usually.  It takes a lot more work, but I do a lot of deboning of whole chickens, and the stock you can make from the bones and skin of a whole chicken makes a fantastic base for soups, dal, or gravy.  I'd lose the game hen thing, unless you get per lb pricing on them comparable to the above.  They tend to be rather expensive around here.

Smoke a whole chicken, and you have plenty of meat that can be used for any variety of dishes, such as chicken tacos.
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: bluefoxicy on April 05, 2011, 12:16:21 am
Not to mention the sheer fun of cooking that they're missing out on.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1584796677/

Plus a Shun Premier Santoku (they also make an excellent French/German Chef's Knife in that line, but the proper Japanese Santoku is technically superior--requires more skill, though).  One of my next adventures.
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: tubercle on April 05, 2011, 02:03:51 am
I like turtles....

Rare, medium rare, soup?

 1" cubes deep fried. ;D

 ($18/lb) high-quality farm-fresh butter.....

  You're paying 18 bucks for "farm fresh butter"?

 You can make your own for the price of a pint of heavy whipping cream. Pour it in a blender and in 5 minutes you have fresh butter. Keep an eye on it because once it reaches the whipped cream stage it turns to butter all at once in about a minute. Strain through some cloth or a metal strainer and salt to taste. Keeps in the fridge for a long time. I haven't "bought" butter in years.
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: phillamb168 on April 05, 2011, 08:29:10 am
I like turtles....

Rare, medium rare, soup?

 1" cubes deep fried. ;D

 ($18/lb) high-quality farm-fresh butter.....

  You're paying 18 bucks for "farm fresh butter"?

 You can make your own for the price of a pint of heavy whipping cream. Pour it in a blender and in 5 minutes you have fresh butter. Keep an eye on it because once it reaches the whipped cream stage it turns to butter all at once in about a minute. Strain through some cloth or a metal strainer and salt to taste. Keeps in the fridge for a long time. I haven't "bought" butter in years.

Farm fresh in my mind means the cream came from the cow, was churned, and had as little as possible done to it in terms of processing. Just my $0.02... But yes I think you're paying too much as well. I can get beurre Barette that's produced organically from cows about 20 km away for 6 euros / 500 g (~ pound).  Anything beyond that is just marketing.
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: weazletoe on April 05, 2011, 01:03:59 pm
I like turtles....

  I am headed to the pet store right now, for a box turtle, and a pund of bacon. Me and my turtle will begin bacon eating trainig immediatly. Will post results later.
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: maxieboy on April 05, 2011, 01:53:16 pm
Gotta get you a big snapping turtle! Watch those fingers when bacon feeding training... :D
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: Bret on April 05, 2011, 05:30:55 pm
I have struggled with food bills as well.  In college, I was a vegetarian mostly for budget purposes--it works.  Try  to go vegetarian a few times a week and you'll see a difference.  +1 to rice and beans, buying in bulk, and CSAs. We freeze alot of our share too-- nothing like having summer quality ratatouille or pesto (freeze in ice cube trays) in the dead of winter!

Another thing I've learned is, it matters where you shop.  Beware the price club places--bigger is not always cheaper, you have to compare, but some things work out well, i.e. frozen pastas like tortellini. I have shopped all the supermarkets at one point or another and by far, Wegman's is the best.  Their store brand items like canned beans and tomatoes, are exceptional quality and reasonably priced.  They have good prices on meats and fish as well, and if you want, they also have the high end gourmet quality items as well--as opposed to Whole(foods) Paycheck which is really great but super expensive.

My wife makes great "surprise" mac and cheese with cheese ends bought from the deli counter for cheap.  Use whole grain pasta, make a salad and you're eating for a dollar a serving.
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: phillamb168 on April 07, 2011, 01:12:59 pm
Two quick things - 1. Oatmeal. Really, it fills you up, and if you get the steel-cut unprocessed kind (also called pinhead oats, check your local health food store) they're full of vitamins and minerals.

2. Rice and beans, hell yeah, get your complimentary protein on. My favorite rice and beans recipe is this one, from the NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/28/magazine/28food-t-001.html?ref=magazine
couple things I do, though - I add some canned clementine oranges in syrup, and deglaze the post-bacon pan with some bourbon. It's super super tasty and will make a LOT if you practice portion control.
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: punatic on April 07, 2011, 06:55:36 pm
Two quick things - 1. Oatmeal. Really, it fills you up, and if you get the steel-cut unprocessed kind (also called pinhead oats, check your local health food store) they're full of vitamins and minerals.


+1 on the oatmeal.  I eat it all of the time.  I prefer patriot oats though.  ;)
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: bluefoxicy on April 07, 2011, 07:40:35 pm
I have struggled with food bills as well.  In college, I was a vegetarian mostly for budget purposes--it works.  Try  to go vegetarian a few times a week and you'll see a difference. 

No kidding.  I have to limit that though; I'm not used to eating vegetables at all.  You know supermarkets are organized because people head clockwise by nature (they shoved the doors on the left, put palates of crap in the way, and people crawled and fought around the palates like monkeys to wander the store clockwise!), with the fresh produce on the right side, doors on the right, etc.  Fresh produce makes a good impression right?

I don't shop clockwise.

I glance there, yeah.  My brain immediately goes, "Nothing interesting in that direction."  It's like instant repulsion.  If i need something from there, I go there, usually after wandering the store in a daze for a bit unless the ONLY thing I need is an avocado to make sushi.

Beans, rice, soy, protein ... no matter what I get, if I eliminate meat from my diet, my body fails to extract whatever it is it needs from the food (or maybe I'm missing something?) and in under a week I'm quite ill.  It only takes 2-3 days without meat for me to lose my ability to heal, and in under 5 days I'm noticing open wounds and sores that have just appeared... the skin, it cracks and splits.  In a week my immune system starts to fail and I get really sick.  People experience problems going vegetarian yeah, but I'm like way beyond "outlier" here, I'm not even in the same universe.

I made buffalo burgers with meat I had for a week already, and finished them a week later.  Raw until cooked and consumed.  The last day the meat smelled sort of bad... do you know how I cook hamburgers?  Frying pan, outside becomes well done and charred, but the inside is warm and creamy (creamy == RAW MEAT).  Yes I ate rather... bad... smelling meat raw.  I had a really bad stomach ache and headache that night, went into work about 2 hours late the next day completely recovered.  Seriously that would kill a dog.

But yeah, $550-$640/mo is not exactly "struggling with food costs."  It's just "spending too damn much."  I want the costs down so I have money to spend on other things, like expensive knives, tea, a bicycle seat shock absorber so my ass doesn't hurt so much....  Eating at the cafeteria work supplies is not a good way to save money, nor is buying a bunch of groceries and not effectively using them.  Canned goods are cheap, and also garbage; Hormel canned chili with beans is like dog food.

Anyway point is I like bean soups and I like my rice, not into salads and veganism but I can do some fajitas and ensaladas and stuff along the way.  I need my meat though; it is infeasible for me to abandon meat for more than 2 days.  Which is odd because I abandoned food for 4 days in a row once with no ill effects....
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: Bret on April 07, 2011, 07:47:02 pm
Wow that is an extreme reaction. I guess you won't be doing the vegetarian thing.  I hate soy protein myself, and find that it does not digest in my system well.  Ever try whey protein powder?  The shakes are economical and make a great quick breakfast.  
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: punatic on April 08, 2011, 12:21:23 am
I can't think of one grocery store that shops clockwise, in fact they are all counter-clockwise.  Enter to the right - exit to the left (facing the store from outside) and skate in a counter-clockwise direction.
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: tubercle on April 08, 2011, 04:07:23 am
I can't think of one grocery store that shops clockwise, in fact they are all counter-clockwise.  Enter to the right - exit to the left (facing the store from outside) and skate in a counter-clockwise direction.

 There is a science to movement in a store and everything else as far as placement in a retail establishment. I studied this in business school.

 The most expensive place in a store is immediately to the right of the entrance but not too close to the entrance; high margin, high impulse items go here. Want to rent space for your product? You will pay dearly for this space.

  The least desirable space is the first few feet inside the entrance. This is the decompression space. Have you ever walked in a store and had to look around for a cart or hand basket? You missed them because they are behind you. It takes a few feet for people to become oriented and they walk past with out noticing the first few feet.

  High margin items (like store brands) are to the right of name brand-low margin items because people always compare a substitute to the item to the left, you know you have done it. The store I shop has dish washing liquid that is made by Dawn; same bottle, same cap, same back label, only the front label is different and the "blue" is a shade lighter (dawn has a trademark on the color). The store brand is to the right of Dawn. High margin items, even though sometimes cheaper, are always to the right. Check it out.

 Why in the Hell don't they open another register!?!?!!? There should be a minimum of 3 people standing in line not counting the person being checked out. Those racks with gum, batteries, candy, etc are called impulse racks by the trade. They need you standing in line so you will stare at a magazines and such so something will peak your interest and you will grab it.

 Then there is the "scream factor". Candy at low levels in the impulse racks, colorful cereal boxes with "prizes" inside at knee level, these are there for the kids to show their ass in public so mama will by it "if you will just shut up". Embarrassing mama in public has made many store owners rich.

 Those displays in the middle of a travel lane are there to break up the travel pattern and steer you head-long into an impulse/ high-margin item/area.

 Staples like dairy, bread,  eggs, snacks, soft drinks, the devils brew, etc.. are placed in the far reaches to the left back of the store so you have to pass the buy1 get 1 free frozen pizza and other goodies on the way.

 As a homework assignment we had to go to stores and verify all of this. Its true. Check it out the next time shopping.

 My wife hates to take me shopping.

 End of Tubercle's marketing lesson.

 
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: tschmidlin on April 08, 2011, 05:41:07 am
Staples like dairy, bread,  eggs, snacks, soft drinks, the devils brew, etc.. are placed in the far reaches to the left back of the store so you have to pass the buy1 get 1 free frozen pizza and other goodies on the way.
This isn't the case anywhere I do most of my shopping.  In the main place, a really big place, when you walk in the produce is right in front of you.  Along the right side of the store, front to back, is the cheese counter, the deli counter, bakery, seafood, meat.  The wine is behind the produce, before the meats.  The milk and eggs are right next to the produce.  The beer is two aisles over, and runs one entire side of the aisle.  The bread is another 2 or 3 aisles left, and the soda an aisle or two after that.  The back left of the store is automotive, housewares, tools, that kind of stuff.

I'm sure they have some system to get you to buy stuff on impulse, but the one you're describing isn't it.

Checkout was self-checkout, I waited briefly.  I noticed a headline that someone is cheating on Kendra, but I have no idea who they are or why I would care.  I also saw that Brad was caught naked with his costar and Angelina was pissed.  I know who they are, but still don't care.  I must not be their target audience.  :)
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: euge on April 08, 2011, 06:42:57 am
The HEB's in Texas are a bit different. The produce is right next to a side (but main) entrance and it may be clockwise or counterclockwise to the meat and dairy- all of which are in the periphery of the building. The beer and wine is usually close to the register- at my after work but just before "stop-selling" (midnight or 1am on Sunday) store it's the first thing one hits. Usually, there's a huge line just before selling alcohol cuts off. This one has a very decent selection too.

Discovered that if I do the edges and shoot through the beer aisle then I can get out of there without being skinned too much. My problem is that I go 5 times a week for something.
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: maxieboy on April 08, 2011, 05:03:53 pm
Understood on the design. Mostly lost on me though. Full stomach, no shopping w/out a list, and virtually no processed foods. Get in, get out.
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: Bret on April 08, 2011, 05:14:01 pm
Understood on the design. Mostly lost on me though. Full stomach, no shopping w/out a list, and virtually no processed foods. Get in, get out.
YES! Also, I shop in a linear fashion, start at one end of the store and proceed straight through, once. Done.  My wife thinks shopping is a pinball game, careens around the store like the silver ball...
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: weazletoe on April 10, 2011, 03:40:56 pm
Update.....my turtle is starting to fatten up, and all his farts smell like warm bacon.
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: SpanishCastleAle on April 14, 2011, 02:15:10 pm
Cheapest way to eat meat around here is either whole chickens or chicken leg quarters, which run from 50c to 80c a lb, usually.  It takes a lot more work, but I do a lot of deboning of whole chickens, and the stock you can make from the bones and skin of a whole chicken makes a fantastic base for soups, dal, or gravy.  I'd lose the game hen thing, unless you get per lb pricing on them comparable to the above.  They tend to be rather expensive around here.

Smoke a whole chicken, and you have plenty of meat that can be used for any variety of dishes, such as chicken tacos.
I do this a lot because lucky for me, I much prefer dark meat over white meat.  My only problem with the leg quarter packages is that one leg quarter might come from a 3.5 lb fryer and another might come from a monster 5+ pounder (and they usually still have the back bone connected).  I much prefer the smaller birds so I sort through all the whole birds to find one 4 pounds or less.  Often there's only 1 or 2 that qualify.  The dark meat gets eaten 'as cooked' and the leftover white meat gets used for making another dish (such as chicken tacos).
I like using shears to cut the backbone out and clip the wings.
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: morticaixavier on April 14, 2011, 10:29:27 pm
Beans, rice, soy, protein ... no matter what I get, if I eliminate meat from my diet, my body fails to extract whatever it is it needs from the food (or maybe I'm missing something?) and in under a week I'm quite ill.  It only takes 2-3 days without meat for me to lose my ability to heal, and in under 5 days I'm noticing open wounds and sores that have just appeared... the skin, it cracks and splits.  In a week my immune system starts to fail and I get really sick.  People experience problems going vegetarian yeah, but I'm like way beyond "outlier" here, I'm not even in the same universe.


I think there was something like this on a recent episode of House. a genetic disorder that caused issues when too much vegetables are eaten. I think the guy turned out to be a mass murderer, No connection though.
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: denny on April 14, 2011, 10:50:21 pm
Beans, rice, soy, protein ... no matter what I get, if I eliminate meat from my diet, my body fails to extract whatever it is it needs from the food (or maybe I'm missing something?) and in under a week I'm quite ill.  It only takes 2-3 days without meat for me to lose my ability to heal, and in under 5 days I'm noticing open wounds and sores that have just appeared... the skin, it cracks and splits.  In a week my immune system starts to fail and I get really sick.  People experience problems going vegetarian yeah, but I'm like way beyond "outlier" here, I'm not even in the same universe.


I think there was something like this on a recent episode of House. a genetic disorder that caused issues when too much vegetables are eaten. I think the guy turned out to be a mass murderer, No connection though.

And we all know how much TV shows are like real life!  ;)
Title: Re: Rice, beans, etc
Post by: morticaixavier on April 15, 2011, 04:35:32 pm
Beans, rice, soy, protein ... no matter what I get, if I eliminate meat from my diet, my body fails to extract whatever it is it needs from the food (or maybe I'm missing something?) and in under a week I'm quite ill.  It only takes 2-3 days without meat for me to lose my ability to heal, and in under 5 days I'm noticing open wounds and sores that have just appeared... the skin, it cracks and splits.  In a week my immune system starts to fail and I get really sick.  People experience problems going vegetarian yeah, but I'm like way beyond "outlier" here, I'm not even in the same universe.


I think there was something like this on a recent episode of House. a genetic disorder that caused issues when too much vegetables are eaten. I think the guy turned out to be a mass murderer, No connection though.

And we all know how much TV shows are like real life!  ;)

Denny are you implying that the entertainment industry it's completely honest and true to life? you mean all women aren't size 2 and all men don't weight 160 lbs?