Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ways to Save: Never Turn Down Free Food

One of my unspoken rules regarding groceries is to never turn down anything free...unless it is seriously processed food. It's been one of the ways that we've eaten as inexpensively as we do. I especially won't turn down something free if it is a healthy food like veggies. One year I got I don't know how many green beans given to me by different friends who had more than they could use. They'd say, "Hey would you like some green beans?" And without batting an eye, I'd say, "Sure!" It meant we ate lots & lots of green beans that year as I froze many of them, but it was a healthy food and don't forget... free.

Part of being willing to take free food also means being willing to be flexible. Take today for instance. I was on my way home from a ladies function at church and decided to stop in at my favorite little Amish bulk food store for some items we needed. I had gotten everything on my list and on impulse, decided to swing by and grab a few sweet potatoes yet. And what a godsend that was! I nearly missed it, but back in the corner (which is dark since they only use gas lamps) was my jackpot...a whole box full of FREE cauliflower.

Now my jackpot may have gotten passed over by many others because when you looked at the cauliflower, you didn't just see a nice snowy white head. No, instead there were quite a few dark spots decorating the snowy white. But I knew that if I simply took the time to cut out the spots I would have myself some good cauliflower. So I scooped up 7 of the heads and decided that my afternoon just got rearranged! Now instead of folding laundry, sweeping the upstairs and having a big supper, I am getting cauliflower ready for the freezer and making soup...oh, and cauliflower!

Just in case you are wondering, I think even with throwing away some of the cauliflower, I still should be able to get at least 5 quarts. Not bad, I don't think, considering they were small heads.


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