Tuesday, October 11, 2011

31 Days: Day 11 - Say Cheese!

If this is your first visit I welcome you to my little corner of the world! You might want to start at the introduction of this series. It explains what 31 Days of Change is, and has links to each day's post as they occur. Just click on the 31 Days to Slash Your Budget Painlessly button at the top of my sidebar on the right.

Is your mouth watering?  Mine is, just looking at that pizza dripping in cheese!  Doesn't cheese just make everything better? We use it in casseroles, on pizza, in scrambled eggs and omelets, on sandwiches, in salad, in vegetable dishes and just plain on crackers. But the price of cheese seems to be tied to the price of gasoline these days. It just keeps going up! The cheapest I've seen shredded cheese lately is on sale for $2.50 for 8oz. That's $5.00 a pound on sale! It's almost as expensive as steak.

So how does a frugal cook keep herself in cheese? Buy it in bulk and freeze it. Cheese freezes just fine for cooking with, especially when it's preshredded. The closest Sam's Club or Costco around here is around 3 hours away. We do have a Gordon Food Store however, and they sell shredded cheese in 5lb. bags. It is running around $13 a bag right now, but they periodically have it on sale for a dollar or two off. I wait until it's around $11 dollars and buy 1 or 2 bags.

When I get home, I usually pop the cheese in the fridge until I have a few minutes to deal with it. I measure out 2 cup portions and put them in individual zipping sandwich bags. We go through them fast enough that I don't worry about freezer burn, but if you think you wouldn't go through them in less than a couple of months, you could put all the individual bags into a gallon size bag for double protection.

When I can get cheese this way, I only pay about $2.20 per pound. That's less than half the price of cheese at the grocery store when it's on sale! I buy both mozerella and cheddar this way.

Each 5lb. bag of cheese will make up ten 8oz. (2 cup) bags. We probably use that much a month of the cheddar and about half that of mozerella. That equals 7.5 lbs. of shredded cheese per month. At a savings of $2.80 per pound as compared to sale price (not even regular price), that nets me a savings of $21/month or $252 per year. Can you say cha-ching!

If you are benefiting from this series, I’d love it if you would grab my button from the top of my sidebar.  I will be back with another money saving tip tomorrow.   I will keep up a running tally of my savings at the bottom of each new post. Just scroll down to the bottom to see.  Later Gater.

My tally so far:

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