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Herbs and Spices

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Herbs and spices are expensive! I can get jars of a few things (cinnamon, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian Seasoning, lemon pepper, chili powder, seasoned salt) at Walmart for 50 cents a jar, or slightly bigger jars of more things (the same as at Walmart, plus cumin and parsley and a few others) at Aldi for 99 cents, but beyond these very basic seasonings it gets really expensive.

The cheapest place I've found to buy herbs and spices is at someplace like Winco, where you can buy them from bins, in bulk. I think Fred Meyers has the same thing. Unfortunately, the only place around here to buy them in bulk is at the coop, where most of them are organic and everything is expensive.

For purposes of costing my menus, I've been assuming that I could get a little bit of whatever other herbs and spices I need at the coop for 50 cents or a dollar, but hadn't really looked into it any more closely that that. Until about a week ago, when I went over and got prices on the things I seemed to be using the most. I got the price per pound from there, went online to find how many grams were in a tablespoon of the seasonings (I fiddled until I came up with the same number of calories in some number of grams as in a tablespoon), and then came up with a price per tablespoon. For most things, except some of those that I can get for 50 cents at Walmart, a tablespoon will last me a long time. Like months. At least as long as they say you should keeps herbs and spices before they go stale.

Here are the prices per pound and per tablespoon at our local coop.

allspice - $29.79/lb, 40 cents per tablespoon
celery seed - $18.80/lb, 27 cents per tablespoon
cayenne - $15.48/lb, 18 cents per tablespoon
red pepper flakes - $7.69/lb, 9 cents per tablespoon
chili powder - $22.89/lb, 38 cents per tablespoon
cinnamon - $9.19/lb, 14 cents per tablespoon
cloves, ground - $18.55/lb, 27 cents per tablespoon
dill seed - $13.29/lb, 19 cents per tablespoon
dill weed (the dried greens) - $26.49/lb, 18 cents per tablespoon
ginger - $17.89/lb, 21 cents per tablespoon
marjoram leaf - $20.49/lb, 5 cents per tablespoon
paprika - $17.09/lb, 26 cents per tablespoon
rosemary - $12.79/lb, 9 cents per tablespoon
garlic powder - $13.69/lb, 26 cents per tablespoon

It's by no means exact, but a tablespoon of a ground herb or spice seems to run about 7 grams per tablespoon. At least you could use that as an estimate in figuring the cost per tablespoon. Say about 2% of the cost per pound. So, if something costs $20 per pound, it would cost about 40 cents per tablespoon. Actually, that's high - it's really closer to 1.5% of the per pound cost, but 2% is easier to figure. Leaf herbs are more variable, but if you figure 1% of the per pound cost you should be a bit on the high side. So if a leaf herb - oregano leaf, for example, instead of ground oregano - costs $20 per pound, it probably costs less than 20 cents per tablespoon.

Some things are a better buy at Walmart, because I use a lot of them, like cinnamon and chili powder, but a lot of them are actually cheaper at the very expensive coop. The problem is that I tend to buy way too much at a time there. I may have figured out a solution to that problem, though. We can take in our own jars, weigh them before we fill them, and then use them to buy the seasonings. The cashier takes off the weight of the jar. I’m going to try putting a tablespoon of salt or something like that in a few jars and look very hard at them to see how much a tablespoon is. I might even draw a line around the jar at one tablespoon. Then, when I need a refill, I’ll try to get just one tablespoon. Or even less of a few things. It will make it a lot easier to keep fresh herbs and spices that way, too. I hate to throw out an almost full jar of something, even if it is several years old! If you can't take in your own jars, try doing the same thing with one of their bags. Get a good idea of how much a tablespoon is, and then try to get only that much. Or however much you think you'll use, but using that idea.

Some herbs and spices – bay leaf for one – can sometimes be bought in little plastic pouches in the Mexican section of some stores. Or I’m told that you can sometimes buy spices more cheaply in ethnic grocery stores.

Finally, growing your own is a good option, if you can. I have a tarragon plant that I planted several years ago. It keeps coming back every year. So do my chives. I also have thyme and rosemary in pots. I move the pots outside in the summer and back inside in the winter. I’ve done the same with parsley and oregano. And basil and dill grow in the summer and are good for other garden plants, too, though they have to be replanted each summer.

My biggest problem with herbs and spices, both fresh and from the store, is that I buy way more than I use. Not only do I buy too much of each one, but then I forget to use them. I’m working on using more fresh herbs this month in my real life. They do add a special touch to things.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUDGETMAW 6/6/2013 8:42AM

  It's not the little shrpinkles that add up, Woubbie. It's the jars and bottles you have to buy to get them!

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WOUBBIE 6/5/2013 5:57PM

    Interesting - I never really think about the cost of all those little shprinkles.

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NOWYOUDIDIT 6/5/2013 4:56PM

    Wow! Thanks for sharing! I make my own spice blend- I add everything but garlic and onion to it, I add those to the food last. I use about 1/4 cup. In 20 cups of brown rice for the kids and group home gals I use 2 T garlic and 1/2 c dried onions. I never realized it was all so expensive! Thank You! emoticon

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Week 3 at May 30 - June 5 Prices

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Day 15 -
Breakfast – eggs, butter, cantaloupe
Lunch – Lentil Soup, sour cream, cheddar
Supper – Microwave Spinach Lasagna, lettuce, Italian dressing, Basic Salad Mix

Day 16 -
Breakfast – yogurt, flax, sunflower seeds, half and half, cinnamon, strawberries
Lunch – salad of lettuce, tuna, Italian dressing, egg, Basic Salad Mix, mayo, sunflower seeds
Supper – Creamy Winey Chicken, buttered zucchini and carrot

Day 17 -
Breakfast – eggs, butter, cantaloupe
Lunch – salad of cabbage, Asian Peanut Butter Pork, mayo, mustard
Supper – roasted chicken, Broccoli Casserole

Day 18 -
Breakfast – yogurt, flax, sunflower seeds, half and half, cinnamon, strawberries
Lunch – Sausage Gravy over eggs
Supper - Microwave Spinach Lasagna, lettuce, Italian dressing, Basic Salad Mix

Day 19 -
Breakfast – eggs, butter, cantaloupe
Lunch – salad of lettuce, chicken, ranch dressing, egg, Basic Salad Mix
Supper – Lentil Soup, franks, cheddar

Day 20 -
Breakfast – yogurt, flax, sunflower seeds, half and half, cinnamon, strawberries
Lunch – cheese omelet, lettuce, ranch dressing, Basic Salad Mix
Supper – pork chop, zucchini, carrot

Day 21 -
Breakfast – eggs, butter, cantaloupe
Lunch – soup of broth, frozen spinach, parmesan cheese, whipping cream; devilled egg
Supper – stir fry of Asian Peanut Butter Pork, carrot, cabbage, onion, oil

Cost of food eaten this week was $23.47, or an average of $3.35 per day. Average daily calories = 1795, fat = 134 grams, protein = 97 grams, total carbs = 50 grams, fiber = 14 grams, net carbs = average of 36 per day.

Links to this week's recipes -

Lentil Soup - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2497301


Microwave Spinach Lasagna - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2474584


Italian Salad Dressing - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2492923


Creamy Winey Chicken - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2498971


Crockpot Asian Peanut Butter Pork - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2480132


Broccoli Casserole - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2493780

  


Week 2 at May 30 - June 5 Prices

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Day 8 -
Breakfast – yogurt, flax, sunflower seeds, half and half, cinnamon, strawberries
Lunch – Sausage Gravy over eggs
Supper – Creamy Winey Chicken over broccoli

Day 9 -
Breakfast – eggs, butter, cantalope
Lunch – Cabbage & Mackerel Salad
Supper – Lentil Soup, franks, cheddar

Day 10 -
Breakfast – yogurt, flax, sunflower seeds, half and half, cinnamon, strawberries
Lunch – cheese omelet, romaine, ranch dressing, Basic Salad Mix
Supper – Asian Peanut Butter Pork, fried cabbage

Day 11 -
Breakfast – eggs, butter, cantalope
Lunch – Cabbage & Mackerel Salad
Supper – Roasted Chicken Leg, Broccoli Casserole

Day 12 -
Breakfast – yogurt, flax, sunflower seeds, half and half, cinnamon, strawberries
Lunch – salad of lettuce, chicken, egg, Basic Salad Mix, Italian dressing, mayo
Supper – Microwave Spinach Lasagna, lettuce, Italian dressing, Basic Salad Mix

Day 13 -
Breakfast – eggs, butter, cantalope
Lunch – Lentil Soup, frank, cheddar
Supper – pork chop, Broccoli Casserole

Day 14 -
Breakfast – yogurt, flax, sunflower seeds, half and half, cinnamon, strawberries
Lunch – Sausage Gravy over eggs
Supper – Creamy Winey Chicken over cauli-rice

Cost of food eaten this week was $22.62, or an average of $3.23 per day. Average calories per day were 1759, average daily fat of 126 grams, protein of 104 grams, total carbs of 48 grams, average fiber of 15 grams, and average net carbs per day of 33.

Links to this week's recipes -

Creamy Winey Chicken - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2498971


Cabbage & Mackerel Soup - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2457505


Lentil Soup - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2497301


Ranch Dressing - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2495088


Asian Peanut Butter Pork - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2480132


Broccoli Casserole - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2493780


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUDGETMAW 6/2/2013 7:49PM

  Nay, I started with a recipe for what amounted to SOS, or Creamed Beef on Toast, except that the recipe used hamburger instead of dried beef. That sounded good, so I tried to think of what to put it on, since toast was out. Usually I put that sort of thing on veggies, but for some reason that wasn't what I wanted. So I thought of eggs, instead. And then I thought of using sausage instead of ground beef. So it ends up sort of like Biscuits and Gravy with a side of eggs, only without the biscuits. I've had the extra sausage gravy over the eggs, way back in the days when I ate biscuits and gravy made with flour, and it was good. So that's how I came up with this.

NowYouDidIt - Four large eggs is close to a cup, raw, and more than that cooked, depending on how it's cooked. It has about 25 grams of protein, which is a good sized serving. And it usually costs between 40 and 50 cents, which is cheap for a meal's worth of protein. And, as you say, it is very versatile. There are lots of ways to eat them, though I tend to cook them the same few ways most of the time.

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NOWYOUDIDIT 6/2/2013 7:19PM

    Maw do you think eggs are a cheaper protein than meats? It sure seems that they are, they are also more versatile. My kids don't like large quantities of meat- I'm thinking of going more with eggs. Only problem is I can't make them fast enough- they eat them up fast! emoticon

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NAYPOOIE 6/2/2013 6:11PM

    I never considered putting gravy on eggs. Interesting idea.

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First Week at May 30 - June 5 Prices

Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 1 -
Breakfast - eggs, butter, canalope
Lunch - Lentil Soup, sour cream, cheddar
Supper - chicken skins, lettuce, Basic Salad Mix, Italian Dressing

Day 2 -
Breakfast - yogurt, flax, sunflower seeds, half and half, cinnamon, strawberries
Lunch - lettuce, eggs, ranch, Basic Salad Mix
Supper - pork chop, Ginger Stir Fry Broccoli, lettuce, Basic Salad Mix, Italian dressing

Day 3 -
Breakfast - eggs, butter, canalope
Lunch - salade of cabbage, carrot, mayo, mustard, vinegar, liquid splenda, eggs, sunflower seeds, onion, hot dog
Supper - roast chicken, Sag Paneer

Day 4 -
Breakfast - yogurt, flax, sunflower seeds, half and half, cinnamon, strawberries
Lunch - cheese omelet, lettuce, ranch dressing, Basic Salad Mix
Supper - Microwave Spinach Lasagna, lettuce, Basic Salad Mix, Italian dressing

Day 5 -
Breakfast - eggs, butter, canalope
Lunch - Lentil Soup, jumbo frank, cheddar
Supper - Asian PB Pork Chop, Ginger Stir Fry Broccoli

Day 6 -
Breakfast - yogurt, flax, sunflower seeds, half and half, cinnamon, strawberries
Lunch - salad of tuna, celery, mayo, egg, Basic Salad Mix; celery with peanut butter
Supper - Creamy Winey Chicken over frozen broccoli

Day 7
Breakfast - eggs, butter, canalope
Lunch - lettuce, chicken, egg, Basic Salad Mix, Italian dressing, mayo
Supper - Microwave Spinach Lasagna, lettuce, Basic Salad Mix, Italian dressing

Total cost of food eaten this week was $23.73, or an average of $3.39 per day.

Average calories per day was 1773, fat was 133 grams, protein 93 grams, total carbs 48 grams, fiber 15 grams, net carbs averaged 33 grams per day.

Links to this week's recipes -

Creamy Winey Chicken - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2498971


Lentil Soup - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2497301


Ranch Dressing - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2495088


Italian Dressing - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2492923


Ginger Stir Fry Broccoli - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2498997


Microwave Spinach Lasagna - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2474584


Crockpot Asian Peanut Butter Pork - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2480132


Sag Paneer (Spinach) - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2499004

  


Free low carb kindle cookbooks

Thursday, May 30, 2013

I was at amazon.com today for some reason (I don't even remember why or whether I did what needed to be done there!) and thought I'd see if they had any new low carb cookbooks for free. They do! At least, they're new since the last time i looked. Here are some of the ones I found. I haven't looked at them yet, but maybe there's something there that would interest you. As I understand it, you can get free Kindle for PC software so you can essentially turn your PC into a kindle, in case you don't actually have one of the handy little devices.

Zero Carb Slow Cooker Cookbook, by Susan Sterling. (Not that they're really zero carb, of course. It looks like she just took regular recipes and if there was something with carbs, said to get a zero carb version of it. Zero carb marinara sauce? Give me a break! With tomatoes? But, that aside, and recognizing that most things are going to have more than -0- carbs, some of the recipes look interesting. There are some other Zero Carb Cookbooks, too, and I assume the same applies to them. But, after all, the cookbooks are free.)

0 Carb Cookbook, by Susan Sterling. See comment above.

20 Incredible Coconut Flour Recipes, by Marissa Paine. Some should be low carb, anyway.

300 Low Carb Slow Cooker Recipes, by Dana Carpender. If it's by Dana, it's got to be good!

Best of Grain Free Meal Plans, Volume I, by Cara Faus. Again, some at least should be low carb.

Blood Sugar Diet Recipes, by Stephen Robinson. "For preventing diabetes" so it's hard to tell what it will recommend.

Cave Wraps: 40 Fast and Easy Paleo Recipes, by Ivy Martin. Paleo isn't necessarily low carb, but a lot of it is.

Paleo Diet Handbook: Quick and Easy Paleo Diet Recipes, by Michael Thomas and Eric Edwards

Paleo Recipes for Slow Cookers and Crockpots, by Stephanie Haber

Quick and Easy Chicken and Seafood Paleo Entrees, by George Bryant and Abel James

The Extreme Fat Burning Protein Diet, by Scott Warren

The Paleo Aficionado Chicken Recipe Cookbook, by Amanda Matthews

The Paleo Cookbook (Dinner Edition), by Ryan E. Taylor

The Paleolithic Diet - What it is and why it works, by Mackenzie Jagger

The Paleolithic Slow Cooker Cookbook, by Amy Atlas, Jeremy L, et al

The Ultimate Low Carb Diet Cookbook, by Donna Pliner Rodnitzky

Wheat Belly Trying Gluten Free, by Ravi Kishore

Wheat Free Cookbook, by Marcia Hansen

Zero Carb Appetizer Cookbook

And then I had trouble connecting with amazon so I quit. Anyway, you get the picture. There are lots of free electronic cookbooks available, as well as all the recipes online. I happen to like reading cookbooks, so findng so many free ones is great.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANYON_GAL 1/28/2014 8:24AM

    I just looked up "The Extreme Fat Burning Protein Diet" book and my kindle store gave me a price of $8.97. But I do have "My Grain Brain Cookbook" & " Unravelling Paleo" which were both free

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