Thursday, October 2, 2008

The reality of economics in your stomach

We all know that prices are up for everything. Gas, heating oil, energy, the stuff traded on commodities boards. We all know (or at least have heard) that our economy is hanging by a thread, unless something is done. It's the something that has most people stymied.

I'm no economist but I've been noticing higher and higher grocery bills and I wondered just how much more I'm paying. Turns out, it is alot.

According to the Consumer Price Index (you can check it out at, everyday foods are up from last year. Here are a few eyeopeners from the August report:

bread: this staple is up 16% from August 2007.
eggs: up 7%, nothing to cluck about for sure.
chicken: up almost 5% - a wing's worth.
ground beef: is up almost 8%
apples: up almost 19%, that's a serious bite.
potatoes: 29% more for your spuds

The list goes on and on, just like the grocery bill. So, to eat the same foods you ate last year, you have to spend significantly more money.

Well, we can all go on diets based up on the CPI and look for low cost foods (oranges and bacon are good choices - doesn't that sound yummy...) or we can figure out how to get our food for less. Just like dieting, these ideas aren't news - we all know that menu planning, eating home, using leftovers, shopping coupons and avoiding convenience food saves money. But with the new CPI report coming out in October, we might have even more incentive to put those good ideas into practice.

Here's one way (more to come) that you can save some cash on a convenience food. Make your own Biscuit/Pancake mix*:

6 cups all purpose flour
3 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 cup instant nonfat dry milk
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup vegetable shortening

Combine flour, baking powder, powdered milk and salt and stir until well mixed. Blend in the shortening until the mix resembles coarse meal. Put the mix in a self sealing bag, label, date and refrigerate for up to six weeks.

Now, use that mix for casseroles and other dishes that serve up some leftovers. Here are a couple to get you started.

*Recipe found in the book "Homemade" - see the widget at the bottom of the page for a link to it. There are other versions with variations; check Google.


rosemary said...

So, that's all that is in Bisquick? Here I thought it was some wonderful coffee cake special stuff. We are now eating every single left over...every last bite. Steve is not happy because he likes I am looking for disguises.

Kimberly Ann said...

I've seen a bunch of recipes that are all variations on this so I'm guessing that this is the basic recipe. Casseroles are becoming our favorites, that's for sure.

Miss Healthypants said...

I would LOVE to go on the orange juice and bacon diet! :)

Mmmmm....bacon.... :)