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Thread: Modern Day Hunting and Gathering?

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    Supporter Jembru's Avatar
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    Modern Day Hunting and Gathering?

    Does any one else do this? I don't mean real hunting and gathering I am afraid. I mean, going to multiple stores to do your food shopping, just so you can take advantage of as many offers as possible? This is especially, in my case, about fruit, vegetables, or any other fresh foods, that are just about to pass their sell by date. It's become a really fun game to me.

    I have been doing it for about a month now, and have worked out roughly when each supermarket in my area reduces it's fruit and veg to the very final reduction (generally, an hour before the store closes, on the sell by date). I also know which things tend to be more popular so never make it past the first or second reduction (morning or mid-day). Some days, I'll pop into three stores on my way home from work, buy what won't last until the evening, and then just make a note of what else is there. Then I go home, sleep and when I get up, I'll go to the stores again before work and collect my treasures.

    The store-baked breads are usually massively reduced in the evening too. I also take advantage of the 'damaged' stuff. The dented cans and smashed boxes are also often quite a lot cheaper.

    Although I won't go crazy, because I like to leave some for other people who might also be struggling on little money, I sometimes buy two or three of something so I can freeze it for weeks when I really have nothing.

    It's really hard not to boast about my hunts on Facebook, but I don't want any competition, but I can here! My entire shopping last week only came to 19 pounds and I had LOADS (enough to feed me, and JP on the 4 nights he spent with me). One trip cost me 2.70 and when I got home and worked out what I WOULD have spent, it would have been almost 12 pounds!

    I don't drive either, so I'm doing all of this on foot. It's time consuming but I'm getting a great deal of exercise by going between 3 stores and carrying those heavy bags home.

    Does anyone else do this? If so, are there any good hints and tips I could benefit from?

    UPDATE: Just realised I hadn't clarified that I work nights so 'on the way home' means about 8:15 am... in case I sounded a bit insane.
    Last edited by Jembru; 08 Mar 2012 at 18:42.

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    Copper Member Dufonce's Avatar
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    Re: Modern Day Hunting and Gathering?

    unfortunately here in my area at least, not sure about the rest of the states, the dented cans and boxes arent marked down... niether is anything close to its date. we have our regular sales, and yeah sometimes you'd wanna go to different stores for different things... but sometimes if you can find one, theres stores that sell food barely past its sell by date (most food doesnt have an expiration date, just a sell by date) and sells damaged boxes and cans for cheap cheap prices... however i also saw at one of those stores an energy juice drink (that has actual orange juice in it) that was almost a year past its sell by date... and had actually changed from orange to brown.... so stores like that can be dangerous cause they just dont care... I did used to shop meats at one place that always had buy one get one sales, and then the rest of my food elsewhere... would of went to a cheap produce stand thats local... but i refuse to give them business cause years ago their son nearly killed me, destroyed my truck, and he got a new truck the next day. must be nice to have rich parents huh?
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    Re: Modern Day Hunting and Gathering?

    I sort of pick and choose where I pick stuff up, as a modern hunter/gatherer, I guess. Shit like boxed or canned goods I have no problem buying at waltard, whereas meat? No, I have to go to a butcher for all that - better deals and way fresher (potentially untreated??) meat. Breads, [fresh] fruits and veggies, I'm not too concerned about where I get - it just doesn't last long enough to matter much. I really don't think our taste buds around here have enough time to get that finicky.




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    Re: Modern Day Hunting and Gathering?

    I shop the local produce/meat market about three days a week to get my fruits and vegetables as well as lunch meat, cheeses. I do this because I like to buy my food in smaller batch's so that it stays fresher longer. I watch for their sales on meats, chicken, fish, and yes I do check their sales rack out. Because I do most of the cooking at home I can pick up what I need to prepare the meals I intend to cook for the family. I use very little prepared foods or canned goods if I can help it as I'd much rather have fresh. My wife does most of the shopping at the "BIG" stores for the other essentials of life and that's fine with me. Toughs places drive me nuts so I tend to stay away from them.
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    Re: Modern Day Hunting and Gathering?

    That sounds about right for us, too. Our house doesn't eat a lot of packaged foods unless it's a tight month(or like right now, where we're getting ready to move. Other then keeping things like canned tomatoes and baking supplies stocked, we mostly eat boiled whole grains, fruits and veggies from the local co-op(much, much cheaper), and meat bought in small batches(often organ meat or whole poultry, large cuts like brisket, etc). If I'm at the top of my game, I can take a large cut or two chickens, and make it last a week, going from a roast through pies and casseroles to soups. I bake my own bread and crackers, and make my own condiments when possible, like ketchup, mustard, and preserves.

    When we do need canned goods, I try to hunt for the best bargain and buy in bulk.

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    Supporter Jembru's Avatar
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    Re: Modern Day Hunting and Gathering?

    So buying meat directly from a butcher often works out cheaper? I'm interested to learn more about keeping meat costs down, while still being healthy. I will hopefully be living with my boyfriend by the end of the year, and he is clueless about shopping and eating well. He is a meat eater though, so I hope to offer him good healthy cuts and get him away from his dangerous MacDonnalds and Burger King diet. I'm just worried about how we'll afford this and being a vegetarian, I don't really know the first thing about meat.

    Oh, I also want to start feeding him fish at least once a week (three times if I could afford it), because he is prone to stress and depression, and I wonder if the lack of essensial fatty acids is adding to this. Fish looks very expensive too though.

    Thanks very much for the information so far everyone. I might start comparing prices and stuff while I am shopping.

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    Member Taliesyn's Avatar
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    Re: Modern Day Hunting and Gathering?

    buy whole meat. the less prossessed pieces are cheaper, you just have to break them down. look up martin yan or jaque pepin to see how to properly cut them, and you will save dollars on the pound.

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    Member Miranda's Avatar
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    Re: Modern Day Hunting and Gathering?

    For the most part the only kind of meat we have at my house is game hunted by my husband and/or son. We do occasionally buy half a pig or some chickens, but not often. Other foods are a little harder to come by. The growing season here is short so we don't get much of a garden or even much local produce at the farmers market. The stuff that gets shipped in has been bred for shipping well and in the process most of the flavor has been leached out of it. Our best bet is to buy frozen vegetables since they are immediately frozen after picking and so are usually better tasting and more healthful than the so called fresh ones in the grocery store.

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    Re: Modern Day Hunting and Gathering?

    That's actually brilliant. Ive been meaning to do this as well. Imagine a weekly grocery budget of about 5 dollars! That's my eventual goal, once i start growing my own produce and making most things from scratch.

    Has anyone else scouted their area for fruits and berries growing wild? I hear that's a thing. I'm thinking of trying that, or at the least swapping some home grown swith someone else's.
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    Re: Modern Day Hunting and Gathering?

    This is one thing I really liked about living in SF,there are tons of small produce stores everywhere,and there is the weekly or monthly Farmers market. They even sold live chickens at the farmers market,that they would kill for you,or you could do the deed yourself. That was banned btw after a while,mainly it was said for food safety issues. In China Town you could buy live fish,but that too was banned for the same reasons.

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