Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Saving Money By Making Your Own

One of the reasons I've been working on stock/broth is because buying it from the store seems so darn expensive.  I mean, when you're paying $3 to $5 for the convenience of organic stock, I started thinking about making my own.

Today I bought part of an organic knuckle bone and a piece of "chuck steak" for about $5.  I tossed it in the pot with some celery, onions and carrots I had bought at the farmer's market.  Combined, those ingredients probably cost about 75 cents.  I added herbs and spices, most picked from my garden or dried.  I figure by the end, I got about 6 quarts of stock, cooked meat for soup, a bone for reuse in stock, and a bunch of vegetables I'm feeding the chickens tomorrow.

So, maybe I spent $6.  If I paid about $3.50 per quart of organic beef stock, I would have spent about $21 for the amount of stock I made.  That saves me $15 on the stock alone. This stock I can now use in recipes like risotto, stews, and, of course, soup.  Since it freezes nicely, it stays good.

My Chickens love leftovers
Because I have chickens, vegetables don't go to waste.  If I have old vegetables, leftover soup vegetables, fruit peels, melon rinds and the like, they go to the chickens.  The chickens eat them and that goes towards the eggs.  Heck of a deal.

I know some recipes claim that you should throw out the meat you use in the broth, but I've never done that.  Meat from the broth gets frozen and used in soups or some other dish, so it does double duty.  I never give cooked bones to my dogs (too brittle), so if I have a bone from a soup, I put it in the freezer because I might be able to roast it and use it again as a stock flavoring.

2 comments:

  1. Hooray for your homemade stock! It's great when you can make something yourself of quality & save money & contribute to your health while doing it.
    I am thinking chickens = eggs, meat & good soup stock. BUT, following a mostly vegetarian diet, from chickens I only use/ eat eggs & they have to be from our own backyard.
    It is very satisfying process of feeding the veggie scraps to chickens & getting eggs back. We often have so many good scraps that I have given prime veggie pieces to pigs I have known & even consider raising our own.
    I am not against meat eating, we have both vegetarians & meat eaters in the family & accommodate both with respect.
    I would like to make a good veggie broth & ditch the veggie bouillon cubes. I think I might just try it soon & hold back some of the veggie scraps from the chickens.

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  2. I really like feeding my chickens scraps. They really love it and I don't feel I'm wasting food anymore. Before I got the chickens, I kept thinking how wonderful it would be to just clean out my fridge occasionally and give the birds the scraps that weren't moldy but weren't something I'd eat. Now, when I come in with a bag of scraps, they come running.

    I've never made vegetable broth, mainly because I know meat is just a more efficient protein. Even meat broth adds something to a mostly vegetable dish, so I figure that's okay.

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