The destined for the dumpster quiche

Food waste has become a big issue for me, and I am now going to be dedicating most of my blog to advising folks how they can rescue food that would otherwise be destined for the dumpster.  One of the things that I like about my local Piggly Wiggly store is that they regularly heavily discount foods that are looking slightly less for wear or with regards to perishables that are about to go “out of date” i.e., about to hit their “best before” date which in no way means that the food is inedible and needs to be thrown away.

With regards to vegetables they tend to lump the ugly veggies together and sell them off for 75cents, I do not know why they choose 75 cents but they do.  In my case I can usually buy an overripe tomato and an ugly looking green pepper for 75 cents.   Green onions on the other hand tend to be sold off in bundles of five bunches for 79 cents.   I do not know where the produce manager comes up with the numbers but I am happy to pick up the bargains.

Sometime it takes me a while to get to using the veggies, but I know what I can wait a while to use (green peppers and green onions for instance) as opposed to something I need to use almost immediately (an overripe tomato).  Last weekend then I made myself a quiche that comprised almost entirely of ingredients that were destined for the dumpster.

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Yeah I know they look ugly but once you start cutting into them there are really nice useable parts of the veggies.

The pepper for instance had the really cool phenomenon of having another pepper growing inside it.

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The spring onions continue to grow whether you like it or not so once you have cut off the shriveled and slimy bits you have some really nice green onions.  Pro tip, don’t throw away the roots of green onions, stuff  them in a pot of soil and they will regrow, it works for pretty much all veggies with roots attached.  Other pro tip, don’t throw away seeds of anything, be it tomatoes or green peppers, throw them in a pot and see if they grow.  You have nothing to lose!

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I threw in some fresh mushrooms (mushrooms are something that I do not mess with when it comes to freshness) and soon I had a pile of lovely ingredients to throw in my quiche.

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I had a nice pile of debris that will go into the compost pile.

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The cheese I used to make the quiche was at least a year past its sell by date.  I know that makes people nervous but you have to understand that cheese does not by its very nature “go off” cheese just gets better.  To this end when my local Food Lion actually does reduce cheese nearing its “best by” date I snatch it up and stuff it in the back of my fridge and leave it alone. Good cheese is like good wine, it only gets better with age.  So a mediocre English cheddar which has been allowed to mature 10 months turns into a kick ass fabulously matured cheddar that has been sat in the fridge for a year.  Don’t believe me?  Here is a photo of the cheese that I used to make my quiche.

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In case you can’t read it the “expiration date” on that cheese is “5/13/2014″.  Even the eggs I used for the quiche were purchased at Piggly Wiggly for two dozen for 99cents because again they were nearing their “best by” date, which has no relation whatsoever to whether or not something is still fit to eat.

So here is the quiche, in which every ingredient but one including the pie crust, was supposedly past its “best by”  date ( I bought the package at Nicks and Dents)

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This fed me for three days, I am still not dead.

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Pet Food Savings Alert

We all know how expensive it is to feed our pets (especially multiple pet households like mine), so I wanted to let you know of a great deal going on right now.  Food Lion is having a super sale on their in-store brands.  Basically for every item that you buy you receive a catalina coupon at check out for 25cents off your next shopping order.  This means, for example, that a can of Food Lion brand wet food for cats, normally priced at 40 cents per can takes your final cost down to 15 cents per can.  That is a huge savings!  On their wet food for dogs the price goes from 59 cents per can to a brilliant 34 cents per can.  The sale is going on right now and lasts until October so you will have plenty of time to stock up.  I got my first $4.00 coupon yesterday, which today I put towards buying more cans of cat food and received a coupon for $8.50 on my next shopping order.

Remember the 25 cents applies to each item.  Normally I would buy the multi-packs of the cat and dog wet food as the price per can goes down slightly, however in this scenario you would be crazy to do that as you would only get the 25 cents per multi-pack, not per can.

Of course the deal doesn’t only apply to pet food, but everything in the store, so make sure to look for close out deals that can actually make you money.  Last year during the same type of sale Food Lion had all of their small cans of “gourmet” cat food (Fancy Feast size) on close out for 24 cents per can, so they were paying me 1 cent per can to take the cans out of the store.   You can bet your life that I hit every Food Lion in my county (there are eight of them) in order to take advantage of that deal!

So to conclude, anyone who wants to save a boatload of money on their pet food bills this month, and if you are in the Food Lion area, run don’t walk to stock up on stuff, you’ll be glad you did.

Coupon Great Deal Alert

This weekends P&G insert featured coupons for Dawn dish detergent, both 25 cents off the regular and 50 cents off Hand Renewal (on any size except trial and travel sizes).  This week at Walgreens (until 4-7-12) both Dawn regular and Dawn Hand Renewal are on sale for 99 cents for the 9oz bottle, (as opposed to the regular price of $1.99).   Using the Hand Renewal coupon I got four 9oz bottles of Hand Renewal for 49 cents a piece which is a great deal.  (The coupons state only four coupons can be used in each transaction I will obviously be going back to use the rest of my coupons).  Check it out!

Another good deal at Food Lion NC

I got a catalina print out from Food Lion this week saying for every $25.00 in gift cards you buy you will receive a $5.00 off coupon for a future shopping order this offer lasts until February 14, 2012 with your MVP card.  Sounds like free money to me.  In my case I know that in the next week I am going to be going to Lowes to buy some wild bird food as I am almost out.   I usually spend approximately $50.00-$60.00 on the wild bird food so I bought two $25.00 denomination Lowes gift cards and paid for them in two separate transactions.  Sure enough the catalina machine spit out two separate $5.00 coupons off my next shopping order.  So by this point the $50.00 in gift cards has cost me $40.00.  I will also use a 10% off coupon when I get to the checkout at Lowes and will therefore get about  $55.00 worth of bird food for $40.00 sounds like a plan to me!

The great part about it is that Food Lion has a huge selection of gift cards for a myriad of stores, restaurants and gas stations.  Now I know that my system works I can plan ahead in the next couple of days and “pre-pay” for my husband’s regular daily expenses for the next couple of weeks.  For instance he eats oatmeal and an English Muffin for breakfast at McDonald’s every morning, Food Lion sells McDonald’s gift cards in various denominations so I will get a couple of $25.00 McDonalds cards getting him $50.00 worth of breakfasts for $40.00.  He fills up his car with gas several times a week at the local BP station.  So I will invest in $100.00 worth of BP gift cards, which will net him $100.00 worth of gas for $80.00.

For those of you with regular expenses that you are going to spend money on anyway it is worth checking out.  The banner on Food Lion’s website says “visit store for more details”.  However on the catalina I got one of the pictured gift cards was a generic MasterCard gift card so one would assume that you can buy a MasterCard gift card, get your $5.00 coupon and then use your generic MasterCard gift card on your next shopping trip to buy your next $25.00 Mastercard gift card, getting another coupon (don’t take my word on this I am just running down an interesting rabbit hole here).  If you take it to its logical conclusion it could end up saving you a boat load of money between now and February 14.   As gift cards sell at face value with no tax it doesn’t cost you anything to experiment with the whole thing.  Happy savings!

http://www.foodlion.com/Promotions