Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Case Lot Sales!

This morning, I am pouring over the case lot sale advertisement.  It is really good timing, as my stash of canned goods has dwindled, and I need to restock.
There are two good reasons to buy cases of food:  Convenience, and savings.  I can save up to half the cost of canned vegetables and fish, and significant savings on fruit and other canned goods.
The key to stocking up on canned goods is to only buy it if it is something you regularly use.  It's only a savings if you use it! 
It is so nice when I am planning weekly menus, to have the building blocks for my meals already in the house.  It means an initial cost, but buying case lots a couple times a year means I will have a shorter grocery list, and spend less in my weekly budget on my shopping day. 
I think store bought canned fruit tastes like the metal can it comes in, so I personally would not choose to buy it.  However, my husband likes to take cans of fruit in his lunchbox, so I will be purchasing pears and peaches and mandarins for him.
Beans make up the bulk of my canned vegetable stash, as they are so versatile. I buy a variety of canned beans, but not necessarily whole cases, except for green beans.  I always have kidney, white beans, garbanzos, pintos, and cannellini beans on hand. 
In a pinch, canned beans can work for quick meals if we have unexpected company, we don't get back until late, or I forgot to thaw out the meat for a meal.  (It happens)  I can put together a soup, salad, chili or casserole in no time by using these gems.  The bulk of our bean consumption is canned green beans.  I can get fresh green beans almost year 'round in my grocery store, so for a side dish I would use fresh or even frozen green beans, with one exception:  the recipe at the bottom of the page. I like canned beans to use in soups and stews, or salads. 
I also buy cases of sliced mushrooms, and low sodium corn. Some foods should not be canned, and in my opinion, canned peas top the list.
We eat a lot of tomato based foods, so I will buy 2 cases each of diced and crushed tomatoes, and the little cans of tomato paste.  When I can my own tomatoes, I can them whole in their own juice, but diced or crushed are a better value in store bought tomatoes.  Why pay for all that water? 
I will also buy low sodium tomato juice by the case if I can get it.  I stopped buying canned tomato soup years ago, when we discovered that we could make a much tastier and healthier tomato soup by using tomato juice or V-8 and a few herbs and spices, and it took no more time than heating up a can of store bought soup.  We also eat tomato juice based homemade soups like Minestrone, Cioppino, and Manhattan Clam Chowder quite frequently in the Autumn and Winter.
We eat a lot of canned fish.  I buy tuna, oysters, salmon and clams by the case, but I also keep several cans of anchovies and sardines on hand.  
I had a bumper crop of tomatillos and hot peppers two years ago, so I still have lots of salsa.  I use it often in cooking, and I would consider buying salsa by the case if I didn't have homemade already in the pantry.

Tonight we are having Grilled Lamb Chops.  I like to serve a rice with lamb, and will use today's pantry star- canned green beans for a delicious side dish.  As I said above, I like fresh or frozen beans for side dishes, but this recipe is better with canned.  My favorite vegetable is the green bean, so I was crazy for this when my mother in law made it for me.  

Baked Green Beans with Tomato

2 Cans/pints of green beans and their liquid
1/3 C ketchup, or 1 small can of tomato paste
1slice of cottage bacon* diced
1/2 yellow onion diced

In a skillet, render the bacon in a small amount of olive oil.  Add onions and cook until transparent.  Add green beans and their liquid, and stir to get the browned bits off of the bottom of the pan.  Add in ketchup, and once mixed, pour into a greased casserole dish.  Bake at 350F uncovered for about thirty minutes.   Can be made ahead, and freezes nicely before baking.  Ketchup with beans sounds weird, but is surprisingly good!  Made with tomato paste, they are equally good. 
*Cottage bacon is a meatier, leaner cut of bacon, (from the shoulder I think), that is similar to Canadian Bacon.  We get ours from our local butcher, but I am sure if you ask, you can get it in your regular grocery.   

No comments:

Post a Comment