Shopping Discussion

Creating a Grocery Meat Cheat Sheet

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 9th, 2017 6:29 pm
Deal Addict
Nov 15, 2008
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arnycus wrote:
Mar 21st, 2017 11:34 pm
Undoubtedly, when in good
You seems to underestimate or even negate major role of sun in everything called Earth. You also might need and have plenty of time to follow complex seasonal diet, not to mention access to and knowledge of required food variety.
Well, I think if we were sun-followers we would eat seasonally. The only issue is figuring out what grows in your area and when and you only have to learn that once. Oh, you have to figure out what to do with it, but soon you build a collection of recipes and just have a routine, it is that time of year for fruit pies because there is soo much cheap peak tree fruit, etc.

The problem is that modern availability means some things are popular out-of-season, e.g., potato salad is a summer thing at the bbq, but you’re literally buying potatoes that were dug last fall…if you are eating Canadian potatoes, anyway. They are at their most horrible by August. And it’s not coleslaw weather either: cabbages taste best after they have been hit by a frost, which sweetens them up. Cabbages (broccoli, Brussels, all those things) are both cheapest and best when the weather turns in fall. And a lot of your import cabbage family stuff never gets that taste-building frost. You sort of have to write your own schedule…but only once, I swear.
arnycus wrote:
Mar 21st, 2017 11:34 pm
Still, if French wrote the rules of Western cooking, they were definitely not followed by Canadians. Further, asking directions to a nearby McDonalds in Paris makes one look like an unwelcome or even hated alien from another culture planet. I recall asking a waitress in a London pub is there a chance to get something tasty to eat there. She said "no way", but people still gather in such places to drink "free beer" and watch football games. Try asking them about food quality... same probably goes for this forum too.
Haha, well the French school is based around meats, milk and cheese. It is fruitless to try to eat vegetarian here when the fundamental flavours are not. That’s actually how we got all these processed foods – there is no simple vegetarian substitute for meat, milk and cheese. A whole industry of processed “health” foods has risen up, and I blame the vegetarians who refuse to look at the Indian and Chinese schools of cooking for another way to cope, naturally.

The Indian school makes up for meat based gravy with spices and roots like onion and ginger. They make up for meat with legumes (and the north uses a lot of dairy – they have a cheese called paneer which would be used in recipes like tofu in the east or boneless skinless chicken breast here). The Chinese school uses fermented soy and other fermented things to make up for the meat/cheese in their traditional vegetarian stuff. The solution in the West has been Tofurky. Maybe there is a forth world school of cooking that has been born: the Processed school.
arnycus wrote:
Mar 21st, 2017 11:34 pm
I agree that genetics and agricultural sciences are reach and complex, not the best place to discuss here or stereotype. However, eating red beef a few times would quickly narrow one's opinion how science is used in farmers practice, as hormone levels are staggering, though it might be US beef.
They are real cowboys in the US when it comes to hormones, herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics and everything else and the problem is that Canadians read about all the controversy in the US but don’t realize the regulations here are stricter. Trump wants to re-negotiate NAFTA and we can expect pressure to allow US dairy and chicken in (we currently protect our markets), which would bring all their controversies to us.

I honestly feel sorry for the new immigrants that don’t have a seafood culture, don’t eat pork and have to shop in our markets. It would be chicken, chicken, chicken because beef is so expensive in comparison. They say it’s not so good to eat so much red meat anyway, and it’s certainly healthier for the wallet.
arnycus wrote:
Mar 21st, 2017 11:34 pm
Here the vegetables are ground up and tested for sugar content with a Brix test before they are priced and sold. They sort out what gets sold fresh and what ends up in a can, for animals, etc. all by lab tests for all kinds of qualities.
I am going to recommend to you the butterCUP or kabocha squash, which is dryer, sweeter, and firm enough to stew (but bakes perfectly). No strings, smooth and creamy. Nutty outer peel (I leave it on when I cook it). This is going to solve all of your problems.
Image
arnycus wrote:
Mar 21st, 2017 11:34 pm
However, I enjoy your discussion culture and level of knowledge. Strangely enough, natural people desire to share knowledge lead to interesting discoveries in most unexpected places like this deal driven forum. :) Would be interesting to learn what is your professional field?
administrator, but I have worked in the ag field. I would like to work in the food industry because there are still a lot of things I am curious about. I would like to play with Loblaw’s SAP system one day lol. But I am most interested in food insecurity – the inability of people to get a cheap healthy diet. Why?

I think you have taught me that people’s fears may drive them to spend a lot more money on products they think are safer/better quality. I am also learning a lot about why it is so complicated to buy produce that tastes good.

It has been fun to chat with you - you have good arguments.
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death_hawk wrote:
Mar 22nd, 2017 1:41 am
I bought into an Aerogarden a bunch of years ago and I produced crap. Tomatoes didn't taste like anything (literally). I've had water that had more flavor.
They wanted some real sun, like a marijuana lighting system :D

As long as they have sun and nutrition, you can pick a tomato when it starts blushing and it will ripen out to taste fine. The more sun the more sugar, but I look at the things as a savoury not a sweet.

I am going to concede that if you like sugary tomatoes, you have to let them ripen on the bush in the sun. I just think a really sweet tomato is wrong.
death_hawk wrote:
Mar 22nd, 2017 1:41 am
That's neat and somewhat ridiculous at the same time.
I couldn't imagine the tough time he'd have eating basically anything that he doesn't cook himself.
Then there's the 40 mile diet or whatever they're calling it.
Hell of an interesting concept, but I'm not sure I could ever do it solely.

I think more people should be trying to eat like this.
This way you get the best of the best of whatever is growing right now.
Globalization is only really neat for things that aren't perishable. Shipping produce around the world doesn't really make sense.
Since we do have the resources to extend a little further, a bit of supplement is ok, but we shouldn't be seeking out stuff that's completely foreign to our growing season.
Are you kidding, there is a PepsiCo factory 5km away! There are burger, chicken wing, cookie/cracker, bread plants and more, all local.

Seriously there are some things like celery that I just need and it isn't Canadian e.g., during winter soup season.

A better question is, is there something more than a moral benefit, like - do you get better quality and cheaper prices? I have tried every grocery budget strategy there is and this is the latest one I am exploring. It's more about tracking seasonality than really sticking to local products. E.g., Buddy has ok'd my purchase of Peruvian asparagus because it is cheap now and I showed him an article about a bunch of Canadians that went down there to kickstart the industry lol.

I am hearing though that buying fresh produce is a pretty unsatisfactory experience most of the time. Going local/seasonal except for select items might be part of the solution to that.
death_hawk wrote:
Mar 22nd, 2017 1:41 am
I can imagine. Growth hormones = more profits per unit.
Not that I've looked recently, but I'm also fairly certain it's legal, but people are pushing back against the use of it.
I still don't buy into organic, but that's a whole other thread.
I don't buy into organic because I don't think food safety is something I should pay more for. I refuse to support a split market of "regular" and "safe".
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Aug 22, 2006
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lecale wrote:
Mar 22nd, 2017 12:50 pm

people just use Flipp for prices so I stopped posting them. But here are some prices for you. (and it's a new week, the flyers just came out, what were we supposed to chat about? ;)) The meat/food safety/quality issue keeps coming up so there will be more of that for sure! Telling people to be cheap about food can be a hard sell.

If people actually like the prices make a comment, I will post prices...beachlover is very savvy on prices...there can be prices.
Please continue to do so. I don't use Flipp mostly because I rarely visit grocery stores.
If I do, I have an exact list of what I need and rarely deviate.
Plus I need someone to rip on when they post round prices.
I kid. Round is just my least favorite cut, but it's still good when done right. Just not as good as everything else.

WHO wrote:
Mar 22nd, 2017 1:57 pm
This is why I usually shop at Costco for meats. They certainly aren't the cheapest, but they're usually higher quality.


And I also bought my first cow lately, as pointed out earlier in this thread, I like the idea the cow came from a local farm but at the same time, it's "probably" not certified by the agriculture ministry since it "bypasses" the process.
Unless you're REALLY bypassing things, all meat sold in Canada (including whole animals) has to be at least inspected.
Grading is a whole different matter though.
I may repeat, though it does yield a lot more ground and round meat than I'd usually need.
This is solely the reason I don't support buying a whole animal.

lecale wrote:
Mar 22nd, 2017 4:55 pm

Haha, well the French school is based around meats, milk and cheese. It is fruitless to try to eat vegetarian here when the fundamental flavours are not. That’s actually how we got all these processed foods – there is no simple vegetarian substitute for meat, milk and cheese. A whole industry of processed “health” foods has risen up, and I blame the vegetarians who refuse to look at the Indian and Chinese schools of cooking for another way to cope, naturally.

The Indian school makes up for meat based gravy with spices and roots like onion and ginger. They make up for meat with legumes (and the north uses a lot of dairy – they have a cheese called paneer which would be used in recipes like tofu in the east or boneless skinless chicken breast here). The Chinese school uses fermented soy and other fermented things to make up for the meat/cheese in their traditional vegetarian stuff. The solution in the West has been Tofurky. Maybe there is a forth world school of cooking that has been born: the Processed school.
I love Vegetarian food. Just nothing from North America. (That's a generalization, but you get the point)
There's cultures everywhere in the world that have MARVELOUS vegetarian food while we have meat "replacements" (which I use lightly)
Instead of highlighting the produce, they cover it up and try (and fail) to make it look like meat.
It's starting to get better (at least in restaurants) but we're still getting ridiculous things like "hot dogs" or that one hot dog that was just a carrot.
lecale wrote:
Mar 22nd, 2017 4:56 pm
They wanted some real sun, like a marijuana lighting system :D
The funny thing is, the first time I saw the infomercial I was thinking if anyone is going to buy one to grow marijuana.
As long as they have sun and nutrition, you can pick a tomato when it starts blushing and it will ripen out to taste fine. The more sun the more sugar, but I look at the things as a savoury not a sweet.
In the case of the Aerogarden, they didn't taste like anything. Literally.
Imagine replacing the innards of a tomato with water and tomato textured flesh.
They LOOKED great. Just like a perfectly ripe cherry tomato, but they tasted awful.
Herbs too, so I'm thinking that there was something wrong with the nutrition or something.
I don't know. I abandoned it LONG ago.
I am going to concede that if you like sugary tomatoes, you have to let them ripen on the bush in the sun. I just think a really sweet tomato is wrong.
Depends on the use case. That's why I use romas and cherrys (or smaller) in different applications.

Are you kidding, there is a PepsiCo factory 5km away! There are burger, chicken wing, cookie/cracker, bread plants and more, all local.
Oh... I was thinking like locally grown not locally produced.
Yeah that'd be easy then.
I am hearing though that buying fresh produce is a pretty unsatisfactory experience most of the time. Going local/seasonal except for select items might be part of the solution to that.
I can't see why it wouldn't to be honest.
Be careful going "local" though. I've been to a few roadside produce stands that were selling strawberries from California during strawberry season.
As soon as they offered me a taster I was like WTF these aren't local. These are Californias.
I don't buy into organic because I don't think food safety is something I should pay more for. I refuse to support a split market of "regular" and "safe".
I just don't buy into the whole organic thing.
"Regular" is just as (if not more) safe than "Safe" because "Safe" requires a bunch of things that are on a list that are old and more dangerous.
Plus the whole unsustainability of it where you can't feed the planet (whereas with modern regular farming you can, but don't) with it.
Also the monetary aspect. Most of it is a scam anyway and it's just going straight to profits.
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lecale wrote:
Mar 22nd, 2017 4:56 pm
I don't buy into organic because I don't think food safety is something I should pay more for. I refuse to support a split market of "regular" and "safe".
Its a matter of budget for most, not ideology. "Regular" food would long become a lot "safer" in NA in the absence of huge corporate lobby and its controlled media substituting public impact on policies, in particular in US elections and functions of all branches of government.

There was a study done in Toronto Hospitals (can't find it now on the web) that clearly demonstrated growing cancer rates in Canada are primarily and directly linked to blood contaminants levels. Tricky thing is, despite sound health care system compare to many other countries, its almost impossible to take a blood test here that would measure levels of major organic and inorganic contaminants known to cause deadly chronic diseases. Further, Canadian faculties of medicine don't even teach students about such tests. Largely because blood contaminants raise is caused by social and economic realities hard to overcome in today's corporate controlled society. Think about this: while Germany was putting every effort to move towards solar and wind energy, North American energy sector forced economy to dive into liquid gas fracking - centuries old fuel burning utmost polluting Earth heating old tech.

Another issue is how would you cleanse your body, once measured levels of contaminants are high, and almost certainly guarantee suppressed immune system and chronic diseases? That's another art of medicine and healthy living not taught in Canada. Meanwhile the way to consume food you described, like seasonal chemically clean veggies supplemented by certain herbs can not only cut on one's food budget, but most important make life a lot more healthy and enjoyable. Processed food is just one problem that was quite loudly identified due to alarming rates of heart diseases and stroke linked to diabetes and obesity accompanied by chronic stress. Food contamination with chemicals including GMO is another problem altogether. You can see some Mexican and California veggies in supermarkets are visibly sprayed with pollutants on and off season regardless of any science.
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Mar 14, 2017
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lecale wrote:
Mar 21st, 2017 2:06 pm
Well corn is used to finish an animal - fatten it up and make the meat well-marbled. If you like your meat lean and tough, sure, go for grass-fed and game. The whole grading system for beef however is primarily based on the amount of fat marbling. Fat, by definition, is better.

Hormones are an issue in the US dairy industry, but they are not allowed in Canada. That is the main reason milk is so much cheaper in the US: hormones allow them to produce more milk per cow. It also raises the incidence of mastitis, because the cows grow huge udders that don't have the veins/circulation to support their size, which leads to infections (mastitis), which leads to antibiotics...

All I can say is support the Canadian dairy industry because they do none of this nonsense. It is illegal to take that approach here.

GMO is not all evil. E.g., in recent news the technology is being used to recover the American Chestnut (that was wiped out by disease decades ago) in Canada by creating disease-resistant strains of the tree https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017 ... -tree.html Bananas face a similar fate as the American Chestnut due to suceptability to a fungal disease and likely soon all bananas will be GMO, too.

I think the first biggest GMO crop breakthroughs were Roundup Ready soybeans meant to be used with glycophosphates, and Bt corn that uses bacteria DNA to make the corn toxic to corn borers. I think this highly coloured the debate on GMO's and made people think of it as a profits-first industry. However it is the only hope for instance to save the banana as we know it. And there are are beneficial, charitable crops being developed like golden rice http://goldenrice.org/

Meat in general is pretty wasteful to produce and we'd all do better to cut back a bit. We've all gotten in the habit of huge servings, and the West with its French school of cooking is just meat-obsessed.

We have to remember French cooking is only one of the world's major schools of cooking: Indian and Chinese are the other two. It's worthwhile to learn about these complex cuisines because they have a totally different approach to meat. In the West meat concentrates are known as "base", they are so fundamental to the flavours of the cuisine. Indians use spice and eschew meat entirely in some cases; the Chinese don't for the most part do dairy, and lean on soybean products for flavour where we would use base. If you can shift your worldview and try different cuisines you can get away from the Western meat culture. Not everyone eats like we do: we are the most destructive of all the eaters out there, IMO.

Personally I do not think we should be raising cows, pigs, sheeps, goats (originally from the middle east/europe), and chickens (south east asia) when we can focus about the native animals here; bison, dear elk, moose, squirrels, raccoons, chipmunks, ducks, goose, seal (sorry to the other native animals that forgot to mention) .


I mean work with nature not against it, why destroy native habitats that allowed these animals to flourish, versus making a fake environment to raise non-native animal species? I mean, ultimate automation for us, nature is 24/7, we do not have to do anything unless we continue to pollute it.

Ultimately, Personally, I feel if there is no need to kill any animal (in nature or at the farms) for food when you have other sources of food. When not eating/killing meat/animals you are saying no to an unsustainable business practice.

However, if you're eating meat because you just do not know how to eat with vegetables/starches, if there are not that many vegetables/starches available, I understand. No one here hates you for that, we understand. It will be a process before most people will have a mostly plant based diet. People need to be educated, not victimized for eating meat (kind of why I do not like peta). So please google plant based food recipes, and just try, the benefits take anywhere between 30 days to 180 days.

And those who have the opportunity to easily convert to eating a plant based diet because they are fortunate enough to have access to these foods, and also the resources thanks to our computers, internet, and libraries should really consider doing it.

All the best :)
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I like that statement. We need to ask lecale to reveal his detail blueprint here on what exact veggies to eat, when, where to get them and how to prepare, and what cheat sheet they fit in. Meat is also welcome but in small portions. :)
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arnycus wrote:
Mar 23rd, 2017 4:28 pm
We need to ask lecale to reveal his detail blueprint here on what exact veggies to eat, when, where to get them and how to prepare, and what cheat sheet they fit in. Meat is also welcome but in small portions. :)
I second and welcome the motion, as I think they (not going to assume "his") have really taken an excellent logical reasoning approach to all of this. I have learned so much from them and death_hawk's back and forth. However, veggies should be a separate thread, as hardly makes sense in a meat thread.

I will even go one step further, and would like to see a seed nut thread also.
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beachlover wrote:
Mar 24th, 2017 7:37 am
I second and welcome the motion, as I think they (not going to assume "his") have really taken an excellent logical reasoning approach to all of this. I have learned so much from them and death_hawk's back and forth. However, veggies should be a separate thread, as hardly makes sense in a meat thread.

I will even go one step further, and would like to see a seed nut thread also.
Should we start a new thread or let this be the everything thread?

I have spreadsheets of every product I have bought since 2010 and I tried to come up with a series of rules you could follow to eat naturally and cheaply but it's not like you have to consider only one or two things...there are lots of considerations. We need to discuss.

Do you think there should be a new thread? No one active has control over the first post.
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Time for a new meat report because it is an exciting time - 2 weeks to Easter - and there are deals! Next week's flyer will be the Easter flyer

Zehrs/Loblaws
boneless skinless chicken breast $2.99/lb
* butcher pack limit 6; pack is about 2.5lb or $7; stock-up price
mussels 2 lb $4.99 ($2.50/lb) ok price

No Frills
Top sirloin roast $3.97
* we have seen a lot of sirloin tip on sale recently and this is more tender than that. If you have had a chewy experience recently, well this is not the same cut.
Australian lamb leg (not Halal) $3.97/lb
Homo milk $4.87

Food Basics
Cook's bone-in natural ham $1.47
* about 10 lbs or $15 for a shank potion and a bit less for the butt. Expiry at least 4-6 weeks out so you can store in the fridge, no issues.
Eggs 3/$5.00 $1.67/dz
* There are French's mustard displays in all stores; buy 2 eggs get 1 free "any" French's mustard. What goes together better than mustard and eggs? lol, I know, but time to stock up for summer hot dogs I guess. Good to June 30 so you have 3 months to collect mustard.

Freshco
Highliner Pacific Salmon 400g $5.99
* the other kinds of fillets are too pricey at $6/lb
Tata Tea 216's $3.97
* not a meat just a great deal. If you like Red Rose you will have no issues with Tata, which is the parent company of Tetley. Generous-sized bags; can brew a big cup. Can Price match at No Frills. This is not always in the tea aisle - sometimes found in the international (India) section.

Walmart
Ocean Jewel Pacific Salmon 454g $5.97
Turkeys, grade A/utility, 3-5kg $10
* Utility usually means cosmetic damage liked ripped skin. If you can find a 5-kg-er (11 lbs) that's under $.99/lb and a good size for non-festive occasions
Great Value Fillets $9
* Good price on the Basa 1.4 kg ($2.92/lb)
* Buy pacific salmon rather than Pink Salmon 680g ($6/lb) because it is more flavourful and pink salmon does go for a lot cheaper, even $4/lb
* Sole 1.13 kg ($3.62/lb) ok price
* Haddock 700g ($5.83/lb) Seaquest goes on sale cheaper
* Tilapia 908g ($4.50/lb) too high
* Cod 908g ($4.50/lb) ok price

Pickles, Dairy and Potato Chips Alert:

Check out page 14 of the Zehrs flyer for the Easter Egg Hunt promo. Anything on that page also has an Easter Egg Hunt coupon in-store and will get you a scratch-and-win ticket

All prices below after coupons:

Bicks Pickles $2.50 WUB2+
Lactantia Butter $3.29 limit 6
Lactantia cream cheese 227-250g $1.99 limit 6
Pringles $1 WUB2+
Lays, Ruffles, Doritos $2 WUB3+
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Aug 22, 2006
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So I was at a Chinese market and they had $1.88/lb wings.
GREAT! How bad could they be?
You've heard of stories of KFC mistreating their chickens?
This was worse. Broken bones everywhere and I swear the cuts were made by someone(thing) off /r/shittyrobots
I've literally seen first year culinary school students make better cuts.

They tasted fine, but they were horrible to eat.
lecale wrote:
Apr 5th, 2017 1:50 pm

Top sirloin roast $3.97
* we have seen a lot of sirloin tip on sale recently and this is more tender than that. If you have had a chewy experience recently, well this is not the same cut.
Top Sirloin is great. Tip isn't so much.
Homo milk $4.87
Isn't this terrible?
I could swear I pay just over $4 at Costco.
What goes together better than mustard and eggs?

Nuts and gum
Together at last.
* Utility usually means cosmetic damage liked ripped skin.

And missing appendages. Most of them are missing some to most of the wing as well.
I wouldn't serve a Utility for an important fancy meal where presentation is key, but if it's just family or sandwich meat utility is where it is.
Lactantia Butter $3.29 limit 6
Isn't this also regular price at Costco?
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death_hawk wrote:
Apr 5th, 2017 4:04 pm
So I was at a Chinese market and they had $1.88/lb wings.
GREAT! How bad could they be?
You've heard of stories of KFC mistreating their chickens?
This was worse. Broken bones everywhere and I swear the cuts were made by someone(thing) off /r/shittyrobots
I've literally seen first year culinary school students make better cuts.

They tasted fine, but they were horrible to eat.
Yup, sounds nasty....but you always have to give a deal a try!
death_hawk wrote:
Apr 5th, 2017 4:04 pm
Isn't this terrible?
I could swear I pay just over $4 at Costco.
In ON it is usually $5.13+ for homo and $4.27+ for lower fat as the minimum prices are set by the dairy board.
death_hawk wrote:
Apr 5th, 2017 4:04 pm
Isn't this also regular price at Costco?
Not a great price, a good price is $2.99 but you do get the scratch cards. Some people have done well with the scratchies so I thought I would give them a mention.
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lecale wrote:
Apr 5th, 2017 4:12 pm
Yup, sounds nasty....but you always have to give a deal a try!
$1+/lb savings?
I might even buy them again.
But I swear they went through a wood chipper. I've never seen such poor quality wings.
In ON it is usually $5.13+ for homo and $4.27+ for lower fat as the minimum prices are set by the dairy board.
Good ol' dairy cartel.
Not a great price, a good price is $2.99 but you do get the scratch cards. Some people have done well with the scratchies so I thought I would give them a mention.
What's a scratch card? Like an extra discount?
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death_hawk wrote:
Apr 5th, 2017 4:26 pm
What's a scratch card? Like an extra discount?
You can win $1, $5, $10, $20 in PC Points, 2 in 3 wins. It's in the PC Plus thread.
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Aug 16, 2010
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Langley, BC
We probably eat more frozen chicklen breast than anything else
Here in the Vancouver area of BC the normal sale price is $3 /lb. that is 26 something for a 4kg box.
we will buy about 4 boxes at that price if we have freezer room
we hope it goes on sale every 4-6 weeks.
this is from Safeway.
save-on sometimes has 3 and 4kg boxes that go for the same $3 per pound on a good sale.

occasionally if we cannot find any good sales we will get a box from Costco for more per pound.


US frozen chicken is strangely far too big pieces, it is not that much cheaper with the exchange and not worth it for us.

lately it has been hard to find a frozen sale but there has been fresh chicken breasts for $4/lb.
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fred koenig wrote:
Apr 6th, 2017 10:55 am
We probably eat more frozen chicklen breast than anything else
I buy it fresh and put each breast in a ziploc sandwich bag then pack the lot in freezer bags. Then to defrost, just frozen sealed breasts in a bowl of cold water. Fast, makes chicken a last-minute dinner possibility.

You have the right idea to manage costs. Know the price you want to buy at and the frequency of sales.

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