(1) Doughnuts are a good food to entertain around because they're cheap (esp. if you reuse the oil), no one ever makes them homemade, no one has the appetite to eat the rest of your food, and people enjoy frying their own.
(2) I've never met beans that were actually too old to eat.
(3) Groceries in NYC can make a person weep...and these are prices I'm proud of.
(4) The big-ticket/special purchase items were the jelly and the cucumber, both optional.
Flour from freezer, $1.69/5 lbs.
Egg, don't even ask, although you can sometimes get them for 99c/doz. with $10 purchase
Sugar, $1.99/5 lbs.
Oil, $6.99/gal., darn near a year old (use instead of margarine)
Yeast from a big bag at $2.29, in fridge a year
Jelly (optional), don't even ask
Tea, Tetley at $1.99 per 100, in a canister forever
Bean soup: 2/3 a very, very old bag of mixed beans @ 79 cents/lb, cumin, salt, pepper, no onions, no garlic, no nothing, was delicious. (Made in a pressure cooker reclaimed from the TRASH, mind you, but a crock-pot would work, too, of course.)
--Bread, rye, $1.69/pound loaf (sadly, for NYC and non-Wonder Bread, this is a good deal; decided 1 yeast dough per party was enough; N.B. bread is 5x more expensive than flour)
--Butter, ancient, from freezer, probably was $2 a pound. (Hint: thawing the butter in a dish of cold water does seem to leach the freezer taste out, even though it makes no sense logically. If that doesn't work, whittle off top layer)
--Cucumber, large, 67 cents (out of season, so sue me)
--Cream cheese from freezer, 99c per 8 oz. (Yes, you can freeze cream cheese--it becomes a little bit "crumbly," but still spreads fine.)
--Green olives from fridge, at least a year old, still good (mixed with cream cheese to make olive spread)
And now the best part...no one wanted the soup because they were too busy with doughnuts. Ditto on the sandwiches--DH and I ate 2/3 of them at least. So the real food redounded to the household after all!
Any other inspirational menus out there? I'm just tired of reading frugal living blogs that say things like, "try buying store brands..." HBHW is one of the few who gets it right.
Happy New Year!