Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cheap December Foods

Cheap Eat Challenge Count Down: 9 days

For many people, December is a time for blowing budgets and blowing diets. While I haven't exactly been helpful in the diet department (sorry--you could try freezing the cookies, or just give them away as soon as possible, or maybe you could jog in place while they're in the oven:)). Anyway, I'm going to offer a tip for helping you budget in the year to come. Below is my list of several foods that go on sale in December.

1. Chocolate chips. They're always cheaper at this time of year. They freeze well if you don't have the type of family that will eat them all within the first few months of the year.

2. Nuts. They're on sale and they freeze well.

3. Shredded coconut.

4. Pumpkin. Some of the real sugar pumpkins are still hanging around for reasonable prices. They can be stored in a cool place for several months. And the canned pumpkin is generally on sale at this time of year.

5. Sweet potatoes. They're not as cheap as they were right before/after Thanksgiving, but they're still about half as much as usual in these parts. (Regular potatoes tend to be on sale at this time too, though also not quite as much as before Thanksgiving.)

6. Fancy cheese. Last year we got 8 oz of mascarpone for $2.50. It's usually at least $5.00. I've actually found plenty of plain old cheese on sale this time of year as well.

7. Cream Cheese. Great for dips and I usually enjoy a good January cheesecake. It freezes, but the consistency will change somewhat. This is fine if you'll be cooking, not spreading, it.

8. Cream. Stores like Aldi will carry it seasonally for very cheap and at other stores, it goes on sale as well. As with the cream cheese, you can freeze it, but the texture changes somewhat.

9. Crackers. We're not big cracker people, but if you are 'tis the season to stock up.

10. Citrus fruits. These also last well, especially if refrigerated.

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