The frugal bagel

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Crow Bar 10 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #3471

    Molly Malone
    Participant

    I don’t want to think about the midterm elections. Instead let me share the story of my introduction to frugality:

    So I went into this guy’s shop and ordered a toasted bagel with lox and cream cheese. The guy makes it and tells me it’s $16.00.

    I was stunned. I was accustomed to blowing money on takeout food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but this stunned me. Not even any lettuce, tomato, onions and capers on the lox! I told this guy he was a robber and that I would never come into his shop again. He did not care. I put the money down on the counter and left.

    So I brooded. And I came up with this brilliant, frugal, thrifty idea!

    I went to a neighborhood grocery store and bought 4 good bagels for $2. Not the nasty bland mass-produced kind of wonderbread bagel, but good ones. Two asiago bagels and two everything bagels. Then I bought 2 boxes of cream cheese for $3. Then I bought smoked red sockeye Alaskan salmon for $10. $15 all together. $3.75 per bagel. Each bagel with lox and cream cheese made one breakfast sandwich. 4 breakfasts.

    I was so pleased with myself and proud of myself for being so smart! And I thought: I bet I could make MORE food at home! Homemade food! Homemade coffee, even! It was a revelation. The heavens opened, the sun shone, the birds sang.

    And that is the story of my introduction to frugality.

  • #3505

    Anonymous

    That is a very expensive bagel!

  • #3540

    Crow Bar
    Keymaster

    To my understanding, for NYC that is somewhat normal.

  • #3544

    Anonymous

    Probably why I could never live in NYC. Their prices are insane on everything and I am beyond cheap!

  • #3548

    Crow Bar
    Keymaster

    Actually, Molly gives me an idea to try this winter: Making my own bagels!
    I have made my own smoked lox. Got some beet cured salmon in the freezer now.
    Too late in the year to grow onions.
    As much as I love cappers, I dont think I have the right climate to grow them. 5b here.

    • #3579

      Molly Malone
      Participant

      @crowbar Your own smoked lox and cured salmon sounds delicious! I hope your homemade bagels turn out well!

      @crazyme food prices are high here but once I got into the mindset of being thrifty I found I could eat without spending a lot. First of all, stopping the hemorrhaging of money on takeout food and restaurants, and bringing my own food and coffee to work. I buy at immigrant produce storefronts and I buy the sales. I might travel quite a distance by subway to shop. I never used to have a shopping strategy. Now I food-shop strategically.

      One issue though is that as I have become more educated and more aware of how horribly contaminated grocery store food is, I find myself reluctantly spending significant money buying certain foods organic and certain foods online from trusted sources. So my food budget is rather high again. Specifically, I buy eggs, fish and meat online. I have cut back on eating meat and fish and eat more eggs, because uncontaminated meat and fish costs so much. I pretty much don’t eat chicken anymore because of how crazy contaminated it is, but if I really want chicken, I buy it online from a trusted source. Another grocery bill problem is that I am trying to eat low-carb, which cuts out a ton of cheap and filling dishes.

  • #3583

    Anonymous

    We only buy chicken from Earthfare, and then we only order full cases, that we pick up the day after they are delivered.

    We stopped buying the beef like we were from them because they were giving us older meat and the quality of the meat itself was become less and less what we wanted.

    I have never considered buying eggs online, but at the rate we are not eating, it’s not too much of an issue. Eggs turn my stomach more often than not unless they are cooked just beyond done. Any wetness and I can’t eat them, they have to be dry.

    We don’t eat much fish at all because the water everywhere is just so contaminated there is nothing safe anymore. Farmed fish is never knowingly coming into my house.

  • #3584

    Daisy
    Keymaster

    I love those storefront produce stands so much. I probably miss that about NYC more than anything.

    I am still trying to wrap my head around the $16 bagel. Sheesh! Crowbar, when it’s bagel time, let’s start a thread and see if we can get other people to help hack bagel-making!!!! I want homemade bagels. I know that they have to be both boiled and baked but that’s the extent of my knowledge.

  • #3592

    Crow Bar
    Keymaster

    @daisy,
    Will do!
    FYI, I will be using The Bread Baker’s Apprentice for reference.
    If anyone can provide additional guidance or info, give a shout out!

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