Sunday, September 18, 2011

Eating Fresh, Cheaply

I usually do my groceries once a week, sometimes every 2 weeks when I am busy. And I will always do it on a Sunday morning when I will be one of the first shoppers to enter the store because there are PLENTY of bargains to be had. 

Due to the perishable nature of fresh food, these items need to be sold in a very short span of time or risk being destroyed. Therefore on the day before the "used by" date, the items are usually re-labelled with as much as 50% off their original prices making them incredibly cheap. You can then buy these items home and freeze them straight away or cook before freezing and extend their lifespan by another week or so. 

Here's what I found this morning...

$4.00!!! Chicken soup anyone?

The same weight at a wet market will definitely cost more...

Perfect for a stew that will keep for a week!

Free range meat at frozen prices!?!

My favourite and these can be frozen for up to 2 weeks.

Air flow, expensive, "atas" cut of beef at hawker center "western food" prices.

I bought those 2 of those ribeyes for a steak dinner tonight, a packet of the rendang that I am stewing as I am writing this blog entry of which I will freeze and eat as dinner for the rest of the week and about 10 packets of those gourmet sausages (4 different flavours) which should last me 2 weeks. That's a lot of very good protein for less than $70!

And these aren't only the items on discount - there are also other seafood like crab and mussels clearing cheaply as well. Some fruits and even vegetables can be had at less than half the normal price! However, take note that seafood and vegetables generally do not freeze very well although you can still freeze and preserve them after cooking.

There are of course frozen food on sale and since these items are thawed, their shelf life starts depreciating quickly. For example...

A nice addition to a light meal of congee or instant noodles...
As the label mentioned, the item was originally frozen and then thawed which means you should not refreeze them again. Well... eat them today! 

Mew Ge calls this the cheat code of supermarkets. I just think it is a great reason to wake up early on Sunday mornings - If you want these bargains go EARLY! They are usually all gone before mid-day and if you come after me, you will not get any of those gourmet sausages because I usually clean the shelves of them every time I go. ;)


  1. For fish, I believe I am the expert in seeing freshness. With that special sticker pasted on it, no way to be fresh. It is probably near rotting but cook it with lots of chilly or deep fried it is still nice to eat. :-)

  2. Thanks for the "cheat-codes" Patty!

    I think I can start with the sausages when I get back. Mix with bakes beans and eggs? Continental breakfast?

    I've never cooked beef before. Hmm... Maybe try with minced beef. Make home-made hamburgers?

    Oh dear. Better don't get my hopes up. First must see if mom allows me to mess up her kitchen! LOL!

  3. @Createwealth8888 - Yes indeed, I don't think anyone can beat you in gauging freshness of fishes! :) It is true that seafood does not keep well in the fridge so I typically buy them off importers directly and eat on the same day they are brought in.

    @SMOL - Actually for meat, i do suggest trying with steaks first since they are quite forgiving and you can time them easily and gauge through touch and colour on doneness. If you want some recipes, let me know!