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Economy of Meat and Meat Substitutes

Don't buy more than your family actually needs. Study and know what the actual needs are, and you will not make unnecessary expenditures.

Learn what the various cuts of meat are, what they can be used for, and which are best suited to the particular needs of your household.

Study the timeliness of buying certain cuts of meats. There are days when prices are lower than normal.

Always check the butcher's weights by watching him closely or by weighing the goods on scales of your own.

Always buy a definite quantity. Ask what the pound rate is, and note any fractional part of the weight. Don't ask for "ten or twenty cents' worth."

Select your meat or fish personally. There is no doubt that high retail prices are due to the tendency of many housewives to do their buying by telephone or through their servants.

Test the freshness of meat and fish. Staleness of meat and fish is shown by loose and flabby flesh. The gills of fresh fish are red and the fins stiff.

Make all the purchases possible at a public market, if you can walk to it, or if carfare will not make too large an increase in the amount you have set aside for the day's buying.

A food chopper can be made to pay for itself in a short time by the great variety of ways it furnishes of utilizing left-overs.

If possible, buy meat trimmings. They cost 20 cents a pound and can be used in many ways.

Buy the ends of bacon strips. They are just as nutritious as sliced bacon and cost 50 per cent. less.

Learn to use drippings in place of butter for cooking purposes.

Buy cracked eggs. They cost much less than whole ones and are usually just as good.

Keep a stock pot. Drop into it all left-overs. These make an excellent basis for soup stock.

Don't throw away the heads and bones of fish. Clean them and use them with vegetables for fish chowder or cream of fish soup.

Study attractive ways of serving food. Plain, cheap, dishes can be made appetizing if they look attractive on the table.

Experiment with meat substitutes. Cheese, dried vegetables and the cheaper varieties of fish can supply all the nutriment of meat at a much lower cost.

Don't do your cooking "by guess." If the various ingredients are measured accurately, the dish will taste better and cost less.

Don't buy delicatessen food if you can possibly avoid it. Delicatessen meals cost 15 per cent. more than the same meals cooked at home, and the food is not as nourishing. You pay for the cooking and the rent of the delicatessen store, as well as the proprietor's profit.

Don't pay five or ten cents more a dozen for white eggs in the belief that they are superior to brown eggs. The food value of each is the same. The difference in shell color is due to the breed of hen.

Tell the butcher to give you the trimmings of chicken, i.e., the head, feet, fat and giblets. They make delicious chicken soup. The feet contain gelatine, which gives soup consistency.

Buy a tough, and consequently less expensive, chicken and make it tender by steaming it for three hours before roasting.

Don't put meat wrapped in paper into the ice-box, as the paper tends to absorb the juices.

Try to find a way to buy at least a part of your meats and eggs direct from the farm. You will get fresher, better food, and if it is sent by parcels post it can usually be delivered to your table for much less than city prices.

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Source

Foods That Will Win the War and How to Cook Them (1918).


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