Frugal Feasts

Cost-Cutting Lunch & Dinner Ideas

Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina


1.                 Buy foods in season. (If possible, plan ahead to buy ingredients in season and freeze until feast time.)

2.                 Buy local so as to save transportation costs.

3.                 Consider period forms of food preservation if buying food ahead: pickling, salting, drying, and smoking.

4.                 Compare prices at several stores & suppliers.

5.                 Buy from restaurant suppliers, discount markets, farm markets, wholesale, and bulk food suppliers in your area.

6.                 Buy food in cases, if possible.

7.                 Indian, Asian, and Middle Eastern stores often have inexpensive grains, dried foods, spices, and syrups, and may have hard-to-find ingredients (galangal, unsweetened grape juice you can use in place of verjuice)

8.                 Ask for discounts, bulk rates, or donations from stores & bakeries, and be prepared to show proof of nonprofit organization. (Offer to thank them in the feast booklet.)

9.                 Panera and Atlanta Bread Company both donate leftover baked goods to nonprofit organizations at the end of each day; talk to the management about when to show up.

10.            Seek out slaughterhouses, 4H clubs, hunting clubs, and similar organizations that sell bulk meat.

11.            Debone your meat cuts.

12.            Avoid convenience foods (such as prerolled pastry).

13.            Purchase less expensive cuts of meat, such as chuck or round, and do a slow braise for tenderness.

14.            Coordinate and purchase your lunch and feast ingredients together.

15.            Serve smaller portions.

16.            Plan two-course feasts instead of three- or four-course feasts. (or feasts of simple fare)

17.            Choose more legumes, cheap vegetable, and cheap grain recipes to balance out a few expensive dishes.

18.            Limit cheese-heavy and nut-heavy dishes in your menu.

19.            Make your own broth from suitable feast ingredients (bones, scraps, peels, etc.)

20.            Use a good soup base (such as Miners).

21.            Make your own pasta.

22.            Bake bread from scratch.

23.            Make your own pie crusts.

24.            To stretch meat, slice it up into portions rather than serving whole pieces on the bone.

25.            Make stews, soups, pottages, sausages, meatballs, “hedgehogs,” or pasties instead of roasts.

26.            Ask multiple barony members to provide ingredients from their gardens, such as herbs.

27.            Resell overages at the end of the feast.

28.            Make drink syrups instead of using drink mixes.

29.            Purchase frozen juice instead of fresh.