Kitchen Experiments...

Grated Cheese... - Grated Cheese...
@twoey68 (13662)
United States
August 2, 2009 8:12am CST
I decided to try a little experiment last month and I wanted to share what I found out. Usually I buy 2-3 bags of the grated cheese at the store. The bags contain about 1-2 cups of grated cheese and cost between $2-4 a piece. Last month I spent $2.50 and bought a block of longhorn cheese. I came home and grated it up and got three 2-cup bags out of the one block. That means for the cost of one bag of grated cheese (or less) I got twice as much cheese. I simply split it up in ziplocks and put them in the freezer. They’ve kept fresh all month and I just used the last of it the other day. It’s much cheaper, still as convenient and the grating part only took about 10 minutes to do. I also cooked a ham last month. I usually cook one once a month, the boneless kind, and slice it up for sandwiches and meals. I decided to cube up some of it and made four 1-½ cup bags and put them in the freezer. It came in handy all month for pizzas, adding it to taco meat, adding to mac and cheese, adding to scrambled eggs and many other dishes. Do you grate your own cheese or buy it pre-grated? Do you cook food and freeze part of it for other meals? Have you ever done experiments to see which way of doing something is more economical or time saving? [b]**AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~[/b]
14 people like this
37 responses
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
2 Aug 09
I did not know you could freeze cheese. That's good to know. I always buy blocks of cheese and grate them as I go. I like to buy fresh bell peppers. I chop them up and store them in freezer bags. A lot of times I will make a regular batch of pasta or something else. Since there are only two of us, I put the leftovers in containers and freeze so we have a quick meal another night. Looking forwaard to reading about other great tips.
@thea09 (18328)
• Greece
2 Aug 09
Hi Katrinka, I'm like you and grate my own cheese but never knew you could freeze it, I just presumed it would go soggy as it defrosted. When I make mousassakas I always freeze some and that has cheese sauce on top but that is already cooked.
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
2 Aug 09
I usually buy a block of cheese and grate it as it is needed, but one time, we decided to get the already grated. The trouble is we use the cheese for sandwiches as well as mac and cheese or to put on chili, so of course the package went moldy. We find the already grated cheese has a shorter shelf life whereas with the block cheese we can use scrape off the mold. As for the other things. I will buy stew meat and cut it up finer, and divide into two people portions. I will do the same with ground beef, pork, and sausage etc. When I make casseroles, I will make enough for four (I used to make enough for 8 when the boys were home) and then divide it up, so that I will have some variety. When there were more of us, I used to eat part of the stew and put the rest in a meet pie. I also buy ham in the packages, and I will use some for sandwiches some I will cut up and use in omelets, and some I will chop up fine and mix it with mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, and garlic salt. I do not buy the whole ham or half a ham because with just two of us it is not feasible, but I used to when the boys were with us.
@OceanLady (136)
• Canada
2 Aug 09
I always grate my own cheese... not only is it cheaper, but I find it tastes better. I also tend to freeze some things. I have a costco membership, so sometimes I'll buy things in huge quantities and put most of it in the freezer for later use. The main one is tofu (which tastes better after being frozen anyways) because costco sells it in pacs of 3 blocks, and I'm the only one in my house who eats it.
2 people like this
@tammytwo (4305)
• United States
2 Aug 09
I usually buy the grated cheese but may look into buying the blocks and grating them myself in the future. I need to find creative ways to save more money as I am hoping to be virtually debt free by the end of the year and time is getting away from me.
2 people like this
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
2 Aug 09
Already grated, definitely time-saving. When I'm short on time or my hand flares up, I use. In a block, I grate if my hand is OK. Definitely cheaper. I also like to cook large amounts and put in freezer, make my own TV dinners. They're only two of us and cooking just a couple of pork chops when I could cook them all seems like such a waste. Big oven, unless I put lots of baked potatoes and veggies in with it, definitely a waste. Right now I need to clean my refrigerator, hope it goes back to health. The frige is freezing and the freezer is defrosting and then it switches back and forth. Hope cleaning it brings it back to health.
@BarBaraPrz (18086)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
2 Aug 09
Don't forget to clean the coils at the back of the fridge.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Aug 09
lol When you clean the fridge, take a vacuum to the coils. Brush too if they are really coated in gunk. Don't forget the fan as well. That usually works for my fridge.
2 people like this
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
2 Aug 09
Thank you both very much. I hope all this work helps the poor fridge.
@blackbriar (9126)
• United States
2 Aug 09
You mean you had to experiment to discover the block costs less than grated cheese? I thought everyone knew that..called common sense. The more prepared a food is, the more expensive it will be. I never, ever by grated cheese. I knew from the time I was a wee kid to buy block or brick cheese and just grate it myself. My mom and her mom always did that as well. I was surprised and delighted when Aldi's started selling parmason cheese in block form cause that's not easy to find. I just grate it and refill the Kraft Parmason container that I fished out of the recycle bin and washed really well. I often cook ground beef in bulk and keep it in a big covered bowl in the fridge to use in various dishes throughout the week. Same with bacon. Instead of buying beef stew meat, I'll buy roast on sale and cut it up into stew meat. Steak will work just as well.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Aug 09
Hey Oreo...check this out http://cgi.ebay.com/MOULINEX-ELECTRIC-MEAT-GRINDER-W-SALAD-MAKER-JUICER_W0QQitemZ290335270020QQcmdZViewItemQQptZSmall_Kitchen_Appliances_US?hash=item439954a484&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14 My MIL gave me one just like this years ago and still works to this day. A friend gave me another several years ago and that one works as well. This thing does it all..grate/shred, crush ice, grind meat, stuff sausage. I love it! Even my mom, who can't use her right hand at all, loves it. lol Just can't beat the way they used to make appliances. Something like this made now would break in a year because most parts are plastic.
@dragon54u (31349)
• United States
2 Aug 09
I've been grating my own cheese for years! It's a real treat when Kroger has pre-grated cheese on sale because I hate grating--I always end up scraping myself on the grater. One advantage of grating your own is that you can mix different cheeses, like some pepper jack with colby, to give it a little bite or a unique flavor.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
2 Aug 09
I've actually done it so much that I don't catch my knuckles anymore...also when I get down to a tiny piece I just sneak it and eat it. I do know not to let Hubby grate it b/c he'd end up eating more than grating it. [b]**AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~[/b]
1 person likes this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
2 Aug 09
I'm sure we are paying for them doing the work of grating the cheese which accounts for the higher price but wow that is a big difference and myself am going to start doing as you did and grating my own and bagging it up. Thanks for the idea!
1 person likes this
@dlr297 (5358)
• United States
2 Aug 09
You are so right about the cheese, it is so much more economical, and it does not take very much extra time to grate it yourself. I freeze all kinds of leftover things that i add to different meals later. Leftover roast is good to freeze and add to soup later.
1 person likes this
@drannhh (15002)
• United States
2 Aug 09
I almost never buy pre-grated or pre-cubed cheese. I have always grated my own and I freeze some of the cheese and also cook ahead and freeze some of the food as well. Also when I buy pre-frozen foods, as soon as they get home from the market, I divide them up into small portions, adding other healthful ingredients and then repackaging them sort of like my own instant meals. For example, I like some of the new frozen entrees such as chicken fried rice for two, but they are too salty for my taste and haven't enough vegetables, so I will cut up a whole onion and some bok choy or celery and add that along with some brown rice, mushrooms, and broccoli florets and repackage that into 4 or 6 containers. Then I add a couple eggs fresh to each container when heating it up to serve. For addition freshness and cost savings, I add whichever of my favorite veggies are seasonal. This month it is squash.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60185)
• United States
2 Aug 09
great ideas! I don't really buy grated cheese because I don't use it. Sure, I could cut up the blocks of cheese we've got, but I'm afraid they'd go bad before we ate them, whereas the stuff we've got is already just about 3/4 of an oz and is vacuumed packed.
1 person likes this
@ANTIQUELADY (36491)
• United States
2 Aug 09
Good idea Twoey, i see u cut every corner like i have always had to do. It takes it now adays as high as groceries are to cut every corner u can.
1 person likes this
@saundyl (9698)
• Canada
2 Aug 09
I've done that before - figuring out what costs less per serving. Most of the time buying things and doing it your self is cheaper. Here a BIG block of cheese is about 10 dollars and a grated bag of cheese half the amount is a about 2 dollars less. If i buy the big block i can have things other than grated cheese too - slices and cubed bits too.
1 person likes this
@cutepenguin (6458)
• Canada
2 Aug 09
We buy blocks of cheese and grate them ourselves. It's just never occurred to us to buy the pregrated.
1 person likes this
@slickcut (8141)
• United States
2 Aug 09
I usually buy crated cheese already grated, however it is always cheaper to crate your own, anything that is already perpaired is always higher, but i don't want to deal with grating it, but if my budget was tight i would buy a block & grate it myself...Thank you for the tips, the ham is a great idea..
@jillmalitz (5132)
• United States
2 Aug 09
Yeah we used to do stuff like that when I was married. But since I am no longer there I just watch and try to suggest ways to help my daughter stretch the grocery money.
1 person likes this
@BarBaraPrz (18086)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
2 Aug 09
I don't use grated cheese, so obviously don't buy it. I don't grate it either. I sometimes will freeze part of my Kraft dinner instead of making a pig of myself and eating the whole pot for one meal. :@)
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
2 Aug 09
I make up the Kraft Dinners (Mac and Cheese with the wet pack). I split it up into small servings (yogurt cups) and then I can have one every so many hours as I need them for my diabetes. I didn't know that one of those dinners actually contain between 4-7 servings...depending on the size. A one cup serving (a yogurt cup) there is 6 servings. I was stunned there was that much in it. [b]**AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~[/b]
1 person likes this
@BarBaraPrz (18086)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
2 Aug 09
I remember you telling us about the yogurt cups... If I eat the entire pot of Kraft dinner, I don't have anything else with it, so it's not as bad as it sounds.
• United States
10 Aug 09
I always buy cheese that's already shredded. Now I think I'll just buy the block and shred it myself and freeze it. I don't usually make much ham but that's a good thing to do...cut it up and freeze it to use for later. I've never done any kitchen experiments before. LOL
@anniefannie (1743)
• United States
10 Aug 09
that is a good way to save i try to do things like that too but some time you don't have time and that is why it is convenent to buy it already grated and i do get lazy at times lol
@kprofgames (3024)
• United States
5 Aug 09
I've often thought of grating my own cheese, but the cost of the block is more expensive here. I do mass cooking and freeze or can pretty often. Tomorrow I'm cooking up 5 pounds of fresh side (uncured bacon) and then I freeze it for a quick additive to a meal, deviled eggs or pizza. Honestly, it's an easy way to just take it out and microwave it for a good breakfast for school. I've already started thinking about school and school lunches. I've taken 20 pounds of hamburger and make patties out of all of it, cooked them and then froze. I do this in the spring too so don't heat up my kitchen too much during the hotter days of summer too. During the winter we make breads, cupcakes, cookies and brownies and ziplock them into freezer bags. I used to have 5 children living here so downsizing was always a problems for me. Making soup consisted of bring out the big electricl roaster and making a batch of chili, then I can the left overs. Same with turkey and ham. I think if you can plan long range you save more. Sure the dicing, canning, drying and freezing takes a bit more time, but it still saves you time and money in the long run.