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Friday, April 3, 2015

My egg-citing inventory plan (sorry, had to use that play on words)

I didn't like the feeling of running short on eggs the past couple of weeks. I managed, but didn't like not knowing if and when I'd find more at my price point.

You know that I freeze eggs whenever I have a surplus. I've decided that I'm going to keep a fill-to amount of frozen eggs of about 8-10 dozen. 8 dozen eggs will carry me through 2 months of baking/cooking. So, if I don't find eggs on sale for a period of time, I'll have some back-up eggs in the freezer. As soon as I start to dip into those frozen eggs, I'll watch for a sale again, and buy enough for fresh use as well as keeping that 8 dozen amount in the freezer. 2 to 3 months appears to be the typical cycle for egg sales around here

Did anyone here ever work in a restaurant? In a previous life, I worked as a restaurant manager. When doing inventory and ordering stock, we had a "fill-to" amount. It was a preset amount, thoroughly thought out by the owner, of how much we should always strive to maintain of any given item. That's what I intend to do with buying and storing eggs.

The other thing that occurred to me was this -- in November, when turkeys go on sale for about the lowest price of the year, I always buy my year's supply of whole turkey. Well, the Easter egg sales may very well be the lowest price I'll see on eggs for this year. Other sale prices have been around the $1.25 to $1.29 per dozen point. 99 cents per dozen may be rock-bottom for this year. (A new California law regulating hen house size, is driving egg prices up. This law went into effect on Jan 1 of this year. Although the law is a California one, it's net effect will be a moderate rise in egg prices nationwide.)

I'm not to the point of wanting to buy a year's supply of eggs just yet. It is a lot more work to freeze eggs, than to say, freeze a whole turkey. But I'm willing to go to the work to freeze a 2 to 3 month supply.

So, do you want to know just how many eggs I bought this Easter season? You're going to think I've lost a few marbles on this. But, I'm venturing out there into stock-up territory. I bought 22 dozen eggs. Yep! You read that correctly. This should be enough eggs to last our family through July and maybe into August. My fill-to amount, year round, will be about 8-10 dozen. Out of this bunch of eggs, I'll freeze an even greater amount, just to take advantage of such a low price. About 12-14 dozen are earmarked for the freezer. Some will be frozen individually,  to use 1 at a time, while others will be frozen 3-5 in a container for quiches and frittatas, for family meals. (I use these basic guidelines for freezing eggs.)

And now that I'll have dozens of eggs, I'll be using eggs as the animal protein source for 2 meals per week. I typically serve an animal protein (meat, eggs, cheese) with dinner 4 nights per week, and a bean and grain based dinner 3 nights per week. It can vary from one week to the next, but this is how it averages out.

Eggs are not the protein powerhouses that meat is. A 3.5 oz portion of chicken has an average of 24 grams of protein (depending on the part of the chicken). A single large egg has 6 grams of protein. It would take 4 eggs to ingest the same amount of protein in eggs as in chicken. 4 eggs would be way too eggy for me. So, limiting eggs as the animal source of protein to just 2 days per week, for dinners, seems about right for my family.

Some of our favorite egg dishes include souffle, quiche, frittatas and Yorkshire pudding. Do you have a favorite way to prepare eggs as a supper dish?



Anonymous said...

Your post just came in time! I have a bit of a surplus at the moment and was wondering what I was going to do with all those eggs. I forgot all about freezing eggs!
I love to make quiches, they are cheap to make and very tasteful and a wonderful side dish with a soup and of course with a salad for lunch at work.

Anonymous said...

The usual omelettes, plus frittatas, and our favourite, popovers (Dutch babies) - like a cross between a frittata and a pancake! I did make a souffle once, and vow to someday make a chocolate dessert souffle.

Lili said...

Hi greenpioneerwoman,
Quiche at lunch is such a nice change from sandwiches and soups. I'll add that to lunches next week. Thanks for the suggestion.

Lili said...

Hi anexacting,
I used to make dutch babies for breakfast many years ago, but had forgotten since. Especially enjoyed with strawberries, powdered sugar and whipped cream or yogurt. Thanks for the reminder!

Teresa said...

I have a daughter who regularly makes angel food cakes for celebrations from scratch. She does a lemon or orange glaze. Just lovely on a vintage cake plate:) Also wonderful when the ingredients are in season and relatively inexpensive. We save the egg yolks for a variety of recipes like chocolate mousse and cookies. Any suggestions for yolk use would be appreciated:)

Lili said...

Hi Teresa,
I have 1 recipe for refrigerator cookies that uses egg yolks only. It's my go-to when I have to use only the whites.

Also, any sort of cooked custard, like lemon curd or dessert custards, flan, ice cream, Hollandaise sauce, homemade pasta, golden cakes, all use up leftover egg yolks. You can also add an extra yolk or two to whole eggs when making quiche, omelet, frittata. Egg yolks keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, so you have a bit of a window of opportunity with them. Or you could freeze them, with a bit of salt or sugar to stabilize the texture, then use a whole batch of them in something like creme brulee.

How lucky to have a daughter who makes scratch angel food cakes!! :-)

Anonymous said...

No good egg sale here. I bought 1 dozen at $2.29, hoping the price might dip lower this week. While mainland Target stores sold their eggs at 99c, our local Target sold theirs for $2.99. Fortunately, we don't use eggs too much and have gone through many periods in the past completely out of eggs.

We primarily use eggs as a garnish (scrambled in a sheet, and cut in thin strips), dropped in soups, or as a salad topping. Occasionally we must have eggs in recipes, but some can be substituted with flour as a binder. (Thank you for your article about egg substitutes.) We may eat an occasional egg fuyong for dinner using leftover small bits of vegetables and meats.


Live and Learn said...

We enjoy breakfast burritos for supper along with spinach quiches. I think eggs are great, inexpensive source of protein.

Teresa said...

Thank-you for the great ideas especially the lemon curd idea. Something I really love!

Lili said...

YHF, have you ever thought about keeping a couple of hens? Is it very common for homeowners to have 2 or 3 hens in Hawaii? Here in Seattle, it's actually kind of trendy to keep hens. For the time being, we've chosen not to, but may revisit that possibility in the future.

Egg Foo Yung -- thanks, I'd forgotten about that one. That will end up on our menu this next week, as I have everything I'd normally use in it. Thank you!

Lili said...

Hi live and learn,
What do you like to put in a breakfast burrito? Those sound yummy!

Lili said...

HI Teresa,
I'm now thinking about lemon curd, myself! On split scones -- yum!

Anonymous said...

Yes, at least where we live in the country. Our neighbors, a couple houses away, keep roosters too lol I would love to have a nice supply of fresh eggs but I don't think I have the time to go that far yet. One day, I may consider it, maybe when we're fully retired! But that is a very good suggestion considering the high price of eggs. While some prices have trended down, like cheese and flour (Costco's 25# bag of bread flour for example), eggs have gone up.

I made another batch of bean patties (so addicted to the satisfying taste and cheap price). I disliked frying it in so much oil (since I thought I had to flour the patties before frying). My husband suggested adding some oil to the bean mixture before frying. Just a few tablespoons made a world of difference. The patties turned out moist without absorbing so much oil.

I'm beginning to price everything in terms of bean patty currency lol I figured the batch of bean patties I make using 1# pinto beans will yield about 2 dozen patties (with lots of rice/bread cube filler). The cost of making it is $1.73 of ingredients. So each patty is less than 10c. So a dollar's worth of store bought or eating out indulgence is 10 patties. A fast food sandwich ($5) costs 50 patties lol. Husband laughed and said now you can't buy anything and can only eat bean patties. it fuyong or Foo Yung? I think you're right, sorry to butcher the spelling.


Anonymous said...

My fixation on bean patties is crazy. I've even tried doing a pork and beans patty, adding a can of pork and beans to the mixture and a few other spices. Next on my list of test recipes for bean patty is adding some steak sauce and beef boullion cubes to the mixture, The added plus to this, is my dad is really enjoying the patties I think. He hasn't complained as often he does with other dishes we serve (too hard or not his taste). I am relieved I can freeze and keep this as back up for him. Thanks so much, I happened to visit your blog that day, the March 6 post about bean patties, and since that day I have made so many changes to our shopping and meal preparation. I have been reading other frugal type blogs for over a year, every day, yet it was your blog that had the most impact on my thinking and habits You are a savior.


Lili said...

I think it can be fu yung, foo yung or even foo young. My mom's old cookbook (c.1957) just spelled it Foo Yung, so that's how I've always spelled it. Fu yung is closer to it's origin, though.

Okay, so you like the bean patties, are you ready for "neat" balls? These are the same sort of ingredients, just rolled into balls and baked. I use these on pasta and in mock meatball sandwiches, with marinara sauce and cheese. The basic recipe I follow for "neat"balls comes from Laurel's Kitchen. I've got a variation on that recipe on my blog:

I'm really glad that you're enjoying my blog. I think we all help each other.

I'm not quite ready for keeping hens yet, either. But I haven't ruled it out.

Anne in the kitchen said...

Lemon curd sounds wonderful! Glad you were able to stock up on eggs. They never did go on sale here.

Lili said...

do you have a Walgreen's in your town? Both of our Walgreen's had eggs for 99 cents/dozen, but it wasn't in the flyer. It was just a printed sign at the egg cooler.

Anonymous said...

Thank husband had mentioned this today as I was making another batch of bean patties. I like the idea of baking the neat balls, so will definitely try them. I added up today's consumption for myself...$1.40 for the entire day. I ate bean patties three meals today and still not tired of it. To meet my $300/mo food budget goal, I'm allowed to consume $3.50 per day so I'm way under budget eating those bean patties.


EcoCatLady said...

I'm a HUGE egg fan. I'll use them in place of ground beef in many recipes - especially when I'm cooking for CatMan since he doesn't eat meat. Scrambled egg burritos, scrambled egg lasagna, egg foo young, egg drop soup, and Greek omelettes are some of my favorites.

Also... I have found that a few of the grocery stores in my area re-package eggs from cartons where a few have been damaged and sell them at a discount - usually around $1.25/dozen. These are stores that aren't in my regular rotation, so I'm not sure which day of the week they package them, but whenever I'm in the area I try to stop by and check out the discount section and stock up on whatever they've got!

Anonymous said...

I recall there was mention recently in the comment section about beans being high in carbohydrates, so not good for diabetics. I looked at my dried pinto bean package and the "net" carb is only 8g (22g - 14g dietary fiber) per 1/4c dried beans. Fiber is not easily digested or available. One dried pound of beans is therefore, 80 net carbs, as there are 2-1/2 c. beans per lb. (did I do the math correctly??) I'm making another batch of bean patties today using exactly one pound of dried beans, 2c cooked brown rice, and 4 slices homemade bread...will calculate how many carbs is in the batch and per bean patty. My guess is it will not be that much. Because there is enough starch in the patty, I noticed that I don't need to eat as much other starches with the patty.


Belinda said...

Good plan on having eggs on hand when they are not on sale. Every little bit helps. I don't think 22 dozen is too much. Whenever I stock up - either 10 or 20 - depending on the price of what I am stocking up on is my go to number. It definitely helps me save money on feeding my family.

Susan said...

Eggs were not on sale anytime the past month in our 1 local grocery store where the price for 1 dozen eggs was $2.59 a dozen. As you might guess we are in a rural state where if I want to take.advantage of the lowest prices I have to drive 50 miles ONE way to get to a Wal-Mart, 250 miles ONE way to get to a Sam's Club or Costco and I don't think.we.have an Aldi or discount grocery store in the entire state. I am like you and stock up wherever and whenever I can but not finding eggs on sale during this Easter season really surprised me. Needless to say I will definitely stock up the next time they come on sale.

Lili said...

Hi Cat,
I've only found eggs repackaged once, but I did snatch them up.
Oh, egg drop soup, another great way to use eggs, and can be done in just about any broth-based soup!

Lili said...

Hi Belinda,
Thank you, on not thinking 22 dozen was too much! It always feels strange at first, when I increase my stock-up amounts. The number just sounds big in my mind.

Lili said...

Hi Susan,
I've been surprised a couple of times in the past year, expecting "the usual" and it doesn't happen. I didn't see canned pineapple featured in any sales this Easter, and I only found eggs below $1 a carton at 2 stores (and I live near a major city, so that is 2 stores out of many).

But it does sound strange that eggs wouldn't go on sale at Easter. Like if turkey didn't go on sale at Thanksgiving! I imagine you will stock up considerably when eggs do go on sale in your town. I know I would!

Living in such a rural area, are there any farms, neighbors or hatcheries in the area that would sell ungraded eggs? Do you ever consider keeping hens? Is that common where you live, at all? My family and I brainstorm the different possibilities for procuring food, should everything change on us. Keeping hens is one of the things we've considered.

Anonymous said...

Sorry...another post about the bean patties...and off topic too.

But...I calculated the carbs per bean patty that I made, using the following carb sources: 1# beans (80g), 2c cooked brown rice (100g), 2 slices homemade bread (80g), 1/2 c. chopped onions (8g). total carbs 368g. I made 20 medium sized patties, so the carb per patty is 18g, less than 1 slice of bread or 1/4 c rice. In other words, beans is a carb stretcher, due to the high fiber content. I have been pre-diabetic for over 10 years, so I watch my carbs somewhat. Now I'm motivated to search other uses of beans in recipes. I came across beans used in muffins and pancakes.


Reginas Cottage said...

dear lili,
i wish you a blessed easter!!!

Lili said...

I thought that perhaps beans (and whole grains, too) might be okay for some diabetics, but didn't know for certain. I read a book many years ago, titled "Sugar Blues" (Author -- William Duffy). He tells his story with diabetes, and how he got off insulin, by changing his diet to whole grains (brown rice, I think was his primary grain), legumes and other vegs. But I also understand that people's bodies do well with different diets. My brother (an insulin-dependant diabetic) says he does best with a South Beach diet, high in protein, very little carbs.I don't think he eats beans or much in the way of grains, even whole grains.

There are bread and even cake recipes that use bean flour, or pureed cooked beans.

Lili said...

Thank you, Regina!

Anonymous said...

Legumes are much higher than whole I'm thinking of replacing grains as much as possible. Sorry to hear about your brother. If he is nearby, maybe you could introduce him to your bean patties. I am planning on making a batch every week, and freeze the extras. My dad ate about three patties a day and I am guessing that means he likes it. We don't eat together, we just cook for him. He eats whenever he wants. Next on my list of recipients of this marvelous miracle food is my daughter who is diabetic and have constipation problems (beans have been beneficial with that too). She told me that she is limited to 17g of carbs (net? per meal.)
There is hardly any other food that I can readily think of that has that ratio of fiber to total carbs.

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