Save money with bacon ends: Tips & Tricks

I realize that I’ve now done three bacon tips in a row. I had really wanted to do a BLT post, and the pre-cooking bacon post came about spontaneously from that. But last week was Christmas, and every Christmas Eve, I make potato soup, which my mother traditionally makes with bacon ends.

farmer john bacon ends and pieces 3 lb

So what are bacon ends? Ever notice how every slice of bacon is exactly the same length? Well, the pigs don’t exactly come that way. The butcher (okay, probably a machine) trims the belly to a uniform length before cutting into slices. They don’t look pretty, much when you are cooking bacon to be diced and put in something, bacon ends work just as well as bacon slices.

But they key advantage is that they are cheaper. Demand is a lot lower for bacon ends than for bacon slices. So a 3lb package of bacon ends (they always seem to come in 3lb packages) tends to cost about twice as much as 1 pound of the cheap brands of sliced bacon, or almost the same price as 1 pound of the premium brands! So you can get bacon that tastes absolutely the same for 1/3-2/3 the price simply by getting the end pieces.

So where do you buy bacon ends? Well, for most the the previous decade, they got a little hard to find, but seem to be coming back. You should be able to find them in any decently sized supermarket. I know for a fact that King Soopers and other Kroger-branded stores carry it. If not, you can find it in Sams Club if you know a member to that wholesale club. I would assume that Costco would do the same.

Link Round-up: SuperBowl Edition

In Other News – Eat, Live, Run. Since today is World Nutella Day, this is an homage to the nut butter.
Twice Baked Potatoes with Cheddar and Bacon – a great SuperBowl treat

Why New Dietary Guidelines Can’t Solve the Obesity Crisis – Civil Eats

Not Any Old Salad – Peanut Butter Fingers. A salad with brussel sprouts! Since brussel sprouts are my favorite vegetable that most people make a face at, I’m definitely trying this one.

Sweat Potato Chili – We Are Not Martha. Another sweet potato recipe. Never knew so much could be done with the sweet spud!

Fight Rising Prices by Building Your Own Food Bank – Get Rich Slowly. Buying bulk and on sale and storing it for when there are higher prices is one of the best ways to save money.

Ask the Internet: Meat Ideas for an Ex-Vegetarian – Cheap, Healthy Good.  Since meat can be daunting to cook to those who don’t do so regularly, newer cooks will get a lot of helpful suggestions here.

Fancy a Frittata? – Tuesday Test Kitchen. Great way to use up vegetables that need to get used.

Soft Pretzels – Little Bitty Bites.  Make your own pretzels, just in time for the SuperBowl.

Baked Potato Nachos + 25 SuperBowl Recipes – How Sweet It Is. Great SuperBowl snacks inside here.

Link Round-up: 11/27/2010

My original intention for the If You Can Read, You Can Cook blog was a means of driving traffic & sales for the cookbook I hope to publish this spring.  But I’ve since changed my tune a bit.  Now I see this as a companion to the cookbook and something that can stand on it’s own feet.  I will gradually be adding new weekly features until I have a full week of posts.  To that end, I’m instituting a new link roundup feature today.  Enjoy!

Cooking When You’re Really Broke – Grumpy Rumblings of the Untenured
Gifts for the College Cook – College Cooking Crash Course
Butternut Squash Ravioli – Tuesday Test Kitchen (Possibly my new favorite blog!)

Nutrition Facts Panel Guide – Eating Rules