Samosa photo (and recipe) from Hebbars Kitchen (with thanks to Neha Sonpar)

Samosa photo (and recipe) from Hebbars Kitchen (with thanks to Neha Sonpar)

Tamales and samosas were the first wraps  I learned about. My grade one teacher brought canned tamales to our class. She had been to Mexico, and this was in the 1950s. I remember her opening the can, although not how they tasted.

I first learned about samosas from my students at Correlieu High School in Quesnel three decades later. A couple of them worked at the mill, and they wanted to make samosas to eat when they got off the late night shift.

Samosas and tamales are wrapped variations of many similar forms of food.  Burritos, dosa, dumplings, empanadas, gyoza, perogies, pot stickers, and wonton are all fillings encased in carbohydrate-based wrappers. People need a cheap, nutritious form of energy, and wraps extend expensive protein foods.

After nine years of living alone for both my adult daughter and me, we are working on extending our food money.  She is a student with no income, and I have pension income.  She’s a wrapper from the word “go”.

She has taught me a lot about saving money on food. There are no reliable cooking facilities or refrigeration at the two campuses where her studies are. She has an insulated lunch bag – and food keeps well for a few hours. I think she probably saves up to $50 a week through her food habits.

Here is a brief summary of what she does: (her preferences are not identical to mine, I drink a lot more coffee, and I can eat lunch at home).

  1. One good cup of ground-from- beans coffee each morning.
  2. Good source of protein, often free range eggs and turkey bacon (from free-ranging turkeys, probably) for breakfasts
  3. Portable lunches every day (this week is naan pizza and turkey burritos)
  4. Good bread (cheddar sourdough and olive bread from Brio Bakery on 121 St. and 102 Ave., Edmonton). A friend gave her a gift certificate to this bakery, and the bread is great quality.
  5. Willingness to try any new foods. We had homemade samosas this weekend along with an accidentally excellent peach chutney. (Accidental because the recipe called for molasses, and it was terrible, so I rinsed the chutney solids under water, and started again).

If I could, I would buy eggs and meat from Chatsworth Farm out of Vermilion, Alberta or any organic or small farming operation. For now, free-range eggs from the grocery or my friends and relatives are my small contribution to humane animal welfare.

I’d like to know your tips for saving money on food.