Pantry On A budget Part Two
It seems these days that everyone is looking for convenience. What they miss is that convenience doesn't have to necessarily be expensive if you make your own convenience foods. For instance I love oatmeal so every night when I make the coffeepot I put 1/3 cup quick oatmeal in my wide mouth pint jar. I add my sweet potato bark, honey, dried apple chunks, cinnamon, raisins or whatever flavor I am in the mood for then add 2/3 cup milk. Then I place the cap on it and put it in the fridge. The next morning I take it out and shake to mix and microwave for 1 minute and I have hot oatmeal for breakfast. No little packages but also much cheaper.
When I make waffles I double the batch and freeze the leftovers. They microwave beautifully and taste so much better than the leading frozen brand. No preservatives, cheaper and they taste better. Make your own convenience. Same with pancakes and instead of buying those baking mixes try making your own. There are lots of recipes for homemade baking mixes available online.
Why not spend a Sunday afternoon making your own snacks for the kids lunches. Cheaper and healthier. Wait until chex go on sale then stock up and freeze them. You are going to toast them anyway.
Try homemade egg noodles. They freeze wonderfully and once you taste them you will never go back.
Buy that day old french bread that is marked down then slice and freeze. It makes great garlic rounds for pasta.
Instead of buying those expensive frozen entrees try making your own and freezing them. Stuffed shells and lasagna freeze great and you can take them out the night before or that morning and by the afternoon they are ready to pop in the oven.
When onions are cheap try freezing them. Just chop, bag and freeze. These are so convenient and I do hundreds of these when my onions are harvested from the garden. This also works with green pepper and celery. All of these spices dehydrated are easy and time savers also. Many spices such as basil, parsley, and chives are super simple to grow at home and can be either frozen in olive oil cubes or dried and stored very cheaply.
Try making and freezing your own pie crusts. They can be made very cheaply and make that unexpected dessert you need so much more convenient to make.
Instead of that expensive cereal try making homemade granola for breakfast. Buy oats in bulk sweeten with honey or maple syrup. The one above has almonds, raisins and coconut.
Stale bread makes great homemade garlic croutons so much cheaper. Salad dressings are so cheap to make from scratch. Try making your own mayo especially if you have your own chickens and lots of those home grown eggs. Try making homemade BBQ sauce it is so easy and much cheaper.
The moral of this story is the more you make yourself and remove yourself from the consumer minded merry go round lifestyle, the more your grocery bill will drop. Period! You will be getting more for your money but you don't necessarily have to give up convenience. In many cases it is also much healthier without the preservatives added to make these items shelf stable to sell. Just make your own. I take one day a week and make enough salad dressing, croutons, bread, pie crusts and such items to last my family for the week.
I'll challenge you to next time you go shopping for every item you pick up on that list ask yourself could I make my own cheaper and even healthier.
I want to hear from all you homemakers out there now.
What is your favorite homemade convenience food that you make.
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter