Saturday, May 10, 2014

The basics, part three, cooking from scratch!

Basically, of you are on a limited budget, you can't buy meals from a box or bag and stay within budget.   I met a lady that was spending  ten dollars a day on dinner.   It doesn't take a math whizz to understand that ten dollars a day times 30 days is 30000.  If you sound your entire allotment on dinner you are either a) going to run out of money before you run out of month or b) you are not going to eat breakfast or lunch!  LOL.

The good news is that there are ways to cut your food time and spend the same amount of time , but less momey cooking from scratch.  

1) your crockpot can be your best friend in the kitchen.  Starting dinner in the morning is a good thing.  There is something very therapeutic about coming home to the smell of dinner already cooked!
2) precooking your meat when things are less hectic saves time and miney.  You can buy in bulk when the meat os cheap and portion control the meat to make it last and not waste food.   Many tomes leftovers get thrown out. We  all have good intentions.   The difference between rotisserie chicken and making it from scratch is remarkable.   Like 84.00 an hour remarkable.   No one ever paid me 84.00 an hour to do anything.  One time the figure was 168.00 an hour.    LOL

3)    Having said that, there are a  few things that are cheaper ready made than scratch.  Pasta sauce is less than a buck ( hunts) .  That's cheaper than the tomatoes.    I am finding recipe starters for .50 still.  It was better when I could get them for free with a coupon, but still at .50 it is cheaper than homemade.    I have been getting pumpkin bread for a buck a loaf.  Much cheaper than the bakery and even cheaper than scratch at the cost of pumpkin in a can.  

4) most of the time, however scratch is cheaper.  I sometimes grind our own hamburger  ( or rather my husband and I do) it is cheaper and you control the fat.   Making pork chops from a pork loin os a snap.   Cut them before you roast off the rest of the loin.   You can reheat pork loin slices by putting the, in heated chicken stock.  Do not cook the meat again.  Just bring the stock to a boil and turn the stove off.  I have been using recipe starter, basil or garlic) as a base for Mac and cheese.  Mac and cheese doesn't have to come out of a box.  It is actually cheaper to make ot from scratch and tastes better.   I have got pasta for as cheap as .38 with a coupon for the good stuff.  

Some pasta boxes have very little food value and aren't worth the expense at any price.  I got a microwave pasta cooker.  It cuts an entire step out of the cooking process.  Set it and forget it while you make the rest of dinner.

Read the ingredients on the back of the packages.  If a cheese product has no cholesterol, I would be suspect.  I have never seen a cheese I didn't like, and I have never seen a cheese without cholesterol.  LOL.  The ingredients have to be listed in order of volume.  In other words, the ingredient that is the star of the show, is listed first.  If that is cornstarch, you don't want it.    Cornstarch is cheap and doesn't have food value.  Most recipe starters or gravy type things in a jar are more expensive that the meat you put them on.   There os always a healthier and less expensive alternative.   Spices are cheap at the dollar store or at big lots.

Don't hesitate to keep you eyes open where ever you go. Drug stores have a limited amount of food, but often with coupons, that food can be a real bargain.   They do that to get you in the store.  Because you are in the store doesn't mean you have to buy a bunch of things you don't want or need.  

Big lots and grocery outlet have some things at bargain process,,check expiration dates.   NO ONE STORE HAS THE BEST  PRICES ON EVERYTHING.  No way, any day .   The trick is to shop more than one store.  I don't spend my life shopping.  I shop two stores a week usually.   If we are in the area, I hit Big lots and Grocery outlet.   We go to the bread store about once every eight weeks.  When I get a coupon, or when the other stores have slim Pickens for specials, I go to Winco.  We go to Costco on a need to go basis-- mostly for bisquick, paper products, and meds.  
If you are one of the rare few women that HATE to shop, deligate the job to someone else that can be trusted.  

Or, of you don't have a choice, writing down what is on sale that you need, getting in and getting out, saves you the stress of having to make a decision.  

That's about all for today.

thanks for stopping by and sharing thos blog.


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