Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wonderful Wednesday

It's going to be hot again today.    I don't pay much attention to the weather when I did the meal plans.   Yesterday, we went to happy hour with friends.   My daughter made vegetarian tacos.   ( black beans, onions, and  red peppers.    I think we will do chicken stir fry tonight.   When I batch cooked chicken breast, I divided the breasts and cooked the bones that I had left a lot of meat on.   The meat from the bones netted two cups of pieces.   I averaged - little more than .50 a meal for chicken and chicken breast.  

I was watching a u tube about summer recipes.    The lady cut stars out of watermelon- a neat idea for 4th of July!   She also wrapped her ingredients for foil packets for the girl, first on parchment, and then in foil.   There is some concern that cooking in aluminum has a link to memory loss.

FYI.  A lot of the recipes I post could be enhanced with the addition of onion.   My husband won't eat onions, green  peppers or mushrooms.   I compensate for the onions with onion powder or cook with very large pieces of onion that I can remove before serving.  I use red or orange peppers and no mushrooms.   Celery is a good substitute for mushrooms to add back the bulk that the mushrooms would have supplied.

Which  brings me to a concept that my daughter hasn't learned yet.   Other than baking recipes that take chemistry to make things rise, recipes can be altered of you don't have an ingredient, or an ingredient is too pricey.  You can substitute onion strips with onion powder,nor grate an onion if someone doesn't like to bite into an onion.   I use celery often to create the bulk of a vegetable that is too pricy.   A lot of fresh fruit can be substituted with canned. Rinse canned fruit under cold water and don't use the liquid from the can.   That reduces the sugar a lot.  

We had to throw away the stir fry veggies from Costco because they were recalled.   We are going to use celery, carrot, and peppers.    I will add top ramen noodles, cooked without the seasoning packet ( too much salt.   I also have some broccoli.    I don't have snow peas, so I'll sub broccoli.  

Don't throw away the baby with the bath water.    Just because a good recipe calls for a pricy or other ingredient you either don't like or don't have, if it's. It the main ingredient, punt!  

I always have chicken granules ( low sodium) better than boullion, and vegetable granules.   They are always at the ready and far cheaper than the canned or boxed alternatives.   I also make stock when I'm batch cooking.   Our great grandmothers made vegetable stock from the peelings.   I don't do it because that's where a lot of the pesticide residue is.   I have taken to washing my veggies in vinegar water.   I have a brush I got from the dollar tree ( it's a cute lady bug ) that I use to scrub inky vegetables.    You can stick it on the top rack of the dishwasher.    I only use it for vegetables.     I use a brush that holds liquid soap for cleaning baked on grime.  It os a Brillo brand and is at the dollar tree too.    It saves my nails and does a great job.  

I make a mix to replace cream soups.   I only buy cream soups about thanksgiving time with a coupon,  This saves about a dollar a can.   The mix saves more.  

We care try much stick to the basics in veggies.  We use the fresh more pricy  veggies for a treat.   I want the granddaughter to be introduced to a wide variety of food.   We just can't afford on a strict low budget to have those things every day.   Besides the fact that grandpa wouldn't eat it.  

By paying 1/2 price for your food, you can afford a trmemT every now and then.   I found a personal watermelon for a dollar.   It was just right for five of us to have watermelon.   Watermelon is full of
sugar and one of the highest in the glycemic index.

We pretty much stick to

  1. Carrots
  2. Celery 
  3. Peppers 
  4. Green beans 
  5. Corn 
  6. Peas 
  7. Apples 
  8. Grapes 
  9. Tomatoes 
  10. Lettuce
  11. Romaine 
  12. Cucumbers 
  13. English cucumbers 
  14. Cantaloupe in season
  15. Cabbage if I hubby ate it. 
  16. Berries in season 
  17. Blueberries 
  18. Potatoes 
  19. Red potatoes on occasion 
  20. Corn on the cob in season 
  21. Bananas 
I probably forgot something.   You can post more on the comments of you like.   

Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspective. 
The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until ot goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen )by cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending more is not difficult and you still get more nutrition for your buck. 

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