Scratch cooking...the art of spending all day slaving over a hot stove to produce dinner. ~~ not any more. The old days left with the invent of frozen premade meals and components. Now, the tides have turned and to save money and avoid preservatives, we are going back to scratch cooking. Everything old is new again, but with a twist.
The invent of countertop appliances and the ingenuity of five ingredient or less cooking. Scratch can be just as efficient and a lot cheaper than using something out of a box or bag. Buying basic ingredients in bulk is a lot cheaper than buying individual boxes of food.
A box of bread mix is almost three dollars. A loaf of artisan bread is three dollars at winco. A loaf of bread made from bulk flour and bulk yeast cost. Thirty cents and takes ten minutes. And thee ten minutes doesn't t have to be in the same block of time. It can be that ten minutes while you wait for something else to be done. I like to pay a game: what can I get done before the microwave finishes.
I can get the floor swept, unload the dishwasher sans the silverware, or throw the ingredients for pizza dough in the food processer.
When a pizza costs less than driving to little Cesar's, the cost of a food processer just became manageable. It cost 1.40 with pepperoni and peppers. A loaf of bread cost between .22 and .30 cents. That five dollar bag of cooled chicken breast pieces costs about .66 . And takes about four minutes to cook and chop in an insta pot. You are cooking with steam, no fat.
Before I went to almost all scratch cooking, my weekly average was 72.00 ; after it is about 53.00. That more than pays for a insta pot and a food processer. Honestly, I have a kitchenaid mixer, but i don't use it as much as i do the food processer and the insta pot. I use the meat grinder and the slicer attachment more. At twenty dollars a week, it doesn't take long to pay for an insta pot.
When food is going to be wasted because we didn't eat it fast enough, i have been slicing it and dehydrating it. That 1.39 bag of bananas got ripe too quickly. I sliced them and dehydrated them. My granddaughter ate them in two days. She would not have eaten the bananas that quickly. We paid 69.00 for the dehydrator and have used it twenty years. Beef jerky, eggs, carrots, potatoes, fruit. That 40 cents worth of dried bananas would be well over a dollar and took me very few minutes. My husband opens the banana and leaves section of skin on it. Then he can slice it really fast and dump the slices.
No, I'm not getting paid to promote the insta pot, I just love mine. Its three appliance in one, does all of them well. Saves time and money. Beans don't freeze well. They don't hold well. Their refrigerater life is short. Beans and rice spoil fast and I don't take chances on food poisoning. Before the insta pot where I can cook beans in a matte of a few ~ like maybe two minutes , we used canned beans, The difference in sodium and cost is remarkable. Retail on beans is a dollar a can. I can usually find them for 50 cents. The cost of scratch is about 16 cents.
Efficient scratch cooking can save time and money. Invest in appliances that make sense and are workhorses in the kitchen. Develop a binder of five ingredients or less recipes that your family will gladly eat. Take the time to make your own mixes and spice blends. Even at 50 cents taco seasoning is a rip off. Cream of xxx soup is more of a rip off. That hour you spend on a rainy Saturday can save tons of money.
The average family spends 5000 a year more than we spend and probably don't eat any more nutritious. .