Money Saving Tips

Everyone has their own money saving tips when it comes to cooking. Take a quick look on Pinterest and you will find pin after pin of information on cooking in bulk, freezer cooking, coupon tips, etc.  Most of these are great tips if that is your style of cooking. However, for someone who loves to cook something different every night – these don’t always work.

So of course, I have  a few of my own that fit my style and love of cooking.

image-788764

Prep!
This step is key. Saturday morning I sit down with our local grocery store circulars and check out what’s on sale. Based on the sales, I create a menu of dinners and lunches for the week.

Dry beans
I noticed week after week I was always buying cans of beans – and the price quickly added up. So I made the move to using only dried beans. Unfortunately, this takes a bit more forethought and the slow cooker. But the cost savings is enough for me to think ahead and throw them in the slow cooker with some water the night before.  Here is an easy how to for prepping the beans from the kitchn. 

Bulk grains
Costco is great for this! I have a huge bag of quinoa, brown rice and pasta ready to go in the pantry at all times. I use these all the time and often make a batch of quinoa on Sunday evening to use throughout the week in my lunches since I try to avoid going out to lunch during the week.

Frozen veggies
I know, frozen vegetables get a bad rapt but they are actually healthier than fresh produce and a lot cheaper! But I admit, I only use frozen veggies in certain dishes. Pastas, soups, stir fries – they all get frozen veggies. However, if I want roasted broccoli or potatoes I need to use fresh.

Bulk onions and potatoes
This is obvious but it is so much cheaper to buy bags of onions and potatoes then purchase them individually as you need them. Both of these vegetables keep for a long time and can be kept in your pantry where it is dark and dry.

Things to freeze when they go on sale…
Citrus
Stock up on oranges, limes and lemons when they go on sale! These can be frozen whole and simply defrosted in the refrigerator when you need them. And if you just need some zest they can be zested while still frozen.

Avocados
I have a problem – when I crave guacamole I can never find a ripe avocado and they are always hard as rocks. So having a perfectly ripe avocado waiting in the freezer whenever a guac craving hits is perfect! To freeze, simply cut the avocado in half, remove the skin and pit and throw into a freezer bag.

Proteins
This is obvious, but I always stock up on chicken, pork chops and fish when they go on sale. They freeze beautifully and it is so easy to have them on hand. Just thaw in the fridge while you are at work and the protein is ready to go for dinner when you get home.

I hope these money saving tips help! Hubby and I are saving for new windows – all 26 to be exact – so every bit of savings help.

 

Brownie Baking Fail

I was going to post a recipe for pretzel brownie bits. They should have been sweet and salty, chocolatey and fudgey but with a salty pretzel crunch.

But this happened…

baking fail

They batter somehow stayed liquid after 15 minutes, but bubbled up to burn on the pan. Baking fail, right here.

Hope you had better luck baking this weekend!

Kitchen Gadget Wish List

Kitchen gadgets are meant to make life simpler and like any home cook – I love a good kitchen gadget. And now that we have a house – instead of a teeny tiny apartment – I have room to grow my collection. I now have a closet in the basement specifically for my kitchen collection, with everything neatly organized in bins. Mixer attachments, baking sheets, muffin and donut tins, pie plates, pastry bags – I have them all. But of course there are always a few tools I’d love to add.

Here are just a few from my kitchen wish list I found while daydreaming/shopping William and Sonoma:

Spiralizer
kitchenaid spiralizer

When I first saw these I thought it was crazy but then I made pasta from zucchini and I was hooked. I’ll love anything that helps replace my pasta habit with something a bit more healthy. And I have a bad pasta habit. And I can it as a KitchenAid attachment. Done.
Garlic Peeler
garlic peeler

I love garlic but I hate peeling it. It’s oddly sticky and smelly. No matter what I do I swear I can smell the garlic on my hands days later. Cure? Garlic peeler.
Herb Keeper
herb keeper

In the summer we have a herb garden  on our deck. However, in the winter I buy  fresh herbs and they always end up rotting in my fridge. I am thinking of a bunch of basil that has turned black in my fridge right now. This little herb keeper will solve my winter herb problems.

Ice Cream Maker
ice cream maker

Just cause this would be fun. Who wouldn’t want to experiment and make their own crazy combinations? PB&J, blueberries and pistachios, carrot and dark chocolate…. And again its a KitchenAid attachment.

Trust me, carrot and dark chocolate is going to be a HUGE hit.

Be back soon!