Thursday, July 16, 2009

Food Bill Reducing Tips Thursday

One thing that helps me reduce my food bill as actually using up my food. There are about a zillion blogs out there participating in Food Waste Fridays, or No Food Waste, or something of the same idea, but what it basically boils down to is how to use up what you have in the pantry and fridge. What if all you have is cauliflower and cottage cheese? Or how about 1/2 loaf of bread and pickles? How do you plan your weekly (or biweekly) meals to come down to nothing wasted?
In line with what I wrote a couple weeks ago, if you take the time to organize your planning to 'piggyback' your meals, you should end up with less waste, as long as you are making just enough for your needs. Cooking enough for an army when there are only 2 of you won't help your budget at all - unless you have a very big freezer. But there will be those times when you have less desirable things to cook with. What to do?
I have been loving the recipes in Vegetarian Times that include only 5 ingredients. Though I have yet to see a recipe with bread and pickles, the ones I have seen are amazing.
Simplifying our diet seems to have helped our budget tremendously. Being summertime seems to help quite a bit - a quick dinner of loaded nachos and fresh-from-the-garden-salad sounds so much better than a full-course Indian meal.
So back to the undesirable ingredients. You have options.
  • Learn to like bread and pickles
  • Find awesome books at the library that incorporate strange food combining
  • Toast the bread, eat it alongside the pickles
  • Go to the store, hopefully along with other errands to make the trip worth taking, and purchase some small foodstuffs to go with the bread and pickles - to make them last a little longer, and a little more palatable
  • Don't ever buy bread and pickles again to avoid the whole problem/process
I'm sure you get the idea. Letting things rot in the fridge or become moth eaten need not happen if you decide to expand your creativity and flexibility about food. Those withered greens can still be ground into nut burgers or pasta sauce. They may not look appealing in their raw, limp state, but no one need know what state they were in prior to the heat. You can make an incredible meal, and be a hero to your friends and family, and only you are the wiser!


goldenbird said...

Thanks for the tips! Lately I've been making a bigger effort to spend less on food and eat lighter. It's amazing how much you can save by making lists, planning meals in advance and not eating out.

Hope you have a great weekend, Jill!

Lisa S said...

I find that I generally buy too much each week and then our tastes change, or rather mine do as I am the one doing the cooking. And many times I am just too tired to cook and we end up going out. I could really use some help here. I look forward to more of your ideas as well as others.

Jill said...

Thanks, Goldenbird! And when I DO it, I love my lists. Lately, I have been so busy, the list gets forgotten at home and I end up trying to remember what I wrote. And I never remember it all...

Lisa - fine by me - but you have to promise to share your ideas as well :)

Catherine said...

When I was a kid my aunt used to make us pickle sandwiches. Pickles, bread and mustard, we loved them.

Anonymous said...

Make pickle soup! It sounds awful, but tastes wonderful.

Jill said...

Ok, Anonymous - you'll have to share THAT recipe!

Lisa S. said...

I promise!