Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Getting Every Cent Out Of Your Food Dollar

Shoppers at Large A&P Grocery Store by Alfred Eisenstaedt
Shoppers at Large A&P Grocery Store

If you have been to the grocery store you no doubt know that the prices of groceries are skyrocketing. It seems that the prices are going up daily. Tipnut has a wonderful article on leftovers. Here is some of their suggestions.

Tips For Leftover & Surplus Food Items

  1. Have a cup or so of rice left over from last night’s meal that you don’t know what to do with? Toss it into your lunchtime vegetable soup or even chicken broth. Bulks up the soup a bit and saves the rice from being tossed out.
  2. Make big batches of rice and freeze in meal size portions to use later when preparing quick meals. When freezing individual sized portions, freeze with leftover veggies, meats and sauces for hassle free & cheap work lunches.
  3. Drop large spoonfuls of any leftover whipped cream on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen individually, store them in a freezer bag. You can use these on desserts and hot beverages like hot chocolate and coffee (just let them thaw a bit first). These don’t store long though, use within two weeks. For excellent homemade whipped cream, try this: Real Whipped Cream Recipe (second recipe).
  4. Freeze your leftover tea in ice cube trays with a mint leaf or a curl of lemon zest–even a slice of lemon. Use the frozen cubes to chill and flavor iced tea when serving. Great for large batches or individual servings.
  5. Have eggs that need to be used up before they expire? Eggs can be frozen whole or separated in amounts usually needed. For example: If you make your own mayonnaise, freeze in containers the number of eggs yolks you normally use per batch. In another container, freeze egg whites.
  6. Once a fresh banana is too ripe to eat don’t throw it out, you can freeze it in a number of ways, see this tip (includes a recipe for banana bread).
  7. If you can’t eat the grapes fast enough before they start going bad, try freezing them. First wash the grapes well, allow to dry, then lay them neatly on a cookie sheet (not touching each other). Place the tray in the freezer and once the grapes are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag or airtight container. Store in the freezer and just take out what you need when you want a cold, fruity treat (eat them as is–frozen–or add to things like yogurt, smoothies and ice cream). This also works well for berries (raspberries, blueberries, pitted cherries, etc.).
  8. When needing just the broccoli florets, save the uncooked stems, wash well and chop finely. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate. Add the stem bits to salads and cooked dishes like rice or scrambled eggs. This not only helps prevent waste, it also adds a little health boost to your dishes.
  9. Whenever you have leftover bread on hand that won’t be eaten in time before it goes stale, wrap well then freeze. You can grate the frozen bread easily and make your own breadcrumbs.
  10. Frugal tip: Don’t toss out your bread once it’s no longer fresh, homemade croutons are yummy! Here’s a quick and easy method to make them: Homemade Croutons - Yum!
  11. A couple ideas for leftover ham: Cut into steaks, wrap individually in plastic wrap and then store in freezer bags. Take them out for lunches or quick meals as needed. Cut ham into cubes and store in freezer bags (meal size portions). Mix in scrambled eggs, leftover potatoes (hash browns or breakfast mash), add to pasta salads, omelets, whatever you like.
  12. Freeze leftover wine in icecube trays, then remove and seal in freezer bags. Freeze these until you need wine for cooking, removing wine cubes from the bag as needed. First measure the wine as you fill your first cube so you know how much each cube holds. Or if you find you mainly cook with full tablespoons of wine for most sauces and dishes, you can measure 1 tablespoon amount in each cube.
  13. If you have part of a bell pepper left over from a recipe and no other immediate use for it, just slice it into strips or dice (whichever you prefer), seal in a freezer bag and freeze. You can also freeze whole bell peppers, see Freezing Bell Peppers.
  14. If you have apples that are no longer that fresh but still good to eat, here’s a tip to use them up fast: Cut apples into wedges, fry slowly in a bit of butter and then sprinkle with cinnamon. Your kids will eat them up lickety split! If you’re really ambitious, use them to make an apple crisp or apple pie.
  15. Store leftover nuts like walnuts and almonds in an airtight container and keep in the freezer. This will keep them fresh and tasty. This will also prevent them from going rancid. Also if using nuts in baking, toast them in the oven for about 10 minutes first, cool, then add to batter. They won’t sink to the bottom of the batter as easily
No one here likes to eat the end pieces of the bread and we always seem to have leftover hamburger or hotdog buns. What I like to do is to put them all in the freezer until I have enough bread to make my Homemade Breadcrumbs you can find my recipe here

Learn to make casseroles. These are quick and easy and the leftovers are delicious for a hearty lunch.

If you have extra baked potatoes left over from supper you can easily saute them with a little butter for breakfast or put them into an omlet.

The whole idea is not to let any of your food go to waste. Use every little bit up. Get creative, you might find some recipes you love.


Lea of Farmhouse*Blessings said...

Wonderful, fantabulous suggestions! I found several that I'm going to begin using here in our home.

Thanks so much for taking time to share them.


Caroline said...

Thanks Lea.

Blue Yonder said...

Your tips are fantastic! Thanks so much!

Caroline said...

Thanks for stopping by and visiting.