|04-13-2014 08:37 PM|
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|04-13-2014 07:04 PM|
|Betty||Don't forget you don't suddenly have to start cooking from scratch every day! LOL It may be less overwhelming if you start with one one meal a week----something that you can also freeze for later. That would also help you stretch out the time period for stocking up on staples.|
|04-13-2014 03:34 PM|
yeah, the fridge solidifies the fat but I do it the old fashioned way too.
Soups are a great way to stretch the food budget!
ALSO....I didn't want to post about kitchen gadgets since this is about cooking on a budget.....but...this is on my wish list for next soup season....
OXO Good Grips Fat Separator
|04-13-2014 02:32 PM|
OP, if you like burgers then you can make them yourself cheaper. The trick is to add stuff to the meat so that it's got some flavor to it. I add regular mustard and powdered onion soup mix. I also add eggs (to make the meat stick together) and crushed crackers (to bulk it up and keep the mix drier, because the eggs and mustard make it too moist to form patties with). I don't measure these items, because it's not important to be precise: maybe 1 egg to 1 lb. of ground beef, and half a row of unsalted crackers? Maybe 1/8th cup mustard? Maybe 2 tbsp. soup mix? I dunno, lol!
The other thing I do is always buy everything when it's on sale. It doesn't matter what it is either. Toilet paper, coffee, meat, canned goods - I know I'll use it eventually, so why pay full price? We always eat whatever's on sale that week, lol!
I love my crock pot too! Cheap cuts of meat are fixed right up when they've been cooking for hours, and you can add whatever veggies you like to the final product too. So for beef I'll cook it with carrots, onions, and potatoes - then throw in frozen corn when it's almost done. Eggs are a staple in my diet too, because you can scramble them with hot peppers and cheese (yum!) or add salsa on top....there's endless things you can do with eggs - they're perfect.
ETA: I add water to my crock pot adventures, so I get an awesome soup on top of the great roast.
|04-13-2014 02:08 PM|
I am one that strains everything out then I put it in the fridge for the grease to rise to the top where it the comes off as one solid chunk. (you can do with a turkey also, I like the turkey flavor better) Take half stock you want to use throw the meat back into it and add more fresh veggies. This gives it the chunky hearty soup to freeze and freeze the other half without anything in it this way you have lots of stock to use for other things. BTW I leave the canned chicken broth out put in more water and a larger variety of veggies and cook it longer. To get that wonderful broth flavor.
|04-13-2014 01:23 PM|
A lot of the pre-prepared foods are cheaper because they are made up mostly of inexpensive (and mostly) unhealthy carbs and other cheap fillers.
They still boost the bottom line of food manufacturers because it's the processing that creates the profit margin. So the whole system is incentivized to produce cruddy mostly unhealthy processed food that while it seems cheaper isn't cheaper in the long run (on a lot of levels).
I wasn't much of a cook when I moved out on my own until I discovered a magazine called "Taste of Home". The recipes are thoroughly tested, they have sections for cooking on a budget and simple recipes for beginners too.
Search Recipes For Easy Recipes | Appetizers, Cooking Bread & Chicken Recipes, Soup, Baking Cake & More | Taste Of Home
After cooking a few times and having success with delicious meals you'll be hooked and be eating healthier as well.
Also, I used to make a full batch of a meal and then freeze the left overs for my own homemade meals. Like chicken soup, I make a big batch of that, freeze half and eat the rest throughout the week.
BTW Here's my recipe (I call it Winter Solstice Soup because I usually make the first batch when the weather gets nice and cold). This is my own concoction and it's always a big hit!
One broiler/fryer chicken cut up (3 1/2 pounds)
3 quarts of water
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) chicken broth (low sodium)
1 medium onion quartered
4 celery ribs cut into 2 inch chunks
2 parsley sprigs
1 clove of garlic (or use powdered 1 teaspoon)
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper depending on your taste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or less, lower sodium is better for health)
1 bay leaf
4 carrots sliced into bite size pieces (about an 1 1/2")
1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
Prepared rice or noodles
Get a nice big stock pot size pot and put in your water, chicken broth, onion, celery (including two or three of the celery leaves - lots of flavor in those too), parsley sprigs, bay leaf, garlic, pepper and salt (remember you can always add more salt later). Cover and simmer (nice gentle slow bubbling) for about 2 hours. You want the chicken to be tender and about to fall off the bones.
After 2 hours remove the chicken onto a plate to cool, using tongs take the parsley sprigs, celery leaves and bay leaf out and discard.
When the chicken is cool enough to touch remove it from the bones, the flesh should just pull off easily and cut the meat into bite size pieces. Discard the bones.
You can also skim the fat off the top of the broth at this point if you want. Turn the heat down so the fat floats to the top, you'll see yellowish shiny pools on the top. You can use a spoon or ladles, pressed into the broth slightly so only the top layer flows into the spoon, pour each spoonful into a container to be discarded later.
Now you can put your chicken meat back into the broth and your sliced carrots, bring it to a gentle boil until the carrots are tender (usually about 10-15 minutes depending on how tender you want them). Add the chopped parsley and let it simmer a couple of minutes.
You really can't mess this up, if you over cook it a bit, no biggie. You can add more salt or pepper after you add the chicken back in to your taste. It's always better to put less in then add more later if needed to your tastes.
Some people like to strain the onions and celery out but me and my hubs love a chunky rustic style bowl of soup.
Put some prepared rice (or noodles) into a bowl and ladle your wonderful homemade soup on top.
This will make a lot of soup. You can freeze meal size portions of it and then pull them out, put the soup frozen into a sauce pan. Heat it over medium heat and viola, it's just as good as the day you made it.
All the ingredients except the chicken itself usually can be bought for $1.00 each and you'll get many meals off of it.
Plus, there's just something soothing and satisfying about chicken soup, it really is good for the soul.
I hope this helps.
|04-12-2014 11:13 PM|
If you don't want to cut up the chicken raw, you can roast it and it just falls apart and you can use that in a lot of recipes.
Throw the bones in the crock pot, simmer, and strain and you have a VERY nutritious broth.
|04-12-2014 11:10 PM|
A ten pound sack of potatoes costs about $4. A pound of butter costs $3.50. And a sack of onions costs $2.00. So that is $9.50 and will give you a meal a day for a week and a half.
5 pounds of chicken at 99cents a pound, frying or roasting chicken -- yes, you have to cut it up. But roughly $5.00. Sour cream -- $2.79, and onions -- about $1.00 worth. Papericka, salt, and flour -- staples in the house. Add baking soda and an egg or two and you can make spitzleys -- German drop dumplings. In short, it costs about 8-9 dollars to Make a big pot of chicken papricka, enough for 12 meals. And you can freeze it. So you do not need to eat it all at once.
If you eat ground chuck, steak, roast beef, then yes, it will cost you a lot more. You can get a lot more milage off of chicken.
Buy stuff on sale too. Buy meat on sale, then make soup out of it.
|04-12-2014 07:48 PM|
|vicky2200||It is generally cheaper to cook from scratch.|
|04-12-2014 05:42 PM|
OP if you need further help and tips dont hesitate to ask we have many tips n recipes.
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