Friday, February 29, 2008

Pinching Pennies

We all have to do it at some time or another...pinch our pennies. It always seems that our food expenses are the easiest to cut. But, we still need to make great meals for our families while we save our pennies. So here are a couple of tricks that I use....

1)Cut down on meat.

-I think everyone knows that using less meat means saving more money.

-In almost all of the recipes I make I always use 1/2 or less of the meat that is called for.

-Cut meat up instead of leaving it whole. If I am making Chicken Cacciatore (for example), instead of using 4 whole chicken breasts , I would use 2 chicken breasts and cube them. This way you use less chicken but it still goes all the way through the sauce.

-Ground beef is an easy one to cut down on. I just make sure that when I am cooking the ground beef I get it crumbled good and small. I don't leave it in big chunks. Again, this gets it all the way through the recipe.

2)Potatoes. I love potatoes. They are inexpensive and very healthy.

-Whenever I cook potatoes I ALWAYS leave the skins on. That is where all the nutrients are. Even in mash potatoes the skins are left on.

-Potatoes are also very filling. Which is good when you are needing to feed your family for less.

-As a main dish there are many things that you can do with potatoes.....Got leftovers? (anything will work) Heat em up and put it on top of a baked potatoes. You can also top baked potatoes with chili and cheese. Broccoli, cheese, and cubed up chicken (again, cube the chicken and you don't have to use that much). The possibilities are endless.

-As a side dish you also have a zillion things to do with potatoes.
Our favorite is to cut em up and roll em in some olive oil salt and pepper. Roast em in the oven for 20 minutes at 450*. Then sprinkle bacon bits and cheese all over and place them back in the oven for 5 more minutes. Yummy!

You can also make mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, whatever!

-Leftover potatoes.

I always make extra potatoes when I am baking them. That way I can dice em up and fry em for breakfast the next day. Or make potato salad. Or just have a baked potato for lunch.

With left over mashed potatoes I always make potato pancakes. Oh, yum, I love potato pancakes.

This is just a couple of quick ways to save some money on your food bill. What are some of your favorite ways to pinch pennies in the kitchen? Let me know in the comments :o)

Happy Cooking!


Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

Great ideas!

eyelandgirl said...

One of my favorite ways to save is to buy a large roast and make many meals out of it. This takes a little planning ahead, but works well for freezer meals. Usually hams and turkeys go one sale this time of year. I'll serve roasted slices one day, reserving what I need for several other meals (if you put the whole roast out, there won't be much left, in my experience). Some ideas: fried rice, turkey pot pie, turkey tetrazzini, turkey soup from the carcass. Ham frittata, lentil or split pea soup, mac and cheese with ham, scalloped potatoes with ham. Other cultures use meat as flavoring, it does not need to be the point of the meal.

Rebecca said...

Mmmm, I made oven fried potatoes last night (with a little extra for our breakfast this morning) and thought of you. Thanks for the inspiration =)

Anonymous said...

Only cut back on the meat if by meat you mean turkey, chicken & pork. If you cook with BEEF use double:-}

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing,

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

How wonderful to find you from Cheryl's blog!

I have just begun "filling my freezer" again. :)