I know that with today’s economy everyone is looking for ideas to make less money and less food go farther. I have found a few time-saving tips along with several money saving tips that may help.
Anytime I buy a large package of hamburger meat, instead of separating and freezing it when I get home, I cook all of it and then separate it into freezer bags and freeze. This makes cooking casseroles and spaghetti a snap. I also have found that when I cook any kind of meal like chili, soup, casseroles and even spaghetti, that if I take the time to make a little extra and freeze it, it really saves time on those nights when we are rushed with after school activities. Now on to the really old tips from my grandmother. She would take a plastic container with a lid and sit it in her fridge and every night after supper any leftover vegetables, like peas and corn and green beans went into this bowl and on Friday the entire bowl went into the freezer. She used this to make some of the best pots of vegetable soup that I have ever eaten.
Another great time-saving tip is the way my cousin makes her fried chicken. Now I am southern to the core and there is nothing I like better than crispy fried chicken, but I don’t like standing over the stove for an hour to fry it…so here is a simpler way. Take the chicken and bake it at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let it cool completely. This step can be done the night before or the morning of the day you want to cook it. Then just batter and fry as normal. It only takes about 10 minutes to cook it completely and it is still crispy and delicious.
Another good tip is for potatoes. When I find a really good sale on potatoes I buy 2 bags. Now we can’t eat this many potatoes before they ruin, but you can take half of them and cut them up like you would for soups and stews and boil them until they are tough-tender. (still to hard to stick a fork in) Then you drain them and freeze them. Then they are ready to throw into casseroles and stews. This can also apply to onions and bell peppers when you catch them on sale, just dice them and freeze.
With milk almost 5 dollars a gallon, I have stopped using regular milk for cooking. I buy the powdered milk and buttermilk and use it for all of my cooking needs. No one knows the difference unless they see me using it and it saves alot of money over the course of a year. There is even a website called the Hillbilly Housewife that has recipes to make your own sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk out of the powdered milk.