Your Food: Cooking Classes and Food Cost

Your Food: Cooking Classes and Food Cost

More Isn’t Always Better When it Comes to Dried Herbs & Spices

If you’re serious about frugal living, you probably look for any opportunity to control your food cost. What you need to look out for, however, are those instances where you think you’re getting a good deal but, in reality, money will be wasted.

So, for example, you might think that buying the big package or bottle of dried bay leaves or thyme is the most cost-effective and, in comparison to the small packages, it might in fact be cheaper. The thing is, you have to think about how often you will use those herbs and spices and if it’s realistic that you will use up the contents of those packages in a matter of six months or less. I don’t know about you, but I once tossed a huge, nearly full package of bay leaves that I had yet to go through in the course of two years, let alone six months.

If you want your herbs and spices to still taste as they’re supposed to, the best idea is to seek out those places — like bulk food stores — where you can buy them in small amounts. This way, when you finish up that little bag of dried oregano two months from now, it will still taste as fresh as it did the day you bought it.

New takes on Meatballs: Making Good Use of Frugal Living Friendly Cuts of Meat

Meatballs are an excellent way to use inexpensive ground meats in tasty ways, but sometimes we get stuck in the old ground beef with spaghetti and tomato sauce rut. While traditional, homemade spaghetti and meatballs is delicious, there are loads of other ways you can make and use meatballs. Give some of these frugal recipe ideas a try and keeping a handle on your food cost should be no problem at all.

First of all, instead of always buying ground beef, why not try some other meats, such as ground pork, turkey or chicken or even lamb? Then, experiment with different seasonings for your meatballs. Think of the herbs and spices that naturally pair well with these various meats; lamb with dried mint, rosemary or even curry; pork with ground mustard, cumin, coriander or allspice; turkey with summer savoury, rosemary, thyme or marjoram. Garlic goes well with all of them–you can’t go wrong!

Don’t forget to always add a little breadcrumb and even an egg or two to help bind the ingredients together. Fry them up and then add these savoury meatballs to a variety of different dishes.

Give some of these frugal recipes a try:

  • Turkey meatballs in a vegetable soup with gnocchi
  • Meatball sandwiches on fresh rolls with a homemade tomato sauce
  • Lamb meatballs in a pita with tzatziki, lettuce and fresh mint, paired with couscous and a nice salad
  • Make tiny versions of any of the meatballs, stick with toothpicks, come up with some creative dipping sauces and you’ve got an easy and frugal living friendly appetizer
  • Get creative in the kitchen and resist the urge to stick to the same old same old. Adding variety to your cooking is a simple way to make cooking on a budget even easier.

New takes on Meatballs: Making Good Use of Frugal Living Friendly Cuts of Meat

Meatballs are an excellent way to use inexpensive ground meats in tasty ways, but sometimes we get stuck in the old ground beef with spaghetti and tomato sauce rut. While traditional, homemade spaghetti and meatballs is delicious, there are loads of other ways you can make and use meatballs. Give some of these frugal recipe ideas a try and keeping a handle on your food cost should be no problem at all.

First of all, instead of always buying ground beef, why not try some other meats, such as ground pork, turkey or chicken or even lamb? Then, experiment with different seasonings for your meatballs. Think of the herbs and spices that naturally pair well with these various meats; lamb with dried mint, rosemary or even curry; pork with ground mustard, cumin, coriander or allspice; turkey with summer savoury, rosemary, thyme or marjoram. Garlic goes well with all of them–you can’t go wrong!

Don’t forget to always add a little breadcrumb and even an egg or two to help bind the ingredients together. Fry them up and then add these savoury meatballs to a variety of different dishes.

Give some of these frugal recipes a try:

  • Turkey meatballs in a vegetable soup with gnocchi
  • Meatball sandwiches on fresh rolls with a homemade tomato sauce
  • Lamb meatballs in a pita with tzatziki, lettuce and fresh mint, paired with couscous and a nice salad
  • Make tiny versions of any of the meatballs, stick with toothpicks, come up with some creative dipping sauces and you’ve got an easy and frugal living friendly appetizer
  • Get creative in the kitchen and resist the urge to stick to the same old same old. Adding variety to your cooking is a simple way to make cooking on a budget even easier.

Control Breakfast & Snack Food Cost with Homemade Granola

I love granola but I’m often shocked by the amount of money that some companies charge for such a small amount of what is literally oats, seeds and maybe some nuts and dried fruit. In some cases, a small bag that lasts less than a week sometimes goes for nearly $10! Just think of how much granola you could make for $10, customized to your liking.

The great thing about granola is that it’s hard to do poorly; use your imagination and change up the ingredients in a recipe to use what you’ve got on hand. Don’t stop at oats, use other flaked grains like spelt or kamut, add in some toasted millet, sesame seeds, almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts. Dried cranberries, blueberries, goji berries and raisins add a nice chewy sweetness and you can experiment with using different liquid binders, such as maple syrup, honey, rice syrup or agave. Mix it all up, toast it and enjoy! For the best prices, be sure to buy your ingredients at your local bulk food store.

It’s no secret that cooking from scratch is always the best route for frugal living. Stop paying too much for foods made from simple ingredients with pretty packaging.

Frugal Living Tips for Coffee Drinkers: Grind Your Own

If you’re like me and you love a good cup of coffee, you will appreciate this frugal living tip that will at least make the price of your favourite Arabica a little less expensive. You see, when you buy coffee pre-ground, the producer will mark up the price of the coffee, sometimes as much as 30%!

So, all you need to do to keep your coffee expenses a little more manageable is to grind your own. Even if you don’t own a coffee grinder already, purchasing an inexpensive grinder will pay for itself quickly with the amount of money you will save buying whole bean coffee. Or, if your grocery store has one, use the grinder there. It will take little time to grind a whole bag of coffee or, for ultimate freshness, grind the coffee beans as you need them.