food preservation http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/14311/all en-US Preserving In-Season Foods for Off-Season Feasts http://www.wisebread.com/preserving-in-season-foods-for-off-season-feasts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/preserving-in-season-foods-for-off-season-feasts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/food-3671779-small.jpg" alt="strawberry preserves" title="strawberry preserves" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We've got a lot of summer still to go, but at this time of year, my mind trains on fall. It's my favorite season for a variety of reasons, foremost of which is all the delicious food. Autumn is when the slow cooker gets its dedicated spot on our kitchen counter and when warm, hearty meals replace simple salads at dinnertime. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-good-reasons-to-learn-canning-now">8 Good Reasons to Learn Canning Now</a>)</p> <p>It also happens to be when our CSA share is at its peak; our farmer friends send us home each Saturday with literally barrels of tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, apples, and all sorts of other natural goodies. I consider myself quite a voracious home chef and even I can't seem to find use for all the diverse fruits and vegetables that come my way. And I don't want them to go to waste.</p> <p>I'm on a personal quest this year to learn more about the art of food preservation. In my search, I've come across some useful texts on the subject, as well as some budget-friendly tools of the trade. Here is a brief description of the most popular preserving methods, as well as my favorite books about each (and all).</p> <h2>Canning</h2> <p>Canning<b> </b>is a method for preserving food in which items are heat treated and then sealed in containers (glass jars are a popular example). Most anything can be canned, including jams, sauces, and other creations &mdash; as well as whole foods to be enjoyed at later dates. Canning gives food a shelf life of anywhere from one to five years, sometimes more.</p> <ul> <li>Few know better than Ball (as in the jars), so this #1 bestselling book is definitely on my reading list: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0778801314/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0778801314&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=dealswbpost-20" target="_blank">Complete Book of Home Preserving</a> by Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine. Along with all the methods and how-tos, this text comes complete with over 400 recipes to preserve fruits and veggies at their freshest, ultimately locking in optimum nutrition.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Marisa McClellan's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0762441437/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0762441437&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=dealswbpost-20" target="_blank">Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round </a>takes a seasonal approach. McClellan's blog, of the same name, is a two-time Best Food Blog Awards finalist. Each section breaks down the numerous and seemingly overwhelming steps of canning (with lots of lovely photos), so even a novice can feel confident during the process.</li> </ul> <h2>Freezing</h2> <p>Freezing<b> </b>foods is an easy solution if there's enough the space for storage. Foods are prepared, then placed in airtight containers and &mdash; that's right &mdash; frozen. The cool, dry environment of a freezer helps eliminate the bacteria that would ultimately lead to spoilage. This method typically gives a shelf life of anywhere from three months to a year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-freeze-foods-that-dont-freeze-well">Freeze Foods That &quot;Don't Freeze Well&quot;)</a></p> <ul> <li>Jessica Fisher is onto something with <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1558327568/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1558327568&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=dealswbpost-20" target="_blank">Not Your Mother's Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook</a>. It seems other preservation methods focus on individual ingredients or separate components of a meal. The freezer allows for some crafty think-ahead feasts &mdash; minus all the excess sodium and additives in most store-bought varieties.</li> </ul> <h2>Pickling</h2> <p>Pickling<b> </b>preserves food in brine (in other words, salt water), creating an acidic environment which kills bacteria and produces a delicious sour taste. Foods are placed in the salt solution for a specified amount of time, after which they can be stored in airtight containers &mdash; usually refrigerated &mdash; for several more weeks before going bad. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gadzukes-10-ways-to-use-up-your-zucchini-bounty">Gadzukes! 10 Ways to Use Up Your Zucchini Bounty</a>)</p> <ul> <li>Moving way beyond the typical dill, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1558323759/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1558323759&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=dealswbpost-20" target="_blank">The Joy of Pickling</a> by Linda Ziedrich is bursting with 250 &quot;flavor-packed recipes&quot; from the most common to the more unique seasonal produce. While the practice of pickling was one originated out of necessity, the tangy flavors of salt, vinegar, and other spices infuse these recipes with flavors that are now the main draw.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1603425624/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1603425624&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=dealswbpost-20" target="_blank">The Pickled Pantry</a><b> </b>by Andrea Chesman has 150 pickling recipes using ingredients from apples to zucchini. The book features relishes, chutneys, and many more related recipes.</li> </ul> <h2>Dehydrating</h2> <p>Dehydrating can be performed by cracking the oven door a bit and baking at low temperatures. More recently, cooks have used dedicated dehydrating machines. It's actually one of the oldest and easiest methods of food preservation and works by removing moisture from foods. Since bacteria and other spoilers need wet environments to thrive, it preserves well &mdash; when items are properly stored &mdash; for up to a year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-money-saving-reasons-to-buy-a-food-dehydrator">9 Money Saving Reasons to Buy a Food Dehydrator</a>)</p> <ul> <li>Check out <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/160239220X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=160239220X&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=dealswbpost-20" target="_blank">Food Drying with an Attitude: A Fun and Fabulous Guide to Creating Snacks, Meals, and Crafts</a> by Mary T. Bell. Of all the food preservation methods, dehydration is the one that most intrigues me. Perhaps it's because I'm always suckered into buying the expensive dried apples and mangoes at the store. Regardless, this book has &quot;something for everyone&quot; and extends to foods far more exotic than the traditional beef jerky.</li> </ul> <h2>General Food Preservation</h2> <p>There are also several good books with a little of everything.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1603425462/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1603425462&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=dealswbpost-20" target="_blank">Put 'em Up!</a><b> </b>by Sherri Brooks Vinton is self-described as &quot;a comprehensive home preserving guide for the creative cook.&quot; It's short and sweet, yet covers all the main preservation methods (canning, drying, freezing, and pickling). In addition, Vinton provides some tasty recipes for classics like grape jam and pesto to more adventurous treats like spiced pear vodka.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>In <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1584798645/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1584798645&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=dealswbpost-20" target="_blank">Canning for a New Generation: Bold, Fresh Flavors for the Modern Pantry</a>, author Liana Krissoff offers clear, easy-to-follow directions to accompany Rinne Allen's gorgeous photography. The focus is on less traditional fare and recipes not just for canning, but also <em>using</em> the canned items later.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Kevin West's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307599485/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0307599485&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=dealswbpost-20" target="_blank">Saving the Season: A Cook's Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving</a> is far more than just a cookbook. The stories woven into the text make this one great for curling up and truly savoring (perhaps while also enjoying some corn relish). West shows readers how careful and intentional preservation of food can transcend desire for culinary pleasure &mdash; it's a way of life.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>And the fun doesn't stop with these four basic methods alone. In <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1933392592/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1933392592&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=dealswbpost-20" target="_blank">Preserving Food <em>Without</em> Freezing or Canning</a>, author Deborah Madison describes &quot;traditional techniques using salt, oil, sugar, alcohol, vinegar, drying, cold storage, and lactic fermentation.&quot; My head is spinning with all the tasty possibilities.</li> </ul> <p>Once you've made your way through the reading, it's time to get started. In my next post in this series, I'll hunt down deals for the basic items you'll need as you embark on your own adventure to a fridge, freezer, and pantry full of healthy, self-preserved foods.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite food preservation resources?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/preserving-in-season-foods-for-off-season-feasts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-best-ways-to-use-up-your-summer-tomatoes">The 12 Best Ways to Use Up Your Summer Tomatoes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-places-to-find-free-or-cheap-mason-jars">5 Places to Find Free or Cheap Mason Jars</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-started-with-preserving-mint-jelly">Getting Started with Preserving: Mint Jelly</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-good-reasons-to-learn-canning-now">8 Good Reasons to Learn Canning Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-preserve-your-early-harvest">7 Easy Ways to Preserve Your Early Harvest</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink canning dehydrating food preservation preserves preserving Tue, 03 Sep 2013 10:36:29 +0000 Ashley Marcin 981617 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Good Reasons to Learn Canning Now http://www.wisebread.com/8-good-reasons-to-learn-canning-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-good-reasons-to-learn-canning-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/jars-3734680-small.jpg" alt="canning" title="canning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Although my mother made her own preserves for years, I didn't bother to learn. I could always pick up exotic chutneys or fancy jams in local stores. We didn't live in places where we had fruit trees or many berries, so I didn't find any compelling reason to learn. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-brewed-beer-the-result" target="_blank">Homebrewed Beer: The Result</a>)</p> <p>And then, we moved.</p> <p>While I was thrilled to suddenly have mangoes, cherries, passion fruit, guava, berries, and other fruits in abundance, I also realized that they were going to go to waste unless I did something with them. My husband bought me a canning set from the hardware store, which came with a great instruction book, and I learned how to can. So, why should <em>you</em> learn how to can?</p> <h2>1. It's Really Not Hard or Scary</h2> <p>Folks, if <em>I</em> can make jelly, so can <em>you</em>. After making a batch of mango jam a couple of weeks ago, my neighbor said, &quot;I want to learn, but all that sterilizing and boiling and stuff intimidates me.&quot; It's not like you need a sterile laboratory. You do need to follow the steps closely, measure ingredients, and time the stages. That's it.</p> <h2>2. Waste Not, Want Not</h2> <p>Besides dealing with our own produce, it is not unusual for a neighbor to show up with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-use-of-sub-par-produce" target="_blank">a bag of fruit</a>. Sometimes at a farmers market you will find a great deal on large quantities. If you learn to can, you can put those mangoes, berries, apples, or whatever to good use. We have even made white wine jelly, which is delicious and can be made from very inexpensive white wine. Wise Bread's Thursday Bram has shared a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-started-with-preserving-mint-jelly" target="_blank">great mint jelly recipe</a>, complete with very easy instructions.</p> <h2>3. You'll Always Have Christmas, Hostess, or Other Gifts</h2> <p>People seem to enjoy receiving jams, jellies, and chutneys as gifts. I love the fact that they are all done well before the Christmas &quot;rush.&quot; It is also really nice to have an inventory of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-to-make-deluxe-gifts-for-under-15" target="_blank">gifts ready to go</a> for emergencies.</p> <h2>4. You Can Save Money</h2> <p>I just made mango jam, which cost me .25 per jar. The cheapest mango jam I could find to buy was $2.49 a jar! That's a pretty amazing savings.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" border="0" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u805/DSCN0087.JPG" alt="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u805/DSCN0087.JPG" v:shapes="Picture_x0020_6" /></p> <h2>5. DIY Is Fun</h2> <p>I know, that sounds silly, but it's true. Learning how to preserve food really is fun, especially if you are a person who likes DIY projects.</p> <h2>6. Minimal Storage Required</h2> <p>Some DIY projects take up a lot of space, so when I started canning, I was a little worried about that. However, all of my equipment fits nicely in a 58-quart plastic storage container.</p> <h2>7. Canning Equipment Is Inexpensive</h2> <p>My <a href="http://www.freshpreservingstore.com/ball-fresh-preserving-kit-21-qt/shop/382646/" target="_blank">canning kit included</a> a black granny-ware canner (yes, that's a funny description), a jar lifter, a funnel, 12 jars with lids and bands, and the Ball Blue Book canning guide. It was about $65 five years ago. The sets are widely available in hardware stores and on the Internet. The Ball set is extremely well-made and it has held up beautifully. My neighbors all bring back their empty jelly jars, as well as others they collect, which is very nice. I rarely have to buy new jars. You can often find canning jars at yard sales, and you can even get reusable jar lids now.</p> <h2>8. Mistakes Are Delicious</h2> <p>My mother's best accidental creation was dubbed &quot;Plum Runny.&quot; Meant to be plum jam, something went awry, so we tried it on pancakes as syrup. It was amazing, and from then on, she just made Plum Runny. I personally have a store of Lilikoi Syrup in my pantry, which is similarly fantastic. In some recipes, if your jelly hasn't set, you can simply re-make it, to get the consistency desired.</p> <p><em>There are great books out there for beginning canners, and the Internet has loads of information. I would love to hear what kinds of preserves you have made &mdash; please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-good-reasons-to-learn-canning-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-started-with-preserving-mint-jelly">Getting Started with Preserving: Mint Jelly</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-ways-to-use-up-a-jar-of-preserves">30 Ways to Use Up a Jar of Preserves</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/preserving-in-season-foods-for-off-season-feasts">Preserving In-Season Foods for Off-Season Feasts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-best-ways-to-use-up-your-summer-tomatoes">The 12 Best Ways to Use Up Your Summer Tomatoes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Food and Drink canning food preservation jam jelly Thu, 30 May 2013 10:36:34 +0000 Marla Walters 976224 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Freeze Foods That "Don't Freeze Well" http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-freeze-foods-that-dont-freeze-well <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-freeze-foods-that-dont-freeze-well" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5733386394_2c5584f244_z.jpg" alt="freezer" title="freezer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the most affordable ways to stretch the food budget is to increase the size of your recipes and store the extra in the freezer. Batch cooking, or even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-five-day-freeze-batch-cooking-for-the-rest-of-us">this modified version</a>, can bless you during the hectic times with ready-to-go meals and a sense of preparedness. Before you commit to saving a meal for a rainy day via the freezer, check out this list of items that don't do so well in subzero temps (and how you can work around them). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-enough-on-meat-to-buy-a-chest-freezer">Save Enough on Meat to Buy a Chest Freezer</a>)</p> <p><a href="http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/freeze/dont_freeze_foods.html">The National Center for Home Food Preservation</a> gives a pretty good list of items that shouldn't be frozen. In most of these instances, it isn't a safety issue; it is a quality one. Mushy or bland food isn't the goal of many, and most of these foods break down or lose their desirable qualities after being in the freezer. Foods you shouldn't freeze include the following.</p> <h2>Leafy Veggies</h2> <p>Produce such as cabbage, endive, lettuce, and the leaves of radishes, for example, will become limp and soggy after freezing. Other items that suffer from a &ldquo;waterlogged&rdquo; effect include cucumbers and celery.</p> <p><strong>Try this</strong>: Instead of freezing celery, radishes, parsley, spinach, and other leafy items in their whole, raw state, try them in soups and casseroles that will be frozen. You may also want to attempt a <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/freezer-coleslaw-9099">freezer-specific coleslaw</a> or pickle recipe!</p> <h2>Fried Foods</h2> <p>Homemade fried appetizers will be soggy, not crisp, after freezing. Anything breaded and fried should not be put into the freezer after cooking.</p> <p><strong>Try this:</strong> Make your own breaded veggies and meats to be fried <em>after</em> freezing. Batter as usual, then allow to freeze in a single layer on a cookie sheet before putting into a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-phenomenally-frugal-single-serving-freezer-meals">single freezer bag</a>. When you're ready to fry, remove and cook!</p> <h2>Dairy</h2> <p>Sour cream, cream cheese, some soft cheeses, and mayonnaise will separate and lose the silky consistency you love after being frozen. Dishes with lots of these foods may get soggy as the water pulls away.</p> <p><strong>Try this:</strong> Milk freezes beautifully in the freezer while still in the carton. If you decide to freeze cheese, stick with harder varieties (cheddar, for example) and freeze as whole blocks or shreds in the original package. You may still see some of a &ldquo;crumbly&rdquo; effect, so commit to using previously frozen cheese in cooking &mdash; not as a component in a cold dish.</p> <h2>Eggs</h2> <p>Many popular freezer meals ask that you freeze cooked <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fantastic-facts-about-eggs">eggs</a>, but the results are often disappointing. Cooked eggs can be watery, spongy, or mealy; egg whites can be tough.</p> <p><strong>Try this:</strong> If your frozen dessert requires a meringue topping, skip it until right before you serve it. Freeze the dessert base, then add them meringue as a fresh ingredient after thawing. The same should be done for any icings or whipped toppings made from egg whites.</p> <h2>Pasta</h2> <p>When cooked alone for later use, spaghetti, rice, couscous, and other starchy foods can get sticky and mealy in the freezer.</p> <p><strong>Try this: </strong> Mix the cooked pasta into a sauce or use it as part of a complete dish (like a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-recipe-lots-of-food-10-great-main-dish-casseroles">casserole</a> or soup) before freezing. Don't over cook pasta before freezing; al dente is your safest bet.</p> <h2>Potatoes</h2> <p>Similar to pasta, this starchy food gets mushy in the freezer. When used in a soup or casserole, it can break down completely, leaving your dish with a glue-like consistency.</p> <p><strong>Try this: </strong> Turn your potatoes into mashed (which freezes somewhat better), or consider a <a href="http://goodcheapeats.com/2010/12/freezing-potatoes/">twice-baked potato recipe</a>!</p> <p>While there technically isn't a food that you can't freeze, if tasty meals are your goal, it's best to follow these rules. In a pinch, many on the &ldquo;do not freeze&rdquo; list can be tossed into the freezer in an emergency; you'll lose some quality, but it's still safe for consumption.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-freeze-foods-that-dont-freeze-well">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/preserving-in-season-foods-for-off-season-feasts">Preserving In-Season Foods for Off-Season Feasts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-tips-to-spend-less-on-eating-in">11 Tips to Spend Less on Eating In</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-good-reasons-to-learn-canning-now">8 Good Reasons to Learn Canning Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-best-ways-to-use-up-your-summer-tomatoes">The 12 Best Ways to Use Up Your Summer Tomatoes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Dining Out</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink batch cooking food preservation freezing food Tue, 28 Aug 2012 10:24:40 +0000 Linsey Knerl 952376 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Tips to Spend Less on Eating In http://www.wisebread.com/11-tips-to-spend-less-on-eating-in <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-tips-to-spend-less-on-eating-in" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4824229135_b7abde3d86_z.jpg" alt="home dinner" title="home dinner" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="148" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Although we've shared plenty of tricks to <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Save-Money-Restaurants-21090530">save on eating out</a>, you should also be conscious of cutting costs when eating in. Food in general can get pretty expensive, so even when you're cooking at home, it can become one of your biggest expenses. Here are some great ways to save when you're eating at home.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Save-Money-Farmers-Market-24036008">RELATED: How to&nbsp;Save Money at the Farmers Market</a></p> <h3>Don't Buy Too Much</h3> <p>Sometimes it can seem like a good deal to buy in bulk, but you're wasting money if you aren't able to finish what you purchased. Unless you can find a way to preserve the food, you should limit how much you buy. Try not to buy raw brown rice, cooking oil, and <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Items-Buy-Bulk-22919982">these other items</a> in bulk, as they can go bad quickly.</p> <h3>Freeze Your Food</h3> <p>If you have the space, a deep freezer may be a good investment for the items you are able to freeze. And if you're wondering what can be frozen, almost anything can. However, some items may not taste as good after being frozen, such as vegetables and fruits that have a high water content, because they can possibly lose their texture when you're defrosting them. But they are generally safe to eat, so it's all about personal preference. There are many people who can attest to freezing every grocery item imaginable such as eggs and milk, so I would experiment to see what works for you. Personally, bread and cooked rice are two of my favorite items to freeze. Be sure to freeze your food in small portions so you don't have to keep refreezing your food, which can make the food less fresh and lower its quality.</p> <h3>Preserve It</h3> <p>There are definitely other methods of extending the life of your grocery items besides freezing them. Explore other ways to preserve such as canning, drying, and pickling. More suggestions <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Making-Groceries-Last-Tips-16971878">can be found here</a>.</p> <h3>Be Healthy</h3> <p>You'll be surprised to learn that a healthy lifestyle will actually get you a lower grocery bill. There's a <a href="http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/10-ways-save-money-food-shopping" target="_blank">study by the Journal of the American Dietetic Association</a> that revealed families who went on weight-loss diets also spent less on food. That's because they were reducing their portion sizes and buying less unhealthy food such as soda and chips. It's a win-win situation; by being more healthy, you will also be able to save on your medical bills.</p> <h3>Know Where to Get the Cheapest Groceries</h3> <p>It's important to learn how to <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Saving-Money-Supermarket-20773159">save when you're at the grocery store</a>, but it's just as crucial to know where to shop. <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Live-Frugally-24174070?slide=15">Ethnic supermarkets</a>, <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Live-Frugally-24174070?slide=5">local orchards</a>, and <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Save-Money-Farmers-Market-24036008">negotiating at the farmers market</a> can be a bargain. Don't be afraid to check out alternative grocery sources such as the dollar store, a nearby pharmacy, or gas stations. Make a note on what you spend most on when you're grocery shopping, then compare the prices at these different locations. It may sound like a lot of work, but once you know where to buy certain items, you won't have to comparison shop until you notice a price increase.</p> <h3>Know the Frugal but Filling and Healthy Staples</h3> <p>There are some food staples that are cheaper than others, such as beans. Figure out what they are, and try to incorporate them more into your meals. You can also always go for cheaper cuts and buy meats whole and bone-in as they are more affordable in those forms.</p> <h3>Mix It Up</h3> <p>Making a certain type of frugal meal can get old, and when you start getting bored, you may start craving restaurant food. Be creative with your meals and change up things like sandwich fillings. Sometimes the oddest pairings work really well. Take a look at your pantry and experiment!</p> <h3>Crockpot Cooking</h3> <p>A crockpot is a frugal cook's best friend, because not only is it easy to make a slow-cooked meal with a few ingredients, but you'll also have leftovers that can be easily stored in the freezer. Take inspiration from FitSugar's <a href="http://www.fitsugar.com/Healthy-One-Pot-Meals-20429650">one-pot healthy recipes</a>.</p> <h3>Coupon</h3> <p>Watching &quot;Extreme Couponing&quot; on TV can be overwhelming, but there are some couponing techniques that are actually quite doable. You can access online coupons before you go into a grocery store and take a note of what's on sale before buying. You can become a member of your grocery store's reward club to take advantage of special prices. Check out these <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Extreme-Coupon-23755667">realistic insider tips</a> from an extreme couponer.</p> <h3>Use Leftovers for Lunch</h3> <p>Another way to keep your meals exciting is to use leftovers (either from a restaurant or home-cooked meal) the next day or to freeze what you have in the fridge for another day. You can also take leftovers and create an entirely new meal to spice things up, such as turning leftover steak into stir-fry or using fish as a salad topping.</p> <h3>Incorporate Meal Fails With Your Meal</h3> <p>You don't have to throw something away if you happen to dislike it. Just like leftovers, you can create an entirely new meal out of them. What doesn't taste good on its own can taste better when mixed with the right ingredients! And if something is overcooked, you can probably cut out the burnt parts and use the rest of it for another dish.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> It&#039;s almost always cheaper to cook than it is to eat out, but do you know how to keep your home-cooked meals both flavorful and frugal? Follow these tips. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Save-Milk-Beef-Pork-Eggs-24155760">Beat Rising Grocery&nbsp;Costs: Save on These 6 Foods</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Save-Money-Whole-Foods-11376657">How to&nbsp;Save Money at Whole Foods</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Extreme-Coupon-23755667">7 Smart Extreme Couponing Tips</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-tips-to-spend-less-on-eating-in">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-meaning-of-milk-label-colors">The Meaning of Milk Label Colors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-rules-you-must-follow-when-shopping-at-costco">5 Frugal Rules You Must Follow When Shopping at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-grocery-store-secrets-only-the-pros-know">10 Grocery Store Secrets Only the Pros Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-produce-workers-guide-to-choosing-fruits-and-vegetables">The Produce Worker&#039;s Guide to Choosing Fruits and Vegetables</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink affordable cooking crockpot food preservation grocery shopping Wed, 22 Aug 2012 10:36:40 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 952288 at http://www.wisebread.com