dinners http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/16495/all en-US How to Feed a Large Family on a Small Budget http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-feed-a-large-family-on-a-small-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-feed-a-large-family-on-a-small-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_family_having_roast_chicken_dinner_at_table.jpg" alt="Happy family having roast chicken dinner at table" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Feeding a large family is a challenge. You need plenty to eat for plenty of hungry people, and you'd like to accomplish that without draining all of your free time and money. As the mother of four hungry kids, I've learned a few strategies that work well for our family. I also called in an expert: my friend Jeff Page, father of eight and founder of Hectic Meals.</p> <h2>Plan your meals</h2> <p>You need to plan your meals in advance. Winging it on meals, especially with a large family, will cost you. You'll stress every day over that, &quot;What's for dinner?&quot; question, and end up depending on fast food, takeout, or multiple grocery store trips to feed hungry people. It's impractical and terrible for your budget. Jeff calls meal planning, &quot;a matter of self-preservation.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-the-takeout-meal-cycle-and-save?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Stop the Takeout Meal Cycle and Save</a>)</p> <p>Meal planning doesn't have to be complicated, though. It's usually easiest to plan a week's worth of meals at a time. Jeff recommends collecting your favorite recipes and using them on a regular rotation.</p> <h3>Get input from your family</h3> <p>You may be the meal planner, but you can get great ideas on favorite meals by polling the crowd. I've found that my kids are quite happy to eat the same basic thing for breakfast everyday, but they get tired of that kind of repetition for lunches.</p> <h3>Work with the seasons and the sales</h3> <p>If you pay attention to what's in season for produce, and what's on sale at your local grocery store, you can plan your menu around these items. You'll not only get fresher, better produce with this approach, but you'll also save money.</p> <h3>Combine new and old recipes</h3> <p>Depend on your tried-and-true favorites for the bulk of your meal planning, but add in some new and interesting recipes here and there. It's a good way to expand your family's eating repertoire without alienating your picky eaters. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-and-eat-better-with-these-6-online-meal-planners?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Save Money and Eat Better With These 6 Online Meal Planners</a>)</p> <h2>Buy and prepare food in bulk</h2> <p>If your family eats in high volume, buying and prepping your food in correspondingly high volume makes sense. Meal planning will help you determine what you need in advance, and buying in bulk will help you get it at the best price.</p> <h3>What to buy in bulk</h3> <p>Basic pantry items, such as baking ingredients and canned goods, are almost always a good idea for bulk purchases. The savings might not be huge, but since you can go through high quantities of these staples, you want to keep them on hand and buy them in large quantities when they go on sale. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shop-for-food-once-a-month-and-save-big?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Shop for Food Once a Month and Save Big</a>)</p> <p>Another smart bulk purchase is your main protein source: meat, eggs, beans, dairy, etc. For Jeff's family, their biggest value has been in purchasing meat in the largest quantities possible, then freezing it for use as needed.</p> <p>Fresh produce can be a great bulk purchase, as well, if you're able to process or preserve it. Otherwise, you might watch it go to waste, which is the opposite of budget-friendly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Food Items to Always Buy in Bulk</a>)</p> <h3>How to prep your food in bulk</h3> <p>Whether you bring home 15 pounds of ground beef or a couple of overflowing boxes of ripe tomatoes, you need to do something with your bulk food to make it easily usable. Some bulk purchases are best treated with a partial prep. For example, if you bring home 10 pounds of fresh carrots, you can peel and slice them, divide into portions, freeze some for use in soups later and refrigerate the rest for easy snacking. You can buy chicken in bulk, chop and season it, then freeze.</p> <p>For the most efficient bulk food prep, Jeff recommends a high-quality <a href="http://amzn.to/2vm1htL" target="_blank">set of knives</a> and a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-vacuum-sealers" target="_blank">vacuum sealer</a>. That way you can work your way quickly through a big pile of whatever's in season and ensure that it won't be frostbitten and gross by the time you eat it. Another great tool for bulk prep and preservation is a <a href="http://amzn.to/2xHgnqx" target="_blank">food dehydrator</a>; couple it with that vacuum sealer for maximum prep and storage efficiency.</p> <h3>Go local</h3> <p>Check into <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-alternatives-to-the-grocery-store" target="_blank">your local grocery options</a> for other bulk food purchases. You may find grocery co-ops, ethnic food stores, and local farmers markets can offer you great ingredients at a much better price than your regular grocery store.</p> <h3>Have a storage plan</h3> <p>Don't bring home the bacon (or any other food in bulk), unless you have a plan for how you will store it. You need to have adequate pantry or cabinet space for dry and canned goods, and adequate freezer space for other items.</p> <h2>Implement a meal schedule</h2> <p>You need a healthy amount of organization to keep a big-family kitchen from falling into chaos. When multiple people access the food and food spaces, basic rules can keep things clean, organized, and usable.</p> <p>The most important rule is to clean up after yourself. Even young children can learn to wash a dish after they use it. Yes, you will have to remind them of their ability to do so approximately 4,327 times before they will learn it, but stick with it. Eventually, they will remember. Or they'll move out. Either way, fewer dishes for you!</p> <h3>Get organized</h3> <p>For large families, it's very helpful to have a secondary refrigerator and/or freezer, perhaps in the garage or on the patio, for food storage. You can designate the kitchen refrigerator for this week's snacks and meal ingredients, and the other refrigerator can be used for less-often used items and ingredients you're storing for later use.</p> <p>A key part of food organization is finding a way to communicate it with the rest of your family. Use labels to mark where things should go, and bins or other storage items to keep things separated in the freezer or pantry. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-pantry-tricks-that-save-you-big?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Pantry Tricks That Save You Big</a>)</p> <h3>How to schedule meals</h3> <p>A schedule and a list will help you get through the grocery shopping as quickly as possible. Jeff generates a list from his meal plan and, with that in hand, he's usually able to keep his weekly shopping trip under an hour.</p> <h3>Share the information</h3> <p>Print out your meal plan, so all the hungry members of your family can see at a glance what's for dinner. That might encourage them to quit asking you about it. In an alternate universe, it might encourage them to start making dinner. I have not found the entrance to this universe. If you do, let me know. Please.</p> <h3>Designate shelves</h3> <p>In the pantry, Jeff recommends labeling shelves so there's a designated area for particular items. This can make the putting away process faster for everyone after grocery shopping. We have a designated snack shelf, and when it's snack time, the kids know what they can have and help themselves.</p> <h2>Keep it simple</h2> <p>An endless variety of food costs money. My kids would like to have a pantry that looks like the snack aisle at Costco. I would rather pay the bills &mdash; all of them &mdash; because having that much variety would cost a small fortune. I keep three to five snack options on hand, along with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and that's enough for us.</p> <h3>Incorporate change every once in awhile</h3> <p>The same snacks or dishes over and over again can get boring for you and everyone in your family. You can rotate options, but you don't have to have all the options at one time. So, choose a few snack options this month, and different ones for next month.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-feed-a-large-family-on-a-small-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Feed%2520a%2520Large%2520Family%2520on%2520a%2520Small%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Feed%20a%20Large%20Family%20on%20a%20Small%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Feed%20a%20Large%20Family%20on%20a%20Small%20Budget.jpg" alt="How to Feed a Large Family on a Small Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-feed-a-large-family-on-a-small-budget">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/10-affordable-alternatives-to-the-grocery-store">10 Affordable Alternatives to the Grocery Store</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/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way</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/how-smart-shoppers-will-save-at-amazons-whole-foods">How Smart Shoppers Will Save at Amazon&#039;s Whole Foods</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/how-to-keep-food-waste-from-spoiling-your-budget">How to Keep Food Waste From Spoiling Your Budget</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/12-delicious-ways-to-go-meatless-for-the-newly-vegetarian">12 Delicious Ways to Go Meatless for the Newly Vegetarian</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Food and Drink dinner dinners feeding the family food shopping grocery budget grocery shopping meal planning Wed, 30 Aug 2017 08:30:05 +0000 Annie Mueller 2011824 at http://www.wisebread.com The High Cost of Modern Love http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-modern-love <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-high-cost-of-modern-love" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-525805229.jpg" alt="Couple learning the high cost of modern love" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Being in love is now more expensive than ever. In fact, Americans spend an <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/31/dont-let-love-break-your-budget.html" target="_blank">average of $20,000</a> in their lifetime on dates. With dinner and a movie costing about $90, you could easily go broke if you date frequently.</p> <p>We've covered some of the costs below so you can get a better idea of what modern love can cost. However, these are only national averages. The amount you pay for entertainment and impressing your date will vary largely depending on where you live.</p> <h2>Movie Ticket</h2> <p><strong>Average Price</strong>: <a href="http://variety.com/2016/film/news/average-movie-ticket-price-falls-in-third-quarter-1201892925/" target="_blank">$8.51 per ticket</a></p> <p>The worst part is that after spending money on movie tickets, you have to worry about buying popcorn, soda, candy, and other overpriced treats. For instance, if you decided to order one large popcorn, one large candy, and two small soft drinks, you could expect to <a href="http://pricesandfees.com/regal-cinemas-ticket-and-concession-prices/" target="_blank">spend around $22.25</a>, in addition to the price of the movie tickets. Instead of doing dinner and a movie out, consider cooking at home and taking advantage of Netflix.</p> <h2>Dining Out<strong> </strong></h2> <p><strong>Average Price</strong>: <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/how-much-it-costs-to-eat-at-resaurants-2015-3" target="_blank">$12.17&ndash;$88.00 per person</a></p> <p>A 2015 study found that the cost of eating at a chain restaurant ranges from $12.17 to $88.00 per person, but it depends on where (and what) you eat. It also depends on where you live. For instance, Zagat found that diners in NYC spend an average of <a href="https://www.zagat.com/b/the-state-of-american-dining-in-2016" target="_blank">$48.44 per person</a> when eating out, which is higher than the national average.</p> <p>As an alternative, consider happy hour deals, taking advantage of restaurant week or local food festivals, or impressing your date with a home-cooked meal. You can either show off your cooking skills or cook together as a bonding experience.</p> <h2>Concert Tickets</h2> <p><strong>Average Price</strong>: <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=87981" target="_blank">$46.69 per person</a></p> <p>Concert tickets all depend on who you are going to see and which tickets you get (unobstructed or obstructed view). For instance, impressing your date with tickets to a Taylor Swift concert will set you back <a href="http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2016/01/12/the-20-most-expensive-concert-tickets-of-2015/" target="_blank">$110.15 a ticket</a>.</p> <h2>Broadway Show</h2> <p><strong>Average Price</strong>: <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/198306/average-paid-admission-at-broadway-shows-since-2006/" target="_blank">$105.68 a ticket</a></p> <p>Now, this is only appropriate if you are<em> really</em> trying to impress your date. With an average ticket price of $105.68, Broadway shows should be saved for <em>very</em> special occasions. The price will depend on what you go to see. For instance, a ticket to Hamilton could cost $300, while a ticket to Jitney could be <a href="http://www.broadwayworld.com/grosses.cfm?sortby=topticket&amp;orderby=desc" target="_blank">around $55</a>.</p> <h2>Baby Sitter</h2> <p><strong>Average Price</strong>: <a href="http://www.care.com/child-care-babysitting-cost-p1145-q22781.html" target="_blank">$10 an hour</a></p> <p>If you have a child at home, you can expect to spend a hefty amount on a baby sitter. The average cost of a baby sitter, per hour, in New York City is $15+, so the price will vary depending on where you live, who you hire, and the agreement you set with the sitter. As an alternative, consider asking another parent to baby-sit your child for a night at no charge, and tell them you will return the favor later by baby-sitting their child for free.</p> <h2>Gifts</h2> <p><strong>Average Price</strong>: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/19/holiday-spending-significant-other_n_6263910.html" target="_blank">$92.50 per occasion</a></p> <p>Once you find that special someone, you'll need to start worrying about the costs of gifts on special occasions. The average American spends only <a href="http://www.match.com/magazine/article/12273/The-Hidden-Costs-Of-Dating/" target="_blank">$25 per year on flowers</a>, but can expect to spend an average of <a href="http://time.com/money/4213074/valentines-day-spending/" target="_blank">$146.84 on Valentine's Day gifts</a>. Gifts for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions can take a hefty chunk out of your budget.</p> <p>According to Huffington Post, Americans spend an average of $92.50 per special occasion on their new love. They also found that people spend an additional $21 on gifts for each additional year of their relationship.</p> <h2>Dating Sites</h2> <p><strong>Average Price</strong>: $0&ndash;$60 per month</p> <p>Match.com is $41.99 per month, eHarmony.com is $60 per month, True.com is $50 per month, Tinder is free (unless you sign up for premium services, which range from $2.99&ndash;$34.99), and Bumble is free (again, unless you sign up for premium services, which range from $2.99&ndash;$35.99). You can save a lot of money by signing up for longer periods of time, like six or 12 months. Many dating sites, like Match.com, also offer free options with limited capabilities.</p> <p>When it comes to dating sites and apps, there are distinct differences in the quality of the service and potential suitors, so cost shouldn't be your only factor. For instance, PlentyOfFish and OKCupid are free, but they don't offer the same matching abilities or photo quality as a service like Match or eHarmony. The people on PlentyOfFish also aren't usually as devoted to finding that special someone for life, as compared to someone on Match or eHarmony.</p> <p>As an alternative, try meeting someone in real life. After all, only 5% of Americans in a marriage or committed relationship actually <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/02/29/5-facts-about-online-dating/" target="_blank">met their significant other online</a>. Studies continue to show that couples <a href="https://mic.com/articles/112062/the-way-most-people-meet-their-significant-others-is-not-what-you-think#.0PkKUQZ83" target="_blank">most often meet each other</a> through work, friends in common, or in social settings, so just put yourself out there more.</p> <h2>The Cost of &quot;Ghosting&quot;</h2> <p><strong>Average Price</strong>: Your love life?</p> <p>If you decide that the cost of dating sites is just too much, consider the cost to your love life if you disappear from the app completely. If you start &quot;ghosting,&quot; it can end very badly. In fact, it often leads to even more confrontation than if you were just honest from the start. Take advantage of the sites and apps you subscribe to, while you still can.</p> <p>On the other end of the spectrum, if you take your special someone on a horrible date, you risk getting &quot;ghosted&quot; yourself. Getting ignored can really take a toll on one's confidence and lead to hurt feelings, so observe the golden rule and avoid ghosting. Just remember, a good date doesn't have to be an expensive one. Take them somewhere meaningful, dress and act the part, and find ways to impress your date without going broke.</p> <h2>Alternative Date Ideas</h2> <p>Ask your date what they would like to do. Going to the movies and dinner can be fun, but most people have other ideas for a better date night. Here are some ideas to get you thinking.</p> <ul> <li>Go for a hike or walk through your area. Show your date some of your favorite areas.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Get active with canoeing, miniature golfing, ice skating, rock climbing, paddle boating, paddle boarding, biking&hellip;the list goes on and on. Find out what your date is interested in and take advantage. It's cheaper, more meaningful, and can help you burn some calories.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Visit a museum during the day and time when it is cheapest. Most museums offer free admission on a particular day of the week. You can observe some local culture and will have plenty to talk about with your date.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Instead of going out for dinner, consider going out for coffee instead. After all, why spend something like $90 on a first date, when you're not even sure that they're worth dating long-term? With a coffee date, you can get to know each other in a more comfortable setting. A picnic is also ultraromantic, affordable, and memorable.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Go dancing at a bar or take dance classes, which start as low as $12 per person.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Go for a free wine or liquor tasting in your area.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Take advantage of outdoor movie events (like free movies in the park).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Take advantage of free local tours or free tour apps.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Find a Groupon date that you both want to take advantage of. Give your date some options so they'll be able to pick what interests them most.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-modern-love">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/how-much-a-breakdown-of-concert-ticket-prices">How Much?! A Breakdown of Concert Ticket Prices</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/how-much-should-you-actually-be-spending-on-a-date">How Much Should You Actually Be Spending on a Date?</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/10-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays">10 Ways to Tidy Up Your Finances Before the Holidays</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/never-pay-for-a-redbox-dvd-rental-again">Never Pay for a RedBox DVD Rental Again</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/25-great-movies-about-money">25 Great Movies About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Entertainment concerts dates Dating dinners gifts going out movies significant others Spending Money tickets Mon, 13 Feb 2017 10:00:16 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1889311 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Save on Dinner — No Meal Planning Required http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-dinner-no-meal-planning-required <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-save-on-dinner-no-meal-planning-required" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-500927193.jpg" alt="Man saving on dinner with no meal planning required" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you find yourself barraged with advice about the money-saving power of meal planning, but lack the ability to stick with it? You're not alone. By the time Wednesday rolls around, you may not be feeling energetic enough to whip up that recipe that is on the menu board. Instead, there is the temptation of takeout. But that's where we blow the food budget, folks. It's really hard to stay on track if you give up on cooking. Instead, try these eight cost-cutting meal ideas and tricks to give yourself an &quot;out&quot; if you need to veer off the meal-planning track.</p> <h2>1. Have Breakfast for Dinner</h2> <p>Rough day? Throw on your sweats and fry some eggs. Kids, just as much as adults, love the comfort factor of <em>brinner</em>. They'll be happy with pancakes and bacon, but if you need a little more adult fare, whip up an omelet to serve with crusty French bread. Pair with a glass of white wine. Enjoy!</p> <h2>2. Get Weekly Meals in a Box</h2> <p><a href="https://track.flexlinkspro.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.138151593&amp;foc=1&amp;fot=9999&amp;fos=1" target="_blank">Blue Apron</a>, <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11292017-1439826671000" target="_blank">Hello Fresh</a>, <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-12605037-1465591711000" target="_blank">Home Chef</a> and <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-11891629-1439420197000" target="_blank">Plated</a> are a few of the new meal-prep services. If making it through the week on your own meal-planning power is proving to be too much, try the treat of having a few meals a week delivered. It will be a healthier option than fast food, cheaper than ordering in from a local restaurant, and there is an element of fun involved in unpacking those boxes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-meal-prep-subscription-boxes-worth-it?ref=seealso">Are Meal Subscription Boxes Worth It?</a>)</p> <h2>3. Join a Meal Planning Service</h2> <p>Some enjoy finding fun meals to try on Pinterest or in magazines, but for others, that isn't a fun pursuit. Solution? Try a meal-planning site. There are free ones, like <a href="http://mealplannerpro.com/recipe-search-engine" target="_blank">mealplannerpro.com</a> or <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/eatingwell_menu_planner" target="_blank">eatingwell.com</a>, as well a low-cost ones ($4.95 a month) like <a href="https://5dollarmealplan.com/join-today-v2/?ap_id=wisebread" target="_blank">5dollarmealplan.com</a>, which will even make your grocery list for you.</p> <h2>4. Check Your Grocer's Freezer</h2> <p>Last night, thanks to Safeway's excellent frozen food section, I whipped up a very passable Chinese dinner for four for just $14.88. That's hard to beat! The days of Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes are long gone, as today's frozen foods are very good and easy to reheat.</p> <h2>5. Cook Once, Eat Twice</h2> <p>Tonight I'm making a pot roast. The leftover meat will go into a stroganoff on Wednesday, and the rest of the meat and potatoes into a hash on Friday. Those second and third meals are much easier to make, too. Try picking up a rotisserie chicken for one night, and use the extra chicken to make chicken tacos, and maybe make chicken soup toward the end of the week.</p> <h2>6. Create Your Own &quot;Fast&quot; Food</h2> <p>Do your kids want hamburgers or pizza? Make some frozen turkey burgers. Pizza is fun for kids to make, and it's really easy now with ready-made crusts (Pillsbury has a whole-wheat artisan crust that is pretty good). Let the kids add their favorite toppings, toss a salad, and save the cost of going out.</p> <h2>7. Stock Your Pantry</h2> <p>Keep some good staples on hand in your pantry and freezer, and dinner will go together quickly. With spaghetti, bacon, peas, cheese, and cream, you can whip up a fast carbonara. Canned beans, veggies, and tomatoes can become an instant vegetarian chili.</p> <h2>8. Invest in Quality Appliances</h2> <p>Maybe it's time to try using a <a href="http://amzn.to/2l7dLMg" target="_blank">slow cooker</a> or a <a href="http://amzn.to/2kbvGnw" target="_blank">pressure cooker</a>. With a slow cooker, you can toss everything in before you go to work, and come home to a piping hot, delicious meal. I only recently purchased a pressure cooker, and now can make chili, spaghetti, or even ribs in less than 30 minutes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</a>)</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-ways-to-save-on-dinner-no-meal-planning-required">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/12-delicious-ways-to-go-meatless-for-the-newly-vegetarian">12 Delicious Ways to Go Meatless for the Newly Vegetarian</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/how-to-save-a-ton-by-eating-soup-every-day-and-never-get-bored">How to Save a Ton by Eating Soup Every Day (and Never Get Bored!)</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-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch">5 Easy Ways to Save on Groceries in a Pinch</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-9-easiest-food-budget-wins">The 9 Easiest Food Budget Wins</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/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Food and Drink affordable meals budget dinners cheap meals dinner ideas dinners family dinner meal planning saving money Thu, 09 Feb 2017 11:00:07 +0000 Marla Walters 1888424 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-518145080.jpg" alt="make these delicious recipes in your instant pot" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So many people purchased <a href="http://amzn.to/2hpIS7k" target="_blank">Instant Pot electric pressure cookers</a> on Black Friday that Amazon warehouse pickers are sick of the sight of them.</p> <p>The sale was an especially good deal when you realize the many ways this versatile tool can help you save money. The countertop device is advertised as a seven-in-one tool because, besides pressure cooking, it also serves as a slow cooker, a rice maker, a yogurt maker, a steamer, and a warmer.</p> <p>I&rsquo;m one of the folks who bought an Instant Pot on sale, and I&rsquo;m quickly learning how to make it pay for itself by helping me create frugal meals and avoid food waste. Many of these recipes could be made in any pressure cooker, but one thing I appreciate about the Instant Pot is that you can brown or saute items in it as well, making for fewer pans to wash after dinner.</p> <h2>1. Eat a Homemade Breakfast on the Way to Work</h2> <p>Cooking up portable breakfasts in advance is all well and good for the type of people who plan ahead, but what about the rest of us? With the Instant Pot, your breakfast can cook while you shower, and be ready by the time you head out the door.</p> <p>The first recipe many new Instant Pot owners try is <a href="http://www.hippressurecooking.com/cracked-soft-medium-and-hard-boiled-eggs-in-the-pressure-cooker/" target="_blank">hard boiled eggs</a>. This takes less than 15 minutes from fridge to cool, easily-peelable eggs, and you don&rsquo;t have to worry about disasters like forgotten egg explosions.</p> <h2>2. No Soup Line for You</h2> <p>At $3 to $5, a paper cylinder of hot soup from the deli can be an easy lunch solution. But an Instant Pot and a Thermos or microwave can set you up almost as easily, for a far lower cost per serving.</p> <p>Do you spend 30 minutes walking from your desk to the deli, standing in line, and then returning with your soup? Because that&rsquo;s all this <a href="http://dontmesswithmama.com/instant-pot-minestrone-soup-gluten-free-real-food/#" target="_blank">hearty minestrone</a> takes to make, including prep time. And during that time, you can make enough for the whole week&rsquo;s lunches.</p> <h2>3. Drive Past the Drive Through</h2> <p>You know the kind of night I&rsquo;m talking about: You got stopped on your way out the door by a coworker with a question and missed your train. Your kids have practices in three different places. This would have been a great night to eat something out of the freezer, if only you had thought to defrost anything. Dinner is likely to come in a paper bag with fries.</p> <p>But wait! The blog Once a Month Meals has a whole section on how to defrost and heat frozen meals in your IP, like this <a href="https://onceamonthmeals.com/recipes/instant-pot-honey-bourbon-chicken-traditional-version/" target="_blank">honey bourbon chicken</a> that you can put in the pot frozen solid, set for 25 minutes, leave to drop off your kids, then leave on the &ldquo;warm&rdquo; setting all evening as people come in and out to eat.</p> <h2>4. Break the Rotisserie Cycle</h2> <p>A rotisserie chicken can be a godsend to a busy family, but there is a less expensive way. You can throw a fresh or frozen whole chicken into your IP and sit down to a <a href="http://retrohousewifegoesgreen.com/2016/10/instant-pot-whole-frozen-chicken/" target="_blank">chicken dinner within an hour</a>. No basting, and no worries about leaving the oven on if you need to leave the house. (For safety, though, stick around during the period when <a href="http://www.pressurecookrecipes.com/instant-pot-pressure-cooker-safety-101/" target="_blank">the IP is getting up to pressure</a>.)</p> <h2>5. Use Dried Beans Instead of Canned</h2> <p>Dried beans are consistently one of the most frugal healthy foods in the grocery store, but canned beans are so much faster that many of us ignore the bags of dried. The IP can fix that. If you&rsquo;ve soaked the beans overnight, you can put the uncooked beans right into this <a href="http://www.melskitchencafe.com/pressure-cooker-chicken-and-black-bean-chili/" target="_blank">chicken and black bean chili recipe</a> and eat it within an hour. If you didn&rsquo;t soak, you can spend about half an hour prepping the beans in the IP before you start the chili recipe. Soaking isn&rsquo;t strictly necessary, but it makes the beans more tender.</p> <h2>6. Make Indian Fakeout</h2> <p>Kori Lusignan, who blogs at Misery Loves Cookery, created this <a href="http://miserylovescookery.com/2016/12/13/instant-pot-dal-indian-lentils/" target="_blank">dal recipe for her Instant Pot</a>, giving her family a quick and cheap way to satisfy their jonesing for Indian food. Pair it with this <a href="http://www.yummly.co/recipe/Pressure-Cooker-Chicken-Korma-978763?columns=5" target="_blank">chicken korma</a> and rice, both of which you can also make in the IP. How to make multiple dishes for one meal in one appliance? Some folks buy <a href="http://amzn.to/2hpER2J" target="_blank">extra inserts</a>, so they can take the first dish out when done and start the next without having to wash up.</p> <h2>7. Use Up Vegetables That Would Otherwise Go Bad</h2> <p>If you receive a regular farm share box of produce each week like I do, it can be daunting to use everything before it starts to wilt. One way my Instant Pot has helped me with this: After I cook a meal, before washing the pot, I&rsquo;ll throw together another meal with similar flavors, using whatever vegetables I have on hand, and let it cook while I clean the kitchen and put my kids to bed. By my bedtime, I have a pot of food for the refrigerator or that I can pull out to serve tomorrow night, or eat for lunch. I can even refrigerate and reheat it right in the Instant Pot&rsquo;s liner pan.</p> <p>Since I currently have some broccoli and carrots to use up, I&rsquo;m going to try making <a href="http://www.pressurecookerdiaries.com/pressure-cooker-recipes/how-to-make-risotto-pressure-cooker-broccoli-risotto/" target="_blank">pressure cooker broccoli risotto</a> after dinner tonight. If you get vegetables that seem daunting to cook conventionally, <a href="http://miserylovescookery.com/2016/11/06/artichokes-deliciously-under-pressure/" target="_blank">like artichokes</a>, the Instant Pot might be the ticket to avoiding procrastination that ends in the garbage bin.</p> <h2>8. Make Stock</h2> <p>A great way to keep old vegetables, meat, bones, and even vegetable peelings from going to waste is to throw them in a stock pot. But stovetop stocks require you to be home for hours, occasionally stirring the pot. With an Instant Pot, you can make <a href="http://www.budgetbytes.com/2016/03/make-instant-pot-chicken-stock/" target="_blank">delicious stock in one hour</a>. It's so easy, Instant Pot enthusiasts quickly run out of leftovers, which is probably why a member of the IP Facebook community recently posted a photo of a bag of chicken feet she was about to turn into broth.</p> <h2>9. Reduce the Chinese Takeout Bill</h2> <p>Some Chinese restaurants don&rsquo;t charge for rice, but others do. If you like brown rice like we do at my house, that can cost even more. But remember: Your Instant Pot is a rice cooker, too. Start your own <a href="http://instantpot.com/cooking-time/rice-and-grains/" target="_blank">white or brown rice in the cooker</a> when you order your takeout, and you should have perfect rice by the time the doorbell rings.</p> <h2>10. Give Leftovers New Life</h2> <p>Just straight-up <a href="http://gnowfglins.com/2016/10/19/reheat-food-instant-pot-aw047/" target="_blank">reheating a meal</a> in the Instant Pot can be easier than doing it in the microwave, where you often have to open the door to stir and sometimes have the whole thing overflow and make a mess. You can even put glass or ceramic dishes into the IP to heat up multiple items at once. You can use the steam, saute, or even slow cook functions to reheat, depending on the food.</p> <p>But maybe your family, like mine, balks at eating the same dish two days in a row. Or maybe you have only a few ounces of meat left from your pot roast and are wondering what to do with it. This Instant Pot <a href="http://omnivorescookbook.com/instant-pot-rice-pilaf" target="_blank">rice pilaf</a> is an example of how you can take yesterday&rsquo;s food, mix it with something new &mdash; in this case, rice &mdash; hit a button, and have a flavorful new meal in minutes. The pressure cooker&rsquo;s way of infusing flavors throughout the whole dish makes this more successful than other attempts to refresh leftovers.</p> <h2>11. Make Your Own Yogurt</h2> <p>Yogurt can be a healthy snack for kids and adults alike, but commercial yogurts can be both expensive and over-sugared. The Instant Pot can turn milk plus a little starter into <a href="http://www.teamyogurt.com/posts/2016/3/30/making-yogurt-in-an-instant-pot-is-it-worth-it" target="_blank">yogurt overnight</a>, and you can even make it in individual jars so it&rsquo;s somewhat portable. (As long as the person carrying it is old enough to responsibly handle glass.)</p> <p>As with many things, the amount of money you can save by making your own yogurt increases as you move up the quality chain. You might score portable cups of store-brand yogurt on sale for 30 cents each, which would be tough to beat in your own kitchen. But if you enjoy premium, organic Greek yogurts, or if you want to customize your yogurt, homemade can pay off. For instance, one gallon of milk can make the equivalent of four 32 oz. containers of yogurt. If you pay $6 for a gallon of organic milk, that&rsquo;s like paying $1.50 per container of yogurt, while the same amount of organic yogurt might run for $6 at the grocery store.</p> <h2>12. Make Special Diets More Affordable</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;ve gone paleo or vegan, and are also busy, you could spend a fortune on specially prepared foods. Or, you could use your Instant Pot to make the specialized foods at home.</p> <p>The paleo recipes for Instant Pot on the Internet are so bountiful that I have used some of them myself, even though there is not a paleo bone in my body. I loved this <a href="https://paleopot.com/recipe/super-fast-instant-pot-sweet-potato-mash/" target="_blank">sweet potato mash</a> from PaleoPot because you don&rsquo;t have to dice anything &mdash; you can throw in whole or sliced sweet potatoes and go. And hello, bone broth? The blog Stupid Easy Paleo recommends simmering bones on the stove top for up to 48 hours &mdash; or <a href="http://stupideasypaleo.com/2014/07/23/bone-broth-101-how-to-make-best-broth/" target="_blank">in the Instant Pot for two hours</a>. If you were making bone broth every week as the author does, which would you choose?</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F12%2520Instant%2520Pot%2520Recipes%2520That%2520Will%2520Save%2520You%2520Money.jpg&amp;description=12%20Instant%20Pot%20Recipes%20That%20Will%20Save%20You%20Money"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/12%20Instant%20Pot%20Recipes%20That%20Will%20Save%20You%20Money.jpg" alt="12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money">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/beer-donuts-and-11-other-recipes-you-can-make-with-beer">Beer Donuts and 11 Other Recipes You Can Make With Beer</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/8-money-saving-hacks-for-those-who-hate-cooking">8 Money-Saving Hacks for Those Who Hate Cooking</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/16-simple-kitchen-skills-every-frugal-person-should-master">16 Simple Kitchen Skills Every Frugal Person Should Master</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-cheap-and-easy-meals-that-make-even-better-leftovers">10 Cheap and Easy Meals That Make Even Better Leftovers</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/5-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch">5 Easy Ways to Save on Groceries in a Pinch</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Cooking dinners instant pot meal planning pressure cooker recipes slow cooker Wed, 21 Dec 2016 10:31:36 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1858985 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Foods You Need in Your "Emergency" Pantry http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-you-need-in-your-emergency-pantry <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-foods-you-need-in-your-emergency-pantry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/canned_goods_food_84457581.jpg" alt="Foods you need in your emergency pantry" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nothing will throw a monkey wrench into your food budget faster than eating out. There are those nights, though, when payday isn't until tomorrow, or when you just don't have time to put together a perfectly balanced meal. Rather than blow your budget altogether, try keeping these staples on hand for quick, inexpensive meals. They also taste good, so you won't feel deprived and be tempted to pick up fast food. Here are 10 pantry, freezer, or refrigerated items to have around.</p> <h2>1. Cans of Tuna</h2> <p>A classic <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/classic-nicoise-salad-recipe.html">tuna niçoise</a> will make you feel like you're eating elegantly, and it's also healthy. I find I can &quot;cheat&quot; and substitute several of the ingredients, i.e. russet potatoes for the red potatoes, frozen green beans for fresh, or plain old chopped tomatoes for the fancier versions.</p> <h2>2. A Bag of Potatoes</h2> <p>I keep a sack of baking potatoes in my cupboard. Not only do they keep well, in a cool, dry place, but they are dirt cheap. Need an inexpensive meal? Bake some potatoes and get creative with the toppings. In fact, that's what we're having tonight: potatoes topped with some chopped ham I found in the freezer, last night's leftover broccoli, a few mushrooms, a handful of olives, and some grated cheddar.</p> <p>Want something a little more elegant? Slice those potatoes and make <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/240290/moms-scalloped-potatoes/?internalSource=staff%20pick&amp;referringId=1548&amp;referringContentType=recipe%20hub&amp;clickId=cardslot%202">scalloped potatoes</a>. Add a little ham to make it a main dish, or a vegetarian version, using mushrooms.</p> <h2>3. A Carton of Eggs</h2> <p>E<a href="https://www.verywell.com/easy-eggs-florentine-2241721">ggs Florentine</a> sounds pretty fancy, but it's really very easy and appealing. Keep a box of frozen spinach in your freezer, and you can make this in 15 minutes.</p> <p>We ate huevos rancheros so often while saving for our first house that we couldn't eat them for 10 years afterward. However, that wore off, and we happily make them again, now &mdash; especially when I haven't had time to go to the store.</p> <h2>4. A Box of Spaghetti</h2> <p>If you have a jar of sauce around, your family can be eating spaghetti in about 20 minutes. While that's delicious, you might also try <a href="http://damndelicious.net/2014/03/29/spaghetti-carbonara/">spaghetti carbonara,</a> which combines spaghetti with bacon, Parmesan, and eggs. I like to toss some frozen peas in the spaghetti water, as they add color and fiber.</p> <p>Have extra, cooked, spaghetti around? Try <a href="http://video.bonappetit.com/watch/spaghetti-pie-the-best-way-to-use-pasta-leftovers">spaghetti pie</a>, which will quickly become your new favorite comfort food.</p> <h2>5. A Bag of Frozen Peppers and Onions</h2> <p>Defrost, saute, and add some rinsed black beans; spoon into tortilla shells for burritos. Top with sour cream or unsweetened Greek yogurt. Or, defrost, saute, add some bottled teriyaki sauce, and serve over rice. (Toss in a little chicken or leftover meat, if you have it around.)</p> <h2>6. Frozen Shrimp</h2> <p>You can even serve frozen shrimp if you have company, because it dresses up so nicely. Here is an easy garlic shrimp:</p> <p><em>Ingredients:</em></p> <ul> <li>2 pounds frozen shrimp</li> <li>&frac14; cup of butter</li> <li>&frac14; cup chopped parsley</li> <li>2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped</li> </ul> <p><em>Method:</em></p> <p>Cook shrimp in boiling water and drain. Melt butter and saute garlic. Add drained shrimp and sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve over rice. This is also nice with broccoli and some garlic bread on the side.</p> <p>Got a can of cream of mushroom soup around? Take that frozen shrimp and you are halfway to <a href="http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/shrimp-newburg">shrimp Newburg</a>. I like to add a tablespoon of sherry to the sauce. This is a perfect &quot;date night&quot; meal.</p> <h2>7. Jars of Marinara Sauce</h2> <p>Jarred sauce is perfect to go with the aforementioned spaghetti, but it's also versatile.</p> <p>Spoon over English muffins, top with sliced olives and cheese, and broil for quick mini-pizzas. Kids love these. Add sauce to browned chicken breasts, cover, and simmer until cooked through. Great over noodles for a fake cacciatore.</p> <h2>8. Frozen Pizza</h2> <p>Five years ago, I would not have made this recommendation, but the quality (and number of choices) of frozen pizza has greatly improved. For just $5, I can get a pretty darn good pizza. You can also dress up a plain cheese frozen pizza with chopped artichokes, olives, salami, or whatever you like. They will never beat my favorite pizzeria, but in a pinch, they're fine.</p> <h2>9. Canned Beans</h2> <p>My friend turned me onto this tasty <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/22919/insanely-easy-vegetarian-chili/">vegetarian chili</a> recipe, which goes together quickly with kidney beans from the pantry. We like it with cornbread or tortilla chips. Or, go a little more elegant with this <a href="http://fakeginger.com/risotto-with-caramelized-onions-mushrooms-and-chickpeas/">risotto with caramelized onions, mushrooms, and chickpeas.</a> It sounds complicated, but the ingredients are all relatively inexpensive. And I bet you have most of these ingredients in your pantry already.</p> <h2>10. Soup</h2> <p>Here is the great thing about broth, whether canned or frozen, you are only moments from hearty soup. Leftover vegetables, rice or noodles, beans, cooked meat &mdash; toss it all in and let it simmer.</p> <p>Stock up on soups, which are one of the fastest things around to make for dinner. Plus, there is nothing like a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-delicious-dishes-you-can-make-with-a-can-of-tomato-soup">bowl of tomato soup</a> and a grilled cheese sandwich on a rainy day!</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/10-foods-you-need-in-your-emergency-pantry">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/8-essentials-you-need-in-your-emergency-home-food-bank">8 Essentials You Need in Your Emergency Home Food Bank</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/flashback-friday-119-amazing-meals-you-can-make-from-a-can">Flashback Friday: 119 Amazing Meals You Can Make From a Can</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-sleek-marketing-ploys-aimed-at-getting-more-of-your-grocery-money">5 Sleek Marketing Ploys Aimed at Getting More of Your Grocery Money</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/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries</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/10-healthy-ways-to-have-ice-cream-for-breakfast">10 Healthy Ways to Have Ice Cream for Breakfast</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Food and Drink canned food canned goods dinners emergency food emergency fund Food frugal living pantry Tue, 27 Sep 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Marla Walters 1800744 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money-Saving Hacks for Those Who Hate Cooking http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-for-those-who-hate-cooking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-saving-hacks-for-those-who-hate-cooking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_making_pizza_63266135_0.jpg" alt="Couple who hate cooking learning money-saving hacks" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Cooking at home is one of the top ways to keep your budget in check. While cooking and eating at home is a wonderful idea, it is also a daunting one for those who hate to cook (and those who hate to clean up afterward). Worry no more. These hacks will save you money on eating out, while also saving you time and cleanup anxiety.</p> <h2>1. Befriend the Crock-Pot</h2> <p>Crock-Pots are popular with older generations of moms of multiple kids, but what about everyone else? Whether you are single, a family of two, or a family of many, a <a href="http://amzn.to/2bKkRSW">Crock-Pot</a> can be the perfect timesaving tool. Use <a href="http://amzn.to/2bKl4pr">Crock-Pot liners</a>, and you won't even have to scrub your cooking dish afterward.</p> <p>Crock-Pot cooking doesn't have to be complicated or bland. Pinterest is full of recipes (and so is <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-cheap-and-easy-crock-pot-recipes?ref=internal">Wise Bread</a>). Look for Crock-Pot dump ideas that you can assemble and freeze ahead of time. I regularly do this after I find meat on sale, and I am able to assemble 10 Crock-Pot dump meals in only 30 minutes.</p> <p>One easy and tasty option to get you started is to combine boneless, skinless chicken thighs with one package of cream cheese and one jar (16 oz.) of your favorite salsa. Cook on low for three to four hours. Shred the chicken and stir, and you have creamy chicken ready to eat for tacos, pasta, or just on its own.</p> <h2>2. Cook Once, Eat Twice (or Thrice)</h2> <p>Making a lasagna is time consuming. It can take almost 30 minutes to make a pan. However, if you make two or three pans of lasagna, surprisingly the time effort is not multiplied. The extra lasagna can be frozen and used at a later date, for up to three to six months.</p> <p>You can use this method for enchiladas, many casserole recipes, and more. This method doesn't have to be used just for main dishes. It can also be used for side dishes, such as rice and beans.</p> <h2>3. Embrace Convenient Groceries</h2> <p>There is no shame in buying frozen vegetables, canned beans, and pre-marinated meat. In fact, they make your job a lot easier. Buying items such as pre-chopped onions, microwaveable steamed vegetables, frozen brown rice, pre-made dough, and ready-to-cook meat costs more at the grocery store. However, paying a little more for the convenience will save you a lot more at the drive-thru window.</p> <p>Make sure you are buying convenient groceries that are still healthy instead of processed, cheap food. For example, frozen brown rice where rice is the only ingredient is a better choice than purchasing Rice-a-Roni.</p> <h2>4. Simple Meals Are Best</h2> <p>Ditch the fancy recipes and cookbooks. Your meals don't need to take a lot of time or have a lot of ingredients. Think of your meal in terms of protein + carb + vegetable. With this simple recipe, you can have a healthy and filling dinner in five to 10 minutes.</p> <p>See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-quick-dinners-for-lazy-cooks?ref=seealso">8 Quick Dinners for Lazy Cooks</a></p> <h2>5. Grill All Your Meat for the Week</h2> <p>My husband loves to grill, so I will take advantage of this by having him grill a week's worth of meat in one go. For him, this takes about 30&ndash;45 minutes. For me, it takes only a few minutes to season or pour a marinade over each meat. The meat can then be used in salads, soups, tacos, pizza, sandwiches, and more for the rest of the week.</p> <h2>6. Get Over the Leftover Mentality</h2> <p>I've heard so many people complain about eating leftovers, even to the point of avoiding them altogether. Eating leftovers doesn't mean you have to eat mushy casserole repeats each night. Instead, repurpose a meal into something new and simple. For example, if you eat chicken breasts one night for dinner, try taking the extra chicken and turn it into fajitas or barbecue chicken sandwiches. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-meals-that-make-terrific-leftovers?ref=seealso">11 Meals That Make Terrific Leftovers</a>)</p> <p>Many times getting over the ick factor of eating leftovers is just a mental game you need to conquer. The food still tastes good the next day. Even better, eating leftovers will save you money and time.</p> <h2>7. Don't Forget Other Helpful Kitchen Tools</h2> <p>The Crock-Pot gets a lot of praise in the kitchen, but don't forget to utilize a rice cooker, pressure cooker, and bread maker. A <a href="http://amzn.to/2bKoDvE">rice cooker</a> that can cook rice and steam vegetables at the same time does all the work for you while you prepare the meat. <a href="http://amzn.to/2beBoxo">Pressure cookers</a> are a pricier investment, but they can make tender meat and meals in very little time. Finally, a <a href="http://amzn.to/2bfpe7k">bread maker</a>, which is easy to find inexpensively second-hand, can be used to mix dough quickly for homemade pizza and rolls/biscuits (and of course bread).</p> <h2>8. Make Meal Prep Time Enjoyable</h2> <p>Whether you are cooking one meal or tackling freezer meals for the month, start off with an empty dishwasher. This will allow you to quickly clean as you go.</p> <p>Make sure to have all of the items you need out and ready to use. Combine tasks to save time. For example, open all of the cans at once or chop all of your vegetables together.</p> <p>Finally, listen to something fun. I love to listen to audiobooks while meal prepping, but you can also watch your favorite show on a laptop, listen to upbeat music, or watch YouTube videos.</p> <p>In the end, cooking and eating at home will save you money over purchasing fast food frequently. Even if you hate cooking, you can still enjoy the cost-saving benefits of eating at home without spending too much time in front of the oven or washing dishes.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite quick recipes to make when you don't feel like cooking?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-money-saving-hacks-for-those-who-hate-cooking&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Money-Saving%2520Hacks%2520for%2520Those%2520Who%2520Hate%2520Cooking.jpg&amp;description=8%20Money-Saving%20Hacks%20for%20Those%20Who%20Hate%20Cooking"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Money-Saving%20Hacks%20for%20Those%20Who%20Hate%20Cooking.jpg" alt="8 Money-Saving Hacks for Those Who Hate Cooking" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-for-those-who-hate-cooking">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/sous-vide-is-the-fancy-cooking-technique-that-saves-you-money-too">Sous Vide Is the Fancy Cooking Technique That Saves You Money, Too</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/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</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-alternative-ways-to-cook-outside">8 Alternative Ways to Cook Outside</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/5-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch">5 Easy Ways to Save on Groceries in a Pinch</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-feed-a-large-family-on-a-small-budget">How to Feed a Large Family on a Small Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Food and Drink batch cooking Cooking crock-pot dinners family meals food prep Grilling meal planning meal prep planning ahead Mon, 29 Aug 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1778734 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Smart Uses for Food That's About to Go Bad http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-uses-for-food-thats-about-to-go-bad <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-smart-uses-for-food-thats-about-to-go-bad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_herbs_kitchen_000057836846.jpg" alt="Woman finding smart uses for good that&#039;s about to go bad" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It happens all too often that we buy food that we don't get around to eating fast enough, and it ends up on the verge of spoiling. But all isn't lost when there's a soft spot in your fruits and veggies. Turn lemons into lemonade &mdash; literally &mdash; plus a few more edible hacks with these smart uses for food that's about to go bad.</p> <h2>1. Make Smoothies and Bread Out of Bananas, Zucchini, Sweet Potatoes, and Carrots</h2> <p>Banana bread is best when the bananas have been left on the counter to turn into black vessels of near mush &mdash; we all know that &mdash; but there are other fruits and vegetables that can be utilized in a similar manner before they're completely wasted.</p> <p>Zucchini, sweet potatoes, carrots, and spinach all can be salvaged for smoothies, and in some cases, like zucchini, baked goods. I can't give you my grandma's recipe for the latter &mdash; she'd have my head &mdash; but you can try somebody else's grandma's recipe for moist, delicious, <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/6698/moms-zucchini-bread/">spicy zucchini bread</a>.</p> <p>As for the smoothies, it helps to have a <a href="http://amzn.to/1NWuFdJ">juicer</a> to separate the pulp when using carrots and spinach for smoothies, but you can strain it all the same, and many blenders these days can pulverize the ingredients so there's nary a stringy piece in the drink. I always recommend the <a href="http://amzn.to/26TUnpA">Ninja brand</a>, but another may work better for you.</p> <h2>2. Make Vegetable Stock From Near-the-End Veggies</h2> <p>If you have a crisper full of veggies that are on their last leg, turn them into a stock that you can freeze and use later in soups and other recipes.</p> <p>&quot;You can save all the bits and ends from vegetables you've trimmed throughout the week (stems of broccoli or leafy greens, ends of carrots, garlic and onions, soft tomatoes, or wilted greens), gradually adding to a freezer bag, and when it's full you'll be ready to start a new batch of veggie stock,&quot; says Rebecca Lewis, HelloFresh's in-house registered dietician. Here's a recipe:</p> <h3>Ingredients:</h3> <ul> <li>2&ndash;3 pounds vegetable peels (enough to fill a 1 gallon freezer bag). Suggested vegetables: onions and garlic (including skins), peeled carrots, fennel, celery, leafy greens (kale, Swiss chard, mustard greens), and herbs</li> <li>12 cups water</li> <li>1 bay leaf</li> <li>6&ndash;8 peppercorns</li> <li>1 t salt</li> </ul> <h3>Method:</h3> <p>Empty the gallon baggie of veggie trimmings into a large stock pot along with the bay leaf and peppercorns. Add eight cups of water and see where your water level is. Remember it &mdash; this will be the level of where your stock will roughly be after reducing it. Then add the other four cups of water and the salt.</p> <p>Bring to a slow simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to maintain the simmer, keeping the pot uncovered. When the liquid has reduced to the point you recalled earlier, taste the stock. If it doesn't seem concentrated enough, simmer for another hour or two.</p> <p>Remove the stock from heat and strain through a colander. Squeeze all of the stock out of the veggies then discard the veggies. You should end up with roughly eight cups of concentrated stock.</p> <h2>3. Freeze Herbs in Olive Oil</h2> <p>I love cooking with fresh herbs, but it's annoying to buy a huge bunch when I only need a little for the recipe I'm making, like a chicken noodle soup. Parsley and cilantro are the major culprits in this dilemma, and cilantro, in my experience, tends to go bad much quicker than parsley.</p> <p>To get the most herb for my money, I started chopping them up all at once when I get home (or when I first need them for a recipe). I put a bit of the chopped herbs in a plastic baggie in the fridge so I can cook with them throughout the week. I put the rest in ice cube trays with olive oil, place them in the freezer, and then transfer the frozen cubes to a freezer bag for sautéing and other recipes later. This is a really simple and easy way to preserve your herbs instead of buying a new bunch every time and throwing half of it away.</p> <h2>4. Infuse Olive Oil With Herbs and Peppers</h2> <p>People pay a pretty penny for flavored olive oils at fancy gourmet supermarkets, but you can make your own at home by putting your on-the-verge-of-spoiling herbs and peppers in the bottle for preservation and flavor. Let it sit for at least a week for maximum flavor, and either use them in your own cooking or give them as gifts if they're in a presentable bottle.</p> <h2>5. Place Vanilla Bean Pods in Sugar</h2> <p>If you have an unused vanilla bean after a round of baking &mdash; this is particularly useful at holiday time &mdash; consider adding them to your sugar to enhance its flavor. You can place the pods directly in the sugar or slice them open and scrape out the insides and mix them in the sugar. If you want to do it the easy way, just put the pods in the sugar and let them sit for two weeks. Your sugar will have an amazing vanilla taste and scent.</p> <h2>6. Put on a Pot of &quot;Peasant Stew&quot;</h2> <p>I'm not a huge fan of soups and stews &mdash; I'm a very picky eater and totally &quot;anti-chunk&quot; in my food (my fellow finicky foodies know what I'm talking about) &mdash; but cookbook author Cynthia MacGregor's idea of taking just about anything you have lying around the kitchen and making a meal out of it before it goes bad seems pretty ingenious. She didn't invent it, of course, but it sure sounds like she's perfected it.</p> <p>&quot;Ideally you'll start saving food for a peasant soup/stew as you go along, freezing whatever will freeze well,&quot; she says. &quot;When you have one or more foods that won't freeze well or have reached their outer limit, or you're just in a cookin' frame of mind, defrost what you've saved frozen &mdash; from complicated recipes down to simple simmered veggies &mdash; in a suitably large cooking vessel. Add whatever you want, from herbs to wine to chicken stock to garlic to onions to Worcestershire sauce to plain yogurt or sour cream &mdash; the list goes on.&quot;</p> <p>Got celery that's looking droopy? Toss it in. Got nothing crunchy in the fridge and you'd like to sink your teeth into something? Try a can of water chestnuts. Want color? Add a jar of pimentos. Looking to make the stew/soup more hearty? Add potatoes or, for a twist, yucca. Taste as it cooks.</p> <h2>7. Cut Old Bread Into Croutons and Bake</h2> <p>Instead of throwing away your stale bread, cut it into cubes, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and dried herbs if you'd like, and place it in the oven in a single layer on a baking sheet for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. You'll have perfectly crispy croutons every time. This hack is for stale bread only, by the way; moldy bread is not salvageable &mdash; just throw it away.</p> <h2>8. Puree Delicate Berries for Yogurt and Dessert Toppings</h2> <p>I have a love-hate relationship with berries &mdash; strawberries and raspberries, in particular &mdash; because they spoil so quickly. I've picked up raspberries from the market that have gone bad within 48 hours of purchase, and considering how expensive they can be, it's not something to which I look forward.</p> <p>Now, if I know I'm not able to eat the amount of berries I've purchased within that short window of time, I'll take a portion out for other purposes. One thing I like to do is mash up raspberries and mix them in my yogurt. If you do this and store them in an air-tight container, they last up to a few more days than if they were left in the fridge whole. As for other berries, like strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, I like to either boil them down with a bit of <a href="http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/blueberry-compote.html">water, sugar, and lemon juice</a>, which makes a nice, thick sauce for desserts or pancakes, or freeze them to throw in smoothies.</p> <h2>9. Make Patties or Fritters Out of Beans, Grains, and Shredded Meats</h2> <p>What to do with those little bits of beans, grains, and shredded meats that may not be substantial enough for a decent meal? Turn them into patties or fritters says Liza Baker, an integrative nutritional health coach.</p> <p>&quot;Cooked beans, vegetables, grains, and even flaked fish and shredded meat and poultry can be mixed with egg, some bread crumbs (gluten-free or not), and some herbs (dry or fresh) and/or spices and quickly browned in a little butter or olive oil (or ghee or coconut oil) and served on their own, on a bun, under an egg (poached or fried), or crumbled into a wrap,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>10. Use Old Lemons as a Cleaner</h2> <p>Lemons too soft and bitter for anything but the trash? Not so fast. Even if the lemon is past when it tastes its best, its lemony power can still be used to clean and sanitize surfaces in your home. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-use-your-food-that-dont-involve-eating?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Ways to Use Your Food That Don't Involve Eating</a>)</p> <p>&quot;If you have lemons that are going bad, they can be used as a cleaner,&quot; says money-saving enthusiast and blogger Karen Cordaway. &quot;If you have stains that are hard to get off of your pans or stove top, mix baking soda, vinegar (tablespoon of each), and some lemon to scrub off those stubborn stains. It works extremely well.&quot;</p> <p><em>How do you extend the life of your foods that are about to go bad? I'd love to hear some of your ideas in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-uses-for-food-thats-about-to-go-bad">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/beer-donuts-and-11-other-recipes-you-can-make-with-beer">Beer Donuts and 11 Other Recipes You Can Make With Beer</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/18-easy-and-delicious-recipes-for-your-dutch-oven">18 Easy and Delicious Recipes for Your Dutch Oven</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/these-10-simple-swaps-will-make-your-baking-so-much-better">These 10 Simple Swaps Will Make Your Baking So Much Better</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-delicious-ways-to-save-stale-bread">10 Delicious Ways to Save Stale Bread</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/11-smoothie-bowls-you-want-right-now">11 Smoothie Bowls You Want Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink baking desserts dinners food waste groceries herbs lemons recipes smoothies snacks stocks using up ingredients Thu, 12 May 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1705413 at http://www.wisebread.com The 9 Easiest Food Budget Wins http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-easiest-food-budget-wins <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-9-easiest-food-budget-wins" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_couple_cooking_000065817113.jpg" alt="Couple finding easiest food budget wins" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What I spend on food makes up a large part of my monthly budget, so it's great if I can save a little when I can. The problem is, the most frugal methods of cutting down your food budget &mdash; meal planning, couponing, bulk buying, bulk cooking &mdash; are difficult to sustain given a busy lifestyle and, to be frank, lack of interest. Honestly, I'd much rather be binge-watching Netflix than couponing or meal-planning, and I don't have enough storage space to stockpile a lot of bulk items.</p> <p>I've found that it's much easier for me to trim the budget here and there by using a few tricks. I can go crazy spending on restaurant meals, but limiting the number of times we dine out has helped our food budget tremendously. Many of these tips center around preparing meals easily and cheaply, without spending money at a restaurant.</p> <h2>1. Have Go-To Meals in the Pantry</h2> <p>How often do you get home at 6 p.m., only to realize you have no idea what to make for dinner, and you have no groceries in the fridge? When caught unawares, it's often easier to eat out or order in, but unfortunately, unplanned restaurant meals can add up quickly. Prevent last-minute splurges by keeping your pantry stocked with quick, easy-to-prepare, non-perishable, and cheap ingredients. Make sure you have at least three or four pantry-friendly meals you can call on in a pinch. Supplement this with frozen vegetables and a few frozen entrees like ravioli, meatballs, or salmon burgers.</p> <p>For example:</p> <ul> <li>Canned tuna + frozen spinach + spaghetti = tuna pasta<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Dried red split lentils + chicken broth + canned tomatoes = lentil soup<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Rice + canned beans + salsa = Mexican rice bowl (add a fried egg on top!)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Marinara sauce + frozen meatballs + frozen pineapple = Hawaiian meatballs<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Dried ramen or soba + dried seaweed + frozen edamame = veggie noodle bowl</li> </ul> <h2>2. Make a Shopping List</h2> <p>Making a shopping list doesn't have to be intimidating &mdash; we're not talking about planning your meals for the whole week. It's more about preventing that moment when you get home from the grocery store only to realize you forgot the ingredient you went there for in the first place. Instead of shopping by the seat of your pants, make a list. In fact, make a list throughout the week, by writing down ingredients that you are running out of or know you'll need. Use the last egg? Put eggs on the list. Use the last can of salsa? Put salsa on the list. That way, you won't need to make a special trip to the store when you find yourself without important staples.</p> <h2>3. Reduce Food Waste</h2> <p>Most of us lose a lot of money through food waste. Something looks good at the store, and it sits forgotten in the bottom of the crisper drawer for the next two weeks. Here are a few easy ways to cut down on food waste:</p> <ul> <li>Look in the fridge before you go to the store. Take note of what you already have and what needs to be used up.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Make a shopping list!<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use up leftovers for lunch the next day.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Only buy as much as you need. That giant bulk-size bag of chips might be a good value, but not if the chips go stale before you can eat them.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Make sure you can see at a glance what you have in the fridge &mdash; this might mean organizing or cleaning out your fridge.</li> </ul> <h2>4. Pack Your Lunch</h2> <p>Spending the extra time to prepare a lunch the night before work (or the morning of) can seem like a chore, but there are a few ways to make packing a lunch easier:</p> <ul> <li>Keep groceries at work. My husband recently started doing this and has cut down on eating out from five meals a week to one or two. He keeps a bag of bagels or wraps at the office, and stores packages of deli meat, sliced cheese, baby carrots, and hummus in the office fridge. He's definitely saving money, and can use his lunch break to go for a run or a swim instead of standing in line to order food.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Plan to cook a little more at dinner the night before, so you'll have leftovers to bring to work the next day.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Portion out easy-to-grab containers of sliced vegetables, hummus, fruit, and other lunch components at the beginning of the week to make the lunch-packing process faster and easier.</li> </ul> <h2>5. Have a Snack Before Shopping</h2> <p>It can be dangerous to shop on an empty stomach &mdash; everything looks so appetizing. Stop yourself from giving in to the temptation by having a nutritious and filling snack before you go to the store. Plus, you'll need energy to wrangle all those great deals you'll be finding!</p> <h2>6. Stock Up on Staples</h2> <p>When you see non-perishable staples that you know you'll use on sale, be sure to stock up. If pasta is on sale for 79 cents a package, buy as much as you think you'll use before it expires. Same goes for canned beans, canned tomatoes, and pasta sauce. Sometimes meat goes on sale &mdash; you can freeze a bunch for use later (though don't buy more than you'll use in a couple months). The key to stocking up, however, is to only buy what you know you will use. Don't fall into the trap of hoarding food just because it's cheap. You'll only end up wasting more food and money.</p> <h2>7. Cook What's Seasonal and Cheap</h2> <p>Instead of buying groceries based on a recipe you want to try, look for recipes based around what's seasonal and inexpensive at the grocery store. This is especially easy if you have a smartphone. I often check to see what meats and vegetables are on sale, then quickly browse the Internet to see what dishes I can make with them and if I need to pick up any extra ingredients.</p> <h2>8. Buy Cheaper Cuts of Meat</h2> <p>Learn to cook the cheaper (and often tougher) cuts of meat. A pork shoulder roast is one of the cheapest meats that you can buy, and can make a pot of pulled pork (or my favorite, kalua pork) in the slow cooker that will last you three or four days. Instead of going for the more expensive chicken breasts, try cooking with inexpensive chicken thighs. And instead of roasting a tender rack of lamb ribs, barbecue a few crosscut lamb leg steaks. Optimize a rotisserie chicken by eating the drumsticks and thighs for one meal, and using the breasts for another dish (we frequently do chicken and dumplings), as well as making soup with the bones.</p> <h2>9. Eat Less Meat</h2> <p>Meat or fish is usually the most expensive part of the meals I cook at home. Try designating one day (or more) for a meatless meal. Instead substitute vegetarian dishes, like chickpea curry, pasta primavera, or vegetarian pizza. Eggs can be bought very inexpensively &mdash; try making a veggie and egg scramble for dinner, a quiche or frittata, or an egg and potato salad.</p> <p><em>How do you keep your food budget low? Do you have any favorite tips or tricks?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-easiest-food-budget-wins">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/how-to-stop-the-takeout-meal-cycle-and-save">How to Stop the Takeout Meal Cycle and Save</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-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch">5 Easy Ways to Save on Groceries in a Pinch</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/13-ways-you-can-cut-grocery-expenses-today">13 Ways You Can Cut Grocery Expenses Today</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/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars">20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars</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-stay-on-budget-while-eating-paleo">How to Stay on Budget While Eating Paleo</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Food and Drink Shopping dinners food costs food waste groceries lunches meal planning seasonal Mon, 22 Feb 2016 11:00:12 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1659840 at http://www.wisebread.com The 10 Best Pieces of Cooking Advice From Julia Child http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-pieces-of-cooking-advice-from-julia-child <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-10-best-pieces-of-cooking-advice-from-julia-child" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_baking_000022265088.jpg" alt="Girl learning cooking advice from Julia Child" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Julia Child was an inspiration to many, and not just because the lady could cook. She didn't enroll in culinary school until she was 37 years old; to many, that's quite late in your life to begin a new career. And her first television cooking show, <em>The French Chef</em>, premiered on February 11th, 1964. At the time, Julia Child was 50, and it went on to become an enormous hit.</p> <p>What we can learn from Julia, beyond her incredible drive and ambition, is that it's never too late to change your life. And when it comes to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-classic-foods-we-miss">learning skills in the kitchen</a>, she was a very deep well of useful information. Here are 10 of the best pieces of cooking advice I learned from Julia, and still use to this day.</p> <h2>1. Use the Shake and Jerk Omelet Technique</h2> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RThnq3-d6PY" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>For years, my omelets were nothing to write home about. Basically, large flat discs of egg that, when cold, could be used as Frisbees. Then, I saw a video of Julia Child making an omelet that forever changed the way I made them. You need to have your burner on the highest setting, and get the pan very hot. Place a nob of butter in the pan, swirl it around, and add your whisked eggs. Then, you do the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&amp;v=RThnq3-d6PY#t=210">shake and jerk technique</a>. It literally takes seconds to make, and the omelet comes out incredibly light and smooth. It almost melts in the mouth. Try it.</p> <h2>2. Squeeze Your Spinach!</h2> <p>The title on this great clip says it all: &quot;<a href="http://www.wgbh.org/articles/Spinach-Cooking-Tip-Squeezing-It-Seems-Like-Sacrilege-6997">Squeezing it seems like sacrilege</a>.&quot; For many of us, the idea of treating a vegetable this way is abhorrent. You're crushing the life out of it, right? Well, not at all. After cooking your spinach, you have to get rid of all that water before you chop and braise it (butter-braised spinach will turn spinach haters into spinach lovers&hellip; trust me, I am a convert). If you don't, you'll end up with tasteless, watery mush. It's also vital to do this when you layer spinach in lasagna, or add it to a dip.</p> <h2>3. Pre-Cook Poached Eggs in Their Shells</h2> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KvSnUmU509k" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>I remember the mess my mum and dad's poached eggs would make in the pan; bits of egg white floating everywhere, and the end result was a very bizarre and misshapen set of eggs. Julia Child solved that little problem for me. You simply <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvSnUmU509k">prick the ends of your eggs</a> with a pin, to let the air escape, and then dip them in the boiling water for 10 seconds, with the shells on. Then, when you crack the eggs into the water, they will hold their shape incredibly well. And remember, add a splash of vinegar to your water, too.</p> <h2>4. Never Be Afraid to Fail</h2> <p>Not just a tip for the kitchen, but a tip for living your life. Julia Child stated, in no uncertain terms, that &quot;cooking is <a href="https://vimeo.com/6202899">one failure after another</a>, and that's how you finally learn.&quot; This should be something you embrace as you set out to cook anything, be it something as simple as the poached eggs mentioned above, or an elaborate dinner. Failing is just learning another way not to do something, and it can only make you a better chef.</p> <h2>5. Cut Up the Turkey Before Roasting</h2> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Afdh_i3Kmy0" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>I enjoy a whole roasted turkey at least twice a year&hellip; once on Thanksgiving, and again on Christmas Day. Some people prefer to change it up and have a different meat at Christmas, but it's turkey for me. Anyway, if you pick a particularly large bird, it can take four to five hours to cook the beast. However, using the <a href="https://youtu.be/Afdh_i3Kmy0?t=103">Julia Child method</a>, you can cut that time in half. What she does is separate the breasts from the legs and wings, and cooks them in the same pan. It's an awesome way to get the same tasty meal but much more quickly, and you can still assemble them to look like a whole bird at the table.</p> <h2>6. Sharpen Knives in Circles</h2> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dw0Ij1Fxgq4" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Most of us have a knife set in the kitchen, and that will include a sharpening steel. When you see chefs do it on TV, they do it so quickly it's hard to make out the technique they're using. But on just her second episode of <em>The French Chef</em>, Julia showed everyone just <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dw0Ij1Fxgq4&amp;feature=youtu.be&amp;t=164">how to sharpen a chef's knife</a> using a sharpening steel. The technique is one of holding the knife at a 20 degree angle and bringing it down the steel in a circle &mdash; NOT straight up and down. Do this on either side, and do it every time you use the knife, to keep it razor sharp. It has worked for me for years.</p> <h2>7. Add Oil to Your Butter When Sautéing</h2> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZqOzcndykQM" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>A simple tip, and it may seem obvious to many. But for years, I would try (and often fail) to cook food in butter without it turning brown and burning. As Julia explains, by <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqOzcndykQM&amp;feature=youtu.be&amp;t=154">adding a little oil</a> (peanut or olive) to unsalted butter, you fortify it, preventing it from burning. Do it every time, it's so great not to see your butter turning dark brown.</p> <h2>8. Test Baking Soda in Hot Water</h2> <p>Did you know baking soda has a life expectancy? Well, it does, and it's about six months. You can test your baking soda to ensure it is still active by simply adding a teaspoon of it to a cup of hot water. If you don't see it bubble and fizz, it's time to throw it out and get a new box.</p> <h2>9. Soak Your Potatoes Before Frying</h2> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XMqvMaXnzKc" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>I love chips, or as you prefer to say in America, French fries. From an early age, I remember seeing the cut up potatoes soaking in a big bowl of water several hours before my parents would fry them up. Julia Child advises you to do the same. By <a href="https://youtu.be/XMqvMaXnzKc?t=499">soaking the potatoes</a>, you remove the excess potato starch. This stops the fries from sticking together in the fryer, and also makes them come out crispy. Never fry freshly-cut, unsoaked potatoes. They just won't be very good.</p> <h2>10. Give Dough the Smackdown</h2> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VXDc2G1hnhs" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>If you don't bake your own bread, you're missing out. Aside from the incredible smell, and the taste of fresh, warm bread, it's also insanely cheap to make. French bread is a favorite of mine, and Julia Child teaches you <a href="https://youtu.be/VXDc2G1hnhs?t=302">how to make great dough</a>. The biggest lesson learned is that you really need to smack that bread down hard on the work surface. Really throw it down hard on the counter from a height, repeatedly. This, according to Julia, is the best way to get the gluten molecules to bond together, forming an elastic dough. And it's also great stress relief!</p> <p><em>Any tips from Julia Child that you rely on everyday?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-pieces-of-cooking-advice-from-julia-child">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/8-money-saving-hacks-for-those-who-hate-cooking">8 Money-Saving Hacks for Those Who Hate Cooking</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/flashback-friday-63-best-cooking-hacks-for-busy-people">Flashback Friday: 63 Best Cooking Hacks for Busy People</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/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</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/how-to-feed-a-large-family-on-a-small-budget">How to Feed a Large Family on a Small Budget</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/beer-donuts-and-11-other-recipes-you-can-make-with-beer">Beer Donuts and 11 Other Recipes You Can Make With Beer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink cooking tips dinners food hacks julia child meal prep Tue, 11 Aug 2015 09:00:15 +0000 Paul Michael 1515715 at http://www.wisebread.com 16 Classic Foods We Miss http://www.wisebread.com/16-classic-foods-we-miss <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/16-classic-foods-we-miss" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/roast_beef_dinner_000028744732.jpg" alt="Cooking and eating classic foods we miss" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before we go on this nostalgic journey featuring the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-convenience-foods-i-refuse-to-do-without">staple dishes</a> our parents served, I must admit that there are foods I do <em>not</em> miss. Those include anything in aspic, objects that came out of a ring mold, and luncheon meat that had&hellip; stuff in it. There are probably some entrees that your mother used to make and you miss, though, so let's take a trip down memory lane.</p> <h2>1. Chicken and Dumplings</h2> <p>&quot;A fricassee without dumplings is like a wedding without a bride.&quot; <em>(</em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007E6M8S/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0007E6M8S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=3YLTF2P3YQCP42WM">Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book</a>,1950<em>)</em></p> <p>Um, okay, that cookbook editor really took her dumplings seriously. Well, she was right. Stewed chicken is good, but it's way better with fluffy dumplings. <a href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/herbed-chicken-dumplings">Herbed dumplings</a> are even better, and this recipe has been lightened up considerably.</p> <h2>2. Chicken a La King</h2> <p>&quot;Hey, it's s__t on a shingle<em>.&quot;</em> &mdash; My dad</p> <p>This meal was one of my mother's standbys when her budget was tight. It is cheap, filling, and fast to put together. You can also serve over any type of starch, such as noodles, toasts, biscuits, rice, etc. I tested an old recipe from one of my vintage cookbooks and, while very good, it was just too heavy for me. This <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/chicken_a_la_king.html">chicken a la king recipe</a>, however, is lightened-up and very satisfying.</p> <h2>3. Boeuf Bourguignon</h2> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zA2ys8C-lNk" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><em>&quot;</em>It's a perfectly delicious dish<em>.</em>&quot; &mdash; Julia Child</p> <p>Child's <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/recipe/julia-childs-beef-bourguignon-8222804">classic recipe</a> is not difficult, and it's absolutely wonderful. As a newlywed, it was my go-to dinner party dish. Toss a salad, and get some really crusty bread out.</p> <h2>4. Stroganoff</h2> <p>&quot;Sprinkle parsley around with a lavish hand.&quot; (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0883657945/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0883657945&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=IO76VPVKWXMGL3RU">The Complete I Hate to Cook Book</a>, 1960<em>)</em></p> <p>A working mother, my mom was not enamoured of fixing dinner. She relied heavily on the <em>I Hate to Cook Book</em>. One of her favorites was &quot;<a href="http://www.cooks.com/recipe/do5ez852/peg-brackens-skid-row-stroganoff.html">Skid Road Stroganoff</a>,&quot; a recipe title I adore. I don't use condensed soups, but if you are capable of making a white sauce, that is a good substitute.</p> <h2>5. Swiss Steak</h2> <p>&quot;Midway between pot roast and stew, this is a fine way to use a less than tender steak.&quot; (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553568817/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0553568817&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=XIAOSTB4BWAMFX3O">The Fannie Farmer Cookbook</a>, 1896)</p> <p>Sure, it needs tenderizing, but <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/swiss-steak-recipe.html">this steak</a>&nbsp;is well worth the elbow grease. (I like my <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004OCJJ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00004OCJJ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=6CWYW7EBFVPVRCE6">OXO mallet</a> for tenderizing tough cuts.) Noodles with parsley and butter go well with this and lend to the authenticity.</p> <h2>6. Hash</h2> <p>&quot;A dish popular with many persons is corned-beef hash with poached eggs on top of the hash. A slice of toast is sometimes used under the hash. This suggests a way of utilizing the small amount of corned-beef hash which would otherwise be insufficient for a meal.&quot; (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0082RYNEW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0082RYNEW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=NS2H7IHBAAXIOZOY">Practical Suggestions for Mother and Housewife</a>)</p> <p>When I was a kid, hash would make an appearance a night or two after a roast beef supper. Thrifty housewives used up those roasts. I loved my mother's version, which included onions, green peppers, and red potatoes. She did hers in the oven and managed to get a nice crispy top on it. Hash has made somewhat of a comeback, and you see it a lot with an egg on top (absolutely excellent). There are so many <a href="http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/ingredient/hash/">varieties of hash</a>. In Hawaii, corned-beef hash is very popular. The ingredients are chopped finely, made into patties, and fried.</p> <h2>7. Yankee Pot Roast</h2> <p>&quot;Men especially like this dish...&quot; (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000B65V7U/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000B65V7U&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=U4GNZ4IEZEPKQTNO">Farm Journal's Country Cookbook</a>, 1959)</p> <p>Well, true, but so does everyone else. I have one of <a href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/traditional-yankee-pot-roast">these pot roasts</a> on my stove this very minute and we're all just salivating. The dogs are staring at me, hopefully. Not only will there be gravy, but I will make popovers (below). I feel like June Cleaver.</p> <h2>8. French Onion Soup</h2> <p>&quot;Dress it up with a sprinkling of cheese.&quot; (<em>Farm Journal's Country Cookbook</em>)</p> <p>A &quot;sprinkling&quot; of cheese? Sorry, but that <em>layer</em> of cheese on <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/french-onion-soup-236714">French onion soup</a> is one of the best parts. The worst part? The dishwashing &mdash; be forewarned, it's a mess (but well worth it).</p> <h2>9. Goulash</h2> <p>&quot;An eye-catcher &mdash; spicy red sauce trickles through buttery noodles.&quot; (<em>Farm Journal's Country Cookbook</em>)</p> <p>My mother made goulash. My mother-in-law made goulash. The dishes looked totally different, but were both delicious. There is apparently a lot of leeway in <a href="http://www.mrfood.com/Editors-Picks/Easy-Goulash-Recipes">making goulash</a>. This concoction is inexpensive, and feeds a crowd.</p> <h2>10. Meatloaf</h2> <p>&quot;My mom makes a great meatloaf...&quot; (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/156647647X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=156647647X&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZZRNVA5A327GOC32">Sam Choy's Little Hawaiian Cookbook for Big Appetites</a>, 2003)</p> <p>Unfortunately, mine didn't, but 4-H saved me. One of our projects was to cook a complete meal from Betty Crocker's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0764526340/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0764526340&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5ZT556QSLA7SEKXB">The Cookbook for Boys and Girls</a>. I opted for the <a href="http://tennzen.blogspot.com/2008/08/best-meatloaf-i-ever-made-1950s-recipe.html">meatloaf recipe,</a> which, as you can see, is still out there. Baked in a pie pan and topped with mashed potatoes, it is dandy. However, if you want to make a <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/glazed-hawaiian-meatloaf-91698">delicious meatloaf</a> that people will <em>really </em>want to eat, Mr. Choy's, referenced above, wins. His contains fresh ginger, pineapple, and has a teriyaki glaze.</p> <h2>11. Potatoes Au Gratin</h2> <p><em>&quot;</em>You won't go wrong on this.<em>&quot; </em>(<em>Farm Journal's Country Cookbook</em>)</p> <p>Why? Because pretty much everyone likes tender, creamy, potatoes, topped with cheese. <a href="http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/simple-au-gratin-potatoes">Potatoes au gratin</a> look, and taste, great. You used to see this dish a lot at potlucks and, well, funerals. Hey, it's comfort food. It could be 101 degrees in the shade, but on Sunday, my grandmother would take a ham and a pan of potatoes au gratin out of her Wedgewood oven. It would be devoured, and then all the uncles would take their Cokes and cigarettes outside. Yep.</p> <h2>12. Popovers</h2> <p>&quot;High hat muffins, popped so they are crusty shells, hollow inside<em>.&quot;</em> (<em>Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book</em>)</p> <p>These are not hard to make and holy smokes, are they ever good. If you have never had a <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/popovers/">homemade popover</a>, try these, and thank me later. They are one of my father's favorite things. They go particularly well with Yankee Pot Roast (above) but are also good with butter. Lots and lots of butter.</p> <h2>13. Creamed Corn</h2> <p>&quot;They'll want more, so make two..<em>.&quot; </em>(<em>Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book</em>)</p> <p>Homemade <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/fresh-cream-corn-off-the-cob-516070">creamed corn</a> is nothing like the canned version. If you were scarred by the canned stuff as a child, don't worry. I promise this is different. I like a little Tabasco on mine. It goes with everything &mdash; meat, poultry, fish. When fresh corn hits that four-for-$1 price, make this.</p> <h2>14. Succotash</h2> <p>&quot;Cut hot boiled corn from cob, add equal quantity of hot boiled shelled beans; season with butter and salt; reheat before serving.&quot; (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0486296970/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0486296970&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=4FEXZOTS5YGEEVKQ">The Boston School of Cooking Cook Book</a>, 1896)</p> <p>Although my husband loves the stuff, I have issues with lima beans. However, my way around it was this <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/348448/succotash">succotash recipe</a>. Although it still has some lima beans, I found that decreasing those, and increasing the zucchini, worked for me. The garlic-butter-olive-oil and onion combo gave it loads of flavor. Try it with fried chicken and sliced, fresh tomatoes. This is a great summer meal.</p> <h2>15. Coffee Cake</h2> <p>&quot;Hey, how come you never make coffee cake?&quot; &mdash; My husband</p> <p>I think that coffee cake, which is absolutely delicious, just got buried under trendier gluten-free pancakes, cronuts, and Belgian waffles. Let's dig it out, though, because it's so good. I especially like the version that has <a href="http://damndelicious.net/2012/12/30/coffee-cake-with-crumble-topping-and-brown-sugar-glaze/">buttery brown sugar crumbles</a> on top. My mother-in-law used to make a coffee cake, fresh coffee, and have the neighbor ladies over for a chat. Let's bring that back.</p> <h2>16. Meringues</h2> <p>&quot;Fill angel-white or light-brown meringue pie shells with ice cream... You'll have a praiseworthy dessert<em>.</em>&quot; (<em>Farm Journal's Country Cookbook</em>)</p> <p>My Auntie Lo laughed a lot, wore bright-red lipstick, and made the best meringues in the world. When you touched your fork to the <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/meringues-234238">delicate meringue</a>, it shattered into sugary shards. She would top pies with them, or fill them with berries and ice cream. They are not terribly hard to make, unless you live in a lot of humidity. If you do, I wouldn't bother.</p> <p><em>Okay, readers. What staple dishes do you miss?</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/16-classic-foods-we-miss">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/8-quick-dinners-for-lazy-cooks">8 Quick Dinners for Lazy Cooks</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/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</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/put-it-in-a-pie-for-fast-frugal-food">Put it in a Pie for Fast, Frugal Food</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/7-deliciously-affordable-meats-youll-love-grilling">7 Deliciously Affordable Meats You&#039;ll Love Grilling</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/31-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-your-summer-veggies">31 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Your Summer Veggies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink classic dishes comfort food dinners hearty meals meals recipes Mon, 03 Aug 2015 11:00:17 +0000 Marla Walters 1507431 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Quick Dinners for Lazy Cooks http://www.wisebread.com/8-quick-dinners-for-lazy-cooks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-quick-dinners-for-lazy-cooks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pasta_dinner_000041265532.jpg" alt="Pasta dinner which is quick for lazy cooks" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I am the laziest cook in existence. Although I don't mind cooking and I'm not bad at it, I just usually think of 100 other ways I could spend my time and end up <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sandwiches-hearty-enough-for-dinner">eating a sandwich</a> or cooking a frozen meal. But through the years, I've discovered some recipes I love that are either easy or quick, and they have plenty of portions for later.</p> <h2>1. Skillet Chicken Enchiladas</h2> <p>These <a href="http://recipes.bushbeans.com/recipe/216436/skillet-chicken-enchiladas.aspx">chicken enchiladas</a> require minimal effort besides chopping a few veggies. I used to buy fresh garlic and chop it, but in the past year, I've bought the pre-chopped jar from the grocery store. It's easier to use and it doesn't spoil as quickly. Another option is to replace fresh vegetables with Rotel (if you're in a hurry).</p> <h2>2. 15-Minute Chicken Chili</h2> <p>My roommate makes chili at least once a week and puts it into separate containers for work lunches. Even more impressive? Her chili only takes about 30 minutes to cook and is pretty simple. While this <a href="http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/15-minute-chicken-chili-121400.aspx">chicken chili recipe</a> isn't hers, it's close enough and only takes 15 minutes (as long as you've pre-cooked your chicken)! Add fresh vegetables and switch out the chicken with beans or tofu, and you have an even healthier option!</p> <h2>3. Swiss Chard Egg Bake</h2> <p>Swiss chard is in season and is a wonderfully healthy alternative to grains. I stumbled upon this Whole Foods' recipe for an <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/parmigiano-reggiano-baked-eggs-swiss-chard">egg bake with Swiss chard</a> when I Googled the ingredients in my fridge last year. I made a couple changes &mdash; adding bacon to the mix and less cheese (again, based on what I had in my fridge). Serve with whole grain toast and you have a fun take on breakfast for dinner.</p> <h2>4. Chicken Tacos</h2> <p>I recently hosted a party at my house and slow cooked meats all day. Everyone's favorite was this <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/crock-pot-chicken-taco-meat-4957">shredded chicken taco meat recipe</a>, which was the easiest thing I've ever made. There's a <a href="http://www.twohealthykitchens.com/2014/01/08/3-ingredient-crock-pot-chicken-tacos/">different variation</a> from Two Healthy Kitchens that uses salsa instead of chicken broth, but it's really up to you! While the title of this article suggests &quot;quick,&quot; don't forget the Crock-Pot was invented for lazy people. You just throw everything together, leave, and come home to a meal. Add sour cream, fresh salsa, guacamole, fresh veggies, and cheese, and you've got delicious tacos for dinner!</p> <h2>5. Goat Cheese and Zucchini Frittata</h2> <p>A cast iron skillet should be as much a part of your kitchen as a slow cooker, especially if you're lazy. Frittatas are the easiest dish to make, and super quick! Cook the eggs with zucchini, goat cheese and roasted red pepper (from a jar) and you've got a <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/goat-cheese-and-zucchini-frittata">flavorful meal</a>. Pair with a fresh salad.</p> <h2>6. Gingery Shrimp and Couscous</h2> <p>Couscous is a great staple to any diet. Shrimp is always quick to cook (in fact, if you cook it too long, you ruin it). Pair the two together and cook with <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/simple-couscous-recipes/gingery-shrimp-recipe">ginger, onions, and snow peas</a> and you have something delectable.</p> <h2>7. Salmon With Bok Choy and Rice</h2> <p>Salmon is super easy and quick to make, and is full of antioxidants and omega-3s. <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/spicy-salmon-bok-choy-rice">Bake the salmon</a> for 8&ndash;10 minutes and steam bok choy simultaneously with minute rice and your meal is complete.</p> <h2>8. Pasta With Heirloom Tomatoes, Goat Cheese, and Basil</h2> <p>This atypical pasta doesn't have marinara, but instead a combination of <a href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/pasta-heirloom-tomatoes-goat-cheese-basil">country ham, arugula, tomatoes</a>, and more. Buzzfeed compiled an additional <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/melissaharrison/easy-pasta-recipes#.koq2MNN6k">27 pasta dishes</a> that are all under 30 minutes. They all sound delicious!</p> <p><em>What are some quick dinners you like to cook?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jennifer-holder">Jennifer Holder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-quick-dinners-for-lazy-cooks">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/16-classic-foods-we-miss">16 Classic Foods We Miss</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/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</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/put-it-in-a-pie-for-fast-frugal-food">Put it in a Pie for Fast, Frugal Food</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/7-deliciously-affordable-meats-youll-love-grilling">7 Deliciously Affordable Meats You&#039;ll Love Grilling</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/10-delicious-and-frugal-power-bowls-you-want-right-now">10 Delicious and Frugal Power Bowls You Want Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink dinners easy meals quick recipes Tue, 07 Jul 2015 17:00:13 +0000 Jennifer Holder 1477254 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Deliciously Affordable Meats You'll Love Grilling http://www.wisebread.com/7-deliciously-affordable-meats-youll-love-grilling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-deliciously-affordable-meats-youll-love-grilling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_eating_hotdogs_000046408406.jpg" alt="Friends eating deliciously affordable meats for grilling" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone loves a good cook-out in the summertime, but hosting a gathering that's centered around the consumption of lots of grilled meat can get expensive, and fast. Before you buy packs of steaks and resign yourself to peanut butter and jellies the rest of the week, consider the following affordable meats that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-grilled-veggie-dishes-that-hold-their-own-with-meat">taste so great grilled</a>, you won't miss those pricey steaks one bit.</p> <h2>1. Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks</h2> <p>It just so happens that one of the cheapest meats to grill is also one of the best. Chicken breasts tend to dry out before they're cooked through, and can be tough and flavorless. Considerably cheaper bone-in, skin-on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-chicken-leg-and-thigh-recipes-from-around-the-world">thighs and drumsticks</a> are better at retaining their moisture and cooking evenly on the grill. On sale, they can run for less than a dollar a pound at the supermarket, making them a real cost-saver. Chicken thighs can be flavored just about any way you can think of, and taste great with a <a href="http://www.primalpalate.com/paleo-recipe/aromatic-grilled-chicken-thighs/">simple spice rub</a>. Drumsticks are equally diverse, and a simple coating of <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-lemon-oregano-chicken-drumsticks-354311">fresh lemon and herbs</a> is all you need for a delicious main dish.</p> <h2>2. Ground Beef</h2> <p>If you're buying beef for your cook-out, then things don't get much cheaper than ground chuck. Luckily, that's the prime ingredient for burgers, and who (minus vegetarians) doesn't love burgers? Make your <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/the-perfect-burger-92021">perfect patties</a> by adding egg for moisture and cohesion, and season them well for great flavor. Get <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-and-easy-new-ways-to-top-your-burgers">creative with your toppings</a>, and take your burgers from plain to gourmet with very little extra cost.</p> <h2>3. Pork Shoulder/Boston Butt Pork Roast</h2> <p>This cut of meat might not sound like much, but it's what is commonly turned into pulled pork. The cut can cost under $2 a pound, and will feed a very happy crowd. You can make succulent <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/smoked-pork-shoulder-recipe.html">pulled pork</a> at home if you don't mind a little prep and some lazy, all-day cooking. Start your shoulder the night before with a rub, and cook it low and slow with some hickory chips. Serve it with buns and coleslaw, and you'll have your friends and family swooning.</p> <h2>4. Chicken Wings</h2> <p>The price of chicken wings often hovers at around $2 a pound, easily beating out any beef prices. Wings are also amazingly delicious grilled, and can be flavored in countless ways. Try them <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/emeril-lagasses-grilled-vietnamese-style-chicken-wings-recipe.html">Vietnamese-style</a> with ginger and fish sauce, or classic <a href="http://www.onceuponachef.com/2014/05/grilled-chicken-wings-with-seasoned-buffalo-sauce.html">buffalo wings</a>. No matter what flavor you choose, wings make a great summer appetizer or even main dish.</p> <h2>5. Whole Turkey</h2> <p>Turkey doesn't have to be relegated to Thanksgiving. Enjoy a juicy, smoky, and flavorful <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/grill-roasted-turkey">grilled turkey</a> at your next cookout, and easily feed big a group. Turkey is often under $1.50 a pound, and tends to be cheaper outside of the holiday season. It's surprisingly easy to cook, just needing a turn every hour and a rest under aluminum foil after cooking. Make sure you monitor the internal temperature with a thermometer &mdash; that way you won't end up with a health risk or a dry, sad bird.</p> <h2>6. Beef Back Ribs</h2> <p>Pork ribs aren't the cheapest cut of meat out there, but <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-beef-ribs-with-sweet-and-sticky-barbecue-sauce-103627">beef back ribs</a> are typically one of the cheapest pieces of beef you can buy. You may not get quite as much meat per pound as some other items on this list, seeing as each rack has a number of bones in it, but it's still a great deal for beef. Plus, everyone loves sharing ribs and getting sticky barbecue sauce all over the place. For tender meat, cook your ribs on the stove with aromatics before grilling them. Give them a generous slather of homemade sauce, and enjoy.</p> <h2>7. Hot Dogs</h2> <p>You can't deny that sometimes a smoky, charred hot dog on a soft bun tastes great. They're especially good summertime grilling food, since they're easy to serve and a real crowd-pleaser. They're also one of the cheaper meat options out there, starting at little more than $1 a pound. Even if you're grilling some gourmet dogs, they're still a great deal per pound, and are all meat &mdash; no paying for bone you won't eat. Hot dogs are one of the easiest and quickest items to grill, and since they're so affordable, you can get creative with your toppings. Classic sauerkraut is always a hit, or try <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/07/hot-slaw-dogs-recipe.html">creamy coleslaw</a> and mustard.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite cheap meat for the grill?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-deliciously-affordable-meats-youll-love-grilling">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/15-grilled-veggie-dishes-that-hold-their-own-with-meat">15 Grilled Veggie Dishes That Hold Their Own With Meat</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/13-delicious-early-summer-recipes-to-try-on-your-grill">13 Delicious Early Summer Recipes to Try on Your Grill</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/stop-dissing-spam">Stop dissing Spam!</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/11-delicious-breakfast-dishes-for-your-grill">11 Delicious Breakfast Dishes for Your Grill</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/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink cheap dinners Grilling meat recipes summer Wed, 01 Jul 2015 15:00:18 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1469492 at http://www.wisebread.com Beer Donuts and 11 Other Recipes You Can Make With Beer http://www.wisebread.com/beer-donuts-and-11-other-recipes-you-can-make-with-beer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beer-donuts-and-11-other-recipes-you-can-make-with-beer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beer_000026394081.jpg" alt="How to use beer more in the kitchen" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have a stray <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-reasons-to-drink-beer">bottle of beer</a> hanging around in your fridge? Or perhaps you'd just like to expand your horizons in the kitchen by cooking with alcohol. Whatever the case, we've got you covered. Here are 12 uniquely delicious recipes you can make with beer.</p> <h2>1. Beer Bread</h2> <p>This <a href="https://blog.aldi.us/garlic-cheddar-beer-bread-cooking-with-beer/">cheddar beer bread</a> requires no kneading or rising. Just mix the ingredients together and bake for 40 minutes until the crust is golden brown. The best part? All the ingredients of this bread can be purchased on the cheap at Aldi.</p> <h2>2. Beer-Cheese Fondue</h2> <p>Have a romantic date night in with this <a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a15188/cheddar-beer-fondue-recipe-ghk0213/">beer-cheese fondue</a>. Combine 12 ounces of your favorite light beer with mustard, garlic, and hot sauce. Then add in cubed cheddar and cornstarch for texture. Serve with sliced bread, sausage, apple slices, or whatever else sounds good for dipping.</p> <h2>3. Beer Cake</h2> <p>Step dessert up a few notches with this <a href="http://www.thehungryhousewife.com/2013/03/guinness-chocolate-cake.html">Guinness chocolate cake</a> recipe. It's fudgey, dense, and incredibly flavorful &mdash; but you'd never guess beer (one cup) is the star ingredient. Don't forget the salted caramel glaze!</p> <h2>4. Beer Brownies</h2> <p>The same idea applies with these <a href="http://joythebaker.com/2014/09/beer-brownies/">beer brownies</a>. You'll dump a half cup of your favorite stout or dark beer into the batch. Of course, if you'd rather keep them alcohol-free, you can substitute cold coffee.</p> <h2>5. Beer Can Chicken</h2> <p>Here's the secret for the <a href="http://www.jocooks.com/main-courses/poultry-main-courses/beer-can-chicken/">juiciest chicken</a> on the block: Put a beer can in it while it bakes. You'll pour out a quarter of the beer into your roasting pan before rubbing down the chicken with different spices. Then place the chicken upright on the beer can and bake for a little over an hour.</p> <h2>6. Beer Chili</h2> <p>There's a whole bottle of amber beer inside Jimmy Fallon's <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/317342/jimmy-fallons-crock-pot-chili">Crock-Pot chili</a> recipe. First, brown chuck beef on your stovetop along with onions, garlic, and peppers. Then place all ingredients in your slow cooker and let simmer for five hours on high.</p> <h2>7. Beer Beef Stew</h2> <p>This hearty <a href="http://thisweekfordinner.com/2014/03/26/boozy-beef-stew/">beef stew</a> has a boozy twist. You'll pour two bottles into the stew before simmering to perfection in your Dutch oven. The rest is a mix of chunky meat and vegetables with a little Worcestershire sauce, paprika, tomato paste, and beef bouillon for added flavor.</p> <h2>8. Beer Ice Cream</h2> <p>Check out this <a href="http://theyummybits.com/becks-beer-ice-cream-with-chocolate-covered-pretzels/">beer ice cream</a> with chocolate covered pretzels. You'll stir a bottle of beer together with sugar, milk, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and eventually egg yolks. Once the mixture is completely combined and cooked, you'll process it in your ice cream maker and fold in the pretzels.</p> <h2>9. Beer Doughnuts</h2> <p>You don't need to wait until fall to make a batch of these <a href="http://cookingwithcurls.com/2013/09/20/apple-ale-doughnuts-spiked-recipe-challenge/">apple ale doughnuts</a>. Pour a full cup of apple ale (or apple cider) into a saucepan to reduce. Then stir it together with flour, sugar, eggs, spices, and other ingredients. Freeze dough before cutting out circles, then fry on your stovetop.</p> <h2>10. Beer Fish</h2> <p>Try this classic <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/02/beer-battered-fish-recipe.html">beer battered fish</a> recipe for dinner tonight. The batter comes together with flour, cornstarch, a bottle of beer, an egg, and some salt. Then heat oil in a Dutch oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit before dipping in the batter and frying to golden.</p> <h2>11. Beer BBQ Sauce</h2> <p>Slather this <a href="http://thebeeroness.com/2012/06/28/stout-sriracha-beer-barbecue-sauce/">stout and sriracha BBQ sauce</a> on anything and everything. All you do is heat the beer, sriracha, ketchup, and other spices over medium heat. Sauce is done when it's thick. Store in an airtight container in your fridge.</p> <h2>12. Beer Dip</h2> <p>If you don't have time to cook fondue, try this simple <a href="http://www.ladybehindthecurtain.com/beer-dip/">beer dip</a> instead. Stir together cream cheese, beer, ranch dressing mix, and shredded cheddar. That's all. Then serve with pretzels and veggies.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite way to use beer in cooking?</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/beer-donuts-and-11-other-recipes-you-can-make-with-beer">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/12-tasty-ways-to-cook-with-wine">12 Tasty Ways to Cook With Wine</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/10-smart-uses-for-food-thats-about-to-go-bad">10 Smart Uses for Food That&#039;s About to Go Bad</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/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</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/18-easy-and-delicious-recipes-for-your-dutch-oven">18 Easy and Delicious Recipes for Your Dutch Oven</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/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender">15 Creative, Delicious Things You Can Make in a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink beer Cooking desserts dinners recipes snacks Mon, 15 Jun 2015 15:00:11 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1452643 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Easy Ways to Save on Groceries in a Pinch http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holding_groceries_000026443745.jpg" alt="Crafty woman saving money on groceries in a pinch" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you need to cut your budget &mdash; and fast? Stuff like blown tires, broken furnaces, and other unexpected expenses have to come from somewhere, and so many of our regular monthly expenses are fixed bills we can't do much to budge.</p> <p>So here are some ways you can dramatically cut your grocery bill in a pinch to redirect some of your hard earned dollars elsewhere. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans?ref=seealso">How to Eat Well on Just $20 a Week</a>)</p> <h2>1. Dig Deep</h2> <p>Before heading to the store, dig into all your cabinets and drawers to assess what you have in stock. Pasta and rice can be dressed up to make delicious meals with few ingredients added &mdash; here are some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-new-ways-to-spice-up-rice">recipes for inspiration</a>. A simple <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-use-canned-salmon">can of salmon</a> can be transformed into a salad, sandwich, or soup. You may even discover some foods hiding around that are nearing their expiration dates. If you're stuck, try tools like <a href="http://www.supercook.com/">Supercook</a>, which allow you to look up recipes by searching the ingredients you already have at home.</p> <h2>2. Go Vegetarian</h2> <p>Some of the most expensive items in your cart? Meat and seafood. If you're up for it, try eating a vegetable-based diet for a period of time. It's likely your cheapest meal alternative. You don't need to worry about protein since you'll find plenty in inexpensive sources like eggs, tofu, nuts, etc. And if you think you can cut dairy, that's more savings. There are millions of people thriving on vegan diets around the globe. Who knows! You might even lose a few pounds. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-slow-cooker-recipes-for-busy-or-lazy-vegetarians?ref=seealso">35 Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy Vegetarians</a>)</p> <h2>3. Plan Accordingly</h2> <p>It sounds counterintuitive, but meal planning might be costing you money. Variety can be tricky and require lots of expensive ingredients if you aren't careful. Though you want to keep a good balance of nutrients in your diet, try choosing a few cheap, satisfying meals that might sustain you all week long. We keep our breakfasts and lunches very simple: Usually oatmeal with banana and homemade hummus sandwiches with chopped raw veggies. For dinner, consider sticking to meals that use similar ingredients but have different flavors or textures. Pizza and pasta make a good duo, as do taco salad and quesadillas, for example. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy?ref=seealso">35 Grocery Items You Should Make at Home</a>)</p> <h2>4. Substitute Similar</h2> <p>Have your heart set on certain recipes? Try <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-recipe-substitutions-that-save-money-and-prevent-food-waste">substituting ingredients</a> that you might already have at home versus buying new. There are a number of foods that can easily swap in similar ratios to get tasty results. The best part is that you'll not just save money this way, you'll also eliminate food waste and learn some new culinary tricks.</p> <h2>5. Track and Plan Ahead</h2> <p>I often shop at Wegmans. Something that's really helped save me money is using the <a href="http://www.wegmans.com/mobile">Wegmans app</a> to plan my trip in advance. I make an organized list on my phone &mdash; including the prices at my store that get tallied up at the end. That way, if I stick to the list, I know exactly how much I'll be spending (provided I don't grab something random off the shelf). A growing number of stores offer similar apps &mdash; like <a href="http://www.safeway.com/ShopStores/Get-Connected-Mobile-Apps.page">Safeway</a>, <a href="http://www.kroger.com/topic/mobile-app">Kroger</a>, and <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/apps">Whole Foods</a> &mdash; giving you the power to write lists or even snag coupons.</p> <p><em>Have you had to cut food costs fast? Tell us how you did it in comments.</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/5-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch">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/how-to-save-a-ton-by-eating-soup-every-day-and-never-get-bored">How to Save a Ton by Eating Soup Every Day (and Never Get Bored!)</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-9-easiest-food-budget-wins">The 9 Easiest Food Budget Wins</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/this-simple-shopping-list-strategy-from-5-meal-plan-will-save-you-big">This Simple Shopping List Strategy From $5 Meal Plan Will Save You Big</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-frozen-food-values">The 12 Best Frozen Food Values</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/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping Cooking dinners groceries meal planning saving money Thu, 23 Apr 2015 11:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1393781 at http://www.wisebread.com 18 Easy and Delicious Recipes for Your Dutch Oven http://www.wisebread.com/18-easy-and-delicious-recipes-for-your-dutch-oven <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/18-easy-and-delicious-recipes-for-your-dutch-oven" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/one_pot_meal_000026566787.jpg" alt="Easy one pot meal made in a dutch oven" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Dutch ovens are hefty, pricey, and often reserved for wedding registries. But some version of this colorful cooking vessel has been used for hundreds of years, and for good reason. It's great for low and slow cooking as well as searing and frying, and can be utilized on the stove, in the oven, on the grill, in the freezer, and even on the campfire.</p> <p>If you have a Dutch oven living in your kitchen cabinets, here are just a few of the many things you can make.</p> <h2>1. No-Knead Bread</h2> <p>Yes, you can make <a href="http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com/2013/04/no-knead-crusty-artisan-bread.html">artisan bread</a>! Just mix up four ingredients, let the dough sit and rise for up to 24 hours (no kneading required), form it into a ball, and bake it in your Dutch oven for a perfect round and crusty loaf.</p> <h2>2. Tortilla Soup</h2> <p>A Dutch oven is the perfect vessel for making big batches of soup, and you can often do everything in one pot. This <a href="http://www.chow.com/recipes/30472-chicken-tortilla-soup">chicken tortilla soup</a> uses several ingredients, but they're all affordable and contribute to its excellent flavor. Plus, you can use any leftover ingredients for a taco night.</p> <h2>3. Wings</h2> <p>To make really <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/01/ultimate-extra-crispy-double-fried-confit-buffalo-wings.html">crispy chicken wings</a>, you have to fry them, and fry them twice. A high-quality Dutch oven is perfect for frying, since it holds heat well and has high sides to prevent splashes. Don't over-fill your pot with oil, and check to make sure your brand of Dutch oven is good for frying.</p> <h2>4. Fruit Cobbler</h2> <p><a href="http://cookingsessions.com/dutch-oven-peach-cobbler-recipe/">Fruit cobbler</a> is an easy and delicious dessert and can be made with most kinds of fruit, whether it is fresh, frozen, or canned. Berries and stone fruit work best, and if you have a non-enameled cast iron Dutch oven, it can be cooked on an open fire.</p> <h2>5. Cornbread</h2> <p>Don't have a cast iron skillet, or at least one the right size? Use your Dutch oven! This <a href="http://www.pbs.org/food/recipes/dutch-oven-green-chili-corn-bread/">green chile cornbread</a> adds Southwestern flavor with cheese and green chiles, and goes great with chili.</p> <h2>6. Beef Stew</h2> <p>Stew is a labor of love, but most of the time required is passive cooking time &mdash; meaning you can sit and read a book and drink a glass of wine while it bubbles away. A big, thick pot is essential for such low and slow cooking, making a Dutch oven ideal for <a href="http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2013/01/sunday-night-stew/">beef stew</a>.</p> <h2>7. Clafouti</h2> <p><a href="http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Cherry-Clafoutis">Homemade clafouti</a> is a type of cake from southern France that's similar to a thick crepe. The traditional fruit filling is black cherries, and it's often made in a cast iron pan, meaning you can bake the dessert in a Dutch oven as well.</p> <h2>8. Pot Roast</h2> <p>A classic and largely hands-off Dutch oven recipe, <a href="http://www.recipe.com/sunday-oven-pot-roast/">pot roast</a> is a guaranteed family favorite. After a couple of hours of slow cooking, you'll be rewarded with succulent meat and flavorful, juicy vegetables.</p> <h2>9. Beans</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-beans-in-the-oven-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-102908">Cooking dried beans</a> is cheaper and more flavorful than the canned versions. Luckily, it's also easy. Unless you're making chickpeas or large beans, you don't even have to soak them. Just put the beans along with water and aromatics in a pot, place in a preheated oven, and bake.</p> <h2>10. French Fries</h2> <p>Make <a href="http://joythebaker.com/2012/07/homemade-french-fries/">delicious, crispy fries</a> at home! For the best results, soak your cut potatoes in water and fry twice. Using a thermometer is key, since the oil temperature can make the difference between soggy and crispy.</p> <h2>11. Ribs</h2> <p>A Dutch oven is great for making <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/braised-short-ribs">braised short ribs</a>. After a little prep work on the stove, leave them to cook slowly in the oven for tender, flavorful ribs that any meat-eater will love.</p> <h2>12. Gumbo</h2> <p><a href="http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/shrimp_gumbo_with_andouille_sausage/">Shrimp gumbo</a> is a richly spiced stew with sausage, veggies, and shrimp. It might take a little time and attention, but it's all done in one pot and will feed a crowd. Serve with rice.</p> <h2>13. Risotto</h2> <p>A Dutch oven is great for making the standard risotto, which requires quite a bit of attention and constant stirring, but yields creamy results. You can also <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-baked-risotto-with-spring-vegetables-recipes-from-the-kitchn-188006">bake your risotto</a>, great for a dinner party or when you're feeling a little lazy.</p> <h2>14. Coq Au Vin</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/340340/coq-au-vin">traditional French dish</a> of chicken cooked in red wine with bacon and mushrooms has wonderful flavor. It's the kind of dish Dutch ovens were made for, and goes great with a crusty baguette.</p> <h2>15. Oatmeal</h2> <p>A Dutch oven is ideal for <a href="http://www.bobsredmill.com/recipes.php?recipe=891">making oatmeal</a> &mdash; the enamel prevents sticking, and it cooks evenly. Start with a basic recipe and add maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, and/or fruit and nuts for a tasty breakfast.</p> <h2>16. Carnitas</h2> <p>For delicious tacos, you need tender and juicy meat. You can make <a href="http://sharedappetite.com/recipes/how-to-make-perfect-carnitas/">homemade carnitas</a> by only spending a few minutes at the stove before slow roasting in the oven. It's also made with a bone-in pork shoulder, which is a typically low-cost piece of meat.</p> <h2>17. Mac and Cheese</h2> <p>For a perfect potluck dish, make a baked casserole like <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/homemade-mac-and-cheese/">mac and cheese</a> with your Dutch oven. The thick pan will keep your casserole warm until served. Before you get started, make sure that your size Dutch oven corresponds to size pan called for in the recipe.</p> <h2>18. Donuts</h2> <p>For a decadent and fun treat, make your own <a href="http://butterflyfoodie.blogspot.com/2011/01/donuts.html">homemade donuts</a>. When frying, cook in batches and don't overload the oil. This is a fun dessert to make with kids, who can help you decorate the freshly cooked donuts before digging in.</p> <p><em>What do you use your Dutch oven for?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-easy-and-delicious-recipes-for-your-dutch-oven">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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