batch cooking http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8473/all en-US Sous Vide Is the Fancy Cooking Technique That Saves You Money, Too http://www.wisebread.com/sous-vide-is-the-fancy-cooking-technique-that-saves-you-money-too <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sous-vide-is-the-fancy-cooking-technique-that-saves-you-money-too" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sous_vide_cooking_29930096.jpg" alt="Learning about fancy sous vide cooking that saves money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Sous vide</em> is a fancy French term that means &quot;under vacuum,&quot; but don't let this new word scare you. It's actually a lot simpler than it sounds. Sous vide is a method of cooking by sealing food in airtight plastic bags, and then placing it in a water bath or temperature-controlled steam environment for longer than normal cooking times. Not only does this make delicious food, but it can also save you a lot of money and time on groceries and meal prep.</p> <h2>How Sous Vide Can Save You Time and Money</h2> <p>Although sous vide equipment will cost some money upfront, this process can save you money and time in the long run. Here are just a few ways sous vide can save you money:</p> <h3>1. Reduced Waste From Cooking Mistakes</h3> <p>I don't know about you, but I am not a pro chef. Many dinners have gone to waste from the meat being too dry or overcooked. Cooking meats sous vide makes even the difficult cuts easy to prepare. As long as you know the temperature and cook time, your meat will never be over or undercooked. For example, for a medium-rare steak, you would simply set the device to 134&deg;F. This would give you a juicy piece of steak without any dry edges or undercooked centers.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-for-those-who-hate-cooking?ref=seealso">8 Money-Saving Hacks for Those Who Hate Cooking</a></p> <h3>2. Reduced Energy Usage</h3> <p>Not only is a sous vide machine as easy to use as a microwave, it also takes less energy to cook your food. Once the device heats your water to the set degrees, very little energy is used to maintain the temperature.</p> <h3>3. Easy Bulk Cooking</h3> <p>You can sous vide multiple cuts of meat at a time and store them in the fridge or freezer for later use. This will allow you to cook for the entire week on the weekend, saving you money from impulse fast food buys.</p> <h3>4. Cheaper Cuts Taste Better</h3> <p>Since sous vide makes meats so much juicier, you can get away with buying the cheaper cuts. You can have an amazing steak dinner with a cheap flank steak.</p> <p>While I gave a lot of examples of saving on meat cooking, sous vide can be used for a lot of different recipes. In fact, the method can help you make many gourmet-type dishes, such as hard to make custards and butter sauces.</p> <h2>How to Get Started With Sous Vide on a Budget</h2> <p>Sous vide enthusiasts can spend a few hundred dollars on higher end sous vide gadgets. Some enthusiasts argue that you need special containers or machines that circulate the water, but you can keep the process and costs simple and still enjoy sous vide dishes.</p> <p>My husband found the <a href="http://amzn.to/2cYKgcP">ANOVA Culinary Bluetooth Precision Cooker</a> when it was discounted on Amazon. This device clamps on to any pot or container and will heat the water and cook the meat at an even temperature. What is neat about this device is that you can program it through your phone, so you don't even need to be at home when you are cooking.</p> <p>We started off with a stainless silver pot we already had, but were only able to cook two bags of meat at once. You can also use your Crock-Pot or other large container. Some people have even used ice coolers.</p> <p>A&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2cnYJxO">12-quart Rubbermaid container</a> was less than $20 on Amazon, and proved a better solution since we bought a lid with it. My husband cut a hole in the lid for the sous vide machine to keep the water temperature more accurate and prevent evaporation on longer cooking sessions.</p> <p>You can use regular gallon-sized zipper food storage bags, but we decided to go with something a little sturdier (and safer to use in heat). The <a href="http://amzn.to/2cnYXVJ">FoodSaver Gallon-Sized Vacuum Bags</a> can be reused if washed well. You don't have to buy the hand-held vacuum to seal the bags either. Simply zip the bag 98% and then dunk the bag in a pot of water. The pressure of the water will push the excess air out.</p> <p>In total, we invested about $175 for the above items, which is a deal compared to how much other chefs and home cooks spend on their sous vide systems. However, Instructables has directions to <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Sous-vide-cooker-for-less-than-40/">make your own sous vide machine</a> for under $40.</p> <p>The way to get the most benefit from the device is to plan to use it regularly. We currently shop for discounted or clearance meat on the weekend from our local Vons, and then sous vide them and either stick the meat in the fridge or freezer, depending on the meal plan for the week.</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/sous-vide-is-the-fancy-cooking-technique-that-saves-you-money-too">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/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-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/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-quick-fixes-to-salvage-a-good-meal">5 Quick Fixes to Salvage a Good Meal</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink batch cooking Cooking crock-pot kitchen tools meal planning meal prep sous vide Wed, 21 Sep 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1793094 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> <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-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/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/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/8-alternative-ways-to-cook-outside">8 Alternative Ways to Cook Outside</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/16-simple-kitchen-skills-every-frugal-person-should-master">16 Simple Kitchen Skills Every Frugal Person Should Master</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 Ask the Readers: Do You Do Batch Cooking? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-do-batch-cooking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-do-you-do-batch-cooking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cooking_meal_000084561979.jpg" alt="Woman doing batch cooking ahead of time" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One way to save time and money on food is to set aside a few hours a week to do all your cooking, all at once. This way, you'll have dinner ready to reheat even on super busy nights, without having to go out for dinner or resort to unhealthy alternatives. However, batch cooking won't work for everyone. Some people don't have large blocks of time that they can use for cooking, or they might not have the freezer space to store the food.</p> <p><strong>Do you do batch cooking?</strong> What challenges did you face when you started cooking in batches? Do you have any tips and tricks for someone who's new to this frugal tactic? What are your favorite dishes for batch cooking? If you don't do batch cooking, is this something you would like to try?</p> <p>Tell us whether you do batch cooking and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For Extra Entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a id="rcwidget_y7xo5kte" data-template="" data-theme="classic" data-raflid="79857dfa240" rel="nofollow" class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa240/">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <p>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, April 25th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after April 25th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us whether you do batch cooking and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-do-batch-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-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/ask-the-readers-will-this-winter-be-more-expensive-chance-to-win">Ask the Readers: Will This Winter Be More Expensive? (Chance to Win!)</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/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-give-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: How Do You Give? (Chance to win $20!)</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/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores">Ask The Readers: Should Kids Get Paid For Doing Chores?</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/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-volunteer-experience-had-the-deepest-impact-on-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Volunteer Experience Had the Deepest Impact on You?</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/ask-the-readers-how-did-you-spend-your-first-paycheck">Ask the Readers: How Did You Spend Your First Paycheck?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers batch cooking Tue, 19 Apr 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1690720 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Freeze Foods That "Don't Freeze Well" http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-freeze-foods-that-dont-freeze-well <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-freeze-foods-that-dont-freeze-well" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5733386394_2c5584f244_z.jpg" alt="freezer" title="freezer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the most affordable ways to stretch the food budget is to increase the size of your recipes and store the extra in the freezer. Batch cooking, or even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-five-day-freeze-batch-cooking-for-the-rest-of-us">this modified version</a>, can bless you during the hectic times with ready-to-go meals and a sense of preparedness. Before you commit to saving a meal for a rainy day via the freezer, check out this list of items that don't do so well in subzero temps (and how you can work around them). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-enough-on-meat-to-buy-a-chest-freezer">Save Enough on Meat to Buy a Chest Freezer</a>)</p> <p><a href="http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/freeze/dont_freeze_foods.html">The National Center for Home Food Preservation</a> gives a pretty good list of items that shouldn't be frozen. In most of these instances, it isn't a safety issue; it is a quality one. Mushy or bland food isn't the goal of many, and most of these foods break down or lose their desirable qualities after being in the freezer. Foods you shouldn't freeze include the following.</p> <h2>Leafy Veggies</h2> <p>Produce such as cabbage, endive, lettuce, and the leaves of radishes, for example, will become limp and soggy after freezing. Other items that suffer from a &ldquo;waterlogged&rdquo; effect include cucumbers and celery.</p> <p><strong>Try this</strong>: Instead of freezing celery, radishes, parsley, spinach, and other leafy items in their whole, raw state, try them in soups and casseroles that will be frozen. You may also want to attempt a <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/freezer-coleslaw-9099">freezer-specific coleslaw</a> or pickle recipe!</p> <h2>Fried Foods</h2> <p>Homemade fried appetizers will be soggy, not crisp, after freezing. Anything breaded and fried should not be put into the freezer after cooking.</p> <p><strong>Try this:</strong> Make your own breaded veggies and meats to be fried <em>after</em> freezing. Batter as usual, then allow to freeze in a single layer on a cookie sheet before putting into a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-phenomenally-frugal-single-serving-freezer-meals">single freezer bag</a>. When you're ready to fry, remove and cook!</p> <h2>Dairy</h2> <p>Sour cream, cream cheese, some soft cheeses, and mayonnaise will separate and lose the silky consistency you love after being frozen. Dishes with lots of these foods may get soggy as the water pulls away.</p> <p><strong>Try this:</strong> Milk freezes beautifully in the freezer while still in the carton. If you decide to freeze cheese, stick with harder varieties (cheddar, for example) and freeze as whole blocks or shreds in the original package. You may still see some of a &ldquo;crumbly&rdquo; effect, so commit to using previously frozen cheese in cooking &mdash; not as a component in a cold dish.</p> <h2>Eggs</h2> <p>Many popular freezer meals ask that you freeze cooked <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fantastic-facts-about-eggs">eggs</a>, but the results are often disappointing. Cooked eggs can be watery, spongy, or mealy; egg whites can be tough.</p> <p><strong>Try this:</strong> If your frozen dessert requires a meringue topping, skip it until right before you serve it. Freeze the dessert base, then add them meringue as a fresh ingredient after thawing. The same should be done for any icings or whipped toppings made from egg whites.</p> <h2>Pasta</h2> <p>When cooked alone for later use, spaghetti, rice, couscous, and other starchy foods can get sticky and mealy in the freezer.</p> <p><strong>Try this: </strong> Mix the cooked pasta into a sauce or use it as part of a complete dish (like a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-recipe-lots-of-food-10-great-main-dish-casseroles">casserole</a> or soup) before freezing. Don't over cook pasta before freezing; al dente is your safest bet.</p> <h2>Potatoes</h2> <p>Similar to pasta, this starchy food gets mushy in the freezer. When used in a soup or casserole, it can break down completely, leaving your dish with a glue-like consistency.</p> <p><strong>Try this: </strong> Turn your potatoes into mashed (which freezes somewhat better), or consider a <a href="http://goodcheapeats.com/2010/12/freezing-potatoes/">twice-baked potato recipe</a>!</p> <p>While there technically isn't a food that you can't freeze, if tasty meals are your goal, it's best to follow these rules. In a pinch, many on the &ldquo;do not freeze&rdquo; list can be tossed into the freezer in an emergency; you'll lose some quality, but it's still safe for consumption.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-freeze-foods-that-dont-freeze-well">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/8-good-reasons-to-learn-canning-now">8 Good Reasons to Learn Canning Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/preserving-in-season-foods-for-off-season-feasts">Preserving In-Season Foods for Off-Season Feasts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-tips-to-spend-less-on-eating-in">11 Tips to Spend Less on Eating In</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink batch cooking food preservation freezing food Tue, 28 Aug 2012 10:24:40 +0000 Linsey Knerl 952376 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Spend Black Friday at Home http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-spend-black-friday-at-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-spend-black-friday-at-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6873404457_6c07e4ce02_b.jpg" alt="couple at home" title="couple at home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I am not a Black Friday shopper. My dislike of large crowds generally trumps my love of good deals, unfortunately. Plus I couldn't bear for my mother to see me on the front of a newspaper as the poster child for shopping madness, trying to wrestle the last Barbie doll at Target away from some mother hopped up on turkey leftovers, adrenaline, and coffee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-people-go-crazy-on-black-friday">Why People Go Crazy on Black Friday</a>)</p> <p>This is why I plan to not leave my house on Black Friday. If you're in the same boat (the boat that is anchored at home), there are still plenty of ways to spend Black Friday that will help you get an early start on the holidays.</p> <h2>Clean House</h2> <p>Winter gift-giving means you'll potentially have lots of new things coming in. Take the day to go through your closets and drawers and get rid of anything you don't use. You might find some re-giftable items, or at the very least a bag of things you can bring to Goodwill next week (don't forget to get a receipt so you can deduct it from your taxes!).</p> <h2>Start Crafting</h2> <p>While I love giving homemade gifts, I often leave myself too little time to make everything I want to. This year, my hope is to spend Black Friday knitting, sewing, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/for-delicious-cocktails-infuse-alcohol" title="For Delicious Cocktails, Infuse Alcohol">infusing alcohol</a>. Wise Bread's writers have plenty of other great homemade gift ideas as well, including <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cool-diy-christmas-gifts-for-the-under-6-crowd" title="DIY Christmas Gifts for Young Kids">homemade gifts for young children</a>, gorgeous <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diy-silk-flower-brooch" title="DIY Silk Flower Brooch">silk-flower brooches</a>, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/twenty-five-things-to-do-with-old-jeans" title="25 Things to Do With old Jeans">25 things you can make from old jeans</a>.</p> <h2>Shop Online</h2> <p>Cyber Monday is all well and good, but that doesn't mean there aren't Black Friday deals to be had online. If you haven't already subscribed to our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bestdeals/today" title="Daily Deals Newsletter">daily deals newsletter</a>, do so now; we'll be sending out emails both Friday and Monday with deals for those days.</p> <h2>Exercise</h2> <p>Okay, this doesn't help you with your gift-giving, but it does help you get an immediate start on curbing the holiday weight gain so many of us complain about.</p> <h2>Make Cookies</h2> <p>The day after Thanksgiving might seem like a bad time to mix up some sweets, but if you make and freeze cookies, you're halfway to having your holiday baking done. Check out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-five-day-freeze-batch-cooking-for-the-rest-of-us" title="Batch Cooking for the Rest of Us">Linsey's article on batch cooking</a> for some more information about making and freezing big batches.</p> <h2>Rest</h2> <p>December can be a constant whirl of holiday parties, shopping excursions, and decorating-laden weekends. Take a day off!</p> <p><em>Are you avoiding the stores on Black Friday? If so, why?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-spend-black-friday-at-home">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/8-home-buys-you-should-never-skimp-on">8 Home Buys You Should Never Skimp On</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-5-best-electronics-wipes">The 5 Best Electronics Wipes</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/4-new-years-resolutions-your-pet-wants-you-to-make">4 New Year&#039;s Resolutions Your Pet Wants You to Make</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-5-best-air-fresheners">The 5 Best Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping batch cooking black friday cleaning exercise homemade gifts Thu, 25 Nov 2010 14:00:07 +0000 Meg Favreau 331939 at http://www.wisebread.com