Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Avoiding the Cost of Convenience

We live in an age when most people don't really know how to cook. It's a sad truth. Our great grandparents were able to cook from the bare minimum of supplies but in the Disposable Era the skills have been lost. Convenience foods are typically full of chemicals and are not cheap!

The following is a list of easy recipes for 'convenience' foods that take a few minutes to prep but save money and the time it takes to shop!

Condensed Cream of _____ Soup Canned cream soups are basically gravy
Biscuit Mix and you can add whole wheat or wheat germ or any number of healthy additives to this!
Ramen Noodles can be made at home but it's not cost effective. It's still going into my kitchen "bucket list" though!
Coffee Creamer   French vanilla but you can use whatever flavoring you'd like
Vanilla Pudding you can add cocoa and make chocolate :)
Chocolate Syrup this is easy and so very yummy! Use half the water and add a pat of butter at the end and you have a kickin' thick hot fudge sauce.
Pancake Syrup  I recommend using 1/2 to 3/4 a cup of water for a thicker syrup. This recipe is a bit runnier than I like.
Shake n Bake
Alfredo Sauce I just throw things in the pan until it tastes right but these are good recipes to try out.
Stir Fry sauce again I normally just add things until it tastes right...
Helper Meals My husband doesn't eat any meal in a box items except for plain pasta and cereal. These are tried and true recipes though!
Stuffing Mix
Refried Beans Make a huge batch and freeze in 1.5 cup containers/bags.
Tortillas If your budget is really tight then these are worth the time. Right now, I don't have time to make them from scratch but I used to make a batch each week. I have even taught a class of kids how to make these. Corn tortillas are even simpler but my crew doesn't like them as much. I just buy a bag of Maseca (instant corn masa flour) and follow the directions on it.
Velveeta Yeah, I didn't know you could make that either. I'll let you know how it turns out sometime.

A quick google will show you around a million different spice combinations so you never have to buy a little packet again.

With Google at our fingertips, there really isn't much reasoning behind the "I don't know how to..." mentality. If it's important to you, you will spend the time to learn the skills. If not, I recommend learning how to coupon to save as much as possible.

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