I thought since I am always talking about food to my friends and telling them about all the things you can do to save money, that I would do a post on it.
To me, many of them sound really simple, but I am surprised at how much money and food people waste when all they have to do is a few simple things and they transform something that on its own, may not have been nice, but add it into things like stock, breadcrumbs, and tasty treats and you have something you can use or make into a yummy meal.
I’m always telling people, don’t throw that out, you can do this with it, or that with it… we live in such a throw out society and that if something isn’t perfect it is somehow broken, replaceable or not nice. I am here to tell you that it is useable and can be turned into something absolutely delicious with not a lot of effort!
Never throw out a tomato again! Sometimes at the end of the week you may have a few tomatoes that are a bit second hand. Cut them into quarters and put them on a tray with baking paper on it. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and olive oil. If you have any herb in the garden or left over in the fridge throw them on too. Bake in the oven 120 degrees Celsius for 1 hour… delicious! Use with meat for dinner or put into a container in the fridge for another week to have on salads. I have confession, sometimes buy cheap tomatoes leave them till they are really ripe and do this anyway! 🙂
Never, EVER throw out bread! put any left over bread/crusts in the freezer or straight onto trays and into the oven at 120 degrees Celsius. Bake until bread is dry through (you could even do it at the same time as the tomatoes) Break up the dry bread and put it in your food processor or Thermomix and whizz until they are the bread crumb fineness you desire. When completely cool put into an air tight container and you will have bread crumbs when ever you want them… Great for gluten free bread and bread crumbs too! Alternatively you could make some herb/ garlic butter (see below) spread it on the crusts, stale bread, put it in the oven on a baking try and have garlic bread with dinner… EASY!
The night before you do your weekly shopping (if you aren’t shopping weekly or fortnightly you need to contact me so we can sort that out! :-)) put all your left over vegetables roughly chopped, left over herbs couple of onions and some garlic (no potatoes) into a large pot add some salt or a few stock cubes and just cover with water. Boil for about an hour. You can drain it and use it for vegetable stock for making risotto or you could whizz it up, throw in some noodles and have a delicious vegetable noodle soup. If you have a Thermomix, should be making TM paste with any vegetables you have left over!
Fritatas are a great way to use up eggs (yes they do go stale if you don’t use them) Just google Fritata and any vegetable/herb you have excess of and there will be a recipe, trust me, they are an easy meal to make, healthy and you will get some extra veggies into you, which is a bit better than plain eggs on toast.
Just before you fruit goes off (if it gets to that point in your house) Peal, chop and put into the freezer. You should never throw out fruit, even if you can only salvage a bit of it. You can put it in smoothies, juices. Defrosted squishy fruit is yummy on ice-cream or alternatively make a crumble. Put the fruit into the bottom of a dish and sprinkle a mixture of butter, flour and sugar over the top! I also buy lemons and limes when they are in season and cheap, juice them and put the juice into ice cube trays when frozen I empty the trays into a zip lock bag. This means I always have lemon or lime juice any time I want it! I also peel the zest of the lemons and put into the freezer incase I need lemon/lime/orange zest at any time.
So in the Olden Days, rissoles use to be made out of cooked meat. If you don’t use up all of your roast or meat, chop it up finely and put in all the ingredients you would have used if you were making rissoles and cook them exactly the same… it is a great way to use up all sorts of cooked meat even sausages. My favourite way to use up BBQ sausages is below
Bubble and Squeak
Any vegetable mashed up with a few beaten eggs fried in a pan, it is that easy. I love to make it when I have BBQ sausages left over and chop them up and add them as well!
Did you know that milk/cream freezes, very well in fact. If your milk is close to or on the use by date, pop it in the freezer and then use it when you run out, need it for cooking or just buy a few extra and pop them in the freezer so you don’t have to go to the shops for milk all the time if you use a lot in a week! If you don’t open your cream and it is past the use by date make butter out of it. You need a mixmaster or Thermomix, but it really isn’t that hard. The last lot of butter I made the cream was two weeks over its used buy date (not opened) I opened it made the butter then made it into a herb and garlic butter and put it in the freezer for garlic bread!
Chicken and Chicken Stock
Have a look at this post to let you know what to do with Chicken… it will change you life (well not exactly) and save you so much money!
When cooking, try and always make two batches or a double batch of meals that are good to reheat in the oven, then freeze into aluminium containers that you can purchase for $1 at Coles and Woolworths! At some stage you could have a whole weeks of meals so no preparation (except a salad, some veggies or a garlic bread), just pop in the oven and cook.
These are just a few things that I do to help me save money each week! If you would like any help on what to do with anything… just leave a message and I will get back to you. I do have a service where I come to your house. We clean out your freezer and pantry together and work on weekly meal plans and help you get organised. I hope these handy hit can help you somehow!