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Frugal Meal Planning 101 - Page 8

post #141 of 642
Originally Posted by Anna06 View Post
Unless VaMountainMama has a quick and easy recipe you want to share??:
I'd like to know too
post #142 of 642
Originally Posted by strathconamama View Post
I'd like to know too
Me too! :
post #143 of 642

I'm starting late, but I want to join in.... We're trying to eat whole foods and mostly organic, and it's not too cheap : I'm a little lost, so hopefully this thread will help!
post #144 of 642
3 things I could make

-BBQ sauce (?)
-Grate my own Parmesan cheese (though I swore before it was worth the money to buy the grated!)
-Bottled spaghetti sauce - I usually just add fresh veggies to the jarred kind but I could do it all from scratch I guess if it was cheaper?
post #145 of 642
Well I posted this but now I don't see it.

I spent $89 for the 3 of us. That is a ton compared to what most of you are spending but its less than what we normally spend.
However, I didn't have much in the pantry or freezer.
post #146 of 642
Ok, for assignment #3, I'll make-
homemade crackers
homemade hummus
homemade chili

Can't wait to make the crackers, they're mostly for ds, but we buy them all the time.
I've made hummus before, but lately I've been buying it.
I've always wanted to make chili and never have. I LOVE Amy's brand spicy chili, so I'm going to attempt to make something similar!

This week I made our bread and tonight I made vegan 'Jungle Bars" kind of like banana bread with oats, choc. chips, coconut, and almond. Turned out so good, but I used up the rest of my maple syrup in them, which is pricey, oh well. Still cheaper then buying a similar item at the market!

My husband spent about $25 on groceries today, he stuck to the list
2 lg. containers of rice milk (has anyone ever made rice milk???)
2 packs of fresh mushrooms
2 bags of choc. chips (for homemade treats)
2lbs rice
half & half (for his coffee at home)
earth balance margarine

We only need a couple other things to get us through next week, mainly celery (which I love), and grapes (which ds loves)
post #147 of 642
wife&mommy: don't feel bad! We just spent $94 on the 3 of us (well more than that but that's what we spent on food) but included in that was several organic chicken breasts that will go into the freezer (on sale!) dark chocolate bars (also on sale...we're trying to have that be the only "sweets" in the house) and fresh veggies for juicing...

*green*faery*: please share your cracker recipie...DS is addicted to all things crunchy and I'd love to make my own. tomorrow I'm planning on making my own veggie chips (carrot and sweet potato) for the first time...wish me luck as I am COMPLETELY new at this whole cooking from scratch thing!
post #148 of 642
Originally Posted by SamsMuffin View Post

I'm starting late, but I want to join in

Originally Posted by CeciMami View Post
wife&mommy: tomorrow I'm planning on making my own veggie chips (carrot and sweet potato) for the first time...wish me luck as I am COMPLETELY new at this whole cooking from scratch thing!
How do you make veggie chips?!?! Share, Share please:
post #149 of 642
*green*faery -- I have some recipes for nut milks. I'll check the cookbook and see if there is also a rice milk recipe in there.
post #150 of 642
3 convenience foods I have in my pantry:

Stove Top
Apple Jacks

A concoction my kiddies call "Mommy macaroni"
Stuffing from scratch
Oatmeal? I can't very well make Apple Jacks, but think oatmeal would be a great substitution...
post #151 of 642
I checked my cookbooks and do not have a recipe for rice milk. However, in Rodale's Basic Natural Food Cookbook, they have the following description of how to make nut or seed milk:

Lightly roast and grind any nuts or seeds. While grinding, gradually add water (whole or reconstituted dry milk can also be used) until a potable consistency is attained. (When using sesame seeds, strain the blended mixture.) One-quarter cup of nuts or seeds will yield one cup of milk. Sweeten it with honey or molasses, and add a few drops of vanilla extract if you desire.

You also can enhance the flavor of nut milk with any of these: one tablespoon of carob powder, honey, or molasses, or a few pitted dates, raisins, or banana slices. After adding them, reblend the mixture thoroughly.
It seems to me that a similar process would work with rice. I think you should try making 1 cup and see how you like it. You could always play around with the process a little until you got a product your family enjoyed.
post #152 of 642
There are a ton of granola bar recipes around here... this is one I found that looked the easiest:

Originally Posted by rgarlough View Post
I found a recipe for a bar like granola thing. By bar, I mean more like a 'bar' = cookie bar. Definitely not a crunchy bar.

In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups "instant" oatmeal, 1 cup flour (of your choice), 3/4 cup brown sugar, a dash of salt and any of your choices of 'dry' ingrediants - nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc.
In a smaller bowl, mix together 1 egg, 1/2 cup oil (of your choice, butter or coconut oil should work as well), 1/2 cup honey.
Combine wet ingrediants w/dry in large bowl. Mix with hands for best results.
Pour into greased pan and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
Allow to cool completely before cutting.

I thought the original recipe was a bit high on the sugar so I successfully reduced the brown sugar to 1/2 without any negative results. Depending on the nut content, the salt can be omitted. Mine were a bit salty... I think rolled oats could be used but the wet ingrediants may need tweeking.

And for the hot chocolate, I did use powdered milk. I just made a typo. LOL.
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups powdered milk
A dash of salt

Mix all ingredients well and store in an airtight container. To use, put three or four teaspoons of mix into a cup, add hot water and a drop of vanilla. Stir well.

I would love a recipe for crackers as well, expecially cheese crackers and graham crackers!
post #153 of 642
Just wanted to say that I'm still in! I actually just went through and figured out what homemade alternatives I can make a couple of weeks ago, and am still in the process. The only convenience foods I have now in my pantry are raisins and dd's organic wheat-free, gluten-free, soy-free cookies, and coming up with a homemade alternative is on my plan for next month. If it's okay, then, I'd like to repsectfully bow out of assignment three.

post #154 of 642
My convenience foods:
canned beans
Store bought bread

dried beans, of course....I will cook these and then freeze them when the freezer gets a little emptier
Need to hunt down a cracker recipe
Will learn to bake bread...will learn to bake bread...will learn to bake bread

My dh loves (and I mean loves to the tune of 4 bottles a month) El Yucateco hot sauce. I saw a Rick Bayless show (his PBS one) on making your own habanero hot sauce. I'll try that next summer when the habaneros come in. If I could find a hot sauce he likes, that'd be huge!

And, my one indulgence that I just refuse to find a substitution for....
post #155 of 642
thanks VaMountainMomma, those sound great.
post #156 of 642
Originally Posted by wife&mommy View Post
-Grate my own Parmesan cheese (though I swore before it was worth the money to buy the grated!)
-Bottled spaghetti sauce - I usually just add fresh veggies to the jarred kind but I could do it all from scratch I guess if it was cheaper?
Do you have a little hand rotary grater thingie? We have an old one (like 7yo if not older) that's not near as fancy as that one at BBB, and I grate an entire wedge of romano (from Costco) in an evening (with no interruptions, probably less than an hour or so). You might even be able to find a decent one at a thrift store if need be. Leave some in the fridge to use, freeze the rest of the grated cheese in the freezer. If you have to straight-up hand grate it with a regular plane grater, yeah it's a pita and takes forever, and hurts your hands. :

I do make our own spaghetti sauce from mostly scratch, using a tweaked recipe of MIL's. Scroll to the bottom of this entry, and you'll see the separate ingredients and then the finished product. I do pre-chop some of the stuff and cook the sausage beforehand so the day I'm chained to the stove for 4 hours isn't so much longer because of prep time. For all of that (tomato sauce, onions, mushrooms, green peppers, spices, olive oil, sausage, tomato sauce, tomato paste, olives and maybe something else) I spent about $15 total - $7 of that was sausage, and $1.89 of that was a 106oz can of tomato sauce from Costco. Figuring out the servings, it was like $.42-$.50/serving, plus the pasta is about $.10/serving because I have a giant stash of it downstairs. Don't know if that's cheaper than the stuff you get though, but my dh sure appreciates it...
ETA: My serving size for spaghetti sauce is about 6 ounces, my boys *really* like their sauce and the yummy chunky stuff in it.
post #157 of 642
I guess I'd better check in. I've been behind, but I finally finished assignments 1 and 2. I threw away an entire trash bag full of old food from the pantry : and that's not including what I threw away from the fridge and the freezer. That REALLY needed done. So I made my inventory and was able to make a meal plan for seven days using mostly what I have on hand. The only stuff I need to buy is produce and some cheese and milk. So that's pretty good.

As for assignment #3, the only "convenience" food that I have that I can make myself is bread. I could make that myself, but I have become addicted to this bread. I buy it at Whole Foods and it is SOOOOO good. It's expensive, but I'm not ready to give it up yet. So I think I'll be skipping assignment #3.

And kathirynne, I hope you feel better soon. Thanks so much for doing this.

ETA: Oops, I lied. Bread isn't the only convenience food I have. I have crackers too. DD loves to eat crackers. I would also be interested in a cracker recipe if anyone has a good one. Thanks.
post #158 of 642
Several people mentioned they are interested in homemade crackers. Several years ago, I made homemade crackers and cheese balls, and but them all together in a baskets for my family for Christmas. At that time, I had a subscription to Martha Stewart Living and the November issue had a bunch of cracker recipes. I thought they might be online, and they are!

Visit http://www.marthastewart.com and search for cracker recipes. I got 8 pages worth of hits (about 80 recipes). Many of them are recipes that might include crackers, like a pie crust, but there are also many recipes for crackers. The November 1997 issue must be the one I got all the recipes out of because there are several listed from that issue.

BTW, I only stumbled across this thread yesterday and am starting on assignment number 1. It will take me a while -- I have two pantries, a 14 cubic foot upright freezer, plus my regular frig and freezer...
post #159 of 642
Hi! I'm going to make whole wheat-oat crackers tonight, I'll let you know how they turn out & I'll post a few recipes from my book (I don't have it handy right now)

I think I'll try the granola bars next, that sounds good!
post #160 of 642
The first two things that come to mind are bannana muffins and pancakes. I'm going to make a bunch ahead and freeze them. I like the idea for crackers but right now we have too many in the pantry to use up to do that this week. We really don't keep conveince items on hand or use them that much.

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