Monday, December 3, 2007

Warning: Slow Moving Vehicle

Well, after the excitement of the last week, this week is going to be the exact opposite. Not much going on in the kitchen though, I'm afraid. Andy is working out of town, so I likely won't be cooking much this week. I do happen to have some fresh bread dough rising as I write this, and I have an idea for a soup this week, but other than that, it looks to be a slow week.

Lately I've spent a lot of time looking up specifics on frugal cookery. Andy's new job is not bringing home the proverbial bacon as it was supposed to be, so pantry cooking has become my mantra. (I'm just glad I have a well-stocked pantry to do so with.) It's not always very exciting cooking, but with a full spice cabinet and a stocked freezer, I am able to change things up so they suit our family nicely. My big challenge right now is to get my son to eat beans. With all the experimentation I've been doing with beans, I've really fallen in love with them and could eat a simple bowl of cooked dried beans any day of the week. Abigail will eat them on occasion, but not all the time. Imagine the possibilities if they came around!

There are a few sites out there that address cooking on a budget, and a few have caught my eye, so I thought I'd share. The first one is Hillbilly Housewife. This site is full of interesting tips to help save a buck, and also includes recipes, and weekly menu plans for someone on a budget. While not all the recipes appeal to me, that may to someone else.

I've also found a few recipes on Frugal Cooking which interest me.

And you wouldn't think it, but someone sent me a link to the USDA website, Food Stamp Nutrition Connect. There are many recipes on there which surprised me, and it's great to see a step in the right direction regarding food stamps and nutrition. Now if only the people who utilized the food stamp program had Internet access and computers...

And finally, it wasn't that long ago that I realized that my favorite recipe-finding site, Recipezaar had a community and forums. The people there are so friendly, that I just love reading how others save money in the kitchen. The Cooking On A Budget forum is great for tips and once-a-month-cooking ideas.

I know I ask for tips every once in a while for cooking on a budget, and I even have a label dedicated to it in budget friendly ideas. But are there any new tips out there? Suggestions? Recipes? I'd love to see them and have them for future reference.


Deborah said...

You know, it's funny you should post about this now. I'm going to be relying on my pantry and stockpiled freezer to get me through December, mostly so that I can afford Christmas shopping up front this year.

One thing that I've done lately - and, belive it or not, just posted about this morning! - is to make a base dish and freeze it, then season it very differently every time I thaw it out. I don't care much for beans, but I imagine they would take to this very well.

So, for December, I'm trying to only purchase fresh veggies to see me through, and hopefully I'll learn some tips to keep around next year.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever tried the Easy Layered Beans and Rice recipe that has been posted on CLs BB. Might be a way to ease into beans for your kids.

I am trying to empty my freezer (its small and doesn't really have that much in it, but I want to use up whats in there so I am going to see if I can basically get dinner out of there (with using pantry items) and some shopping.

I think soup is a great budget item. Many freeze great (so helps me from going take out when not in the mood to cook) -- with some bread, perhaps grilled cheese and a quick salad, dinner is done.

Andy said...

what about some black bean/sweet potato burritoes?

JEP said...

Just wanted to comment on your very well written post today---loved the title, too! Helpful info & links.

Erika W. said...

Deborah I thought it would be timely for many people. I hate how sometimes Christmas comes and then it takes us a few weeks to pay back our Christmas spending.

Anonymous, I haven't tried that recipe, and keep meaning to do so. Unfortunately rice isn't so popular with my kids either. (I know- right, if they ate rice and beans I'd have no problems staying in budget!) But I should try it anyway, because sometimes they do like rice, just depends on the preparation.

Andy, thanks for the reminder! I have a black bean enchilada recipe floating around that uses a pumpkin sauce- I have to dig that out.

Thanks Jep! Hey- when are you going to start a blog? ;-)

swirlingnotions said...

Erika . . . I've got an article here that I wrote for Cooking Light in October (with recipes) about cooking on a budget. Check it out if you like. (I especially liked the slow Tuscan cooked pork with white beans and think that may be right up your alley)

There's also this: -- put out by the USDA. They used ot have it in PDF format, but I've searched and searched and can't seem to find that anymore. I found some really great tips and recipe ideas here.

Hope these help!


Erika W. said...

Lia, I do have that magazine, and that pork dish has been on my list to try too. I wish CL would do more of those article, because one of the things about cooking on a budget is that it isn't always lighter and healthier.

The USDA has been a surprising source of information for me- thanks for that link too!