We are always looking for ways to cut costs and keep money in our wallets. The most obvious place is to cut corners where we have the ability to choose. Shopping for groceries is a perfect place to save money and make purchases that are friendly to the environment. But sometimes in our efforts to cut costs we inadvertently spend more money in the long run. Hopefully this article will help you to spend your money wisely as you cut your grocery expense.
When my wife and I first started to incorporate an environmentally conscious lifestyle and save money, we made some really poor decisions. Purchasing products just because they were eco friendly did not mean we were being economical or friendly to the environment. When making purchases of eco friendly food and other products, keep in mind that it doesn’t help if you don’t use it.
Which product to buy can be a very daunting task. Should you buy canned potatoes, instant potatoes, or bagged potatoes? This was an area we made our first blunders. I figures we would buy the potatoes in the paper bag because it was less waste going to the landfill. Problem was we had more waste in the house because we didn’t use the potatoes before they went bad. The key to frugal, green living is wasting less and spending less. It makes more sense all around for us to purchase two cans of sliced potatoes or a box of instant that make really quick dinners. Point is use what you purchase. You are not helping the environment by storing product you’ll never use and you end up spending more because you will still purchase what you will use.
So here is my thoughts on simplifying your cooking and saving money. Canned sliced potatoes are great for a quick breakfast or dinner side dish. Just open the can, put them in the skillet, and presto you have fried potatoes. No work on your part and they are usually done in ten minutes. Generic brands are just fine and are usually only .60 a can.
For us there is nothing like a good pot of navy beans. Purchase a bag of dry beans, rinse, and put in the crock pot. For seasoning I simply add 3 cups of beef bouillon made from instant powder. Set pot on high and cook for three hours. Eat that for dinner one night and then add a .50 can of diced tomatoes with jalapeno pepper and a $2.00 jar of mild salsa and you have chili for the following night.
Rice is a great filler for anything. Add it to soups, stews, or on the side with a variety of flavorings. As a struggling writer, I have found 1000 ways to cook rice. It’s funny I know, but you do what you have to sometimes. Let me share a few samples you can try for a quick brunch or dinner anytime. Purchase a bag of regular white rice, the instant rice is more expensive and you can cook regular rice in the microwave. To microwave the rice add 1 ½ cup of water to every cup of rice and heat on high for 10 minutes. Add about ¼ water and heat again for 10 minutes. Now you just need to add flavoring and you have a great side dish or meal.
For instant beef flavored rice I use bouillon instead of plain water. Instant beef flavored rice is a fantastic side dish. Other ingredients you can add are diced spicy tomatoes, salsa, plain butter, spaghetti sauce, parmesan cheese and garlic powder, and even barbeque sauce. You can do just about anything to rice and it will taste good.
I hope these really simple ideas help in some small way. We all need to pinch our pennies and sometimes we need to pinch them more than we like. But making wise choices and being creative we can save money and time in the kitchen.
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