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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tightwad Tip Tuesday- Reducing Food Preparation Costs

I have a hard time following rules (as you might have noticed from some recipe posts of mine). I have only a slightly easier time when these rules are self imposed. I simply don't like being forced to do anything, even if it is just me that is doing the forcing. So I've pretty much just taken a lackadaisical approach to posting on my blog, posting whatever I want, whenever I want.
Yet, posting like this makes scatterbrained me forget all about some great post ideas that I had. And the ones that I did remember often got pushed aside for another day, because I said "I don't want to write about that today"... and then I just never get around to posting those posts (even though I have pictures taking up memory on my camera, waiting to be posted).

So what I will do is post a loose guideline for myself and this blog.
Monday, the start of a new week. Lots on my mind from the weekend. Monday will be my day to muse about random thoughts, usually thriftiness related. This will be my Monday Musings series.
Tightwad Tip Tuesday will be my general thrifty tips, like this post.
Needs vs Wants Wednesday, you already know about, where I philosophize and challenge societal misconceptions of certain things being needs.
Thrifty Food Thursday will be anything food related, but I assume that this is where I'll end up posting my recipes. I probably will also write other food related posts, not just on Thursdays though, like this post.
Frugal Fun Friday, as you already know, are my tips on how to have fun with your family without breaking the bank.
Simple Solution Saturday is short little ideas to help you save.
Sunday I'm leaving free for any other things I care to write about, because I can't possibly fit all my possible  posts into one of 7 categories. I mean, I could, but I wouldn't want to limit myself like that.
This is just a loose guideline, and I'm not going to be strict and force myself to stick to this layout. This is just so that I actually have a format to write all those posts muddled about in my head, and so that I actually do share those pictures of General Tso stir fry that I snapped more than a month ago while making this dish with my dad.

Now for my Tightwad Tip Tuesday post:
Reducing Food Preparation Costs



So, you learned that making food from scratch will end up saving you lots of money, because homemade is cheaper than ready made. You started cooking and baking everything at home, and, like me, discovered that your utilities bill went up drastically because of all the home cooked food, and were wondering if homemade food was even worth the work if you spend so much extra via making  it.
Here's some tips (some learned by me, unfortunately, the hard way) to reduce the cost of food preparation, making homemade foods be financially worthwhile.

Top 10 Tightwad Food Prep Tips
1. Don't splurge on expensive ingredients, thinking that, after all, you're saving money by making the food from scratch.
2. Don't cook with prepared items; peel that garlic and cut that butternut squash by yourself. It'll be cheaper and its not that much more work.
3. Cook using cheaper mediums. Use a crock pot instead of an oven. If gas is cheaper than electricity (like it is where I like), cook on the stove top as opposed to baking or using the crock pot.
4. Do everything by hand, using a grater and knives, instead of using a food processor.
5. Chop up vegetables (especially hard ones, like potatoes and carrots) really small so they'll take less time to cook.
6. Soak beans and grains overnight before cooking or sprout them so they'll take less cooking time.
7. Cook in a pressure cooker to reduce cooking time.
8. Use a solar cooker if you have one.
9. If using an oven, fill it to capacity, because it uses the same amount of electricity to heat up, no matter how full it is, and then cook one load after another so that you'll be taking advantage of the heat and won't have to spend money on preheating.
10. Don't cook beans with acidic things or salt, as this hardens their skin and lengthens their cooking time.

What are your tips to reduce the cost of food preparation?

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