Als ich wisse das Morgen der Erde enden wuerde, immernoch wurd ich mein Apfelbaum pflanzen.

Even if I knew the world would perish tomorrow, I would still plant my apple tree. - Martin Luther

"Factory work's easier on the back, and I don't mind it, understand, but a man becomes what he does. Got to watch that. That's why I keep at farmin' although the crops haven't ever throve. It's the doin' that's important." Madison Wheeler in Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Menu Planning, Substitution and Doubling to Freeze - Three Essential Tools for Healthy and Frugal Eating

Periodically, after a conversation about the current busy state of my family's life, someone will say something like, "I just don't know how you do it all."  My answer?  I'm organized and a plan ahead.  

The other day I heard a report on the amount of food that typical households waste.  Can you guess?  It was 40%.  That's crazy!  Americans are wasting almost half of the food they buy.  The NRDC said that the average family throws away $2,275 annually.  I almost stopped the car.  

Then I begin to wonder why?  The only answer I could come up with was lack of planning.  There are two tools that help us to eat well, and use up what we already have before we buy more.  First, I plan a menu.  I usually sit down on Sunday afternoon and think about the week ahead.  I then match the food we'll eat for supper to the kind of evening we'll be having.  The second tool I use is substitution.  I don't always follow the recipe to the letter.  Sometimes I use what I have.  For example, the pot pies below are intended to be made with potatoes, chicken, and a homemade white sauce.  I had turkey, turnips and potatoes and turky gravey.  Guess what?  The substitution version was just as good as the standard one.  Not a single person noticed - in fact, everyone aksed for seconds.  The final tool in my frugal kitchen kit is that usually, if I'm cooking something from scratch I'm doubling, or even tripling what I'm making.  The extra dishes go into the freezer for busy week nights.  

Every Lent I challange myself to spend as little as possible a the grocery store.  I want to use up what I have before the summer comes and we're wallowing in produce and processing.  Maybe this year, you can do the same?

The top line is breakfast; the bottom one is supper.

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