Invest in Containers for Meal Prep

And don’t worry about spending all outdoors on them. I found the containers I mention in this article at Walmart at reasonable cost. They are BPA free, and will be perfect for my work meals. These containers can go into the freezer, on the top shelf of the dishwasher, and even into the microwave if you have one, and are reusable. There is a place on the covers where you can write the date by which the meal or food items should be used; nifty for freezing. And these containers even have stay-cool handles.

Photograph copyright January 2017 by Shannon L. Buck.

These little containers come six to a package, and are each 4 fluid ounces. They’ll hold dips and sauces, as well as small bits of leftovers. You could also use them for pudding cups or trail mixes. The cost for these was $2.47.

Photograph copyright January 2017 by Shannon L. Buck.

I bought a variety pack as well, which includes two snack size (9.5 fl oz) containers, five entrée (25 fl oz) containers, and five soup and salad (24 fl oz) containers.  The cost for these was $4.47.

Photograph copyright January 2017 by Shannon L. Buck.

I also bought these round containers. They are bigger than the 4 fluid ounce ones, but I cannot seem to find the information for the exact size. They came in a four-pack, and cost $2.17.

I paid just under $10.00 for all of these, and they are going to be perfect for bringing my meals to work with me. I work 40 hours in 4 days every week, and I like to prepare my meals the day before my first shift. When I get everything to work I can put a couple of meals in the freezer to be moved to the refrigerator Saturday morning, put the snacks in the office, and put the other containers straight into the refrigerator. Easy-peasy!

NOTE: For items that may stain plastic container, such as my chili, I use glass canning jars or glass bowls with covers. Glass items are easier to keep clean under these circumstances.

What do you use for meal prepping?

Shannon

Be Prepared for All of that Candy

When the girls were young, to prevent them from overindulging in all that sugar they’d received each Halloween/Samhain, I had a plan in place to be ready for the bombardment of all that candy.

I realize that there are readers who believe children should have free reign over these treats; I simply do not agree. Sugar highs are not good for children, or those caring for them. Too much sugar in one day is not good for their health. And allowing them to binge eat like that can cause serious problems later on.

* I assure you, they had their treats. They enjoyed them. They simply had them in moderation. And they got tons of candy.

(Update 2017) Even though I am trying to eat healthier myself, and this blog is about frugal, healthy eating (for the most part), I completely understand the fun that comes along with this time of year. And I can’t wait to take Little Man out trick-or-treating some day.

Have these supplies ready:

cookie jar or other container

2 large bowls

freezer bags or containers labeled Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentines Day

trash can

  • Go through all the treats that each of your children received. Throw out any that does not look right.

While going through the candy, separate it all into the containers as such:

  • Popcorn balls, pretzels, fruit snacks, and other snack type items will go into one of the large bowls, along with any actual fruit.
  • Place chocolate candies in the other large bowl.
  • Put other types of candy into the cookie jar.
  • Candies with red or pink wrappers should be placed in the Valentine’s Day container.
  • Candies with blue, green and silver wrappers should be placed in the Christmas container.
  • Candies with brown, yellow or gold wrappers should be placed into the Thanksgiving container.
  • The three holiday containers are then placed into the freezer, and the rest are placed in a location that is not easily accessible to the children.

A week before each holiday, take the candy from the freezer and place it around the home in decorative plates. You do not have to buy candy for these holidays now.

  • These holiday candies are obviously not to be used as gifts. They were given to your children.

Have a Happy Samhain/Halloween!

Shannon

 

 

Farmers’ Market Shopping by Shannon L. Buck

Shopping Locally is the Way to Go

Shopping at a farmers’ market is a lot of fun. They offer many items and a lot of the fresh produce sold at these events is very reasonably priced, if you know when to shop. I shop in Orono, Maine, because it is close to my home. This makes it easy to purchase fresh produce and other needs from a local source.

Granted, these farmers do not generally live right down the street from us. The markets allow various farmers to come together in one place for us to visit once or twice per week. This saves fuel in two ways: 1) Products are not being shipped in from other states and/or countries, and 2) all farmers’ market customers do not have to travel here-and-there-and-everywhere to purchase state grown products.

I’ve noticed that when I visit the market an hour or so before they close, I can usually get even better deals on the fresh produce. Why can you get better deals at the end of the day? Because the farmers don’t want to have to take the fresh produce and baked goods, or even the frozen items, back home with them if they can help it. They grew and/or made these items to be purchased, not to be brought back home. The products may not last until the next farmers’ market, so the seller may be more apt to bargain toward the end of the day.

Our local farmers’ market has more than just fresh produce. I’ve seedlings, soaps, homemade jams, jellies, butters, pies, breads, and more. Even frozen seafood and dried herbs. Last year, someone was selling homemade, organic dog treats. These wonderful products are just what I’m looking for.

I find that almost all of the products offered at a farmers’ market are organic. If an item is not organic, I can choose not to purchase it. I want to purchase as many natural, organic products as possible, so this is a very attractive reason for me to shop at the farmers’ market rather than the grocery store. I also like the fact that the products are made and/or grown in my home state.

To shop a farmers market, you need a few things

1. Reusable shopping bags, which you will want an abundance of.

2. The knowledge of what you need, and how much you’ll be able to use before your next visit.

3. The knowledge of how to preserve and/or store anything you are able to get a good price on.

Stock up when you find good deals at a farmer’s market

You don’t want to stock up on anything that wont last until you can eat or use it up, but you’ll want to take advantage of good deals on the items that will last. This will save you money in the long run.

I’m now going to offer you up an assignment. I’d like for each reader to visit a nearby farmers’ market. Spend some time there. Ask about the products that are of interest to you. Find out if they are organic, if the sellers are willing to bargain at the end of the day, and how often the sellers attend that particular farmers’ market. When you return home, comment here to let us know how things went and what you learned.

 

Trying New Foods, Harmless Harvest, and Earth Day

During my journey into eating healthier, I’ve been trying new foods. It’s important to do this, to make sure we’re getting all the nutrients we need. One of the ultimate goals to healthy eating is to get almost all of your nutrients through food, minimizing the supplements we need to take. Another ultimate goal is to learn how to prepare these foods in healthy ways, to stay on track with our nutrition goals. Many people also want to eat in a more sustainable way.

Try new foods!

By trying new foods, we can meet at least the first two goals. I’m not saying we’re going to like everything we test out, but it is important to at least try. There will be hits and misses, and that’s fine. When something is a miss, rather than ruling it out completely, we might try it another way.

When I started this journey, sweet potato was something I knew I wanted to try. I didn’t really like it, so I decided to try it again, differently. The second time, I had only half a serving with a half serving of white potato. I mashed the two together, and it tasted just fine. Over the course of my experiment, I slowly added a bit more sweet potato and took away a bit more white potato each time. Eventually, I came to like sweet potato without the white. Later, I used the same process with squash and am able to eat that without potato now.

Unfortunately, this experiment did not work with carrots. I need to be able to mash them up with white or sweet potato, or even squash, or I can’t eat them cooked. However, I do love them raw!

I’ve tried mango a few times and can’t stand it, unless it is in smoothie form with other tropical fruits. Yum!

Other things I’ve been able to add without mixing, such as raw spinach and kale (who knew they would be so good!). I can’t eat them cooked, yet. I love almond and cashew milks, even though I’ve never been able to stand almonds and cashews. I’ve even gotten to the point where I can add sliced almonds to some things. Now that is progress!

Considering I’d only ever had sweetened coconut flakes, I was surprised to find I love the organic, unsweetened flakes, as well as all other coconut products I’ve tried. I almost solely use coconut oil, I like coconut cream with cocoa powder or pure extracts, and coconut milk is delicious. I even use coconut water in my smoothies sometimes.

I don’t always have the extra money to try some of the new organic, non-gmo, Paleo-friendly, items that I want to try but, during months when I have a few extra dollars, this is exactly what I choose to use the extra money for. If I like something, I try to budget for it every so often.

And once in a while, a company will contact me to try and review a product. I don’t review it unless I like it and know I’ll use it again at some point. You may have read my piece on Leap Organic Smoothie Bowl Powders. I’m trying protein powders in my smoothies as well. These were free for me to try, and they help me to decide if something is worth buying.

What new foods will I be trying next? I have a list, and am trying them as I can. The list includes items such as cashews, papaya, raw Brussels sprouts (don’t like them steamed!), sunflower butter, and coconut probiotics.

Harmless Harvest

Harmless Harvest has a coconut probiotic I’ll be trying soon, and I’ll be sure to let you know what I think of it. It’s made with pure coconut water (yum!), and I like what I’ve read about the company so far. They are an ecosystem based business that considers sustainability of the utmost importance. This Earth Day, Saturday the 22nd, the Harmless Harvest staff will be volunteering to show their support. They are a fair-for-life company, and their coconut waters are environmentally conscious. Their goal is for a zero-waste ingredient model, and they are working toward that goal by not only using the water from the coconut in their coconut probiotic, but also the meat.

Why are probiotics important?

Probiotics are important because they stimulate the growth of beneficial microorganisms. These microorganisms are important for proper gut health, which is important to the overall health of the body.

I’ve been a bit worried about gut health since taking on a mainly Paleo diet. I’m not eating milk-based yogurt any more, so I’m wondering what I can replace that with that will be Paleo-friendly. I’m looking into coconut yogurt, and Harmless Harvest Coconut Probiotic was recently brought to my attention. Can’t wait to try it!

Celebrating Earth Day Year Round

I don’t celebrate Earth Day once a year. To me, it a year-round thing. There are so many things we can all do to lessen our negative impact on the Earth, that we can incorporate things throughout the year. Here are some things I do/use:

  • Reusable lunch sack for work meals.
  • Reusable containers for work meals.
  • Reusable water bottle while at work and when walking.
  • Leftover water from cooking to water plants.
  • Use canning jars to store food in the refrigerator. Since I don’t process foods in the jars, I can reuse the lids as well.
  • Use wool dryer balls.
  • Use fabric (not paper) towels.
  • Try to buy products in glass jars that I can reuse for other purposes. I don’t buy items in jars often.
  • Pick up trash from the ground when I’m out and about.
  • Eat less meat than I used to.
  • Buy organic/non-gmo/sustainable when possible.
  • Use less paper and plastic products.

Am I perfect? Nope. But, then, who is? But every single thing I’m doing makes an impact and makes a statement.

How are you celebrating Earth Day? How are you eating healthier these days? What products do you adore to help you meet these things?

Shannon

Freezer: Using up the Winter Stocks

Since it is the time of the year when we spring clean, I thought it would be nice if we all considered our freezers for a few minutes. Do you have any leftover produce in the freezer? I know that I still have some frozen smoothie packs and berries in the freezer that need to be used. Here are some pointers for using up your winter stores:

* The eggs you purchased on sale and froze will need to be used. Since the yolks had to be broken to freeze, you cannot make boiled or fried eggs with them. You could make other things, though:

  • scrambled eggs
  • french toast with a hearty paleo bread
  • use them when baking

These can be frozen in snack size baggies, then put all the baggies into a quart or gallon size freezer baggie until needed. Freeze them one egg to a snack size baggie, or use bigger bags and freeze more than one  in each.  Take the eggs out of the night before  you need them.

* Use grated zucchini  to make:

  • muffins
  • breads
  • omelets
  • cookies
  • brownies
  • cakes

* Diced apples are great for breads and muffins, brownies, cookies and cakes.

* Sliced apples make great crisps, pies, sauces, and cobblers.

* You can make a great soup from (saved) leftover vegetables, meats, and liquids from cooking the veggies.

* Make smoothies using the smoothie packs you froze during the winter.

Happy eating!

Shannon

New Year Goal: Getting Back to Eating Healthy

I must have gained 15 pounds this month, and I feel crappy to boot. I can’t claim to eat healthy 100% of the time, but usually I eat far healthier than I have in the past couple of months.

The holidays are rough, that’s for sure. All the delicious foods are so hard to say no to.

What is healthier for me? A mostly Paleo diet. Mainly vegetables, protein, and healthy fat, with a little fruit thrown into the mix. This is not a diet as many people use the term, but a lifestyle. Remember, a diet isn’t something you go on. It is how you eat daily.

Now, a Paleo lifestyle is not cheap, but I am trying and learning new things to help me save money when possible. Usually my hours are cut back during the winter months, meaning my food budget is next to nothing, but this year my boss tells me I’ll be working 40 hours each week. If this is true, I’ll have more money for groceries. Thank goodness! More money for experimenting with recipes. More money for regular meals. More money for healthy food, and not having to eat all the grains, sugars, and other stuff that causes me to gain weight.

My parents gave me $100.00 for Christmas, and I intend to put that money toward stock-ups for healthy eating this winter. After all, we all like pancakes and muffins sometimes. It’s just a matter of what ingredients are used when making them. So I want to stock up on things like:

  • almond flour
  • coconut flour
  • cocoa bliss
  • coconut oil
  • canned tomatoes
  • tomato paste
  • bakers cocoa
  • canned full-fat coconut milk
  • canned coconut cream
  • unsweetened coconut flakes

I lose weight and feel so much better when I’m following a Paleo lifestyle more closely.

What is healthy for you and your family? That depends on your health concerns and other things. Your doctor or a nutritionist should be able to help you figure it out. You owe it to yourself and your family to figure out what healthy is for you, and to change your recipes and menus up accordingly.

You don’t have to make one big change at the beginning of the year, especially if that means you wont stick to it. Why not try something new each month, continuing throughout the year with each one. You will make each a habit to carry with you into every year from here on out. Here are some suggestions:

January: Do you really need a bunch of fruit every single day? With the Paleo lifestyle, and a need to lose weight, I’ll only be having one fruit a day. Fruit has plenty of natural sugars, and I don’t need that much sugar when I’m trying to lose weight – natural or otherwise. If you’re not trying to lose weight, then more fruit is likely fine.

February: Are you getting enough vegetables? Even if you get two vegetables at the three meals every day, adding a side salad to lunch and dinner will give you a nutritional punch. These don’t have to be huge salads, and will help to make sure you’re getting enough produce.

March: Water is so important! Try drinking a lemon water each morning. Then a water with lunch, and one in between lunch and dinner. This may enough for you. A good rule of thumb with water is that you should be able to get all your food in throughout the day. If you’re drinking a lot of water each day and not feeling hungry enough at all three of the basic meals, you are likely drinking too much water. Eight glasses of water a day is not for everyone. Keep in mind, you’ll need more water during hot months.

April: Is juice necessary? No. It’s far better to have the fruit than the juice. If you really think you need the juice, be sure it has no added sugars. One-hundred percent juice is the way to go.

May: Is dairy really your friend? Being on the Paelo diet, you eliminate a lot of foods from your diet. Then you can reintroduce some things. During this process, I learned that milk and yogurt are not my friends, but I can tolerate cheese. However, cheese is not really part of the Paleo lifestyle Let’s just say I haven’t given cheese up completely, but I limit it. I rarely ever have it.

June: Did you take milk out of your diet and want to replace it with something else? I didn’t think I would like them, but I now drink almond, coconut, and cashew milks. Try one. One serving a day is good.

July: Cut out processed sugars, for the most part. I do use organic honey, maple syrup, and molasses (on rare occasion). I don’t use sweeteners a lot by any means.

August: Corn is not a vegetable. Not really. It is a grain. Please treat it as such.

September: Rethink grains, particularly if you’re trying to lose weight. And don’t be fooled by wheat products. They may not be as healthy for you as they are supposed to be. Still want pasta, breads, and brownies? Think almond and coconut flours. There are non-grain options that taste great.

October: While my favorite dessert item is not 100% Paleo/healthy, it is tasty and easy to make. If you have the money you can get healthier versions of chocolate chips, but I don’t have that kind of money. This treat keeps me from eating a whole slew of very-bad-for-me desserts, so I’m keeping it.

No-Bakes: Melt chocolate chips with a tablespoon of organic coconut oil. Chop almond slivers up a little finer, and give some dried fruit a chopping as well. Add these two ingredients along with unsweetened coconut flakes to the melted chocolate. Make sure all the goodies are coated, then drop by the tablespoon on to parchment paper and allow the no-bakes to set up. Yum! Store in a container in the fridge. I’m sorry, I don’t measure these ingredients.

November: Be sure each meal and snack has a vegetable, some protein, and a little healthy fat. A good snack might be a carrot or celery, a hard-boiled egg, and a tablespoon of cocoa bliss.

December: Make sure each get-together includes a vegetable platter or two!

Tips for saving money while eating healthier:

  • If you are cutting back on fruit intake, you’re saving a little money.
  • You’re also saving money on processed foods that can go toward healthier foods.
  • I can’t afford all organic foods, by any means, but I do buy organic when I can.
  • I rarely ever am able to afford organic meats. I don’t let it bother me. I’ll still be eating healthier than when I’m consuming all the dairy, sugar, and grains.
  • Peanuts are not nuts. They are legumes. If you are on the Paleo diet, you aren’t allowed legumes. You’ll save money by not buying peanut butter, beans, etc.
  • Figure out what healthy brands of foods are sold at the stores you frequent, then go online to look up their websites. Sign up for coupons. Use coupons only when it will save you money.
  • Combining coupons with sales saves even more money.
  • Wal-Mart has organic herbs in pots. Place them on a windowsill and use them in place of dried herbs. This will save you a lot.
  • Start an organic garden in the spring.
  • Save leftovers, even if it is only a tablespoon or two of something. Freeze what you wont use right off.

Happy New Year!

Shannon

The Art of Soup Creation

Soups are so easy to make! They are healthy, and you can add just about anything to them. Experiment to see what your favorites will be.

A big pot is best, so you can have plenty of leftovers. Covered and placed in the fridge it’ll last a good 4 or 5 days, and you can freeze some of the soup as well.

I use leftovers first when making a soup, then add to the pot if the need be. If the leftovers are frozen, they don’t really need to be thawed. This process will happen just fine during the cooking period, so no worries.

Here is the basic process of making a soup:

  • Go through the refrigerator to see what needs to be used up, leftovers or not. I’m usually looking for meats, broth, stock, and vegetables.
  • Go through your freezer. Again, leftover meats and vegetables that have already been chopped and cooked, as well as stock or broth if you didn’t have any (or enough!) in the refrigerator.
  • If it looks like there will still be room in the pot, look in your pantry or food cupboards. Is there anything you’d like to add to the soup?
  • Start by placing the pot on a big burner, and pouring in about an inch of broth or stock. Turn the heat on high, and allow to warm.
  • Add any frozen foods when the stock or broth is warm, then chop fresh vegetables and add to the pot.
  • Brown any meat you want to add, unless it was already cooked. If pre-cooked, just add it straight to the pot.
  • Add any other leftovers from the refrigerator.
  • Add more stock or broth if necessary, to cover the food.
  • Once the liquid is boiling, turn the heat to medium-high and continue to cook. Most of the foods will probably be warmed through by now. If not, no worries. Continue cooking. The longer you cook, the more the foods flavors will mingle.
  • About 30 minutes before you’re done cooking the soup, add any canned foods you want to use.
  • Add and any herbs you like 10 minutes later.
  • Cook for 20 minutes and you are done.

There are so many combinations of ingredients that will work. Try using different ones each time you make the soup, mix things up a bit, writing a new recipe out each time.

Try this simple combination for a small pot of soup, following the steps above:

chicken stock

diced carrot

sugar snap peas in pods

chicken or turkey

parsley

Tips

Serving Suggestions

  • An excellent way to add more nutrients to a meal is to serve a side salad. Try a fruit salad with this soup.

Happy cooking!

Shannon

The Art of One-Pan Meal Creation

I love one-pan meals! Why? Because you only use one pan, for course! A girl doesn’t always want to dirty more than one pan to make a meal, because she doesn’t want all the extra dishes to wash after.

The trick with one-pan meals is to start with melting a healthy fat in a skillet and then add the food item that takes the longest to cook and work your way to the one that takes the least amount of time to cook.

Every so often, the longest cooking part of a meal may need to be drained after cooking part way through and that is fine. Start adding the other foods after that step.

For example, pasta or rice (if you eat grains, I do not) would be cooked partially first then drained. So would ground beef. White potatoes take longer to cook than sweet potato and squash. Shelled peas don’t take long at all. Its okay to learn through trial and error. I did.

If you need to add liquid, do so after the healthy fat (I prefer coconut oil) is heated. I’d use a good broth or stock for this purpose.

A one-pan meal I particularly like is made like this:

  1. Melt a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil in a skillet.
  2. Add chopped white potato to the pan and cook, stirring every minute or so, until they start to get tender.
  3. Add chopped squash and sweet potato and cook for a few minutes. Keep stirring as above.
  4. Add chopped sausage, still stirring as above, until potatoes are cooked and everything is warmed through.
  5. Add seasonings, stirring one last time. Let cook a minute, and it is done.

See how easy it is. All the flavors from the different foods mingle for a great tasting meal that can be served any time.

If you wanted to add diced carrot with the sweet potato and squash, and shelled peas at the end, you could. The above is just one example of a meal that can be prepared in one skillet. There are many more combinations. What are your favorites?

Tips

Serving Suggestions

Happy cooking!

Shannon

The Art of Casserole Creation

At the most basic level, a casserole is food items put into a baking dish and baked until done. It can be layered, or all the foods might be mixed together, a few ingredients or many. The foods, when baked together, make a delicious meal to be served any time. Most casseroles can even be frozen before baking, to have on a busy weeknight. These creations are easy to make.

Some items, like most meats and pasta (if you use pasta), should be cooked before baking. Others, like peas, don’t have to be. Leftovers are great in casseroles, and help to cut costs on food.

When I make a shepherd’s pie I first cook and mash the potatoes and brown the ground beef. I don’t pre-cook the other ingredients.

My shepherd’s pies usually include these types of ingredients:

Liquid: Just a little in the bottom of the casserole dish. Water, stock, and broth each work. Usually just a few tablespoons, sometimes a little more.

Meat: To cover the bottom of the baking dish. A thin or slightly thick layer, depending on what I have on hand. Ground beef, or chopped beef, pork, venison, chicken, or turkey. Other meats could be used as well. When using leftovers from the freezer, there may be a combination of meats I will use.

Vegetables: Peas, carrots, broccoli, tomato, etc. Use one or more. Thicker vegetables may need cooking first. This second layer is spread over the ground beef.

Toppings: I used to always use white potato, but I have changed it up a bit. Now I will use squash or sweet potato if I have them on hand. Then I’ll sprinkle fresh herbs such as parsley and/or rosemary over the top of the casserole.

Bake your casserole at about 350* for 20 minutes or until warmed through.

I’m trying to stay away from grains, though I am sure many of you will use them. Doing so can be a money saver. Just be sure that there are plenty of vegetables and some protein to go along with it, and I’d use a healthy fat to brown the meat in.

If I wanted, I could slice the potatoes or squash and not mash them, them layer over the pie. Or mix all the other ingredients with sliced potato before cooking. I’m also considering finding a Paleo “cornbread” recipe to make a sort of taco or chili casserole, using the bread as a topping. Paleo breads are not made from grains, so it would work for me.

What is your favorite casserole? I’m always open to new ideas, as I’m sure everyone else her is.

Tips

  • Grow some of your own produce and herbs to save money on these types of recipes.
  • To be extra frugal, save leftovers from meals in the freezer. Saving a tablespoon or a quarter cup of foods over the course of a week or month might net you an almost free meal.

Serving Suggestions

Happy cooking!

Shannon

5 Laws of Being a Frugal Kitchen Goddess

Being a Kitchen Goddess is one thing. Being a Frugal Kitchen Goddess is something else. I’m a Frugal Kitchen Goddess, and darn proud of it. How about you?

In order to be a frugal Goddess in the kitchen, you must know and/or do things that help to save money. What they are will depend on your cooking style and just how much money you wish not to spend. My Frugal Kitchen Goddess laws are:

  1. Know the truth about eggs. That’s right, most of the time all size eggs are created equal. There are only a few types of recipes out there that wouldn’t come out right if I did not use, say, three large eggs, and I don’t make those recipes. While large eggs are sometimes the better value, this is not always the case. Just last week I bought a dozen medium eggs because they were the best value where I was shopping. I used two medium eggs in my homemade brownie recipe and the brownies came out perfect, even though the recipe called for two large. No difference. I have also used small eggs in this manner. It is way more economical, most of the time, to use small eggs in smoothies as well. Also, when tripling and quadrupling recipes, I leave out an egg. The food comes out just fine. I have even been known to use duck eggs (given to me by a friend) in different recipes. They are amazing.
  2. Grow your own food. Even though I rent a room right now, and can’t garden outside, I still grow a little of my own food. For instance, my mother grew kale and chives in her garden last year and, at the end of the growing season these greens were still growing strong. I took two of each plant, put them in a pot with soil, watered when necessary, and used the greens in salads and smoothies until after the holidays. Every time I’d take a leaf or two off, more would grow. It was great. Right now I’m trying my hand at growing herbs on at the back of my desk, right in front of a huge window. So far the cilantro and parsley are growing well, and I can see the beginnings of some oregano. Yum. I’m doing it all organically, and it will save a good amount of money.
  3. Cook from scratch. It’s much more frugal, and healthier, than using so many processed foods when you’re trying to eat healthy. I don’t do a lot of baking any more, as far as cakes, breads, and such. But I do take squash from the garden to roast, filling it with other fresh produce and a little meat. I also make other foods in my toaster oven.
  4. Accept whatever people offer. From duck eggs to fresh produce to food plants, I take whatever anyone wants to offer. This saves me a bunch of money each year, and provides food to experiment with allowing me to create new recipes. Fun! You’ll figure out a way to use each item. Duck eggs are great in smoothies, omelets, and more. The plants can be placed outside or in a sunny window. And the fresh produce can be used in all manner of things, from smoothies, to omelets, to nachos.
  5. Utilize the slow cooker when possible. Make everything from roasts to chili to soups, and so much more. Use of the cheapest cuts of meat, and the ugliest produce, wont even matter. No one will notice. And you’ll make the most amazing meals!

Now, I realize each frugalista has her own laws of being a Frugal Kitchen Goddess. What are your yours? Do any of them match up to mine? Are they different?

Shannon