Let's talk one ingredient cooking to save money. This post was inspired by SAM'S post about her $9 pantry challenge. For which she took some flack!
There is real food insecurity in this country. I am not a hot dog or white bread eater on a regular basis. But once in a while I like a hotdog. I think you can be a purest about food, and I am just not.
What I am however is a one ingredient cook. Not on everything, because it would take way too much time and effort and cost more. I guess what I am saying is I have my limits.
Now not to harp on the chili I made yesterday, but let's look at one ingredient cooking.
burger ( this is ground beef with beef suet added) I would call it a one ingredient food maybe the experts wouldn't
canned beans ( they had added salt which I rinsed and drained) But I am telling you if this had been a meal where food was short as in scarce I would not have done this as we need all the calories we can get. I will tell you that I consider all canned veggies with salt one ingredient, the experts would not. I will usually use dry beans but for the sake of convenience canned are great. I think every food storage should have canned beans. If you can't cook you can still have protein and eat.
garlic this is a one ingredient food. Now you could used the minced garlic in a jar (not one ingredient) but I do have this on hand when I am in a hurry.
onions ( one ingredient)
tomato sauce ( I have my own frozen) I also have cans for convenience. Canned tomato sauce is not one ingredient as it usually has spices, or modified corn starch in it and always salt.
canned tomatoes ( I USED MY OWN) I always add1/2 tsp. of salt to my tomatoes before processing.
You will need spices which are one ingredient but read the labels as they can have fillers
salt, pepper, cumin,chili powder, garlic powder,onion powder, and cayenne pepper.
Now I made a large pot of chili.Enough for at least 16 large bowls.
I calculate the cost of this to be about $7.00 as I used home grown tomatoes and onions. Each bowl represents a full can of chili.
Canned chili can be found for $1 a can, it would have a lot of sodium, not much meat and many fillers. However I do have canned chili in my food storage. Again if you have no way to cook a can of chili would be very nice if hungry.
corn meal is a one ingredient food If you read the label, some have added ingredients.
flour (not one ingredient unless you grind your own ww) I do use processed flour
sugar (one ingredient) some would only say cane sugar as beet sugar is not non GMO
eggs one ingredient
baking powder one ingredient to me anyway
salt one ingredient
milk not one ingredient if pasteurized
butter I call this one ingredient but it will have added salt
What I am trying to demonstrate is that scratch cooking, has less ingredients and is better for you.
Now you can pick up Jiffy corn bread mixes pretty cheap and I think the cost would only be a little less cooking from scratch. The mix would also be quicker. But I don't know I can whip up a batch of biscuits, or cornbread in a very short period of time, so I will never use a mix. Would I store mixes for emergency food storage? You bet.
It will almost always be cheaper and better if you go back to the actual ingredients a dish needs rather than a mix, or a frozen version, or store bought ready made. You will save money cooking from scratch, if you learn to do it you will become better and faster at it.
Cakes mixes are cheaper than making a cake from scratch. I have done the math. So don't be afraid to stock up on a few mixes and use them. Canned frosting however is just awful. Have I USED IT IN THE PAST? Sure have but I do not store it. I store powder sugar and make my own. Again if you practice it is just not that much work.
Learn to cook with one ingredient foods and store them when the prices are at there best you will save money.
SAM used carrots as her veggie in some of her meals. This is a one ingredient food.
Potatoes one ingredient.
Why do you think S. Morgenstern wrote that man's first meal was stew? Potatoes, carrots, root veggies, some meat and onions and garlic. A one ingredient dish. Well unless it comes in a Dinty Moore can. Have I eaten Dinty Moore? Sure have and I would also store it for emergencies.
I am not a food snob, I AM A FOOD CHEAP.
Are you a food snob? ARE YOU A FOOD CHEAP? Do you want to join my club? Well Sissie and Sluggy are not welcome right now, but everyone else can join.
1. SAVED ALL MY CHANGE IN MY PIG BANK.
2. saved a $1,$5,$10,$20 bill
3. saved money in two of my 100 envelope challenge
4. saved all my $5.00 bills saved $30.00 in 5's this week now up to $2,230.00. Have $15.00 toward the next 100
5.I found a boat load of change this week. .11 .11 .5 .10 .1, 1.13 It was a bang up week I tell you
6. Did some Ibotta shopping as I had no loss leaders and I needed a few things that they were carrying, so earned about $26.00 with a bonus. hair dye, root cover up, makeup, lip stick, I am not brand loyal. as my sister in laws' would say I also have a cheap face.
7. downloaded receipts to fetch
8. cooked all but one meal from scratch at home
9. got leftover food at foodbank closing time. Chicken breasts, potatoes, grapes, yellow squash, apples, raisins,rice krispies,butter,canned fruit, many bags of legumes and beans
10. Found chicken thighs marked down on a close out at Winco for .48 cents a lb. So bought 4 large packages. Or 15 meals worth of meat for under $10.00 I just happened to be at the right place at the right time.
11.Used zippers I had on hand to repair items and then charged customer accordingly
12.purchased gas at the least expensive station
13. used 4 large sausage and cheese dogs I obtained in a large package that was given to me.
14. enjoyed the last of the grapes from our vines
15. still picking tomatoes and onions from the garden.
What did you do this week to save money?
Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are int the negative.