|Runzas or Cabbage Pockets|
It can also be quite easy to get stuck in a rut in my cooking style. For example- I tend to use a lot of hamburger and cheese in my dishes. The hamburger we have quite a bit of right now but I realize now that I need to be careful with how much I use of it as we ran out over a month early (before the next beef was ready) last year. As far as the cheese is concerned- we don't raise it nor do we have an economical place to purchase it so I think it would be wise for me to use a little less. My goal is to cook with a little more variety.
My tips (besides Menu planning, which is the biggest help in my opinion) for using what you have on hand are:
- Browse cookbooks for ideas. I recommend looking at cookbooks that focus on whole foods (like Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living) or look at Ethnic Cookbooks. The normal modern American cookbook uses a lot of already processed foods so that doesn't help me a lot in using up the bounty from my garden.
- Don't be afraid to create your own recipes. If you have cooked for a while just think back to things you like and then don't be afraid to make adjust the idea according to what you have on hand. We have had some pretty yummy meals using these principles.
- Don't be afraid to substitute things in recipes. If you don't have what is asked for see if you can either do without it or use something that you do have.
- Adjust your ideas of what you like and need. We enjoy having a variety of fresh fruit but this winter we have been trying to focus more on using the apples, applesauce and berries that we have on hand.
~Apple Coffee Cake and Yogurt
~Scrambled Eggs and Toast
~Hash browns and Eggs
Main Meal (For lunch we generally eat leftovers and I try to make enough so that we have them):
~Ham and Bean Soup and Cornbread
~Tandoori Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Fruit Salad
~Creole Cheese Potato Puffs, Little Hamburgers and Salad
~Chicken Jambalaya and Broccoli
~Hamburger Rolls and Corn
~Teriyaki Steak, Green Beans and Fried Potatoes
I do need to buy butter this week as well as maybe some milk and eggs but otherwise I think we won't need to do any shopping. Our normal food budget is $360 a month but I am hoping I can keep it down to $250 this month. Shopping under budget for much of the year allows us to be able to buy beef at the end of the year.
Do you have any tips for using the stuff that you put up for winter rather than going out and buying other food?
I am linking up to:
Good Cheap Eats' Pantry Challenge
Homestead Revival's Homestead Barn Hop
Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday