Monday, January 7, 2013

Tips to save you time AND money!

Anybody that knows me knows I'm frugal. I say you're right. I don't like spending money on things I don't have to and if I can buy something on sale or clearance, I'm all about it! I hardly buy anything full price. Most of Madison's clothes come from consignment sales. I do buy her shoes and all but a couple of toys new.

While working in the kitchen I realized I do a few things that save me time and money that may be helpful to a few of you!

Tired of spilling food all over the place when trying to pour it into a zipper bag? Just stick the bag down in a big cup and fold the top over the sides of the cup. Voila.

I needed to marinate some chicken tenderloins for supper the other night. I put my marinade down in the bag and an entire pack of tenderloins fit on top of it without spilling out of the cup. No chicken juice on the counter or the top of the bag!

Want dry beans for supper but don't want to go through the hassle(or have the time) of soaking them for hours and hours and then cooking them for another 2?!

After picking out the pebbles and rinsing them under cold water, for every 1 lb of beans, add 6 cups of water to a crock pot.  Cook on HIGH 4-6 hours. Mine were done around 5 hours so just watch them. I added a beef boullion cube to the water. This was the first time I'd done this and they turned out pretty good!

Buy a batch of green onions every week? Cut off the roots and stick them in a container with water. They will grow new green part(the part you eat). This picture was taken when I put them in water and the next day about 1/4" of green had already grown and I needed to add water. It's now been a week and the green part is now about 4" long! I have done this before and did it twice before throwing them away. I'm not sure if you can do this over and over all the time but it's worth doing it a few times!

Now that you have a constant supply of green onions, chop them up and put them in an old drink bottle and stick them in the freezer. As you need them, just pour them out. They thaw instantly and you aren't wasting any of them! :)

Same thing with herbs. I bought parsley only to forget to use it in the recipe that I was supposed to. Oops. I didn't want to throw it away so I blanched it(dip in boiling water until it turns bright green-15-20secs. This step retains the color and flavor), let it cool then chop it and lay on a baking sheet. Freeze. I froze mine overnight. Then put the frozen pieces in a zipper bag. You can also freeze fresh(non-blanched) herbs by putting the herb in a blender with just enough water to make a paste. Pour the paste in ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, pop the cubes into a freezer bag. When a recipe calls for it, just pop the cube into the dish.

I will try to continue to do this as I think of things. What are some tricks you have?

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