Cooking From Stash

Posted by Cent With Love | 9:53 AM | , | 2 comments »

There weren't too many great deals at Shaws this week, at least for me, so my $40 grocery budget didn't go nearly as far as it has been, making it the perfect time to take advantage of my stockpile. Even if you don't have a Shaws near you, there are lots of different grocery store chains that have awesome sales making it easy for you to accumulate a nice little stash for yourself with very little investment. Really, there's no excuse why you shouldn't have one.

The first recipe I made was Crockpot Chicken Chili from Gina's Weight Watcher's Recipes. Over the summer, I had cooked up a bunch of varieties of dried beans and froze them flat in 2 cup portions in ziploc bags. This was the perfect recipe to use them in. Again, if you have a nice stockpile, you should have plenty of tomato sauce (or even salsa!), frozen veggies, frozen chicken, and chili or taco seasoning. The only ingredient you may need is a fresh onion, and you may even have some chopped and frozen. I omitted the cilantro - we don't really like it and even if we did, I wouldn't make a special trip for it. The key here is to use what you have on-hand. In the end, we had this meal for dinner one night, and I'll have it for lunch a couple times this week. The best part is that I didn't have to use any $$ from my $40 budget to make this meal happen.

The next recipe I made was Yogurt and Banana Spice Muffins from Picky Palate. DH is home from work all this week, so I needed to have some snacks available for him. Again, the object was to use just what I already had. I did have a Spice Cake mix, but if I didn't I would have just used a different flavor. I was really glad that I overstocked on yoplait a couple weeks back, and I was happy that I mashed some overripe bananas and froze them flat a few weeks back. I added a few handfuls of crushed Total cereal to up the nutritional value per muffin. Plus, I have a ton of cereal to use, so why not! Don't mind the Halloween muffin wrappers! :) They did the trick. This recipe is a keeper. It's healthy and delicious! Just an example of why you should stock up on those practically free cake mixes even when you think you'll never use them.

Another example for those cake mixes: Weight Watchers Diet Soda Cake. Take a cake mix, 2 eggs (or egg beaters) and a can of soda. Mix all together and bake according to the box directions. I used ginger-ale and a chocolate cake mix. Perfect dessert for the Chicken Chili! Plus, again, it was free for me to make and it was a good snack to have in the house this week.

Okay, one more: Lazy Lasagna!!! This was sooooo good! The perfect comfort meal for the freezing cold weather lately. The only thing I did differently was instead of the pepperoni, I used some sliced leftover meatballs that my mother dropped off. She makes really, really good meatballs. Again, you should have most of this stuff on-hand in your stockpile. I always buy some sort of cheese each week. Just use what you have.

Cooking this week was the perfect example of buying items when they're nearly free, even though you may not need them for the upcoming week.

2 comments

  1. Money Funk // January 21, 2009 at 11:46 AM  

    Looks yummy. Thank you for the recipes. How did you get your bananas to freeze? I froze mine and when I defrosted... well, it look quite blecky! I see you mashed before freezing... is this key? Would love to keep banana for those banana bread/muffin days!

  2. Cent With Love // January 21, 2009 at 2:10 PM  

    Actually, I mashed them and they worked out well. They released a bit of liquid when thawing so I just didn't add the additional water called for in the recipe. I guess it's something you just need to eyeball because I'm sure each batch will release different amts of liquid.

    And I store everything in baggies flat in my freezer, by squeezing out all the extra air and making sure the layer is as thin and even as possible. It totally helps with storage space and dethawing evenly.