Food - Week 9: Vegetables
March is frozen foods month so the rest of this month we will stock up on frozen foods. If you do not have a freezer substitute canned foods each week.
This week store 10 cans of vegetables per family member or 5 (1) pound packages of frozen veggies. Even if you plan on a huge vegetable garden and plan to can and freeze what you grow stock up now. Concentrate on vegetables you do not grow or do not freeze or can. If something should change and you can't preserve this year you don't want to be caught without.
Potatoes are considered a vegetable so don’t forget them when stocking up. Frozen hash browns or tater tot are a fun surprise at a meal. I love canned potatoes. They are great for frying with onions for home fries and easy to add to stews. I consider fresh potatoes a grain when I store due to their fiber content but that’s just me.
Remember one, and only one, of the reasons we are storing is to get ahead of rising food prices. Take advantage of sale prices this month and you will be that much further ahead when increases come later in the year. If you see a killer deal in another category go for it! As we prepare we need to take advantage of all the great sales we find.
Store - Week 9: Napkins & Coffee Filters
More paper this week but you may be a little surprised. This week we are storing paper napkins and coffee filters. Now I know you understand the need for a napkin you can throw away or burn but coffee filters? Plan for three napkins per day per person and then substitute coffee filters for other times when you may have used a napkin in the past. I found filters were actually cheaper at Costco than at the dollar stores so shop carefully. Coffee filters are less than half a penny a piece.
Following is a brief summary of just ten of the more than 50 uses:
1) Use coffee filters as little serving dishes for pretzels, popcorn, and chips. Roll into a cone if the food will be taken outside where kids are playing. You may say you have small bowls for this but it is cheaper to use filter than to wash bowls.
2) Place under individual servings of desserts or fruit when serving a buffet. They make it easy to pick up a serving to eat in your hands or place on a plate.
3) Use to absorb grease from bacon or other fried foods.
4) Wrap hot dogs, tacos or sandwiches to catch all those little drips, cheaper and less landfill than napkins or paper plates.
5) Push the stick of a Popsicle or ice cream bar through a coffee filter to catch drips.
6) Wrap around whole pickles, slices of fruits or juicy whole fruits to prevent sticky fingers.
7) When making a soup or stew. Place herbs in the center of a filter, tie with a string and you can easily remove the herb bag when the cooking is done.
8) Place mint leaves into the center of a filter, tie and use to flavor iced teas, sun teas or lemonade.
9) Place loose tea in center of a filter, tie and brew.
10) Place cinnamon and spices in the center of a filter, tie and spice up your apple cider.