Custom Search

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tip for Frugal Cooking: For One or a Crowd

I'm always checking the personal finance section at the public library. Even though most books say the same thing, I find that reading the books (same with blogs, actually) strengthens my frugal spine: I am not alone.

Recently, I perused Hot (broke) Messes: How to Have your Latte and Drink It Too by Nancy Trejos.

The book is written for the 20-30something age group. It is of the genre of much powerful personal finance writing: the conversion narrative, from sin to salvation, with some backsliding. Oh wait: that's St Augustine's Confessions. The personal finance version is debt to prudence, with some backsliding, and loads of temptation along the way.

I'm definitely too old for this stuff, and I long ago made my peace with my frugality, but, as with every book, there's something good for every reader.

In the section on entertaining, the author quotes a friend who is a "frugalicious foodie." First under the principles of frugal entertaining is Burn Your Cookbooks. This is a ridiculous way to introduce a good point:

Don't look at a recipe and create a shopping list of items you won't use again.There is probably a lot you can do with what you already have...

Good point! Years ago, I almost had a heart attack when a Wall Street Journal columnist wrote about how he made the spice blend garam masala for an Indian dish and spent $20.00 on the spices. The recipe called for under a teaspoon. Really, I almost had heart palpitations, especially because I knew what garam masala is composed of. Poor Jeff (that is his name): he probably had most of the spices in his kitchen, PLUS, you can buy a blend.

So, use what you have. You can search for recipes online by listing your ingredients. Good things come up.

What have you made from your fridge or pantry stash lately?


Duchesse said...

So would that be "O Lord, make me frugal, but not yet"? We just made four jars of butterscotch sauce from butter and sugar and a touch of cream.

Tomorrow I'll make a lot of pesto with the summer's plentiful basil and freeze it in ice cube trays.

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Beef Shank Soup...cold and rainy here today...this is just what is needed and all here in the kitchen so no need to run out and get wet!

Shelley said...

Baked bananas to use up some before they went off and my freezer is already full. I just sliced them, threw in some marg, brown sugar, honey and some almond extract and put in the oven till it browned. Those were vaguely the sorts of ingredients I found in a couple of recipes, but couldn't be bothered to follow in detail.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse-Very good! I do miss your comments. We're going to make pesto too.

@hostess--Still too hot here! Soup is my favorite thing to cook and to eat.

@Shelley--Baked bananas! Sounds neat.