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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Home Economics

Leftover Chicken, Beans, and Rice and Chicken Stock To-Be
I am trying to save even more money around the house.  We did pretty good tonight!  The kids and I ate chicken, rice, and green beans.  The total cost of the meal was just over $5 and I have a TON of chicken left over, a good bit of rice, and about a serving of green beans.  I bought the chicken when they were on sale for 69 cents a pound.  I actually bought 3 of them and stocked them away. 

I found a recipe online for "The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot." Now, I wouldn't say this was the best chicken I have ever had because I like it in the stove when it gets nice a crunchy.  But as my mom says, you're not really supposed to eat the skin.  With this recipe, that definitely wasn't a problem.  The chicken was flavorful and moist though, and it was done in the crock pot, so it didn't heat up my kitchen and clean up was pretty easy.  The best part though, is that I am making chicken stock in that same crock pot overnight and will make chicken and rice soup with the leftovers.  All I will have to add is a little more rice and veggies!  (Which cost about $2.)  So I am getting a ton of food out of $7!!!

My second experiment is freezer cooking.  There are so many people out there in blogland using freezer cooking to speed up meal prep.  There are tons of different approaches, but what I am going to do is make a double batch of my meals this week--half of which will get frozen.  Soooo, anyone want to guess how much I spent to make these meals????  $120 (This includes all of my breakfast/lunch/snack items for this week plus the dinners for 2 weeks.)  Now, I did cut costs by including one vegetarian meal and one pasta meal.  Also, I did have some of the ingredients on hand.  The dinners  I will be making are:  Vegetable and Bean Pie, Beef and Potato Casserole, Tuna and Broccoli Casserole, Turkey and Mixed Vegetable Casserole, and Spaghetti with Homemade Meat Sauce.  One meal this week is mom's night out and another will be at a friend's house.

I also plan to make some breakfast rollups that I will freeze to have for last minute breakfasts.

Freezer cooking is a little daunting to me.  These are all recipes that I found online so I can see if I really like this method.  In the future, I would like to incorporate my regular menus into this system just to stock pile some dinners for those nights that I just don't feel like cooking.

My final experiment is homemade laundry detergent.  Don't worry, I am not making my family use washcloths instead of toilet paper.  This is something new and exciting to me, but it's probably common sense to our grandparents.  I, like so many other people have been happy with the deals I get online. . . so much cheaper than grocery stores!  But this is even cheaper (about 40 cents for a gallon)!  And they say it works great.  I am going to use the recipe I found here.  I have quite a few bottles of tide in my stock pile from the last sale at amazon, but I am so excited, I want to make a batch right now!  I will update in the future with my results.  If anyone is interested, I found all of the supplies at walmart, and they cost me $7.  I will be able to make a lot of detergent with this.  The only step in the process that will be a pain in the butt is grating the soap, but I found another site that recommended using the food processor to grate it. 

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