Sunday, October 12, 2014

What to make yourself to save money

First, not that I have many followers, but let me apologize for my year hiatus.  I guess raising a two year old and being pregnant will do that to you.  Now that I have a 2 1/2 year old and a newborn I don't have any more time then I did a year ago, but I need a good distraction.  If nothing else a great outlet for displaying recipes I've enjoyed or adapted over the last year.

So let's talk about saving money.  I love to save money.  Today I saved 39.41 on my grocery bill and then came home and saved another 2.50 using the "Snap" app on my phone.  Wahoo! 

So here is a list of the things I make myself at home to save money.  Most, if not all, of these items I make in bulk and freeze:

You might think that the time invested in making these items isn't worth it, but hear me out. Last week I bought 3 whole organic chickens, a bag of organic carrots, organic celery and turned it into 42 cups of chicken stock/broth that I could freeze in plastic restaurant style soup containers.  Of course I added pantry items like peppercorns, bay leaves, water, and garlic to flavor it.  Three stock pots on the stove all at once, one mess in the kitchen, and 3 hours later I had a years supply of chicken stock.  Sounds like a good deal to me.

Two years ago when my migraines were out of control I decided to go 100% organic and 100% MSG free.  In order to reduce the stress of this my husband bought me a freezer so that I could make the most of my time.  When I make muffins I double the batch and freeze the muffins in the plastic take out containers you can buy in bulk at Costco.  Then I take them out as needed.  When I make my bread recipe I make 10 loaves at a time, cut them in half, wrap in clear wrap and then put them in plastic freezer bags and pull out as needed.  For my vanilla extract I buy my vanilla beans in bulk (see link above) and make a years supply at a time.  This year I made extra so that I could give it away as gifts. 

I could keep breaking down the savings for you, but the reality of it is you have to shop smart, make the best of your time, and choose which things make the most sense to you.  Shop when you have coupons, shop when things are in season, shop when there are sales.  All of the items that I make in bulk and freeze (not the vanilla extract or sunflower seed butter), freeze well and defrost well.

Happy baking, happy cooking, happy shopping and happy savings to you!  Enjoy!

Homemade Organic Chicken Broth

I started making homemade chicken broth a long time ago.  I've had a lot of luck with Tyler Florence's recipe.  I've used it in my Chicken Pot Pie and different soup recipes with lots of success.  The only adaptions I made to his recipe were that I don't use the turnips (because I have never tasted them...use them if you like them),  I used spring onions instead of white onions (about half of one bunch per recipe) and I bought all organic vegetables. 

When I make this I put three really large stock pots on the stove top and make three batches all at once.  If you're going to go through all the work of making the broth why not do it once.  The broth freezes very well and mine lasts up to a year in the freezer.  Here is a big HINT....spend the 10.00 that you saved by making it yourself on buying restaurant style plastic soup take out containers.  Here's why...stock freezes well in them, their stackable in the freezer, they won't spill or leak out and they defrost well.  I used to freeze the broth in plastic freezer bags but the bags would get a hole in them or explode.  After two episodes of leaks and a huge mess to clean up I can't tell you how much easier it was to just use the containers.  I put 3 cups of broth in each container which is the perfect amount for my chicken pot pie recipe and most soup recipes. 

Here is Tyler Florence's original recipe:


Homemade Ketchup

Awhile back I found Wellness Mama's recipe for homemade ketchup.  I've tried others in the past, but this one is the best (

Let me break down how I've adapted the recipe for you.

  • 3 cans of Tomato Paste (find one without citric acid...also she doesn't tell you the size...I used 24oz total).
  • 1/2 cup vinegar (make sure you use clear distilled vinegar...all others cause migraines)
  • 1 tsp organic garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup organic spring onions diced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Grandma's unsulphured molasses
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp organic dried mustard powder
  • 1 pinch of the following; organic cinnamon, cloves and cayenne
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp chia seeds- I did not put them in powder form first
I used a blender, but you could use a food processor, blend all the ingredients until smooth.  Here is where I differ with the method.  You could put it in freezer or fridge at this point, but I transferred it to the stove and brought it to a boil and then simmered it on low for about 15 minutes.  My OB GYN suggested doing this because when you heat tomatoes you bring out their natural lycopene, which is good for fighting off cancer. 

This usually makes 3 of the small Ball glass jars.  I keep one in the fridge until it is gone and I freeze the rest until needed.  Yummy!