Fresh or frozen the great debate…
One great way to save money on cooking and get great results is to consider buying frozen ingredients. One of the great things we have available to us is vegetables year-round, but their prices tend to peek for vegetables out of season. That doesn’t mean that you have to avoid that dish; ultimately, a great way to get around those high prices is to look for their frozen counterparts. Some people shy away from using frozen vegetables, but they’re usually the cost-effective option, and they still bring that wonderful flavor to your food.
Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh because they are flash-frozen at the peak of their ripeness, giving you a great flavor. That being said, I would tend to stay away from a few vegetables from the freezer and prefer to keep a few of them on hand at all times.
Avoid -loses flavor and/or texture
Softer vegetable such as zucchini and eggplant
Buy – Very similar to their fresh counterparts
I avoid those vegetables because they tend to lose flavor and texture when they come out of the freezer, and it has a detrimental effect on the dish. I recommend keeping the ones on the other list on hand and ready to go when you get that craving for some spinach dip or some glazed carrots. The same applies to most fruits for that great dessert or smoothie; it’s great to have them on hand. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me on Twitter if you’re not sure about buying that vegetable frozen or not; so that you can keep it cooking!
One of the intimidating and costly things people tend to shy away from is adding wine to dishes. This component is incredibly crucial to many recipes it is very overlooked due to the cost and not having it on hand. When it is used in cooking it can be a great way to adjust the flavor and aroma by adding, intensifying, and enhancing the flavor. That being said it’s not always the case that you have to break the bank to find a good wine to cook with.
In my experience, I would tend to shy away from wines that are marketed as cooking wine. Although this may seem a little counterintuitive as we were going to be using these for cooking, I tend to find these wines lacking the full flavor and body as their drinking counterparts. Instead, I try to find a cheaper wine that is meant for drinking to get the full flavor and bring that potent aspect to the food. I have no wine expert by any means, so I tend to rely on the expertise of store associates. It’s important to keep in mind what dishes are making and what kind of wine is called for in the recipe. That’s not being sad that you can’t have a little bit of creativity in this section and it’s a great thing to play with and learn the different flavors that will work well.
Whether it’s a chicken marsala or a French onion soup adding just a splash of wine can make all of the difference. Flavor, color, aroma so many great components come from adding wine to the dish. Hopefully, this has inspired you to go to your local grocery store and find the perfect bottle of wine and make that dish that you’ve been wanting to try.
Who said good food has to come at a high price?
It is said that the average American household spends 20% of their disposable income on food. This amounts to thousands of dollars invested into a staple, but it is not considered the creative, beautiful experience that food can be. Since we see food all around us every day, it’s an excellent way for people to gain a little more joy and experience new things. I hope to find budget-friendly and stomach-friendly ways to help people prepare and try out some interesting new recipes. Food being my passion and accounting being my career, I have established some best practices in getting the best bang for your buck when cooking.
The primary way to cut down your cost of food is to plan ahead of time. Take a look at the recipes before you go to the grocery store and know which amounts and what ingredients to buy will help cut down on waste and spoilage. If a little bit of time is invested at the beginning of the process, it will make the whole recipe go smoother and better tastier results. Not to mention all the time, you’ll save only making one trip to the store. In the end, it’s making something that you love and that you can share with others while still keeping the budget in mind.
Interestingly we look at recipes and think that they are step-by-step instructions, but I hope to show that recipes can be a guide and creativity is always welcome in the kitchen. Many of us think if we don’t have a specific ingredient that we can’t make something. Changing the way that we believe so that we understand that there are so many substitutes and usually more cost-effective ones that can end up with just as impressive a dish.
Can’t wait to keep it cooking with you!