Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Frugal Cooking


In order to save a few dollars, I've been making sandwiches and packing everyone's lunch for the past week. You see, even though my girls are nearly grown and quite capable of doing this for themselves, they tend to wake up late and/or forget most days so they either 1) don't eat at all or 2) spend money on fast food. If I make their lunches, I can be assured that they're getting a decent meal and not wasting their hard-earned dollars on garbage. Beren often works through lunch and "forgets" to eat (can you imagine?) so he'll be famished (and grumpy) when he gets home.

So, I've been packing lunches to avoid those issues. And honestly, I don't mind! I just assemble everything after dinner when cleaning up the kitchen so that in the morning everyone's little lunch bags are lined up in the fridge, ready to grab & go.

The only thing is, 4 sandwiches a day uses up a lot of bread! And good bread is not cheap. I was discussing this with my friend Jersey who makes her own bread, inquired about how cost effective that really is. She did the math for me (I do accounting all day..groan...) and reported that it costs her about $1.00 a loaf make her own French bread. Hmm...comparing that to the $4.00 per loaf at the bakery, I say she's ahead of the game! So, I took matters into my own hands this morning and whipped up a couple loaves of my own.



With the help of my handy dandy Kitchen-Aid it really wasn't difficult, just a bit time-consuming, but well worth it to see these beauties cooling on my counter! And the taste..mm...heavenly! Mine aren't as pretty as Jersey's, will have to work on that, but I'm rather proud of them anyway!



While the dough was rising I set about making tonight's dinner. I didn't really feel like the pasta I'd previously planned, and since red & yellow bell peppers were on sale this week, I decided to make stuffed peppers in the crockpot. No real recipe involved here, just used up bits of leftovers from fridge and freezer, but the process went something like this:

Mix together about 1/2 a bag of veggie crumbles, a cup of so of cooked brown rice, about 1/2 jar of salsa, 1/2 a package of taco seasoning, a few bits of tomato, and a hunk of cheddar cheese, shredded. Stuff the peppers, pour a bit of water in the bottom of the cooker, arrange peppers inside and replace their little caps. Turn on low and voila! Fiesta Stuffed Peppers! Before serving I'll add a few more sprinkles of cheese on top...mmm...they smell so good, I can't wait for dinner tonight!

9 comments:

Heather @ SGF said...

Congratulations on a successful breadmaking venture. I'll bet the house smells great! :)

Catherine said...

hey! those turned out well! And I forgot to factor in the *smell* factor - BONUS!!

Rapunzel said...

Thank you, Heather, the house sure did smell great! The scent actually roused my lazy teenagers, lol!

Rapunzel said...

Well, Catherine/Jersey, you are my inspiration! :-)

mrsb said...

I started making bread this past summer. I don't think there is much better a feeling (cookingwise!) than having homemade bread cooling on your counter!

Rapunzel said...

Mrs.B, I completely agree! Those loaves gave me such a sense of satisfaction.

Helena S. said...

Oh I love stuffed peppers! :-) With a lot of cheese on... :-/

Jen said...

I've heard people say 25 cents a loaf for homemade bread!

I already have wheat, I just need a grinder and I'm going to do this too. But even if I spring for the wheat grinder, if we went through a loaf of bread a day its still cheaper than buying it from the store.

Lady Laurie said...

Yum~0 homemade bread! Nothing beats it with lots of butter!
Yours look beautiful!