Monday, November 8, 2010

Comfort Food and Cheap Shopping

Now that winter is rolling in (it looks like snow will be falling any minute now), the desire for comfort foods is even more prevalent. The New York City trip is coming fast and a lot of our money is going toward that, leaving little extras for experimenting with food and new ingredients. I know everyone out there would like to save a little more every week, so I thought I would share some of our money saving tips

Comfort food is something I live by. Maybe it was the way I was raised or the overall tempo by which I live my life or the season, but I don't think food should have to be over complicated and strict. I realize that 3-5 course meals can be great things, but they have their place. Dinner in my book is warm, and tasty food in a comfortable and cozy setting. Comfort food doesn't need to a bank breaker either.

Growing up poor taught me to make due with what we had. A lot of those recipes from my childhood have ended up in my box of comfort food choices. As a poor college student, and frugal spender, I always find a way of making something out of nothing. Thankfully, the ingredients we don't have, are usually cheap for these kinds of things.

One of my biggest hurdles has been switching from making large meals to cooking for two. Yes, leftovers are nice, but when you don't have a microwave, there's no point in having them. In our fridge they end up rotting. Part of this switch has been to use chicken tenderloins instead of breasts. They are cheaper, less fatty and easy to handle. They are smaller, but it makes storage easier. We buy a flat of tenderloins and it is usually enough for 3-5 meals depending on how the chicken is used.

We have also starting using instant potatoes. I don't have the time or desire to tend to boiling potatoes every time I want creamy starchy goodness. We use Idahoan brand and they run $.79 to $1 depending on the variety. They are easy and fast. Not everyone's cup of tea, but they hit the spot for me.

One last thing for now, Don't be afraid to fail. Some of the most unlikely pairings are usually some of the best tasting ones!

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