Cook up some savings

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 26, 2009

These days it seems everybody is looking for ways to save money. And that means saving on family meals as well. But when it comes to food, cutting costs doesn’t have to mean cutting great taste. A little creativity goes a long way, and I have discovered that has many resourceful tips and recipes that will keep your finances intact.

Here are several ideas you might like to try.

 Five-Ingredient Feast  Less is more in many instants. Fewer ingredients doesn’t have to mean tasteless food. With only five ingredients, along with pantry staples such as salt, pepper and oil, you can serve gourmet meals any night of the week.

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Grocery Gourmet Most grocery-brand items are just as good as gourmet brands, but they are usually a whole lot cheaper. By buying flavorful, low-cost brands, you’ll be able to make your investments in quality meats and produce.

Saved by the Slow Cooker  There’s a reason one-pot meals are so popular: Not only do they cut down on cleanup, but with everything in one pot, you don’t have to make a side dish. And this is a great way to save both time and money.

Clip and Save  Check the local paper for coupons; there’s an average of $350 in savings each week. Better yet, for more savings, you can search online for printable coupons at sites such as You’ll get even more savings when you combine coupons with store sales.

Arm Your Pantry Buying long-lasting pantry items in bulk is a very smart investment. These ingredients are inexpensive, are extremely useful in the kitchen, and will stay fresh for long periods of time.

Breadcrumbs With a shelf life of up to four months, breadcrumbs, which are both versatile and utilitarian, can stretch expensive ingredients, create a crispy coating and make countless varieties of savory stuffings.

Chicken Stock Chicken stock, which has a shelf life of one year, is essential for making flavorful soups and stews, but it also plays a starring role in many lowfat sauces and side dishes.

Rice With a shelf life of two years, rice is enjoyed the world over, and it is economical and stays fresh for a very long time. Keep a well-sealed package of rice on hand for quick main dishes, sides and lowfat stuffing.

Cook Once, Dine Twice Be on the lookout for large quantity recipes, such as family-sized soft tacos featured today. Make the whole recipe and then save the leftovers for a meal later in the week. Or double a recipe like today’s Arugula Salad with Pork Chops or Baked Chicken Alla Milanese or Oven-Fried Chicken and enjoy a hearty lunch the next day.

For more money-saving tips, recipes and how-to videos, visit