Act 312

Cook with your kids

We’ve spent many a Saturday at home this last year and it’s been good for our culinary craft. I’ve learned to make bread and sauces, pastry and soups. The kids are on board. One son asks me regularly if he can please help me chop stuff up. The other is more of a taste tester and he’s developing quite a gourmet palette.

Their repertoire of recipes is getting pretty extensive: ribs, pasta, eggs, bread, muffins and cookies. They’ve been a big help and they like feeling like they can contribute to family meals. It helps at the grocery store because they understand that we can make it at home rather than buy it in a box.

If only we could reverse engineer the recipe for oreos, I’d be all set.


Act 299

Experiment first

Part of what I learned is that there are many decisions to make when you’re changing your relationship with money. There are no easy answers and no quick fixes. But there are answers and there are fixed. To find the ones that work best for you, experiment first.

Today, for example, I had to figure out a halloween costume. Wasn’t sure my idea would work so I bought a fraction of what I needed to try it out first. I’ll often do this with recipes too. Try a small batch and see if it works.

I’m going to try an online store to see if some of my vintage finds command an attractive price. No big deal, just try a few items and see.

By experimenting and failing or succeeding quickly, you can move on to what works and leave behind what doesn’t, risk little and still feel as if some progress is being made.

Act 277

Make your own tortilla chips

If you have flour, cornmeal, eggs, salt, water and oil, you can make your own toritllas and your own tortilla chips. Mexican, or any ethnic food, doesn’t have to come from a box or a bag. Just google what you want to try making and you’ll see that the options are endless. Ole to that!

Act 118

Say “Basta” to bottled pasta sauce

It’s easier, faster, yummier and cheaper to make your own pasta sauce – red or white, meat or veggie.

It might be more convenient to spend a few dollars on a jar of sauce but you can make your own with a tiny bit more time and at least you’ll know what’s really in it.

I made an alfredo/carbonara in all of 5 minutes and it probably cost less than a dollar. Plus nothing is wasted because we only made what we needed.

It’s a common refrain on this site – but convenience is costly. So spend the time, save the money and use what you’ve got. Every dollar you don’t spend is money saved for something else.

Buon appetito!