Recipes

22 Ways to Fight Rising Food Prices

I have four kids so I am always looking for ways to cut down on my food budget. I coupon like a mad woman, and try my best to leave my kids at home because they always find something they have to have at the store. I know there just has to be more I can do. The household income has not increased, but the food prices have. Here are a few tips I found on Yahoo Finance that I think might help you out as well.  Elizabeth Prachaska Guest Blogger for Colie’s Kitchen grocerymoney@yahoo.com

1. Eat at Home
Dining out is an expensive proposition. Just about any nutritious meal that you buy in a formal restaurant can be made at home for a fraction of the price. Even good coffee is cheaper to make if you do it yourself. Fast food is excluded from the category, as high-calorie, low-quality food can be had a bargain price, but the impact on your long-term health overrides the benefit of short-term savings.
2. Shop With a Plan
If you stumble around the grocery store and fill your cart with everything that catches your eye, chances are you will spend a lot more money that you needed to spend. To minimize your cash outlay, prepare a shopping list before you leave home. Plan your meals for the week ahead, and make careful note of what you need to buy in order to prepare those meals. Once the list is made, purchase only the items on the list, and avoid impulse buys.
3. Put on Blinders
Grocery stores are designed to make you go through a maze to get to the most basic items you need in the hope that you will make a few impulse buys along the way. If you keep to your planned list of needed foods, you won’t be tempted when you get forced down the junk food aisle to get at the milk. Because most necessities and basic cooking items are found along the outside perimeter of the store, start there and work your way around the edge of the store, only stepping into the maze to grab any leftover items on your list.
4. Eat Before You Shop
When you are hungry and you walk into a building full of food, there’s a high likelihood that you are going to fill you cart with unnecessary and expensive purchases that appeal to your taste buds. To keep your costs down, eat first and shop on a full stomach.
5. Avoid Prepared Foods
Our fast-paced society encourages convenience, and the grocery store has capitalized on this trend. Ready-made meals are easy to buy, but come with a premium price tag. Instead of putting that rotisserie chicken and macaroni salad in you cart, buy the ingredients and prepare the meal yourself. The same concept applies to frozen entrées, baked goods and any other food that has been prepared in some way for added convenience.
6. Skip the Bottled Water
If you don’t like the water that comes out of the tap, buy a water filter. The per-gallon cost is significantly less than the cost of bottled water – and without all the plastic bottles to discard, it’s a lot easier on the environment.
7. Shop Without the Kids
Hungry, tired, cranky kids increase the amount of time it takes to get your shopping done. Every extra minute that you spend in the grocery store increases the likelihood of extra items finding their way into your cart, including toys and snacks designed to keep the kids quiet while you try to focus on finding a few bargains.
8. Buy in Bulk
Bulk buying can save you a significant amount of money. Pay attention to the prices and pick up the family size package if the per-unit cost is lower and you have a place to store it. Shopping at big-box bulk retailers like Sam’s Club and Costco (NasdaqGS: COST – News) can also save on your bill if you shop there frequently enough to cover the cost of membership, but pay careful attention to your spending habits. The big boxes are often no bargain at all when compared to sales prices and coupon savings at other stores. In addition, they may encourage you to buy more than you need, driving up your grocery bill.
9. Use Store Reward Cards
If the store that you visit most frequently has a reward card, be sure to sign up. In some cases, stores raise their prices when they offer reward cards, and without the card your bill will certainly be higher. If the reward card offers other benefits, such as a ham for the holidays or a discount on gasoline, be sure to maximize your benefits by paying attention to the cutoff dates and cashing in your points before they expire.
10. Use Coupons
Coupons provide an easy way to save money. Clip them and cash them in, paying particular attention to stores that double the value of manufacturers’ coupons. A number of websites also offer coupons exclusively, and they are a great place to search for discounts on the items you have on your list. If you frequent a website of your favorite brands, they will often offer discounts to their faithful public. A few minutes of surfing online can make a difference at the till.
11. Buy Locally
Locally grown or produced food is often available at a cheaper price because you don’t pay for long transportation costs. Farmer’s markets, fairs, and the local aisle at your grocery store are all game for deals on tasty and fresh food.
12. Look Down
Stores often place the most expensive items at eye-level. To find less expensive items, look down. Also, looking around your brand-name food can find you a cheaper generic alternative. Generic label products are often nearly identical to name-brand goods (in fact, they’re often produced in the same factory), so don’t pay for packaging when what you really want is the food inside.
13. Avoid the End Caps and Checkout Temptations
Those displays placed at the end of each aisle often feature premium brands. Rather than grabbing those high-priced batteries or that extra box of cereal, walk down the aisle. Chances are good that walking a few extra feet will reward you with a less expensive option.
Many grocery stores now offer checkout lines that don’t feature candy. Using these lanes not only helps you avoid the temptation to spend your money on sweets, but it also encourages a healthier lifestyle.
14. Compare Prices and Stores
Some consumers have trouble calculating the cost per unit in their heads, but it’s something that gets a lot easier with practice. You can even carry a calculator. Looking at the brands and comparing prices is an easy way to shave a few cents off most purchases.
The store that features the lowest average prices in your area is often the best place for routine shopping, but the higher-priced competitor may run sales on specific items that undercut the cost at your most frequented venue. Watch for these sales and take advantage of them when possible.
15. Shop for Sales
As mentioned above, sales can be a great incentive to switch stores — but only if you need the items on sale. Pay attention to sales on necessity items and stock up on non-perishables and freezer goods. Keep an eye on the prices so that you know when a sale price is merely a small savings or when it is a significant discount to the normal price.
16. Watch ‘Best Before’ or ‘Sell By’ Dates
As the “sell by” or “best before” date approaches, you are virtually guaranteed a discount. For example, grocery stores lower prices as meat ages. Ask the butcher when the meats get marked down. Most stores have a fairly regular schedule that you can learn and follow. When you get a good deal, stock your freezer so you can avoid buying when the price is high. And if you plan on freezing the food, “best before” dates shouldn’t worry you; the product will stay fresh until you thaw and cook it.
17. Substitute Recipe Items
If you have a higher-priced item that reoccurs in your favorite recipes, it may be time to shake up your taste buds. Often a lower-priced alternative can be found. For instance, if you consistently bake with olive oil and you see that the price has skyrocketed, a simple switch to applesauce (something that you might even be able to make if you have an apple tree) is a great cheap and low-fat substitution for many recipes.
18. Keep Your Kitchen Stocked
A well-stocked kitchen means that you won’t run out of staple items and need to buy them on the spur or the moment. Knowing what you have in the cabinet means that you can wait to make your purchases until items are on sale.
19. Shop Infrequently
Reducing the number of trips that you make to the store each week or month reduces the odds of unnecessary purchases, and minimizes the amount of gasoline spent getting there.
20. Pay Attention to Time
Weekly sales often run from mid-week to mid-week. Hold off on your shopping until after you’ve had a chance to clip coupons from the Sunday paper and you’ll not only enjoy the sales prices but you might also get a coupon. Shopping during the evening or early morning also helps you avoid the crowds and spend less time in the store.
21. Pay In Cash
When you put groceries on your credit card and don’t pay off the card in full each month, you pay interest on the purchase. To avoid this extra cost, pay in cash when you shop and keep necessities off your credit cards.
22. Check Your Bill
Electronic scanners make the shopping experience faster and more convenient, but scanners aren’t perfect. Be sure to take a look at the receipt to make sure your coupons and discounts were taken into account.
Shop Smart
Food is one of those purchases that you just can’t avoid, but careful shoppers can minimize the amount spent on this necessary purchase. All it takes is a little time, patience and effort.

Original Article 

Recipes

(Left Over) Mashed Potato Soup

This is a really great way to use up extra mashed potatoes, or to pre-plan a second meal piggy backing off a side dish.  This really doesn’t cost much, and it’s easy. It literally took me ten minutes to put together. It’s a nice warm, hearty, and quick meal for a week night dinner. 

Ingredients

  • 3 (packed) cups of left over mashed potatoes 
  • 3 tbs bacon bits (do not use Baco’s)
  • 4  tablespoons  unsalted butter
  • 3 cans of carnation canned milk or about 4 1/2 cups of milk
  • 3  ounces shredded cheddar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 thinly sliced green onions (scallions)
  • Top with green onions, cheese, bacon bits, or all!

Directions:

  1. In a sauce pan melt butter 
  2. To the butter add bacon bits, and green onions cook until the green onions are soft 
  3. Add mashed potatoes to the pot and start slowly adding each can of milk one at a time using a whisk to mix together mixture in the pot. 
  4. Once each can is added and the mixture is well mix together bring to a boil, but continue to mix together so you don’t burn the soup. 
  5. Once the soup comes to a boil add the cheddar. 
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste at this point. 
  7. Turn down the temperature and simmer and serve when you are ready. 

Recipes

Crockpot Tangy Asian Meatballs

I freaked out about 3:30 this afternoon when I realized I forgot to make the meatballs and stick them in the crockpot. I ran in the kitchen and put everything together in less than 10 minutes and put the crockpot on high. It’s super easy to put together. I put all the meatball ingredients in my Kitchen Aid and let go. Then I quickly rolled the meatballs and poured the sauce on top. I set my crockpot on high because I was running behind. I had everything in the house except the duck sauce so it didn’t cost much to make. By 7:00pm dinner was ready and fantastic. This recipe was a huge hit we didn’t have one meatball left over. Everyone raved about how wonderful they were, and the house smelled amazing too. This is now one of my favorite recipes. I found it on www.allyou.com and fell in love.

Ingredients

  • 1  pound  ground pork
  • 1/3  cup  panko bread crumbs
  • 3  scallions, white and light-green parts, chopped
  • 1  large egg
  • 1  tablespoon  soy sauce
  • 1  tablespoon  finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2  cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2  cup  barbecue sauce
  • 1/4  cup  jarred Chinese plum sauce or duck sauce
  • 2  tablespoons  hoisin sauce

Preparation

  1. Combine pork, panko, scallions, egg, soy sauce, ginger and garlic in a large bowl; mix gently but thoroughly with your fingers. 
  2. Roll into 1-inch balls.Mist slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add meatballs. 
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together barbecue sauce, plum sauce and hoisin sauce; pour over meatballs. Gently stir to coat.
  4. Cover and cook on low until meatballs are cooked through, 3 to 5 hours.

Originally Found on www.allyou.com
Recipe Link

Recipes

Baked Chicken Chimichangas



This is a really great recipe if you have pulled chicken that you need to use. I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not, but I actually loved it. Not only is it super easy it’s very flavorful, and filling. The original recipe can be found here.
Ingredients:

Directions:
  1. In a skillet, simmer the chicken, salsa, onion, cumin and oregano until heated through and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  2. Place 1/2 cup chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla and top with 2 tablespoons cheese.
  3. Fold sides and ends over filling and roll up.
  4. Place seam side down in a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  5. Bake, uncovered, at 425° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  6. In a saucepan, combine the broth, bouillon and pepper. Cook until bouillon is dissolved.
  7. In a bowl, combine flour and cream until smooth and gradually stir into broth.
  8. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  9. Stir in chilies and cook until heated through.
  10. Top chimichangas with sauce.

Recipes

Simmered Cabbage

Despite what you may be thinking I am not going cabbage crazy we just seemed to have a lot left over after New Year’s so I have been trying to find things to do with cabbage. I hate to waste things. This recipe is really good. The original recipe suggested adding sherry to it, but I found the sherry to make the recipe too strong. Sticking with only chicken broth is a much better option. 

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1.  Heat oil and butter in large heavy and wide saucepan or sauté pan; add cabbage, salt, pepper, and stir over low heat for 5 minutes.
  2.  Add broth (I usually add a bit of sherry, too) and bring to boil, cover and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often, for about 15 minutes or until cabbage is tender.
  3.  Raise heat to medium, uncover and let juices reduce to about half (be careful not to let burn).
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning, serve hot.

Recipes

Korean Potatoes

My picture doesn’t look very appealing, but this recipe is really fantastic. I was very unsure about this recipe but the end results were impressive. If you don’t like sesame oil you might not like this recipe, but if you are a lover like me you will really enjoy this hearty recipe. 
Ingredients:
  • 2 -3 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 onion, cut in bite sized pieces
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 -2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Directions:
  1.  Rinse potatoes to remove starch.
  2. Heat pan and add olive oil. Add potatoes and garlic and cook until the potatoes look a little translucent, and then add the onion. Keep stirring.
  3. Add water, soy sauce, sugar, corn syrup and mix and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes until liquid is evaporated. If it needs more water, add some.
  4. When potato is cooked take off stove and add 1 T of sesame oil and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

    Recipes

    Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Icing

    I found this recipe on the Mixing bowl. Sherri has an amazing recipe here that is so simple. It took me less than 10 minutes to put it together and stick it in the over. You could do so much with it. I bet you could even add some shaved carrots to this cake and no one would be the wiser. Quick, easy and delicious. 

    Ingredients:

    • 4 Eggs
    • 1 2/3 C. Sugar
    • 1 C. Cooking Oil
    • 1 (15 oz) can Pumpkin (pure pumpkin)
    • 2 C. Flour
    • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
    • 1 tbsp. Cinnamon
    • 1 tsp. Salt
    • 1 tsp. Baking Soda

    Icing Ingredients, and directions:
    Beat Together

    • 1 (3 oz) pkg. Cream Cheese softened
    • 1/2 C. butter or margarine softened
    • 1 Tsp. Vanilla
    • 2 C. Powdered Sugar

    Directions:

    Stir all ingredients together. Pour into an ungreased 11×15 inch pan. Bake 25 min. at 350 degrees or for thicker bars bake in a 13×9 pan for 45 min. Let cool and frost with Cream Cheese Icing