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Save Money by Using What You Have

There is enough groceries in my cabinet, freezer, and frig to feed a small army.  Most of it isn’t what I would call easy ingredients.  Artichoke hearts, black olives, and navy beans are not what my kids would call food.  In order to make the reserves work, I’ll have to use some thought, creativity, and a dash of sugar.  (Just a spoonful of sugar helps even medicine go down).

The first step in using what you have it to make a list of exactly what you have.  Ever can, bag, and box in the panty – every cheese, bread, veggie and meat in the frig, and every item (including frozen waffles) that you have in the freezer.  Put them in categories so that it is easier to see what’s available.

Now thing of ways to use what you have.  Look through cook books, or even better is looking online.  Many recipe sites offer a search by ingredients.  You may find a new family favorite that you would never have discovered otherwise.

The next step is to make a menu for one week.  Include the recipes you have found for easy access.  If you have time, and the energy, make three of these packets.  Now you can rotate the weeks and keep everyone happy.  Plus, having the recipes on hand means making a grocery list is a snap.

It is important to use up the items you’ve had in tucked away.  You don’t want them to go bad and you don’t want to be the person who waits until the local canned food drive to get rid of the canned beets.  Save money by using what you have.  It isn’t always easy, but it can be a game for you and the whole family.

“Hey, tonight why don’t we play – Let’s Make a Menu – I’ll give you and ingredient and you have to come up with a new and interesting way to use it.”

It’s not just dinner anymore, it’s an adventure.

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