Happy Thursday Friends! Right now I am sitting here planning my meals and getting my grocery list ready for next week! We seriously have nothing to eat over here! I still haven’t really restocked after our trip and we have been basically living out of the freezer for the past few days. If you read my last post you know I am all about making huge lifestyle changes for the New Year. On the top of that list is tackling our debt! The hubby and I sat down last night and wrote all of our debt down and it is a little daunting seeing it all laid out like that. Then again it gives me way more motivation to make the lifestyle changes needed to become debt free.
On that note I have been looking into ways to decrease our bills and monthly spending. Once I wrote down all that we spend in a month I realized we are spending a tooooonnn of money on food. Like it is our second largest bill next to our mortgage. If you have been following me for a little while you know health and clean eating is very important to me. So I have always justified the large amount of money we spend on food. But, since we are looking to save money I have been searching for ways to bring this expense down.
One thing I have been trying to do is not waste money on things I can make myself for next to nothing. I am constantly cooking and have large amounts of veggie and fruit scraps that accumulate over the week. Usually I toss most of them to the chickens or goats for treats. But recently I have been saving them in a gallon sized ziplock bag in the freezer to use when I make stock. Soooooo easy! And why spend money on something you can make for free! I use stock for everything… making rice, soups, roasts, or even to just sip on! Check out my recipes for Hearty Chicken and Vegetable Soup, Sausage and Kale Soup, or Hearty Sausage, Pepper and Onion Skillet, which are all awesome ways to use your homemade stock!!
As you prepare your meals during the week toss all of your vegetable scraps into a gallon sized ziplock bag. Store it in the freezer until it’s full. Carrots, onions, celery, herbs, garlic, zucchini, leeks, squash, parsnips, and potatoes all make amazing stock! Stay away from cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts and broccoli as they can make your stock taste bitter.
The basic stock starts with onions, carrots and celery. But you can go in any direction you like with your flavorings, get creative people!! For stock that works well in Asian recipes try adding ginger and lemongrass. I just toss in whatever veggie scraps I have for the week into that ziplock bag, I don’t get too fancy! The stock will last in the freezer for up to 6 months. If you are like me you will accumulate lots of scraps and will be making stock weekly.
I do the same with my chicken bones that I do with my veggie scraps. Toss them all in a baggie in the freezer and then when the bag is full I load up my stock pot! Add chicken bones and a bag of veggies scraps, a pinch of salt, bay leaves, a splash of cider vinegar and some seasonings and let it simmer away. I usually let it simmer for at least 6 hours to get the most amount of minerals and collagen from the bones! Then I store the same as with the vegetable stock, see recipe below!
Thanks for tuning in and check back soon for more ways I am saving money on our food budget, while still keeping things healthy and family friendly!
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