These are the ramblings of an eclectic and whimsical homeschooling family of eight... a little peek, if you will, inside the daily dawdlings and habits of my active and delightful family seeking to please the Lord in all we do! Hopefully our thoughts, observations, and activities will challenge you, inspire you, tickle you, cheer you, and let you know you are not the only one!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Frugal Friday!

For this week's Frugal Friday I thought I'd share one way we make our grocery budget go a little farther and that is with 'from scratch' cooking. I have several reasons that I do this... and we are not going to count the last couple of months when I was battling morning sickness since I did have a lot of quick and prepared foods on my menu during that time.

One reason is the obvious one... it saves a tremendous amount of money! There is no comparison. Homemade taco mixes, Bisquick, onion soup mix and other things like this can be up to ten times less expensive than store bought equivalents. Simple home cooked meals can save from a few dollars compared to its store bought alternative, to more than $10.00 or $15.00 per meal for a family as large as ours! It's an amazing savings!

Another reason I cook from scratch is for health reasons. Prepared foods are full of preservatives, chemicals, artificial colors and lack much nutritional value. When you cook from scratch, you start with the best ingredients and you know exactly what is in the food you are eating. Do you really know what is in that McDonald's cheeseburger? Or what form of vermin crawled across the bun the night before? Eeewwww! Also, with E coli outbreaks everytime you turn around and salmonella in peanut butter (which, by the way, if it's not organic is just peanut flavored margarine... makes you think twice about that, doesn't it?), we are getting to the point where we cannot trust the industrialized food market. And, don't get me started about restaurants and the unsavory things that can go on behind the scenes in those kitchens! So, that leaves only one good alternative and that is to prepare your own food from scratch. The most ideal situation is to prepare food you have grown yourself but the next best choice, which is what I try to do whenever I can, is to buy from local farmers that I know well. I also try to buy all organic. I can't always do that but it is my first choice.

Also, you can control and manipulate recipes to make them far more healthy. I love to do that! I use egg substitutes in baking, real Amish butter for margarine, whole wheat flour for white, and organic ingredients whenever I can. It makes for a much more nutritious, delicious and toxin free meal!

The money we save by cooking from scratch frees up money to put toward the more expensive organic items so it blesses my family twice! And, cooking from scratch is a skill I want all my daughters to have well developed by the time they leave my home for homes of their own.

Here is a terrific 'from scratch' recipe to try! I got the original recipe from Mrs. Wilt at The Sparrow's Nest... a fabulous and uplifting blog that you should all visit, I might add! I changed it just a little to add some of my favorite healthy alternatives and those changes are in blue next to the original recipe.

Blueberry Morning Muffins

1 egg ( egg substitute)
1/2 c. milk (rice milk)
1/4 c. vegetable oil (olive oil)
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 c. sugar (agave)
2 t. baking powder (aluminum free baking powder)
1/2 t. salt (sea salt)
1 c. fresh blueberries (or 3/4 c. thawed, frozen blueberries) (organic frozen berries)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease bottoms of 12 muffin cups. Beat egg with fork. Stir in milk and oil. Mix dry ingredients and pour in. Add blueberries. Stir until moistened. Batter should be lumpy. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Loosen with a spatula and serve warm. Makes 12 muffins.

I think you will find the taste and quality difference wonderfully delicious! Give them a try and for more Frugal Friday tips, be sure to visit Crystal at Biblical Womanhood!


Blogger Jennifer said...

Great post, I couldn't agree with you more!

7:55 AM  
Blogger Southern Belle said...

UHUM!! Some friends are anxiously awaiting THE news!! Have you been to the dr yet?

Southern Belle

11:59 AM  
Blogger Lady Why said...

Patience, my dear Southern Belle, patience! My doctor's appointment is Monday. But, I know how you feel... it's like Christmas morning! It just WON'T get here!!! I'm counting the days, myself! Ha! Ha!

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Mrs. Lady Why!
Would you mind bringing some of the recipes for "taco mixes, Bisquick, onion soup mix and other things" one Sunday night?
We can't wait till Monday either!
The A's

1:45 PM  

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