Saturday, April 16, 2011

Thrifty Cooking and Baking

I was talking to my sisters the other day about saving all the dregs etc for our cooking and baking. I wondered what it would have been like in the war days having to ration food and go without certain foods. My sister said we still have plenty. Even in this economy I don't think I am personally struggling like our forefathers would have. But anyway we still have to be wise and thrifty to save a few cents here and there. Like perhaps not throwing out the rest of that onion you were cutting up.
Well anyway this weekend I've ended up using some frozen goodies I had stashed away that I couldn't bare to chuck out.
I had made chocolate chip cookies last week and that required condensed milk. The only thing is the recipe didn't require the whole tin so I put the rest in a little container in the fridge. It sat there for a while then this week I made Master 8 some Russian fudge with some but still had some left. I couldn't throw it out. So I chucked the rest in the freezer. On Friday I baked my niece a cake for her birthday. Instead of using milk like the recipe required I had some Hansells home made yoghurt that definitely need to be used or thrown away, so that was the substitute. It turned out so good!

I wanted to make a dessert as well but I was to budget to use my milk so I scooped out some frozen condensed milk and diluted it with hot water to use as my milk for this recipe, Self Saucing Lemon Pudding. Alas I doubled the mixture and read it wrong and the pudding ended up been lemon dough with lots of lemon sauce. The funny thing was my nieces and nephew still eat the thing! I still had condensed milk leftover...

So I used the rest of it made in to milk for my Hot Cross buns I posted about yesterday.

Then my next cooking thing using stuff I had chucked in the freezer was cream I hadn't quite used up from AGES ago. I made lasagne for dinner and again I didn't want to use my precious milk. I defrosted the cream and thinned it out with hot water and used it for my lasagne's bechamel sauce. The sauce turned out lovely and I used less cheese (continuing on my being budget theme). To fatten out my mince I normally added boiled red lentils left in their boiled water but this time I chucked in some couscous to stretch it all a bit further.

So I'm feeling good about my thriftiness! I've started to replace butter with oil in my baking in some instances too and this has worked. Perhaps not for all though, its trial and error. Oil is a lot cheaper the butter!

So thank you cream, condensed milk, yoghurt, oil (and you couscous) for helping me save some money.



  1. Thanks for sharing these thrifty ideas! I remember going through a tough time and making margarine out of cooking oil and water. Equal quantities beaten for what felt like eons! But it worked and worked out cheaper too!

  2. Such great tips Becky - and that cake is AMAZING!!!