Friday, March 7, 2008

Frugal Friday

Its time again for Frugal Friday over at Biblical Womanhood! This week, Crystal talked about stretching milk in baking/cooking by measuring out part of the milk and then filling the rest of the required liquid with water. I will confess I did it once and only once! Instead of using the gallon jugs of milk for recipes I usually use powdered milk or evaporated milk. I especially like what my recipes do with evaporated milk esp. when I do up pudding cups, they come out so rich and creamy!

Along with stretching milk, I stretch the 100% fruit juice. If I get juice that is already made up(not frozen concentrate), I will pour juice into my munchkins cups and then add water to their cups. Once there is space in the jug, I add water to the jug to make it where there is 2/3 juice and 1/3 water. If I didn't put water into the juice jug, my munchkins would have a 46oz. bottle of juice gone in TWO meals!!! I am working at making towards 1/2 and 1/2!! Most of the time, I purchase frozen concentrate 100% juices. When I go to make up the juice I will put 4-5 cans of water to mix in with the 1 can of concentrate.

Another thing that I stretch is meat! I do casseroles BUT my family isn't big on casserole dish type meals all the time so I found a way to stretch the meat that I use for our meals other than putting the meat into casseroles! My family only likes to eat white meat chicken, so I buy what will get eaten so there is no waste and purchase boneless, skinless chicken breasts in bulk at Sam's Club or if they are sale at the local grocery store for under $2 per pound. When I get it home, I take the time to divide the packages into meal size portions for my family. I find that the chicken breasts are usually pretty thick and slice them longwise("butterfly cut"), so it looks like I have two pieces of meat rather than just one thick piece. When I do this I can take 3 chicken breasts and make into 6 breasts, hence stretching the meat for a meal for my family.

Aside from food, I have found it easy to reduce or stretch the amount of laundry soap, automatic dishwasher soap(powder), and liquid fabric softener. I usually use 1/4 to 1/2 of the "required" amount of soap or softener needed in the washer and then add water to finish filling up the cup in my front loader washer. The clothes still come out clean and fresh smelling. As for the dishwasher, I found that it doesn't take a whole lot of soap for the dishes to get clean, esp. when we take the time to rinse most of the food crumbs off before placing in the dishwasher.

So there is a few of the simple things that I do to stretch some of the expensive things in my budget. I talked about other things that I stretch, reduced or eliminated in my budget here. I am sure that there are other things I buy that I could stretch but choose not to mostly because of preference!

For other frugal tips, ideas, or resources, head over to Crystal's!


Mom2fur said...

Smart ideas! I cut my chicken cutlet's 'longwise,' too! I find they are too thick at one end. So I run my knife (very carefully) from one end to another, sort of like the way you'd cut bagels. Since the 'skinny' end is thinner, I use the two pieces I get from the fat end for cutlets, and cut the skinny end up in chicken-nugget size pieces.
For my dishwashing, I always soak my dishes first. They just come out cleaner that way. Rinsing is smart, but my kids tend to 'forget' dishes and you know how much fun it is to clean up dried-on oatmeal, LOL!

Amy said...

Very good tips! Thanks for sharing! My kids are so used to juice being part water that they add water themselves now when they pour their own juice. I actually have never halfed their juice but a friend does it for her kids and mine have picked up the habit. It certainly makes it last longer.

Vanessa said...

Good idea with the chicken breasts! I've never thought of doing that.

I mainly stretch our meat by making soups, meat fillings with lots of added beans, etc.

Thanks for sharing!

Mom2fur said...

Hi, again! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Have fun baking your cupcakes!

Candace said...

I love your blog.
May I add it to my links section?

mominmentalmotion said...

Great tips! I love reading your blog. Sorry I don't comment often but I do read.

S.B. said...

I'm going to try cutting back on the dish soap idea. Thanks


The (Almost) Amazing Mammarino said...

Great tips!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and sharing your book recommendations for boys! (And I'm sorry I provided the wrong link. Thanks for taking the time to find the right page!) I will definitely check out the books you mentioned. They sound perfect!