It's the last hurrah for this week's Cookbook of the Week and we hope you've enjoyed all the goodies we've shared from Dinners on a Dime!
Today, we're highlighting yet another great feature from this bestselling title - each of the seven chapters begin with a whole PAGE of handy tips! So, in addition to the hundreds of clever ideas and tips at the bottom of the recipe pages, you'll get dozens more.
We've picked our favorites from each chapter and are sharing them below.
- Make a list of frequently-used grocery items and keep it handy! You can even make a note of typical prices so you’ll know if you’re really getting a good deal.
- Have flexible dinner plans. If you were going to make ground beef casserole for supper but ground turkey is on sale today, why not use that instead?
- Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry! Treat yourself to a little snack like cheese & crackers first...you’ll be better able to resist budget-spoiling impulse purchases.
- Busy day ahead? Use your slow cooker to make soup...it practically cooks itself! Soup that simmers for 2 hours on the stovetop can usually be cooked on the low setting for 6 to 8 hours or even longer.
- It’s easy to cook up a double batch of soup. Freeze extra soup in a plastic freezer bag or container for another day...it’s like money in the bank!
- Change up soup the second time around by adding different garnishes like cheese, croutons or crushed tortilla chips.
- Canned tomatoes are economical, delicious and are even available already seasoned...that’s like getting herbs and spices free! They’re often a better choice than less-than-ripe fresh tomatoes.
- Dried beans are cheap and tasty. If you don’t have time to soak them overnight, canned beans are a thrifty choice too. Drain and rinse them well if saltiness is a concern.
- For healthy, filling side dishes, try whole grains like barley and brown rice. They’re high in protein and, with the addition of different seasonings, adapt readily to many tasty flavors.
- Lower-cost, tougher cuts of meat like beef chuck roast and pork shoulder turn into juicy, fork-tender meals when slow-cooked.
- Even couples and small families can save with slow-cooker meals! Just divide the dish and freeze half for another day. Thaw and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- If you live at a higher altitude, slow-cooked recipes will tend to take a bit longer. Allow an extra 30 minutes of cooking time for each hour in a recipe.
- Borrow seldom-used party items like a punch bowl, a chocolate fountain or folding tables from a friend or neighbor. Most people are happy to share!
- Serve a tasty homemade beverage instead of soft drinks. Fresh-squeezed lemonade in frosty pitchers or a bubbly slow cooker of warm spiced cider are sure to please.
- A do-it-yourself sundae bar with several yummy choices of ice cream and toppings can double as both dessert and party fun.
- Fill your pantry a little at a time. Watch for sales on useful items and pick up a couple of cans or packages on each shopping trip. In no time at all, you’ll have a super selection!
- No built-in pantry? No problem! Pick up a vintage kitchen hutch or cabinet at a tag sale or flea market. Freshen it up with a coat or two of paint in country colors.
- Line the inside of a cabinet door with self-stick cork tiles. It’ll be a great place to tack quick recipes, shopping lists and more!
- If you love to bake, stock up on baking supplies at Christmastime, when you’ll find super bargains on flour, sugar, evaporated milk, spices and other items. Make a checklist and fill up your baking cupboard for months to come...how thrifty!
- Juicy ripe peaches, berries and other fruits are cheapest in the summertime. Bake up lots of pies and cobblers...they can be frozen and enjoyed as much as 4 months later! Cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and two layers of aluminum foil before freezing. To serve, thaw overnight in the fridge, bring to room temperature and rewarm in the oven.
- Toasted oats can take the place of chopped nuts in cakes and cookies, adding crunch and nutty flavor. Simply cook uncooked oats in a little butter until golden. Cool before adding to a recipe.
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