Saturday, April 14, 2012

Helpful Kitchen Hints (including 3 surprises)

I'm always happy to learn about a shortcut or tip that stretches our family's dollars further or simply makes life less complicated.  For example:  laying out your clothes the night before, rotating toys, having a menu plan, today I'm sharing kitchen, food, & eating tips that just might make your life simpler.

I created a printable shopping list (organized by category) that we keep on the fridge at all times.  As we run out of items we immediately add that product to our list so we can always depend on a well stocked pantry.  Feel free to share and make copies of it for your own personal use! 

Gracie & Josiah

Kid Kitchen Tips
  • Cut food into kid sized bites using a pizza cutter .  These are just a few things we cut with a pizza cutter:  spaghetti, pancakes, hot dogs, chicken nuggets/strips, quesadillas, bologna, and cheese slices.  We learned this trick from my brother Rick :) 

  • School Lunch idea-- Josiah doesn't care much for cold sandwiches when he takes his own lunch.  Therefore, I sometimes send milk, cereal and fruit for lunch.  I send his soy milk in a spill-free bottle and put cereal in a Tupperware bowl.  But, for those with kids not requiring soy milk,  your kids could just use their lunch milk to pour into their dry cereal. 
Saving time & money makes every one happier!

    Money & Time Saving Tips
    • Buy fresh herbs in a squeeze tube.  My favorite brand is Gourmet Garden.  You'll find these in the produce's refrigerated section at a major grocery store.  Time to time you need fresh herbs (like basil, ginger, Italian seasonings, etc...), however you only use a couple of stems and the rest ends up spoiling.  Not anymore....just buy a $5 tube of herbs and it will last for several months!  Plus, you don't have to spend precious time washing and finely chopping the fresh herbs either.   

    • Whipped Cream in a Can.  I love a yummy, frothy Starbucks latte but they are spendy!  So from time to time I splurge on a can to add the creamy yumminess to my morning coffees or hot chocolate to treat my craving more economically.  It's also fun to add a dollop of whip cream to your pancakes, waffles or ice cream sundaes. 

      Food Saving Tips/Stretches with 2 New Recipes

      • Use leftover grilled chicken or steak to make quesadillas.  
      • I use leftover rice to make family fried rice.  (Find recipe here).
      • Leftover mashed potatoes makes the following hamburger pie recipe super quick to whip up. 

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