Because of the economy there is a lot of publicity about food costs and food packaging. We now know what we have long suspected: that food processors have minimized their package contents while leaving the prices in place. In other words, we are paying more money for less product!
It’s sneaky and unconsciounable, in my opinion. My way around that is a very simple solution and here it is:
Do not BUY things that come in packages. Examples would be mac n cheese products, helper products, precooked foods or meals, snack foods, and such like.
The news featured a piece about a family whose rising food cost was alarming. They were a family of 4 – Mom, Dad, and 2 cute youngsters. They were spending $250.00 every WEEK at the store. That is some food budget!
I don’t believe my husband and I are so different from this couple, except for those kids. Ours are on their own now. But I can promise you we do NOT spend $250.00 even in a MONTH at our local grocery store, Tecumseh Central Market. Our food budget is much more modest. Yet, we also do not have exorbitant medical bills because we eat wisely, with our health in mind and we eat WELL.
The difference? We eat modest portions of foods that nourish us, satisfy us and keep us in the pink of health and the black ink of the bottom line.
Here follows a prime example of a meal in our home. Bear in mind we do not have a fancy, tricked out kitchen and there is no room for gadgets. We keep things very simple: This would be a lunch or supper we would gladly share with guests or have our fill and save any left over food for another meal.
CAULIFLOWER – ONION SOUP
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
2 medium onions, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
*1 bud of garlic, chopped, OPTIONAL
Sautee the veggies in a bit of olive oil or butter and season with salt and pepper. When the onions are opaque, cover the vegetables with chicken stock and simmer until all the vegetables are tender and the kitchen smells delish.
If you like a creamy soup, you can add dry milk powder or whatever milk you like to use and thicken the mixture with flour or cornstarch.
NOTE: Add cold water to the cornstarch, mix well, and add slowly to the hot mixture, stirring constantly.
*When serving this, place a slice of toast in the bottom of the bowl and pour the soup over the toast. The toast replaces soup crackers, which are very pricey.
This would go very well with a salad of greens and you could sprinkle a few spoonsful of cooked beans and a bit of shredded cheese over the top for added goodness and to look appetizing.
For dessert an apple or orange would be ideal, healthy and low cost.
Save the waste from the veggies as you prepare this dish and pour a little water over it in a saucepan. Season it with salt and pepper and let it simmer. When the pieces are soft, strain it into a food storage container and save it in the fridge for your next soup, gravy or stew. Be sure to mark and date it so you’ll remember to use it and not mistake it for something you would not use!