Posted by: CCT | March 12, 2010

Tips: Saving Time & Money

Saving Time: [1st off – don’t read this.  It takes too long.  Ha!  Good one huh?] Seriously though – by the time you get home from work every day you may be pretty close to brain dead.  Cris certainly is, and she isn’t in the mood to make anything complicated, if at all.  This is a person who loves cooking, so I imagine the rest of us feel the same or more strongly here.

That said, we’ve endeavored to keep things as simple as possible ingredients-wise (the simple in simpossible).  The less the number of ingredients or complex processes with those ingredients, the quicker things go here, and the less burned out you’ll be on cooking in the long run. And that’s the key.  It’s gotta be simple, fast and tasty or it aint gonna happen.

We also try to rinse and clean dishes as we go.  Washing dishes is just one more reason not to cook at all, so the less you have to wash later the better. I find this especially relevant with things like the food processor – which often says to me, “Rinse me now or forever hold you peace!”

Saving Money: There are a lot of ways to do this, so we’ll cover just a few of our less obvious favorites.  (1) If you buy everything as basic as possible – i.e. basic ingredients as opposed to pre-processed, packaged foods – you should be able to make a lot more (quantity-wise) with less money.  And (2) don’t shop until you’ve “cleaned out the cupboard” so to speak – or at least the refrigerator.  You’ll tend to save a lot more money and waste a lot less perishable food in the long run.

Eat the most perishable items first and work your way to the least.  You can eat a non-perishable item like rice for every meal if you want, but whatever’s going to die first should be eaten with it first.

Here’s an example:  You’ve got a couple zucchini, a head of cabbage and a container of basic pasta sauce and some noodles.  Zucchini pasta – dinner’s done.  Leave the cabbage for tomorrow – it’s not going anywhere… and maybe you can put off shopping for a couple more days – which is just one less thing to do this week.

Lastly – Bring your lunch.  Buying your lunch costs between $5-10 nominally.  That’s a minimum of $100 extra in expenses per month, and more likely $200-300 realistically.  That’s a lot of extra money!


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