Friday, February 5, 2010

Pork and Bean Casseroles

Pork and beans are a fantastic staple to keep on hand when the grocery budget has taken a hit. They can be a main course meal or a side dish. You can even buy them in the gallon sized can, make three different casseroles and freeze two to cut the cost even further. One of our favorite things to do with pork and beans is to make beanie weenies. The kids love them and just a pot of beanie weenies with a pot of rice makes dinner for my bunch. Everyone makes theirs different I am sure but this is how we make beanie weenies.

If you are looking for more than just a can of beans with hot dog pieces try adding these ingredients:

For a sweet version of the dinner meal add any of the following:
  • A small amount of brown sugar
  • Vidalia onion, chopped and sautéed before adding
  • Ketchup
  • Cheese
  • Honey

To make Barbeque Beanie Weenies add:

1/4 cup BBQ sauce
Chopped Onion
2 Tablespoons Yellow Mustard

Don't forget to cut the hot dogs in to small enough bites to avoid a choking hazard if you are feeding small children.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Using Leftovers

Using leftovers from one meal to prepare another helps keep food cost low and cut the grocery budget. Sometimes it is useful to even prepare extra of certain portions of a meal to use in another meal simply because it saves time as well as the energy it takes to cook the item. A good example of this would be making a double batch of mashed potatoes. Cook one portion to go with the meal for today, and an extra batch to use for shepherd's pie or loaded potato casserole. Double the batch of cornbread for tonight's dinner and use the leftovers to make cornbread dressing later in the week.

Cutting good cost often just means staying out of the store. It's easy to spend to much when you go to frequently. Plan what you need, get it and get out of the store. I try to go in with a list and stick to it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't but I always try.

On the leftover item use, how about broccoli potato soup?

1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
3 tablespoons margarine
2 cans evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
2 cups mashed potatoes
1 teaspoon pepper

Melt margarine in soup pan. Sauté onion and carrot until soft.
Add milk, salt, pepper, and broccoli
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes
Do not let boil. Add mashed potatoes, stirring frequently to mix with liquids.
Simmer for 15 minutes.