This post is the third in a series that celebrate ways to save time and money using homemade vegetable broth. Don’t toss those ordinary vegetable trimmings any more. Save time and money making homemade vegetable broth, decrease food waste and make flavorful meals. I have a confession. I love to cook and have a lot of time to cook. Most families don’t! They want dinner whipped up and magically appear on the table.
Well, you need a genie to have your dinner served magically on the table each night. Better yet, I can give you some simple easy tips on using those vegetable trimmings in miraculous ways. Ways that will save you time, money, cut waste and make your everyday meals taste every more delicious by using homemade vegetable broth.
Homemade Vegetable Broth
In my two previous posts Compete Easy Freezer Meals and Easy Delicious Freezer Meal Ingredients I talked about how easy and simple it is to make and freeze your meals and ingredients to keep your favorite meals at your finger tips and cut cooking time in half. The third tip is so ridiculously simple and logical that I was embarrassed that I was not doing this for years. Make vegetable broth from scrap vegetable trimmings is not only delicious, but cuts waste and makes your delicious meals even more tasty.
I discovered this trick two years ago. I had some left over vegetable scraps that I was getting ready to toss and it hit me. After chopping celery, carrots, bell peppers and onions one day, it came me. Why toss these scraps? Why not make broth and freeze it for future meals? All I need was a stock pot and cheese cloth.
So I did. I use vegetable broth now instead of water in most meals. It is particularly delicious in rice and couscous and in boiling beans and pasta. The flavor is wonderful and sets meals apart from those that use water. Simply toss the trimmings in a pot with your favorite herbs and boil for an hour or so. Strain and freeze. I use mason jars or plastic storage containers. I don’t add salt until I use the broth. That way I can follow the recipe’s instructions for salt and control our sodium intake. If I do not have time to boil them right away, freeze the scraps and boil them later. The scraps and stock will keep in the freezer for up to two months.
Now Make That Vegetable Broth
There are so many good reasons to make broth from vegetable scraps. Try this yourself and you will see the greatest benefit is the boost of delicious flavor it will add to your favorite meals. Check out my blog page here for more great ways to increase productivity and organize the kitchen and other areas your home. Click the subscribe button to the right to receive tips directly to your inbox. Enjoy!
Create Easy Delicious Freezer Meal Ingredients
and Save Time and Money in the Kitchen
In this article I am going to follow-up on my recent post on Easy Delicious Freezer Meals from one of my favorite books Make It Freeze It. This post will focus on awesome info on easy delicious freezer meals ingredients to prep for your favorite meals. Rather than prepare the entire meal in advance, I love to take my favorite ingredients for my favorite meals and prepare and freeze them to save time and increase productivity in the kitchen.
Easy Delicious Freezer Meal Ingredients
I ran across this wonderful idea from my wellness coach Sally Twellman’s Anytime Chicken. Sally cooks her chicken in a crock pot. I do too and also love to roast a couple of chickens as well as use a crock pot. Here is my advice on saving time in the kitchen and make easy delicious freezer meal ingredients in advance. You will enjoy your favorite meals and cut your cooking time in half.
- Make a list of your favorite meals. Once you have a complete list, keep it on hand. It makes meal planning a cinch.
- Take a close look at each meal. Is there meat and or veggies that you can cook and freeze in advance? Can you chop any of the veggies now and store them in the freezer for later?
- Now, decide how you will cook your ingredients. Our family loves tacos (any kind), enchiladas (any kind), spaghetti and lasagna, baked potatoes with all kinds of healthy toppings, breakfast for dinner tarts, strata and pastry cups, quiche, mashed potatoes, veggies with couscous, chili of any kind, soups, burritos, stews, casseroles, shepherd’s pie (a family favorite), red beans a rice (super healthy) and mac-n-cheese. I cook the meat and chop the veggies for all of these and freeze them in either mason jars or baggies.
Which ingredients do I cook and which do I not?
- I cook my hamburger, veal and any ground meats, let them cool and then freeze them according to the amount called for in the respective recipes. Cook my chicken in two different ways. Roast whole chickens, cool them and freeze the meat. I also cook chicken breasts in the crock pot, cool and then freeze them. Check out my great Pin on how to use crockpot chicken to make 12 delicious meals Make 12 delicious meals from crock pot chicken!
- When prepping your veggies, you can either freeze them cooked or raw. For some veggies, like enchiladas, I do both. I cook some onions in the meat and cut fresh green onions for the topping. I slightly cook some veggies like for stew, I gently cook my carrots, celery, bell pepper and onions, bag them and pop them in the freezer. These veggies work great in soup as well. Vella!!!
Fall in love with making easy delicious freezer meal ingredients and make your life easier
It took me about 10 seconds to fall in love with the kitchen cooking productivity and organization tip. I love to prepare most of my meat that I fry for foods and have it ready in the freezer. And the same goes with my veggies that can be prepared in advance. Another important tip. Try to keep things healthy. I mainly use the lowest fat type of meats that I can. For example, try chicken bacon rather than pork bacon. Use 90% lean meats rather than 80%.
And that’s it! This process is super easy and saves lots of time. Try them to make easy delicious freezer meal ingredients. Check out more organization tips on my blog at RYouReadytoOrganize Blog. Happy cooking!
Easy Delicious Freezer Meals
Save Money and Money Making Your Favorite Family Meals
Freezer meals are one of the key organization topics for increasing productivity in the kitchen. When you bring up the topic, most folks cringe. They immediately think of “time-consuming”, “hard to do”, “where do I start”, “frustrating”. Well, none of these are true, of course. Like learning any other skill, it takes practice to make anything work right, that includes making easy delicious freezer meals. It used to take me about 5 hours from start to finish for me to prepare my freezer meals. Now it takes me 3 hours tops. Freezer meals are the most cost-effective way to make your favorite family meals. If you are budgeting and cutting costs (who isn’t) and want to be able to just pull a meal out of the freezer and heat it up, then this method is for you!
To clear up a few other myths, freezer meals do not taste bland. Nor should they be mushy and dull with no color. Whey easy delicious freezer meals are prepared correctly according the to instructions, they taste just like you just cooked them.
The System for Breaking it down into manageable steps
- First, find your favorite freezer meal recipes and keep them handy. I recommend the book Taste of Home Make It Freeze It-Save Time and Money with Family available here from Amazon Make It Freeze It Meals.
- Second, if you using a recipe book, tab or copy 20-30 of your favorite meals that you family loves. Here is the key-when picking recipes, try to choose ones with similar ingredients, like egg, bell peppers, onions, broccoli, cheese, turkey, beef etc. Another key point, try now to choose those recipes where these ingredients can be used in your other non-freezer meals that you will make. Example, broccoli salad, turkey tacos, vegetable cheese crisps, omelets etc. The real trick to saving even more money is to choose like ingredients that you will use to make the easy delicious freezer meals and also use to make other everyday non-freezer meals. This makes it easier to shop for the freezer meal ingredients and you will spend less time at the grocery store.
How do you make great tasting easy delicious freezer meals without spending lots of money and hours in the kitchen each week?
- Third, you will shave your cooking time an average of 8 -10 hours each month! Yes, if you make easy delicious freezer meals each month you will save an average of 8 -10 hours each month. It has been shown that 15 minutes of planning saves 45 minutes or more of your time. So if you spend 4 hours once a month preparing easy delicious freezer meals, this adds up. It will save you three hours cooking up front and the other time in preparing meals each day one at a time.
- Fourth, if you have a large family, you may want to triple and quadruple your recipes so this plan will take a bit of extra time if you cook your freezer meals in advance and then freeze them. Some meals don’t require cooking in advance and some do. This may take an hour or two more to make more meals, but it is particularly worth it with large families.
- Fifth, now make your shopping list two days before you cook/prepare the meals. Don’t wait until the day of and try to do everything at once. That will create burn out and could be a real turn off. I like to put my meals in quart size or gallon size bags and lay them flat in the freezer. I also use a permanent marker to write the recipes on each bag and any special instructions on cooking too.
- Sixth, it’s prep day! Time to prepare and cook. I like to get my pans and utensils ready the day before and have them waiting on the counter for me on Sunday morning. I also chop whatever I need for my easy delicious freezer meals on Saturday. Breaking the time down makes things manageable.
Start Saving Money and Time!
Who can pass up saving time and money while making your favorite family meal? What will you do with your 8-10 extra hours each month? I don’t know about you, but the weather is warming up and I will see you outside!
Next up-making your favorite freezer ingredients in advance and using leftover vegetable trimmings to make delicious broth. Find more interesting organizing and productivity tips at RYouReadytoOrganize blog.
How to Care for Your Clothes and Save Money Doing It!
Caring for and organizing your clothes the smart way can save a lot of time and money. How many of us wear a shirt or pants once and throw them in the dirty clothes hamper, or on the floor (a definite no-no). Well, this post is for you. Read on…
I have had a few folks tell me that once they have worn something, they either throw it on the floor or in the hamper. For the most part, they said that they did not know what to do with them because they were not really dirty, but they did not want to hang them back up? Well, here is the scoop. If you wear something and you did not sweat profusely or soil the garment with stains, you should put it back in the closet, period. It truly is not dirty. It may have a very small amount of body oil on it, but that is not dirt.
If it bothers you to put these worn clothes back in the closet along with unworn clothes, then yes, you should make a small space in your closet for worn, but not dirty, clothes. I do this and I then can easily remember and grab what I have already worn. Make outfits out of a few things that you have worn and hang them up separately so that you can grab them and wear these again first. I have been known to wear garments two to three times as a norm. It cuts down in doing laundry and reduces your clothing budget. Why? Clothes get worn out mainly by washing and drying them! Not by wearing them. Another reason to wash most garments less and in the delicate cycle.
Caring for and organizing your clothes-the washer
Speaking of laundry, another important tip that will save you money is don’t overstuff your washer. I have seen some folks who literally cram their clothes so tight that it would be a miracle is any water or soap got to all of the clothes. As a rule, only fill your washer half full, with like colors and fabrics on the delicate cycle. I only wash my towels, linens and jeans in the regular cotton cycle. The rest get the delicate treatment.
Declutter and Organize the Closet
Folks want to talk mostly about their closets when it comes to decluttering their home. There is a central point here. An organized closet saves lots of time and money. Everyone spends sometime organizing what they will wear each day. Out of all of the areas that I write about, most people ask me to help them declutter and organize the closet.
No matter what your do for a living-an executive, and electrician, a stay at home mom. Everyone needs to be able to go to their closets and see everything that they own in an organized fashion. Putting your closet in simple order is not as hard as it sounds. Here is a suggested way to structure things:
Design Your Closet-Declutter and Make Areas for your Outfits. Don’t just put items in their. Think about your clothes in categories.
Here are some ideas:
- Do you war mainly uniforms?
- Do you like coordinated outfits?
- Do you have luxury pieces?
- Slightly worn clothing?
Putting pieces into sections or areas of your closet will not only help you see what you have but help you get dressed faster in the outfits that you like the most. You will feel terrific and more put together no matter what your style!
To help you declutter your closet, I have included a flowchart from passionforfashion.dk that will make it easier to decide what to keep and what to donate or toss. Click here for a chart to help you declutter and weed your closet from Passion for Fashion-Weed the Closet and a link to a wonderful article explaining the value of needing only 19 pieces of clothing and have a fabulous wardrobe How to Get Ready Faster Curated Closet
I know that you can’t wait to try this program out. I know that I am off to check my closet and use this method. Find your fashion niche and declutter that closet. Your clothes will thank me for it!
Using Apps to Declutter and Organize the Closet
Here are some apps that you can download to help you organize your wardrobe. Discover clever tools to keep your closet organized. Thanks to a friend Anna Sonidsson and InStyle, I found these smart apps to organize your wardrobe. I mean I could definitely use these!
BY: CHRISTINA SHANAHAN, InStyle
Upload photos of your newest purchases, along with snaps of the items already in your closet, to create a clothing and accessory catalog. Once your virtual closet is complete, the “My Outfits” feature helps you craft perfect pairings based on color, cut, and your personal taste. Worried about repeating an outfit? The app (free at itunes.com) even connects with your Google cal to note the date each look (complete with accessories) was worn.
Snap selfies in your favorite looks, then save and categorize them in the app (free at itunes.com). Cloth archives your outfits, then uses real-time weather data to give you appropriate suggestions based on the day’s forecast. Need a little inspiration? You can also browse a feed of trending street style shots.
Import your favorite pieces to plan outfits, make vacay-packing lists, and keeps tabs on your old classics and new purchases. The app ($4; itunes.com) tallies how often you wear each piece so you can prioritize what to keep and what to ditch when it comes time to purge. Here’s where it gets really good: If an outfit leaves a little something to be desired, you can shop for additional pieces directly through the app and see how new finds fit in with your favorite looks.
Read more here in my blog on tips to declutter your home RYouReadytoOrganize?