Friday, January 9, 2009

Frugal Friday - Making your own "convenience" foods

Are you ever tempted to purchase the pre-made cookie dough when you are grocery shopping? Per cookie, that is an expensive choice even with coupons most of the time.

You have to admit that they are handy...so what's a gal to do?

Make your own! (I got this great idea from my boss, a fellow frugalite :)!)

Roll your cookie dough into a log, wrap with plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag.

If you prefer the break and bake variety, make individual balls of cookie dough, place on a cookie sheet, place in the freezer until frozen, then put all the frozen cookie dough balls into a freezer bag. Take out only as many as you need when you are ready to cook them! (freezing them first on a cookie sheet makes it so they don't stick together in the freezer bag :)).

Thaw the dough then slice (for a log) or place (for dough balls) on a cookie sheet and bake according to your recipe.

I am not sharing this information not specifically about cookie dough - although I love cookies! I am sharing it because using your creativity, you can find many convenience foods that you can make yourself and conveniently warm up and eat later (thus saving you money in the process).

Some ideas of this:

  1. That same boss also makes a huge batch of burritos, wraps individually, and freezes. Her boys take them to school in their lunches!

  2. Make a huge batch of soup, freeze in individual containers. It is just as simple to pull soup out of the freezer and warm it up as it is to open a can and warm it up - and *BONUS* you know what is going into the soup!

  3. I looovvee the convenience of Minute Rice, but it is so expensive compared to good old bagged rice. I have found that rice freezes very well. Make a large batch, and freeze into meal sized portions. Thaw then add to soups, casseroles, or eat with butter and salt.

  4. Chicken broth - this is easy to make with chicken bones, boil the heck out of it, then remove all the yucky stuff. Freeze the broth in ice cube trays then move to a freezer bag. Freeze in cups or however you will use it.

These are just a few of many ideas to make your own convenience foods, so how about you? Do you have any great ideas for home made convenience foods?

7 comments:

Amy said...

I do the same with bags of chips or cookies, even fruit. Great for snacks on the run!

Jennifer said...

My mom used to make cookie dough in logs when I was little and I forgotten all about it. I think I will try that next time I make cookies. thanks!

Anonymous said...

I do the whole cooking huge ammounts of Lentil-or Beansoups in the crockpot thing.. freeze them in portions. Mostly i am the one eating it, its my lunch when the kids are in school...lol.
And that picture of the cookies and milk up there just made my mouth water...:-))

Jeff and Tonia Clark said...

I love putting green bell peppers in several dishes I make, but I'm always put off by the prices. When they're on sale I want to buy a bunch but they don't keep fresh for too long. Someone suggested I try freezing them and it works! As long as you don't cook them first. Dice up the peppers and place in individual quart size bags and then freeze! I plan on growing some pepper plants this spring and hope to freeze several for the winter.
P.S. I love your blog! My sister Elisa told me all about it and now has me hooked on coupon clipping!

Mom2fur said...

My husband uses a protein powder that comes in a huge container, so when it's finished I clean it out and use it for mixes. I have waffle, pancake, brownie and hot cocoa mix. (I also had tortilla mix, but I don't like the way they come out.) It is so much fun to mix things up and have them on hand!
I like your cookie idea. Whenever I make cookies, I always roll up about a dozen balls of dough to freeze and use later on. You are right--they are cheaper. And they're better, too!

SavingSomeGreen said...

Thanks for the comments everyone! These are all great ideas!

Melonie said...

This is a great post. It reminds me of the apartment complex I used to manage - my boss rented an Otis Spunkmeyer oven and bought frozen dough each month from petty cash. We'd bake a batch each Friday morning to treat the staff and any potential renters, and make the place smell "homey".

I always wondered if that could be done at home - without springing for the Otis dough!

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