When most people consider ways to be frugal in the grocery store, they think about clipping coupons and looking for things on sale. But there are other ways to pinch pennies. One of the best is to cut out what you buy and make more of your own items at home. There are lots of common pantry staples that can be made with a few simple ingredients. Here are several seasonings, condiments, and spreads to try.
The great thing about making your own seasonings is that you can customize them to fit your tastes. Furthermore, you probably already have many of the ingredients in your pantry. Seasoning salt is one of the most versatile seasonings. You can use it to season everything from eggs to meat.
Here is a simple recipe for seasoning salt that you can make in seconds. You will need 3 tablespoons of kosher salt, 2 tablespoons of dried basil, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/4 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Combine all ingredients and mix well. This and other homemade seasonings that you develop on your own should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Most will last longer if they are stored in the refrigerator.
Every refrigerator door is full of condiments that contain extra preservatives that our bodies do not need, so why not make your own and leave out the stuff we don’t need. Ketchup is one of the most used condiments, but did you know that bottled ketchup is almost 25 percent sugar? Try this recipe out and cut down on your sugar intake. You will need one 12 ounce can of tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Mix all the ingredients together well and let them sit at room temperature for 10-20 minutes so that the flavors can combine. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
Mustard is believed to be one of the oldest condiments and one of the easiest to make. This recipe calls for 1 cup mustard powder, 5 tablespoons water, and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Put all ingredients in a bowl and stir. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
Ranch dressing is another very popular condiment. To make your own ranch dressing you will need 1/2 cup of sour cream, 1/2 cup of real mayonnaise, 1/2 cup of milk or buttermilk, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped green onion, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon dill weed, and 1/2 teaspoon parsley. Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.
Not only are spreads easy to make, they can be served several ways. Most spreads will last 3 to 4 days when they are well covered and refrigerated. A classic example of a spread is the bologna sandwich spread.
You will need a food processor or meat grinder to get the right texture for this recipe. You need 1 pound of ring bologna, 1/2 of a small jar of baby sweet pickles, 1 medium onion, 1 cup of mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons of mustard, salt and pepper to taste, you may also add 1-2 hard boiled eggs. The first thing to do is remove the casing from the bologna and cut it into 4 to 5 sections. Place it in the food processor with the pickles and onions and grind it up until it looks to be the right texture. Then, add the mayonnaise and mustard. Serve the spread on bread, crackers, or in a lettuce wrap.
All of these recipes are easy to make and will be healthier and cheaper for you to eat than their store-bought counterparts.
Bailey Harris writes about home insurance quotes and related topics for www.homeinsurance.org.
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