If you’ve come back to read on … wow … thanks! 😀 I really appreciate it!
Bye Bye Convenience Foods
The way I shopped had to take a BIG turn. I’ve always done menu planning, and shopped with a list, and I always shopped at Aldi, Coles and the local fruit shop, but it wasn’t enough. I had to get drastic. Here are some of the things I stopped putting in my trolley …
Softdrink … packaged biscuits … chocolate … ice cream … dip … chai latte sachets (I’ll admit it … that one really hurt!) … cashes … pasta & sauce … Up & Go … Latina fresh pastas & sauces … oven food (pies, nuggets, fries, pizza)
If it wasn’t essential, and if it wasn’t an ingredient, then I didn’t buy it. But I still had to pack lunchboxes and have weekend and after school snacks. I started baking from scratch. Muffins, slices, cakes, biscuits. Instead of baking one batch of muffins (most of which would be scoffed before they could cool), I started baking double batches. At the time Aldi stocked a HUGE tin of pie apple, and pie apple/berry mixes. One tin cost less than a small tin at Coles, and would make 2 batches. Sadly they don’t stock that anymore, however, I have discovered that a small tin will still be sufficient for a double batch of muffins! You can find my fave muffin recipe HERE (scroll down for recipe card), and a story about it HERE.
The other baking recipe that went a very long way was this mega batch of cookies! I can get about 100 biscuits from this recipe, and I always keep some raw dough, rolled into logs & cling wrapped in the freezer. I have used this dough for a baking party, and all the kids made & decorated giant cookies. I have given a big batch of dough to my sister with the baking instructions for Easter, and I have sent friends home with several logs of dough when they’re doing it a bit tough. You can find the recipe HERE.
There were a few tricks to making sure the baked goodies weren’t eaten my the hungry hoards as they lay on the cooling racks, smelling divine and begging to be tasted. The first … bake when no-one else is home. For me, that was school hours. I would bake in the morning, and as soon as they were cool I would wrap muffins in cling wrap and put them in the freezer (in a grey Coles shopping bag so they weren’t easily identifiable by my resident food ninja). The biscuits, I would bag up 3 days worth for school lunches (they don’t really stay fresh much longer than that), and put some in the Tupperware for after school and cup of tea snacks.
Dig out your recipe books, look online, or get a book out of the library. All you need is a few recipes,and they’ll go a long way. I’ll be back tomorrow to talk about dinners.