Have you ever wondered what to do with your leftover wine?
(I know what you’re thinking: “What leftover wine?!”)
Well, this past Saturday was my mother’s wedding. Rather than pay $20 per bottle through the caterers, we bought two cases of wine through a friend for less than $3 per bottle. Pretty sweet deal, eh?
The unfortunate thing was that the caterers uncorked all 24 bottles before placing them on the tables. At the end of the night, there were about a dozen perfectly good bottles of wine that would have been thrown out because they were opened.
Rather than letting good wine go to waste, we collected the remaining bottles and brought them home. We drank some at the after-party, gave some away to friends… and yet we still had MORE WINE.
So what did we do with the leftovers? We froze it!
I don’t know how many times we have had a recipe call for wine – usually in small amounts. Many stores sell “cooking wine,” but it’s expensive and usually not very good. Therefore, we usually end up opening a whole bottle just to use a few tablespoons. But never again! Soon, we will have several dozen cubes of delicious red and white wine to use as needed.
If you’re like most Irish Americans (or wannabe Irish Americans), you probably celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a big pot of corned beef and cabbage. Chances are good that you have some leftovers too.
Don’t want your extra corned beef and cabbage to go to waste? Here are some creative ideas for using your leftover corned beef:
When I was young, my grandmother used to make these tasty little doughnuts every year on Fasnacht (Fat Tuesday) as the continuation of a German tradition passed down from her mother and grandmother.
The basic idea behind Fasnacht küchles is to empty your cabinets of all the sugar, butter, and oil before fasting for Lent. In other words, they are made from ingredients most people already had around the house and required no additional spending. (Major points for the frugal-minded!)
While I have been unable to find my grandmother’s original recipe, the one below comes pretty darn close.
In honor of the Chinese New Year (tomorrow), I thought I would share our recipe for steamed pork dumplings. These can be served as an appetizer with dipping sauce, or cooked in chicken broth to make your own pork wonton soup.
Either way, they’re absolutely delicious, inexpensive and easy to make at home. Enjoy!
Apparently I’m in a very foodie mood this weekend – particularly Asian food – so I thought I would follow up yesterday’s sushi post with by revisiting one of my old themes of cheap eats.
This recipe for beef and vegetable ramen is super easy to make, costs as little as $0.25 per serving ($0.50 for the whole recipe), and can be easily adjusted to reduce the amount of sodium that prevents most people from eating ramen after college. It’s also very tasty. Enjoy!
BEEF & VEGETABLE RAMEN
1 package beef flavored ramen
1 cup frozen vegetables (your choice)
2 cups water
Heat 2 cups of water to boil in a small saucepan or pot.
Once the water has reached a boil, add the block of noodles (whole or broken into halves) and frozen vegetables. Continue to cook on medium-high heat until the noodles are soft, or about 3-5 minutes.
Drain the excess water, then add the seasoning packet. Remember this isn’t soup. The absence of water in the final product means the seasoning will not be diluted, so you can opt to use only a portion of the packet without the noodles tasting bland.
Mix thoroughly and let cool before consuming. It’s really that simple!
Last night, my husband and I tried something new – making our own sushi from scratch. I mean, why not? It looked like fun, and it’s less expensive than buying pre-made sushi at Wegmans all the time. Right?
All in all, while the sushi rolls came out kind of messy, it was a really fun and educational experience. I don’t want to give a step-by-step tutorial on making sushi, since there are a few procedural things we still need to improve on to get it right… but I will share a few tips and tidbits on the experience for anyone who might want to try it themselves.
A couple of nights ago, my husband and I decided to try a recipe for Chili Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper. I know what you’re thinking: why would you make it from scratch when a regular box is already so cheap and easy to prepare?
Not only did this recipe taste fantastic, it also required very little effort. Furthermore, all of the ingredients are cheap and easy to find. In fact, you probably have most of them at the house already. No additional trips to the grocery store required!
Essentially, Hamburger Helper is just a bag of macaroni and a spice packet. Sometimes it includes a packet of powdered cheese as well. Of all the ingredients, the only one that is more expensive “outside the box” is real cheese. However, it tastes amazing and is much better for you. (Seriously, God only knows what goes into those cheese packets…)
On the other hand, you could replicate the salisbury or stroganoff recipes using only egg noodles and a few household seasonings. These are definitely the most budget-friendly varieties.
Want to save yourself some prep time in the future? Buy the ingredients in bulk and take a few minutes to portion out the macaroni and spice mixture into sealed Ziploc bags for later use.
So next time you’re craving Hamburger Helper, try making it yourself from scratch. You could save yourself some money (and guilt!) with very little additional effort.
My husband and I recently celebrated our first anniversary and, as part of our celebration, we decided to make a special Bean Jar Chili in the crock pot.
What exactly is Bean Jar Chili? Well, there’s a story behind it. My aunt (who I love dearly) has a signature gift that she gives to all brides-to-be in the family. The gift is a large container and a couple of bags of dry beans, which are meant to illustrate the infamous Bean Jar Theory. Rather than wasting all those perfectly-good beans, we decided to use them in homemade chili on our anniversary weekend.
Why am I sharing this story? Because it was the first time we successfully used dry beans in a recipe.
Now that Thanksgiving is over, you probably have a fair amount of leftovers in your fridge. While most people will use leftover turkey for sandwiches, they can get a little boring after a while – especially if you have several pounds of turkey to use.
Here are over 30 creative, budget-friendly recipes using leftover turkey:
My only memory of Twinkies was in 8th grade, when my math teacher promised a free box of Twinkies to any students who received a 100 on the Regents at the end of the year. A few of us succeeded, and thoroughly enjoyed our rewards. Little did I know, that box could have been worth something.
Today, Hostess announced that they would be liquidating the company following bankruptcy and a bakers’ strike. As a result, people across the country have been flocking to stores to grab the last few boxes of Twinkies, Ho Hos, and other classic Hostess products.
Furthermore, boxes of Twinkies are already being sold by individuals on eBay or Amazon for anywhere from $30 to $500 per box. Cha-ching!
While there are certainly a lot of people upset about the end of Hostess, all is not lost. In addition to the possibility that another company will buy up the rights to make and sell Twinkies and other treats, you could always make your own. Here are a few recipes I was able to find: