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Kitchen Staples; Cheaper, Healthier, Homemade ~ Frugal Spoonie Friday

May 20

Are there a few products you buy on a regular basis and wonder, “I wish I knew how to make this myself, so I could cut down my expenses…”?

Kitchen staples; cheaper, healthier, homemade is like a mantra I repeat when I go to make my grocery list. There are a few items that I don’t have to buy every time, but when I do, they bring added expense to my already limited weekly budget. Plus, they all seem to run out at once which means several added items to the bill.

As 'Spoonies' we need to cut unnatural, health destroying ingredients from our diets... Click To Tweet

Then there’s the ‘health’ issue; high fructose corn syrup, dyes, MSG, aspartame, excessive amounts of sugar, ect. As a ‘Spoonie’, I need to cut these out of my diet as much as possible. I mean, who doesn’t? That’s one of the reasons I love to make things myself (provided it’s less expensive and easy). This way, I know exactly what I’m putting into my body.

A Few Basic Pantry Staples That Are Better ‘Homemade’

  • VANILLA EXTRACT ~ Have you SEEN the price of vanilla extract recently?! Not the ‘vanilla flavored’ extract haunting the store shelves (please don’t…please…I beg you…your tastebuds will sing your praises if you never again subject them to this type of culinary blasphemy), but REAL vanilla extract? If it’s not on sale, a bottle can go upwards from $5-$11. It’s so unbelievably easy to make your own; 6 vanilla beans and 2 cups of the clear liquor of your choice {here is where you can get ‘flavor creative’} is all it takes. Heather at ‘Mommypotamus’ has broken it down to $3.46 for 4oz as opposed to the $11 for 4oz found in the grocery aisle. She also provides a link for the most cost effective vanilla beans you can buy (and remember, there are uses for those beans after ‘vanilla creating’, so…win! win!

  • KETCHUP (or ‘CATSUP’ for the feline confused) ~ This one has more to do with the health aspect. Let’s be honest, who’s really going to give up that most favored among American condiments for the sake of saving a few teaspoons of sugar? Well, if you had any idea how much sugar is  packed in those bottles, coupled with ‘high fructose corn syrup’ (one of the few edible ingredients that the liver does not ‘recognize’ and therefore does not metabolize. The liver spits it back out into the body where it gets stored as FAT). It could make you re-think what you dip your fries into. Luckily, ketchup is super simple to make, and YOU get to control the amount of sugar added. ‘An Oregon Cottage’ has created a recipe that uses my favorite sweetener; Raw Local Organic Honey .

  • CAKE FROSTING ~ I’m a ‘cake snob’. I fully admit this. It probably stems from owning my own cupcake business at one point. Cake is like poetry; there are a few rare and transcendent pieces to be discovered and treasured…but the majority?…absolute crap. So it is with cake (can you imagine how much fun I am at weddings & birthday parties?) and its resplendent adornment; frosting. Here’s the deal. Simple chocolate buttercream frosting is: 4 cups powdered sugar/1 cup butter/2 tsp real vanilla extract/2 Tbsp good cocoa powder/1 Tbsp strong, black coffee. That’s it. It’s that simple. Quit torturing yourself, your family, and your friends with the puce-tinted glutinous mass, masquerading as ‘food’ in the baking aisle; the erroneously mislabeled – ‘frosting in a can’… *shudder*

  • GRANOLA ~ So, why are; oats/sweetener/oil/a few nuts/and a handful of raisins roughly the cost of a tank of gas? Yet another unsolved mystery of the universe, but I can offer a cheaper & healthier alternative: 2 cups old-fashioned oats/1 cup nuts/ 1/2cup good vegetable oil/ 1/4cup raw organic honey/ 1/2 cup raisins ~ bake at 350 on a parchment lined sheet pan, stirring often for approx 20-30 min (careful it burns easily!).

Kitchen Staples; Cheaper, Healthier, Homemade save & and your health!

Save money and your health by making ‘ kitchen staples; cheaper, healthier, homemade. The well-being of our minds and bodies is a continual process. Every step taken brings you closer to the best ‘you’ possible, and ‘you’ are worth it!

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4 Comments

  • Reply Brandi Clevinger May 26 at 5:47 am

    What a hilarious video! I was laughing so hard at some of his comments. Thanks for sharing!

    On to the serious side – Replacing a lot of the pantry staples with homemade products is not only healthier and frugal, but it teaches my kids how to use what we have. Being more independent and thinking outside of the box. We make our own taco seasoning, ranch seasoning, and creole seasoning. They have fun measuring it out with me, not knowing how much more healthy it is.

    The vanilla and ketchup I’ve never tried to make, but then again it’s an ingredient we hardly ever use any more. Once I saw the ingredients, I halted the brakes on consuming it. The granola, however, is super yummy! Having a food dehydrator to add some fruit to it is delicious, too!
    Brandi Clevinger recently posted…Can We Find Closure in the WorldWide Web?My Profile

    • Reply kristine May 26 at 6:35 am

      LOVE the idea of fruit from the dehydrator! Many possibilities! And the video…right?! He’s freaking hilarious! Thanks as always Brandi! Looking so forward to hosting Chronic Friday Linkup with you tommorow!

  • Reply Nikki May 31 at 3:49 pm

    I definitely need to look into making my own granola or granola bars. I eat bananas and granola bars during the day, and I love to have them in my purse for when I’m on the go, have you looked at the price of a granola bar at the gas station! ARG! Sometimes I’m not prepared and need to get one on a quick stop. Or trail mix???? Thanks for the granola recipe, I will be using it!

    Aspartame and I do not get along, I had aspartame poisoning years ago and it was horrible. So I avoid it at all costs!
    Nikki recently posted…Social Media Blast. Define your Focus! Instagram!My Profile

    • Reply kristine May 31 at 8:48 pm

      OH MY GOSH!! I can’t imagine being POISONED with aspartame! I’m always on my family about that stinking ‘sugar free’ gum! Don’t even go NEAR that stuff! And yeah, granola! Man, it seems like anything they label as ‘health food’ they know people will pay through the nose for it! Really, there is so much we can make ourselves 😉

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