Friday, April 22, 2011

Food Storage Friendly Friday – Meal Idea and Tip of the Week

Gas prices are crazy. It really is frustrating that there is nothing you can do about it. How much does it cost you to fill up? I know you’ve heard $5 gas by Memorial Day and it isn’t supposed to stop there.

Tip of the week: Drive less often. Sound impossible? One woman named Brandy tells how she did it. “There is no reason that you have to go to the store every week. By careful shopping of sales, you can save money on gas in trips to the store. You can save the time you would have spent standing in line and driving to the store and back. Can you use a couple of extra hours a week? Try going to the store only once or twice a month, when the sales are at their lowest, and stock up then. Fill your car. If your pantry is well-stocked, you won't run out of things. A trip once every month or even every couple of months can fill your shelves, if you fill your car when you go each of those times.

To get yourself in the habit of going less often, try buying 2 weeks of milk (watch the expiration dates), eggs, etc. Get some fresh fruits and vegetables for the first week, and some that will be good for both weeks--things like apples, carrots and potatoes. The second week, eat canned and frozen fruits and vegetables (along with whatever other fresh things you have left). If you have a garden, it can help fill in the gaps. Eventually, try lengthening the amount of time between shopping trips.

Brandy has a website where she also tells how she went about procuring her food storage and a meager budget and how she managed to live on it for over 2 years with little or no income. It’s a very interesting and inspiring story. I loved reading it and even read it to my husband. She has lots of good ideas. Here is the link if you’d like to read it.
This week the recipe of the week is for saving money on meat. Karen from Utah says she has been substituting wheat berries for part of her meat in ground beef recipes for years. This is her recipe for Wheat Berry Taco Meat. She said, “I almost always have cooked wheat berries in my fridge. I throw them in soups and salads and with pasta sauces.” She says you can adjust the amount of berries that you mix with your meat until you feel comfortable with it; start with a little and gradually increase over time. She also said that her recipe for taco meat varies, this is just a basic recipe, but sometimes she adds other seasonings or a package of taco seasoning mix. She also adds a tomato sauce mixture to this to serve over chips for a good taco salad, adding black beans, corn and tomatoes or whatever she feels like that particular day. Thanks for the recipe, Karen.

Wheat Berry Taco Meat – Karen B. from Utah
1 lb. ground beef (Substitute 1 pint ground beef)
2 cups cooked whole wheat berries
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. chili powder
Brown ground beef and drain fat. Stir in the cooked wheat berries and spices. Serve with tortillas and toppings such as lettuce, cheese, sour cream, olives and onions. For burritos: add reconstituted freeze-dried refried beans, cheese, sour cream, guacamole and other fresh toppings as desired and roll up. Serve over crushed corn chips with black beans, corn, tomatoes, lettuce, onions and Ranch Dressing.

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