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Making Convenience Foods

Last post Tue, Jun 12 2012 3:06 AM by michal123. 15 replies.
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  • Wed, Jun 6 2012 11:28 AM

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Making Convenience Foods

    Packaged foods and convenience items can mean a quick meal on the table, Often though, these are not the healthiest or most frugal options.

    With preparation and planning, you can make food from scratch to store in the pantry or freezer for quick use later. Quick, frugal and healthier; what a winning combination!

    Let's hear from our members on which convenience foods they make at home and store.

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager

  • Wed, Jun 6 2012 12:30 PM In reply to

    • Peanut
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Feb 17 2011
    • Suburbs of Boston, MA
    • Posts 141

    Re: Making Convenience Foods

     I try to home-make anything that comes in a packet:  seasonings packets, flavored instant oatmeal packets, hot cocoa packets, dry soup mix packets, etc.  I love the grab-n-go convenience, and so far they're cheaper & healthier.  The quality is a bit different, since there are no fillers, artificial flavors, etc...but my family is happy with the products.

    Same for canned "prepared" foods - cream of miscellaneous soup, broths & stocks, veggies, fruits, spreads...my goal is to have only "base" ingredients from stores, with everything made from that.  I keep a running list of "bulk preparation projects" and work through it when I can, or task easier mixes to the rest of the family on weekends.

     There was an article posted here a while ago from one of the cooperative extension services - a great (printable!) brochure on homemade convenience mixes.  I've tried some of them & had good results.  They include directions for using the mixes once you've made them, too.  Here's the link again in case anyone wants it:

     University of Maine:  Saving Money with Homemade Convenience Mixes


    Babbling regularly at PeanutsAlmanac.Blogspot.com
  • Wed, Jun 6 2012 12:36 PM In reply to

    Re: Making Convenience Foods

    I will make breakfast foods up for the guys so all they have to do is microwave it and go.  I make up a large batch of muffins, wrap them in saran wrap and then place them in a freezer bag. They can be taken out as needed. I have made up a batch of breakfast burritos with chorizo, eggs, diced potatoes and cheese and wrapped individually in wax paper for the guys breakfast. This keeps them from going to Starbucks for breakfast.
  • Wed, Jun 6 2012 12:50 PM In reply to

    Re: Making Convenience Foods

    I make breakfasts for the week on Sunday. DH will have either breakfast casserole or hard-boiled eggs. He's not a fan of omelets and scrambled eggs are tough when reheated in the microwave. I also make up baggies of my cereal "trail mix". We also have yogurt and bananas to grab and go. I also sometimes have muffins pre-made for him to take too, along with his other stuff.

    When it's a meal other than breakfast, I keep quick convenience foods on hand like frozen pizzas, brats or hot dogs. We also have single-serve leftovers in the freezer we can grab, and there's always sandwich makings (DH craves ham like I crave chocolate and will eat it straight out of the package as a snack).


  • Wed, Jun 6 2012 2:51 PM In reply to

    Re: Making Convenience Foods

    Honestly, what's working best over here right now are making my Mom bento boxes with raw fruits, veggies and protein items for lunches and snacks/light meals a few days in advance to bring to work/with her. I keep them vegetarian and section things off. They are really fun to create, no two are the same! I will gather various fresh fruits and veggies and cut into sticks/shapes/etc. or leave as is <like grapes or cherry tomatoes> and proteins might include cheese, garbonzo beans, hard boiled egg, raw nuts and seeds, etc... olives... hummus or veggie dip... My other no fail, always win is my homemade soups. They are easy to pack in individual serving and hit the spot. She always loves them.

    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." ~Chinese Proverb~
  • Wed, Jun 6 2012 4:34 PM In reply to

    Re: Making Convenience Foods

    I am kinda bad about using convenience foods. I tend to get tired and grab pre-cut whatevers from the store just to save time and sanity. I know that I could do the same thing @ home, and SOMETIMES on the weekend I prep up veggies to make the weeknights easier.... but sometimes not. This week was one of my lucky weeks because I do at least have salad stuff already prepped up. Maybe I'll get inspired by everyone else's great ideas!
    SAHM to 2 toddlers and 2 cats! Happily married to my soul mate! How could life get any better!?!
  • Wed, Jun 6 2012 5:01 PM In reply to

    • Elsi
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Nov 12 2009
    • TX, USA
    • Posts 503

    Re: Making Convenience Foods

     I don't use many convenience foods in meal preparation.  I used to rely on canned soups (mushroom, whatever) for casseroles until I learned to make the equivalent from scratch.  (Lower sodium and no preservatives!!)  Here's my recipe:


    Condensed Cream of Whatever Soup

    4 TBSP flour
    4 TBSP oil (or butter or shortening)
    1.25 cups liquid
    salt and pepper to taste

    Mix oil & flour in small saucepan. Heat until simmering, then slowly stir in the liquid and cook until thickened.  Add salt and pepper -- and additional seasonings as desired.

    For cream of chicken soup, just use 1/2 chicken stock and 1/2 milk.  You can make it creamier by using all chicken stock into which you've dissolved 1/2 cup of dried milk.  For cream of celery, saute chopped celery with the flour & oil mixture.  For mushroom soup, saute mushrooms with flour & oil and if you are using canned/jar mushrooms, use the juice from the jar and add milk to make the 1.25 cups.  For tomato soup, use tomato juice for your liquid & season with celery salt or basil.  For cheese soup, add 1 cup of shredded cheese.

     This makes the equivalent of a 10-ounce can of condensed soup.

  • Wed, Jun 6 2012 7:29 PM In reply to

    Re: Making Convenience Foods

    butter milk pancakes

    1 cup flour

    1 cup butter milk

    1 tdp baking soda

    1 lrg egg

    2 tbsp sugar

    grease frying pan whip together the ingrediants above and use a scooper and dip spoon in and put it on a medium high heat batter in it then wait for bubbles to appear then flip over to other side wait until the sides are up then scoop up and do another.  Makes six pancakes

  • Wed, Jun 6 2012 11:25 PM In reply to

    Re: Making Convenience Foods

     Its like a egg macmuffin with the cheese and egg on it with saucage with an englich muffin those I make andpancakes waffles burittoes those I never made ahead of time but its now being down thanks to gayla now I make it ahead and got a choice in food and its not to expensive to make all of this and the making of convience foods for the freezer helps me out alot and its alot of work rather that then no work at all and its healthier.

  • Thu, Jun 7 2012 7:13 PM In reply to

    • 23456
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Jun 11 2008
    • Posts 169

    Re: Making Convenience Foods

     I make for the freezer: italian style meatballs, biscuits, eggrolls, chicken stock, pancakes, banana muffins, shredded/chopped chicken... that's all I can think of for now... 

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