Penny-Wise Tip: Vacuum Sealing

I just finished vacuum sealing six heads of broccoli!

I love processing food as it makes me feel more in tune with the fare I consume. Our vacuum sealer is one of my favorite kitchen tools. Vacuum-sealed food stored in the freezer can last up to 2-3 years, while it will last 6-12 months in the freezer stored in other ways.

While researching this post, I discovered you could also vacuum seal fresh produce to extend its refrigerator life up to 1-2 weeks. Often, fresh produce loses its Om after only a few days in the refrigerator.

My husband bought our vacuum sealer in the clearance aisle at Walmart many years ago. I use it at least once a week as I tend to buy meat in bulk because bulk meat is budget-friendly. To preserve all that meat, I portion it into meal-size packages, seal them, then freeze them. For example, 20lbs of chicken at Walmart costs 61 cents per pound purchased this way.

A bonus Penny-Wise Tip is to shop garage sales. We purchased two “spare” vacuum sealers between $5-$10 apiece this way. Fortunately, for us frugal-minded people, many individuals don’t realize the value of a vacuum sealer, so people will sell them for next to nothing.


Della offers weekly zoom yoga classes, workshops, intuitive readings, and wellness coaching. You can find out more about her services here.

Meal Extenders: Beans

If you read my previous post on Meal Extenders, you may remember that a meal extender is an ingredient you can add to a recipe to reduce the overall cost but increase the number of servings. In today’s article, I talk about the beautiful bean.

Beans are packed with healthy protein, carbs, and fiber, and they are loaded with vitamins and minerals. You can add beans to meatloaf, casseroles, desserts, and soups to make any meal go further.

When this recipe first came to me, I thought no way this would taste good together, but I was wrong! It couldn’t be easier to put together.

If you want to make this recipe vegetarian, leave out the tuna.

Print

Tuna & White Bean Alfredo

Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Easy
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1 can tuna packed in water, drained
  • 1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 tsp chives, fresh or dried

Notes

Mix all ingredients except for chives together in a saucepan and heat. Serve over noodles or rice or my favorite Savory Oat Cake. Sprinkle with chives.

Other Bean Recipes:

Mexican Casserole


Della offers weekly zoom yoga classes, workshops, intuitive readings, and wellness coaching. You can find out more about her services here.

Meal Extender: Oats

What are meal extenders? A meal extender is an ingredient you can add to a recipe to reduce the overall cost but increase the number of servings.

Today, let’s talk about oats. Whether you are fond of old-fashioned or quick oats, adding them to dishes is yummy! Oats are nutrient-dense little powerhouses. They are loaded with protein and fiber, and healthy carbs. I use quick oats instead of breadcrumbs in recipes, as you can then make a dish gluten-free. However, I use old-fashioned oats in my Savory Oat Cake because I like the chewy texture it brings to the recipe.

Here are some ways to use oats as a meal extender in recipes.

  • Add to ground meat.
  • As a thickener for stews.
  • An addition to smoothies.
  • A topping for yogurt and desserts.

What are some ways you use oats to extend a meal?


Della offers weekly zoom yoga classes, workshops, intuitive readings, and wellness coaching. You can find out more about her services here.

Penny-Wise Tip: Making Your Own Sausage

There is something very satisfying about preparing your food from scratch. You know everything that goes into what you make.

My husband loves breakfast sausage, and I wasn’t feeling good about the Walmart brand we bought for him. Those sausages had ingredients you can’t even pronounce. So we decided to experiment with making our own. We had found The Sausage-Making Cookbook at a garage sale for 25 cents. The recipes are simple, with only natural ingredients.

I had found large pork loins at Walmart for $1.94 lb. I chose the pork loin as they were boneless and were easy to cut into small pieces to put through our meat grinder. It was worth the $.10 extra cents a pound for ease of processing. I was surprised that these large pork loins were so inexpensive, considering how the price of meat has skyrocketed these days.

We tried two different recipes out of the book. An American and Irish recipe each. We were surprised at just how yummy they both turned out! What we loved about the Irish recipe was that it incorporated bread crumbs (we used quick oats instead) into the ground pork mix. That added ingredient stretched the ground meat further than it would have otherwise. Also, making our sausage costs half as much as buying it at the store would. We so love being frugal!

What surprised me when cooking up the sausage was how lean it was. No fat had to be drained out of the pan. The sausage pairs nicely along side my Flax Waffle. This experiment ended up being well worth the time and effort.

Buying a meat grinder and sausage stuffer may seem too expensive of an investment for your family. But, we know we will use these tools regularly for years to come.

Resources:

AICOK Electric Meat Grinder 2500w (We originally got this on Amazon but it currently is not available through them.)

Sausage Stuffer


Della offers weekly zoom yoga classes, workshops, intuitive readings, and wellness coaching. You can find out more about her services here