Flour. Yep, seems silly doesn't it? Most definitely the biggest money saver of the month for me. The journey that I have been on these last few years had led me down many paths--cooking more from scratch definitely being one of them (...as I am sure you have already gathered if you have been following along...)
Now, I know that I do more cooking and baking than most people and there are 3 reasons why:
1. I love to do it.
2. It means less "junk" in my food--less preservatives, fillers, artificial flavours and colours--I have more control.
3. It is a HUGE money saver..
I sat down today to do some math...here is what I found:
Approximately every 3 months I purchase a 20kg bag of white flour. It costs me $11.99.
Here is what I do with it:
48 loaves of bread
12 batches of tortillas (96 total)
12 batches of cookies (that is batches, not dozens...)
12 pizzas or calzones or garlic sticks (same dough recipe)
8 other projects (like muffins or buns or specialty bread...)
In my best guess-timate fashion, if you were to purchase all these items at the grocery store or bakery--it would cost you almost $500!!! Even considering all the extra items I would need to purchase (like sugar, yeast, cheese, veg, butter etc...) to make ALL of these items, my cost would still be under $150! That's a savings of $350!! In just 3 months! Whoa!
If you haven't been inspired so far--perhaps your pocket book will inspire you to make a few changes :) having a bread machine was a HUGE help for me in getting things started--why not give it a try?
Grandma's Bread adapted for the bread machine:
Add to the pan in this order:
1 1/2 cup hot water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp butter
3 cups flour
2 tsp quick rise yeast.
Set on Sandwich Bread setting and let it go :) 3 hours you should have a lovely loaf of bread!!
For the more adventurous and pure of heart:
Grandma's Bread (...really, my Grandma's bread recipe!)
In a very large bowl combine:
1/3 cup sugar
4 tsp salt
4 cups very hot water.
4 cups flour and mix until flour is combined
2 more cups flour
10 tsp quick rise yeast (a bulk pkg at the Bulk barn is your best bet--CHEAP!)
2-3 more cups of flour and mix in well, you may need to use your hands now.
Turn out onto floured board and begin to knead. Add more flour by the 1/2 cup or so until no longer sticky.
Knead about 6-10 minutes.
Wash the large mixing bowl you started with in hot water. Dry and coat lightly with oil. Place dough into bowl and cover to rise. Punch down after about 1 hour (or when dough has doubled in size). Let rise again and punch down after about 45 min or so. Place dough on board and cut into 4 even chunks. Shape dough into balls and then roll lightly into oblong ovals to fit into bread pans. Let rise about 30-45 min. Bake in 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Take out of pans and let cool on rack.
Makes 4 loaves