It’s a Spicy Price to Pay for Convenience Foods!

With  most families having both parents working outside the home in Canada convenience in the kitchen seems to be the way to go. Take-out Pizza is on the menu at least once a week and that’s the day parents can simply chill out and get some backlogged house work done or spend time with the family.

Is spending over $1000 a year on pizza worth it and at what cost?

What other conveniences foods or items do we want in our Kitchen? 

*Prepared Food or Spice Packets 

Since trying to lower our overall budgeting costs we wanted to find ways to keep the budget with-in reach. Let’s look at Spices and those prepared packets we all buy.

How many of you have bags and bottles of spices thrown in a drawer or a cupboard?

That’s right I’m talking to you.. I know you are shaking your head saying yes I’m guilty! That’s ok we used to be as well.

I’m betting most of your spices are outdated or stale because you don’t use them often enough. The price of convenience reels you in and the spices fade into non-existence.

Reasons why people don’t use spices and opt for Packets

  • They are not organized in a cupboard or drawer

Last year Mrs.CBB and I found we had so many spices but struggled to keep them organized in the cupboard. Our favourite cook, Chef Michael Smith on the Food Network Canada gave us an idea! Spices in Mason Jars! Now we only wish we had the same pantry as him!

  • Convenience of packaged spices made for a meal is quick
Some of the common convenience packages are for Chili, Meatloaf, Beef Stew, SloppyJoes, and Sheppard’s pie. You can buy these for $1.29 a pack or more sometimes cheaper if they are on sale $0.99.  Use one of these packs once a week for a year at regular price and it will cost you just over $67.00.
Below we will look at a simple recipe and what you will need to make it taste flavourful without the spice packets! These recipes are for the crock pot however whether you make it them on the stove, in the oven or the slow cooker a simple spice stash is all you need!
Here is an easy Taco Seasoning Mix you can make at home for a fraction of the price of the packages and it’s SO easy! Make this in big batches and store in an air tight container and it’s ready when you are!
Crock Pot (Slow Cooker) Chili with Beans and Corn-requires only salt,chili powder,pepper,cumin,cayenne pepper,oregano and coriander. Why do you need a packet?
2 medium onions, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine
1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely sliced
6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
30 ounces kidney beans, canned, rinsed and drained
6 ounces tomato paste
8 ounces frozen corn kernels
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 cups non-fat chicken or vegetable broth
Other reasons people opt for Spice Packets
  • You don’t own the correct spices or any spices

You don’t need to have a chef’s cupboard of spices but you do need to have the one’s you will  need most often. Researching your favourite recipes and noting the spices you would commonly use is important to saving money.

* Growing Herbs in Canada is so easy and inexpensive. If you are an avid gardener you can easily grow spices and dry them for off-season use. If you end up with too much basil for example you can process it and freeze it in a cupcake pan or ice cube trays then put them in freezer bags.

* You may also find purchasing spices on-line from Silk Road Spices or other sites a cheaper alternative!

*Take advantage of any coupons to your local bulk store and purchase your most used spices from the bulk store

Organization is Important- When they look pretty your mind tells you to use them!

  • Your spices are not correctly labelled- We labelled our Jars with labels that we purchased at the grocery store or you can order custom spice labels. 

There you have it Canada! Save yourself some money in the budget, get organized in the Kitchen. With a little homework you can make your time in the kitchen more efficient and easy on the budget!

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