FROZEN VEGETABLES ARE EASY TO DEHYDRATE AND WON’T SUCK YOUR GROCERY BUDGET DRY.
The best dehydrated food I make starts with gorgeous fruits and vegetables and ends with sweet treats or easy powders to trick even the pickiest of eaters.
Parents take note as I show you how to make sure your child gets the nutrition he needs even if he hates fruits and vegetables.
Hi my name is Heather and I absolutely love to dehydrate food to save money and space in my kitchen pantry. I began dehydrating food shortly after attending an Emergency Preparedness class here in Vancouver. They tell people to be ready for more than 72 hours (more like 6-9 months) in case of an emergency.
Living in an apartment I needed a way to store food that didn’t take up a lot of space. I came up with a brilliant solution to my lack of pantry space that I’ve been doing for a while now.
Today, I am still storing food, but I am finding we use it everyday. The powdered veggies are a great example. Dried fruit I keep in powdered and whole form so we can use it in smoothies, oatmeal or just enjoy as a snack.
Also, we do a lot of hiking in the summer so it is a great way to have variety for your source of energy. The best part is that you’re only packing ounces of food instead of pounds. This makes carrying a bag lighter and your hike more enjoyable.
Costs to dehydrate fruit
I buy fruit and veggies on sale ( even better if I have coupons) throw them in the dehydrator after dinner and they are done when I get up in the morning. Some of the most popular fruits are dehydrated pineapple along with dehydrated strawberries and cherries. I either vacuum seal them in jars or in food-saver/mylar bags depending on what they are to be used for.
How to dehydrate tomatoes
1 28oz/796 ml can of diced tomatoes gave me 2 3/8 ounces of tomato powder. Cost of tomatoes was 75 cents, spices about 50 cents. Cost of running dehydrator was 67 cents. Obviously it’s cost-effective to dehydrate larger amounts of tomatoes.
If you’re lucky you might even find tomatoes in abundance during the growing season in Ontario reduced. The reason is that there are so many tomatoes available and lots of people are growing them now. This leaves the grocery store with too many on the shelves so they try to get rid of them at discounted prices.
I place the tomatoes in a bowl with a 1/4 cup or so of dehydrated onion, oregano and minced garlic. Simply cover them and let sit overnight. I find this way that I don’t have to strain the juice as the onion etc absorb all the juice.
I line my dehydrator trays with parchment paper, spread the mixture out evenly as possible on my trays and slide the trays into the dehydrating machine. After 3 or 4 hours I take the trays out and rotate them 180 degrees from top to bottom. Depending on the humidity, they are usually dry in another 8 -10 hours.
I peel the tomato leather off the paper and let it sit covered lightly in a dish for about 4-6 hours. Then I just toss it in my blender and blend it until it becomes a powder. I pour my tomato powder into a pint jar, vacuum seal the jar with the food-saver and put it in my pantry. Any time I need tomatoes I have my dehydrated tomato powder ready for action.
I usually do the #10 size cans of tomatoes and that results in almost 1 full pint jar. Those I am storing for a few months so before I seal them I toss them into a 300cc oxygen absorber. When kept in a cool dark place the shelf expectancy is a year for dehydrated tomatoes.
I use dehydrated tomatoes in soups, sauces as well as sprinkle on-top of chicken before I bake it. Alternatively you can cover a pot with boiling water for about 20 minutes and it reconstitutes into tomato juice or add more powder for a gorgeous tomato sauce. Add any other spices you want to your tomato sauce and call it your own special recipe.
Dehydrated Green Peas
One weekend I found a 1kg bag of peas in my freezer that needed using up so I dehydrated them during an uneventful Saturday night at our house. There is no real prep work involved when you dehydrate green peas.
Simply spread them on the trays overnight and by the next morning I had little bitty green wrinkly pebbles of dehydrated green peas. The entire bag of frozen peas fills a pint jar. I enjoy using dehydrated peas by tossing them into soups, stews and pastas.
The green peas re-hydrate perfectly for eating by covering them with boiling water for 20-30 minutes. You will also find there is no taste difference from their original state. Vacuum sealed and in the pantry dehydrated green peas have a shelf life of 1 year plus.
Spinach is a breeze to dehydrate.
I started with 8 cups of well washed spinach. From there I dried the spinach with paper towel and spread it on the dehydrator trays. I rotated the trays after 3 hours and after 7 hours of dehydration they were done. ( it took longer because it was raining and humid) although it usually only takes about 5 hours.
When the spinach was dry and crunchy I set it in a bowl for a few hours and then ran it through the blender until it was a fine powder. I ended up with 5/8 of an ounce of spinach powder. I usually add 1/2 a teaspoon of spinach powder to smoothies but will sprinkle a couple of tablespoons into a meatloaf or burger meat. I often even sprinkle some into my pasta sauce.
I don’t even taste it so it is a great way for picky eaters like myself to get more veggies in. I’m sure parents out there with picky eaters are all going to rush out and buy a dehydrator. It’s worth it especially if your growing child refuses to eat fruits or vegetables. I don’t vacuum seal the spinach as it is something I use often and is quick and easy to make.
Like the tomatoes, I usually do larger batches of the spinach so I’m not wasting time and electricity. A 16 ounce bag costs me 2.99 at Costco and less than 50 cents to run my dehydrator. That’s cheaper than the health food store and I actually know what I am getting because I’m the dehydrator operator.
Dehydrate Vegetables with Trial and Error
I know you may think there is no room for error when you are dealing with dehydrating food because it’s costly when food waste is incorporated into the budget. Read blog posts from people who have dehydrated before like Heather or find some spectacular YouTube video as I’m sure there are tonnes out there that will show you how to dehydrate vegetables and fruits.
Discussion Question: Have you ever dehydrated anything before? If yes what did you dehydrate? If no what would you like to try and dehydrate?
Post Contribution: Heather Salter is a CBB fan who loves to dehydrate to save money and shelf space in her home.
June Grocery Game Challenge
Join in the 2017 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post. Here are The Grocery Game Challenge rules to get you started and where you’ll also find a link for the 2017 GGC schedule. Please feel free to download, save and even print the schedule.
Post your shop and you can be next.
Please Note: We are going on holidays for 3 weeks. I will attempt to get the GGC posts up as scheduled BUT if not just save your shop and double post the next time I post. You will still get your ballots and it will keep you on track as well.
New monthly prize: See the Grocery Game Rules
July 2017 Blog Posts:
- Budget Gardening Tips From A Homestead Expert-Last shop for June.
Free Money Saving Tools 2017
Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!
This is the budget that brought us to debt freedom back in 2013 and now I’m offering to all of you for FREE. We still use this budget every month as it helps us to see our overall financial picture.
Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.
Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE.
CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet. So many free resources at your fingertips.
Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide 2017
The Ultimate Grocery Shopping guide is ongoing with new informative money-saving posts added every month.
Even if you don’t live in Canada there are some amazing budget saving tips that will help put you on the path to more savings at the supermarket.
Share this guide with your friends and tell them about Canadian Budget Binder especially if they are struggling with their grocery budget.
The time is NOW to get started saving money on groceries so please enjoy the many money-saving posts in the The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.
2017 Grocery Shop Results
Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2017: $3180 or $265/mth (The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
- Total Grocery Budget for this Month: $265
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $265
- Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
- Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
- Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
- PC Points Plus Earned to date: 577,000
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
- Shoppers Optimum: Just under 850,000 Optimum points (I will update this twice a year) $1500 worth of free stuff.
Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
- Zweet to cash out : $18.25
- Checkout51 to cash out : $24.50
Our Grocery Shop This Week
We had a no-shop week this week and likely for the rest of the month as we are going on holidays.
All totals below already have tax factored into them.
- Total to spend this month : $265
- Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00/month
- Stockpile budget used this month: $
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $1
- Total in-store discounts this week: $0
- Total in-store discounts to date: $579.54
- Total spent this week: $0
- Total spent so far this month: $65.43
- Total over/Under spend this shop: over
- Total over/Under spend for the month: under
- Total left to spend for the month: $199.57
- Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $231.06+Feb $255.16+March ($5 budget increase) $263.60 + April $273.83+ May $257.15 + June $
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
This is another no shop week for us as we are still away for another week or so. Please make sure to double post your shops. You will get a ballot for each one. Note the titles and dates are different in the header. I will pick a winner of the gift card when I get back.
How was your shopping week?
Coupons and Coupon Apps
Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons! These are your latest Checkout 51 offers which you can use to help save money. We’re finding less and less coupons in the stores these days. What are your thoughts? Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons?
If you notice I’m missing a valuable link please message me and I’ll get it added to the savings list below.
Sign up for the Nielsen Canada Home Scan Program and you can earn rewards points fast to redeem for awesome products or gift cards. I did this in the UK and loved it!!
Plus check out these other hidden areas online to get more coupons!!
If any of the links below don’t open properly please report them to my email address or use comment form.
- Healthy Essentials Printable Coupons (Johnson and Johnson)
- Danone Coupons Get up to $25 in coupons
- Clorox Coupons Sign up to print coupons in the Clorox family which include Greenworks, Glad etc.
- Kraft Canada Sign up and receive recipes and coupons by email
- MySavings.com Printable Smart Source Coupons
- Walmart Canada Printable Coupons
- Proctor and Gamble PandG Sign up for printable coupons
- Hidden Coupon Portals You Should know about – I found this over at Save a Loonie and you’ll want to sign up for notifications and check out the site so you get notified every time a hidden coupon is available from Save.ca, Brandsaver, Smart Source etc.
Grocery Game Challenge 2017 FAQ’s
- Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible. The rules have been updated to reflect changes for the 2017 challenge year.
- Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
- What is the monthly prize and who can claim it?- The monthly prize is a $10-$20-$50 PC Loblaws Gift Card and for our out of country friends it’s $CDN via PayPal. Please see GGC rules.
- When does the Grocery Game close each month?: The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month but you will still get a ballot when you post your shops even if they are late but I encourage you to stay on schedule. If you choose to post monthly or bi-weekly you will only get 1 ballot for that shop. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it altogether. Don’t let that be you! You can post your shops all month-long.
- Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: No, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year in order to plan accordingly our budget.
- Do you stockpile food? We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any longer as we found we weren’t eating it fast enough. Stockpiling is still great and just one way to help cut your budget to save money if you do find items that you can buy in bulk at a sale price.
- Canadian Coupons:Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
- Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading with mobile coupon apps being the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site Save.ca that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many other coupon apps available. If you find an app that I don’t talk about please let me know as they are always being added and I’d like to review them.
- What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our Iphone so if you wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
- What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
- What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
- How Do I Know what stores accept coupons?: If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.
Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do. This is why The Grocery Game Challenge is one of the most popular hang out spots for people who want to save money on groceries.
If you’ve just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 get ready to look at your grocery budget by learning;
- Where you are spending money
- How much money you are spending
- How much money you are saving every month
If you want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!
If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email. If I use your topic I will put your name in a draw for a prize at the end of the year.
You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!
Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge 2017!
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