The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Sunday 3 May 2015

Stretch a meal and use it up. Substitutions.

Last time I talked about Crumbles (Crisps) and general meals that are great for using things up.
Mimi posted a really wonderful comment (I will let you just read that) about how she saved lots of what seemed like excessive ingredients from a recipe, made a few substitutions and got two dinners out of it instead of one. One of the things she did was use broccoli stalks sliced finely through the first recipe instead of celery and carrot. The celery and carrot then made it into the next meal.  This is a perfect example of substituting and stretching!

This can be just amazing, a few substitutions and a few changes can result in big savings.  Many times recipes are actually produced to promote an ingredient. Most times recipes do not have your families budget in mind. But we can outsmart them! Also we can build up our recipes that are flexible and have variations. Straight away you are able to use things up, use what's on special and save money.

My simple method to stretch something is very often to simply double the recipe but not the expensive component. So I have made blueberry muffins, doubled the recipe thus getting two dozen, used one lot of blueberries and a tablespoon of berry jam instead of the second amount of berries. This works so well. They are beautiful and you would never know. If you think about it blueberries are the expensive component. You could leave them out altoghether and use apple. Or half blueberry and half chopped apple.  You could decide to make another kind of muffin althogether!

Many ingredients that add a ton of flavor are only needed in small quantities. Sun dried tomatoes, nuts, fancy cheeses, chorizo, salmon etc are great as you actually only need a really little bit. You can well and truly double the recipe but not these without losing much at all. Or you can add a little chorizo to a pasta dish and give the impression it is a meaty dish with very little meat in fact! Clever use of ingredinets can bolster up flavour and stretch plainer (and cheaper) ingredients. Recipes using these type of ingredients are easy to stretch without needing to use more of the expensive components.

Most casseroles, fried rice, meat and vegie dishes and soups you can substitute the vegies of your choice and use far more than the recipe calls for. We probably all do that.  There are times certain vegies are crazy prices. Like here Caulifowers are $8 each at the moment. No recipe will have me buying one just now. I'll make something else! If we can just swap our recipes around to suit the price and season we are half way there.

Some of the substitutions I use are:

Blanched almonds in the place of pinenuts in pesto.
Vegetable oil instead of butter in cakes (it works in most, they also keep fresh longer)
Yoghurt or milk with lemon instead of buttermilk.
A plainer cheese isntead of a fancy one.
Evaportated milk instead of cream (in quiches, tarts etc)
A cup of pureed fruit instead of a cup of butter or oil in a cake.
I crush or break up chocolate from a sale of left overs rather than buy chocolate chips.
Chicken thighs for chicken breasts  or a whole chicken  as it is often cheaper than two chicken breasts!
The meat thats marked down for the meat in the recipe.

There are times when you can just skip something all together without any disasterous effects. Or add heaps more of something that you do have to stretch the overall number of serves. Many recipes call for one carrot or something like that and I add four. More vegies are a good thing, at a cheap price... the meal will go further.

One of my favourite highly interchangeable meal is pizza.

First of all the base can be so many things...

Make your own dough using yeast and flour.
Make your own dough using yogurt/milk and flour.
Use some kind of bread as the base. I love to use turkish bread cut in half lengthwise.
Use bread and make as toasties for the lunch boxes.
Split muffins and make mini pizzas.
Lebanese Bread or flat breads.
Pre made pizza bases.
On the weekend I made my dough with yeast but other times I have used all of the above. It depends on what I have.

Next the sauce can be...

Tinned tomatoes, a jar of tomato pasta sauce, homemade tomato sauce, BBQ sauce (this works great with chicken topping) also onion jam or Mimi's Onion Confit, Pesto...

Mine this time was just a jar of tomato pasta sauce...


Then toppings can be..

Tomato bolognese sauce with or without mince, bacon, ham, cooked chicken or lamb, tomato, capsicum, onion, capers, anchovies, pineapple, salmon, prawns, salami, mettwurst, soft or hard cheese or a mixture, sun dried tomatoes, roast pumpkin, sweet potato, onion, mushrooms... I am sure there are so many more things I've missed! But the idea is to look and see what you have that you can include.

Mine was salami, bocconcini, pineapple, grated cheese, bacon...

The last layer, after the pizza is cooked could be mixed hers, rocket, fresh soft cheese that then melts gently, a sprinkle of herbs.

We all get to end up with our favourite combinations. Andy likes salami and strong flavours like that. The thing is you only need a really little bit to get that effect and these peopele are happy!

Now my combinations would proabbly give an Italina Chef a heart attack... but the flavors are yummy, you use up all kinds of left overs and make meals that are good hot or cold! I would never made one pizza. I usually make three  or four, at least. If you are doing this you might as well end up with lunches, lunch box food, maybe an easy dinner in tow nights time...
This is such a chance to make an inexpensive dinner and use up all kinds of things.

I made half a dozen smaller pizzas that went on a fishing trip and made lunches...

On the subject of stretching meals and using things up Stephanie on her blog posted an idea on avoiding food waste. It was one of those "WHY didn't I think of that moments!" I will let you read it for yourself here Avoiding Food Waste. I am implementing this idea.

If you have excess bread I have a great use it up recipe here which is a beautiful bread and butter pudding that cuts like a cake and looks spectacular. Hilde reminded me that if you go to many bakeries at the end of the day you can often get bargain bread, buns, croissants etc. All of these make wonderful bread and butter pudding. You adjust the sweetness ie if using sweet buns you wouldn't need to add sugar to your eggs, milk/cream and vanilla mix. This adds even more substitutions!

If you have excess fruit this is a cake that uses up plums, peaches, nectarines or apricots...  the recipe is  here. This also makes great muffins. Pictured here with nectarines and at the top of this post using plums.

What are substitutions you use to save money, make a meal stretch or make it healthier? The more confident we are with substitutions the more we save.

I am working on a post on how to stretch meat meals. I am married to a meat eater and a lot of ladies are, I know from comments! My Nana elevated stretch meat in meals to an artform and so well I never realised until recently. Meat is one of the most expensive parts of the food budget. So making it go as far as possible is a big help!

Have a great week! I am heading off to grocery shop and have zucchini soup to make from my bargain zucchinis. I hope to get a good start to the week! xxx


  1. Annabel, this is one of my favourite topics! Yes, saving ingredients on one meal to use for the next is a big budget improver. Who ever noticed whether there were three cheeses on pizza or in Mac Cheese, or one? Who cares whether there's five veg in the stir fry, or double the quantity of two? We often share one big chicken breast between three of us, slicing it lengthwise and crumbing it in almond meal and it's a really substantial meal with veges and risotto or mash. Your substitutions are brilliant. I love the oil or fruit puree instead of butter in baking. Nobody would know the difference and you save your butter for when you can actually taste it like on your toast. I use Copha (vegetable shortening) for making frosting these days. This is a trick I learned from decorating celebration cakes. In our heat, the vegetable shortening makes the frosting far more stable, and prevents it turning into runny mush. You just grate the Copha to make it easily mixable, and off you go as if it were butter. The taste is just as good and in fact more neutral, so adding vanilla, rosewater, orange flower water or other flavourings means a really beautifully flavoured frosting for mere pennies. Of course it's white too, so making a pure white frosting for piping onto cupcakes is a cinch. Powdered milk in any sauce or cake batter is another obvious one, and substituting any fruit or vegetable out of season, with one that is in season is a real money saver. The other sort of substitution I make is using something sold as one thing, in a different capacity. So I use dips (bought or home made) as pasta sauce, topping for baked potatoes, toast topping, sandwich filling, and so on. I've used fettucine instead of lasagna sheets, and the 'lasagna' was just as delicious. I've used ricotta instead of béchamel sauce, a tablespoon of cornflour instead of an egg in baking, and almond meal instead of breadcrumbs for a delicious gluten free schnitzel coating. Once you get the hang of it, you'll open up a whole new world of taste sensations. Fabulous post. Mimi xxx

    1. Thank you Mimi for these tips. Ricotta or cream cheese instead of white sauce is a good one. Tastes wonderful to. Almond meal is a brilliant gluten free "crumb" idea!
      Im glad you are about today I was beginning to wonder if things were ok. Now I see you had a busy time full of good things! Lets hope we can have great weeks again this week! I am doing loads of cooking, some meals for the expectant couple... etc! xxx

  2. Yum and great ideas Annabel. This is a great topic. Young people just starting or the folk who are new to frugal and simple living will love this post. I get questions all the time about these simple things that they just don't know and don't have anyone to ask.

    I think the most cost effect substitute I use is cheese. I buy 1kg tasty cheese from Aldi for $6. I slice half myself for sandwiches, using my cheese slicer, and grate half myself to top pizza etc. To top casseroles and pasta bakes I use 3/4 cup cheese (and yes, I measure it) and 3/4 cup MOOed breadcrumbs tossed together and sprinkled over the casserole/pasta bake. I also buy freshly grated Parmesan and use this to flavour recipes that call for a stronger cheese. I use 1/4 quantity of the Parmesan mixed with 3/4 quantity of grated tasty cheese. So easy to do, we get that intense, rich flavour without the cost. I make mozarella, it's so easy and fresh mozarella is so good. I also make our cottage, ricotta and cream cheeses, although if I can get ricotta or cream cheese on a great sale I will buy them - they take a lot of milk to get a small quantity of cheese so I watch sales carefully to work out which is the best value for my recipes.

    Fresh bread, grated into crumbs makes an amazing coating if you are out of dried breadcrumbs, add some herbs and you have seasoned crumbs. Crushed weetbix or cornflakes or even all bran makes a great crumb coating too. Oh, and crushed crackers. Truth is I don't crush any of those things, I have containers in the pantry and I tip the crumbs from the empty packets into it to use for coatings and in shake'n'bake.

    I think we get better at substitutes as we become more experienced cooks i.e. vinegar in milk to make buttermilk if you don't have a lemon. The secret is to be brave enough to try something, and once you've tried it once it's easy to keep on experimenting.

    1. Thanks Cath and I agree, many people dont realize how much can be altered or substituted very well. I often look at a recipe and think there is no way I am buying this or that. But it is still something I will go ahead and make.
      Parmesan is a great strong flavor. A little adds a lot. That is a good one. Also the prices of different cheeses cary so much. 1 kilo for $6 is wonderful. I am waiting for an Aldi as that price is cheaper than here. $8 a kilo on specials is possible but not $6!
      Thank you so much. Have a wonderful week!xxx

    2. Annabel, both Coles and Woolworths have $6 blocks according to their online pricing. I've tried the Coles one, quite good for cooking. I like the Aldi one more, but hopefully these prices for plain home brand type kilo blocks are national and a reasonable option for those still waiting for Aldi to arrive.

    3. Kaye I will look again but I have never seen this price. It would be awesome even if just for cooking. Will look on Thursday! xxx

  3. Great tips! I will also add that by boiling the bones of any leftover meat (like the whole chicken you mentioned) with any veggies that are on their way out is another way to extend the meat in a meal. The broth is just as healthy as can be and brings your rice to a whole new level (and turns a vegetarian meal into a meat tasting one :). Happy Monday to you :)

    1. Thank you Jes. You are right, a good stock is tasty and also nutritious. We are crazy to waste the chance to make some.
      Many thanks. Have a wonderful

  4. Hi Annabel,

    Thanks for the mention!!! It made my day. :)

    This is such a great many useful ideas. Those pizzas look delicious!

    I made pea and ham soup on the weekend. Very economical- $2 for the bacon bones and $2 for the split peas. It made gallons and I froze some for later. The recipe asked for 2 carrots and 2 celery sticks. I didn't have any celery, so I used 4 carrots, which are really cheap at the moment. I also use crushed up gluten free cornflakes to make my chicken schnitzel because it's cheap and makes them nice and crunchy. It's all about being flexible, isn't it?

    Have you tried using zucchini in cakes? It makes them very moist, and you would never know they contained any zucchini.

    Have a lovely week,
    Stephanie. xxx

    1. You are most welcome! Your idea was just great and perfect for everyone trying to minimize waste and save money!
      Pea and ham soup... sounds beautiful. And filling too.
      I have used zucchini in some muffins so I should try cakes. A good idea. They are bargain priced here just now.
      Homemade chicken schnitzel sounds just yummy too.
      Many thanks Stephanie, have a great week! xxx

  5. Some of my favorite "stretchers" are powdered milk in every baking thing and in my mashed potatoes. It's much cheaper than regular milk and shelf stable. I love to put one rounded Tablespoon of soy flour and 1 - 2 tablespoons of water to substitute for eggs in baking, too. I do these even when company's coming. Nobody's noticed yet. haha. (I've been doing it for years.)

  6. I usually stretch meat by reducing the amount I use and "fluffing" up the recipe with extra sauces, gravies, and veggies. I also make a big batch of noodles and use that with lots of recipes as a filler to "fluff" up a meal.

    Last week when I made our hobo steaks I had 2 patties leftover. A few days later I was in a time crunch and a money crunch. I broke up the patties and lightly browned them again in beef broth and mixed the beef with rice and gravy. I made some bread and it was a delicious quick cheap meal.

    1. I like your term of "fluffing" Chrissy! Rice, pasta and vegies sure do stretch a meal and being a bit inventive can make something delicious! Homemade bread is always wonderful. Everyone loves it.
      Well done! xxx

  7. Annabel, I learn so much from your posts and this one is no exception. You mentioned so many 'substitutions' that we can make that will stretch our meals and budgets. I think I need to make a chart to hang in the kitchen as a reminder for all the substitutions!

    1. Thank you Patsi! I am learning more on this subject all the time. It seems probably our Grandmothers were better at this than us... they didnt have the choices and range of ingredients so cooking was what they had and maybe they had to be heaps inventive at times!
      I hope you have another good and busy week! It is wet here and stormy. I am staying in and making soup! xxx

  8. Full of advice as per usual Annabel.

    As mentioned previously I have some pea and ham soup in the 'fridge that I used the ham bone from the Christmas ham to make. A lot of meat has come of the bone so this is really a filling meal without resorting to anything else, for me anyway.

    I have some chicken bits pulled off the last roast chicken we had in the freezer, tomorrow they will be included in my curry recipe which can use any kinds of left over or fresh meats - be stretched to feed an army with the inclusion of extra vegetables or just the two of us with perhaps an extra meal left for one of us to have at another time.

    It is also a quick meal even though everything is cooked from scratch. Mum use to make it to use up the remains of the leg of lamb left over from the weekend roast, also to stretch a few sausages out to feed the 4 of us when growing up.

    I have made it with fresh chicken, cooked chicken, fresh sausages, left over sausages and the list goes on.

    I use polenta to crumb the chicken when we have schnitzel - cut the chicken breast in half through the centre as Mimi does as well.

    We have a cooler snap happening at the moment, still lots of water laying around as well (thankfully our yard has no more in it for the moment) so things like stews and curries are on the agenda - stews are great for being stretched out and can be lifted to new heights with the addition of some special ingredients or topped with dumplings.

    My husband hinted at scones when I arrived home from helping my friend yesterday so I think I need to make some a bit later. Before that I am going to check out what is in the freezer and come up with a menu - didn't do a shop before we went away and last week I decided it was not safe to go out when I intended so we are eating what we have until I am ready to go out armed with my shopping list.


    1. Lynette curries are a great stretcher and so versatile! I hadnt thought of them. Mainly as I am not good at making them I think.
      We had rough weather last night and many are without power today but so far we are lucky.
      Also thank you for the tip of using polenta as a crumb. I would love that! Yum! I love polenta.
      The cooler weather really makes stews and soups appeal. And everyone is hungry!
      THank you so much you have great tips and good cooking.
      I am dying to hear how your knitting is going. My sister in law has started knitting and she is really going well. And my little niece too. Mum is knitting scarves and baby things at the moment. I love it!
      Have a good

    2. Annabel I am still keeping away from anything that takes a lot of concentration when knitting - am enjoying just doing stocking stitch and rib at the moment while I still sort myself out. Thought I would sit outside this morning and start sewing together a jumper but the needle I was using fell and I think it may have fallen through the crack on the veranda because I couldn't find it so I will have to pick up a packet of new needles when I am out and about next.

      As for the curry it is quite easy and uses basic ingredients - no jars of anything at all.

      The curry recipe uses tinned curry powder which means you can control just how hot and spicey you want it - I can tolerate this curry on the occassional basis but if I was to eat it a lot then I would not be enjoying life a lot and most people would find it boring but to me it is hot but then I use a scant teaspoon, if that.

      It is easiest to chop up everything first, onions and meat can go in one bowl because they go in together at the start, along with the curry powder, place in a pan that has a lid and some oil in it that has been heated through.

      The second bowl has sliced celery, chopped carrots and diced capsicum (if you have it). Pop this into the pot then add a chicken stock cube and some water along with a chopped up apple (eating or granny smith it doesn't really matter) - let cook for about 5 -10 minutes with the lid on then thicken with a cornflour and water paste.

      That is it - simple quick (dinner on the table in 20 minutes if you have some precooked rice in the freezer).


    3. Thanks for the curry recipe Lynette. I like mine mild, Andy can go a lot hotter.
      Your plain knitting would be better than my fancy knitting, Im pretty sure! xxx

  9. Annabel, Another lovely post! And so many great ideas! I love the pictures too.

    I do many of the same things. One thing I thought I would mention is I use bean puree to sub for oil in almost all my baked goodies. I just drain the beans using a bit of water, if necessary and measure. (ie: 1/2 cup bean puree for 1/2 cup oil). I mostly use my canned white beans but you can use black beans for chocolate cakes, brownies and pinto beans for spice cake. The cakes and quick breads taste delicious, moist and no one is the wiser! :) I recently sent two banana bread loaves with my husband to work and several asked for the recipe.

    Another way I use my powdered milk is make my own sweetened condensed milk. I make several batches and freeze. Each batch makes a "can" worth. I sub powdered milk in lots of recipes, adding it to the dry ingredients and using water as the liquid. And I make my own evaporated milk too.

    Last week, I made a big pot of chili for my daughter. I didn't have any ground meat but had several small pieces of cooked sausage, so they were chopped and put in while cooking the green pepper and other veggies. I also added a can of corn, drained, and one small container of frozen yellow summer squash. Added extra beans and it was delicious!

    Your pizza looks divine! I make dough from scratch, too, but sometimes have extra English muffins and use them as my pizza base, adding sauce, cheese and olives and any cooked meat if we have it. Then, just broil them for a couple minutes. Easy and yummy!

    We try hard not to waste food. I will be reading that article soon. I'm learning so much from you and all the commenters. Thank you so much! Have a wonderful week. Teri

    1. I know that chilli would have been such a help to your daughter Teri.
      Your blended beans tip is really clever. What a good substitute and helpful diet and health wise too.
      Also the use of powdered milk. People say they can taste the difference but you cant in cooking. And so much milk is used in cooking that this alone is a big savings!
      English muffin pizzas are the best! I used to do them and send them to school with the girls! (which they loved)
      Thank you for your tips they are wonderful! With love

  10. Dear Annabel, this is great! Mimi's tips are wonderful and so are everyone else's. My mom always took leftover meatloaf slices the next day (or would freeze for another week), she'd make Campbell's tomato soup with milk instead of water, and stew the sliced meatloaf in it, then serve over egg noodles. A completely different meal than the original meatloaf, mashed potatoes gravy and corn or green beans. Another stretcher was to take 1 cup cold mashed with 1 cup flour and an egg to make drop dumplings. She'd drop them by the teaspoon full in the water at a rolling boil and when they floated she'd strain them out. Then she'd melt butter and breadcrumbs in a skillet and put the dumplings in there to finish them off with a bit of browning. Oh myyyyyy goodness! I wasn't permitted to help but I watched and learned a few things. I can do gluten free versions of these, and have to be very careful with stretching things as it often ups the carbs and my blood sugar doesn't like that. However it's making me very creative, my favorite "pasta bakes" no longer involve pasta for me, it is all zucchini and other veggies and sauce and cheese and I actually prefer it now. Another stretcher from my mom was after a roast chicken or turkey, she'd take the leftover meat bits and mix it in gravy. That would be served over mashed potatoes, rice, noodles or biscuits (not cookies) you know what I'm saying! Lol. I mix a bit of milk with the sour cream to stretch it, add more veggies than a recipe calls for, I love pumpkin purée in baked goods, I sub powdered milk or evaporated milk in soups or other recipes. I'm with you Annabel if a recipe says 1 carrot I throw in 5 or 6. Zucchini is a huge stretcher and so versatile as well. My first one from the garden yesterday with two more right behind it! I'm with Jes tonight, as the chicken bones just went in the slow cooker w veggies and in the morning I'll wake up to a beautiful broth. All that said, I've learned so much here tonight and how nice to remember what a resourceful woman my mother was in the kitchen. We were fed quite well when I was a kid! Thank you as always Annabel for a well-thought post! Love, Colette xxx

    1. Colette your observations of what your Mum did were really good even if you werent allowed to help! Im loving the drop dumplings!
      Really any of these things were very clever. They were so yummy we never realized as kids that our Mums were probably trying to stretch the meat and save money and keep us fed! Which is lovely really.
      I will have to ask you how you make your vegetable noodles, if you have one of those noodle making devices and how you find them. And if you have one you love which on is it as I will get one.
      Feeding a family these days is an expensive exercise. I am not sure how this compares from Australia to the US. It is pretty expensive here. Average peoples grocery bills are pretty mind blowing.
      The slow cooker is a gem. Throwing all those things in and having stock/broth in the morning is a wonderful tip. There is so much goodness in that and so many uses. Well done! Thank you for sharing your tips. We have had some great ones this post! Love

  11. I find it wasteful to use a half pound of cheese for a casserole topping as many recipes call for these days. Our Mothers and Grandmothers (and me) knew that the top of the casserole was the place to use up a stale bread crust made into crumbs or a few stale crushed crackers and my favorite, the crumbs at the bottom of a potato chip bag. On occasion I do add a few tablespoons of parmesean cheese to the breadcrumbs for added flavor. We never miss the cheese on top and that half pound of cheese is better used as something like macaroni and cheese.

    A wonderful dish to use up the bits and ends of produce is a stir fry and it only uses a small amount of meat. Lately I have found that thinly sliced cabbage is a great filler for that dish and tastes great if left with a bit of crunch to it. My husband even asked me to do that again!

    Recently I tried using shredded zuchinni in place of mashed bananas in my husband's favorite muffin recipe. We could hardly tell the difference except for tiny green flecks.

    1. I agree about the cheese. We can reduce it way down. Over tuna casserole/mornay I use bread crumbs then a little cheese is enough.
      Potato chip crumbs! I had not thought of those! Brilliant!
      The zucchini instead of banana tip is good for me as Bananas are going up in price and zucchinis are a great price.
      Thank you Lana. Great ideas. it all helps the budget! xxx

  12. This was the subject of conversation between my mom and self while out this past week, the expensive cost of ingredients in recipes and how often someone (even tv chefs!) will say "Oh I just really love cheese (sub any other pricey ingredient) and so I use LOTS more than called for." Well my goodness the average cook has a budget to work with. I find typically those who use lots extra are recreational cooks and rely on takeout or prepared frozen for their main meals.

    I became a real mistress of stretching foods when we lived on one income and had five kids at home. My husband's salary has never been a large one but we live very well indeed on it and I relate that to my ability to substitute,make do and stretch and his wonderful ability to keep cash flow going while paying bills (and never over extending us).
    My grandmother taught me a great deal about stretching meats, she was always adding grated onion, bread crumbs, oatmeal, even mashed potatoes to her mince. Later I took that a step further and grated in carrot, zucchini, or added rice and made meatloaf, meatballs, meat sauce or chili. Chili is really good served over rice and rice is cheap! It also tones down the spiciness and adds to the heartiness of the chili. When I make Sloppy Joe from mince I add in diced mushrooms, zucchini, onions, grated carrots, minced bell peppers and 1/2 pound of meat will serve 6-8 nicely. My children when gathered here with their spouses will reminisce over the meals we ate in those lean days. Their favorite story if of the kidney bean burgers we made. Truth told I started with a bit of ground turkey, not nearly enough to feed hungry teens but I added a can of drained mashed kidney beans and added in some breadcrumbs and seasonings and we grilled them. They always end up this story with laughter but a very serious addendum, "And they were GOOD!" lol
    I agree that using a strongly flavored cheese will also allow one to cut down on cheese. Why use a cup of mozzarella when you can add two or three tablespoons of Asiago or Romano (I like the sharper flavored hard cheeses) and make that 1/2 cup of cheese taste as cheesy as 1 cup?
    I like a pricey coffee for flavor but I've learned a few tricks over the years. If you buy at market and have a coffee grinder in store, then open the bag and put on extra fine setting. The most flavorful coffees are always 'European grind' which is almost powder in texture. Then get an okay bag of coffee and do the same. Mix half and half in your container. You'll stretch th pricey coffee and have a far more flavorful cup for less price overall than the pricey stuff all by itself.
    I could go on and on in this vain...

    1. Terri you have great experience after raising a family and stretching food to feed hungry teenagers and I really appreciate you sharing your tips. They are great!
      Thank you too on the coffee stretching tips.
      I love hearing about your Grandmother. These women really knew how to make the most of everything they had!
      I also love and admire the making the most of your husbands wage. It is the saddest thing when a man works his heart out and it isnt enough. And sometimes theres no way around it but sometimes we can really make the most of every dollar as you did. It can make all the difference in the world!
      This was wonderful... I would be happy if you did go on and on! Please feel free any time! Many


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