Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Homemade Ponderings

As I'm striving to stick to my $20 grocery budget for this week and next, I'm making from scratch a number of things I would usually buy. On Saturday I made granola bars and bagels. Yesterday I made bread. (Having a bread machine is really nice.) As we've been enjoying these things, I find myself wondering why I don't make things from scratch more often. Yes, I'm busy with the kids and there is always something that needs to be cleaned or dealt with. But the bread I made last night tastes so much better than store bought. Same with the granola bars. The ones I made aren't full of preservatives and chemicals I can't pronounce and the cost to make them is so much less than the cost to buy. In the past the girls haven't liked the bread and it does go stale by the 2nd or 3rd day. But today Kiddlet had 2 pieces of buttered bread for breakfast and Strong-Willed One had a piece of peanut butter toast and neither said a word about the bread. Besides, they can adjust, right?

We go through a lot of yogurt, over 2 quarts a week with just the kids eating it. And yogurt has really risen in price over the past year. It also seems like the only yogurt that is ever put on sale is the fat free or sugar free kind that I won't buy because I won't feed my family artificial sweeteners. Today I will be opening the last quart of yogurt in our fridge. I'll be able to get more for next week because I have 4 free coupons, but what about after that? Two quarts of yogurt costs more that a gallon of milk. Yes my grocery budget will be back to normal, but why not make it myself? I remember my mom making yogurt when we were kids and I loved it. At least until I ate it while I had the flu. There are somethings that just can't be overcome when you're a kid. Anyway, I've been looking at recipes and methods and I've settled on the one that Frugal Girl uses.

If I'm going to make my own yogurt, why stop there? I could use my homemade yogurt to make yogurt cheese. Then I don't have to buy cream cheese. And I could use the whey from the yogurt cheese to make ricotta cheese. I think big. I do realize though that I would have to make a lot of yogurt cheese to have enough whey to make a decent amount of ricotta. But still...

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