Kitchen Tip

Using a Bread Knife {Frugal Kitchen Gadget}

by GettingFreedom on February 21, 2012

We’ve been able to shave a lot off of our grocery budget by making our own bread products at home.
French Bread and 100% Whole Wheat Bread make regular appearances around here.  Now that I’m completely comfortable with making bread, we also use it as our sandwich bread.
But that wouldn’t be possible without my trusty bread knife.

Why Use a Bread Knife?

First off, it’s important to note the Top 3 Features of a Bread Knife.

Long {7″-9″} Blade

The long blade enables you to effortlessly slice your bread with one swipe, making a cleaner, more uniform, cut.   I personally prefer a 9″ blade.

Serrated Blade

The serrated blade helps to “snag” the crispy crust and slice through cleanly–without having to saw your way through. Be careful with the serrated edges!  I once cut right through my finger when slicing our bread!  I had no idea my knife was that sharp!

Sharp Blade

A sharp blade is needed to cut through the bread without shredding it.

 

 

All three of these features prevent one dreaded thing to happen to your homemade bread:: Shredding!  If you’ve just worked hard on making your homemade bread, intending to use it for sandwiches, turning it to nothingness with one swipe is not what you’re going for.  Or spending all day attempting to make uniform slices.

If you have a good knife, you’ll find that slicing homemade bread doesn’t have to be difficult. With a little bit of practice you’ll be slicing perfect sandwich bread slices!

Cost of Bread Knives

You can find many bread knives for under $20.  It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, just as long as it has the three main features listed above.  Even after putting out the money to buy a quality bread knife, you will still come out saving money by making your own homemade bread.

Cost  of One Month Supply of Store Bought Bread {2 loaves/wk}= $20 {buying from discount bread store}

Cost of One Month Supply of Homemade Bread {2 loaves/wk}= $9.20 {Organic at that!}

Within 2 months, my knife as paid for itself!  And then some, if you want to get technical about organic vs. non-organic.

 

Do you make your own homemade bread?  What is your favorite?

 

{ 3 comments }

Using a Meat Slicer to Save Money on Meat

by GettingFreedom on January 17, 2012

 

Many families are trying especially hard this year to get their grocery budget under control.  I know for our family, meat expenses tend to be the biggest portion of our grocery budget {with fresh produce and dairy close behind}.  I’ve mentioned that using a meat grinder can help you cut your meat costs, but that’s not the only way!

In addition to using a meat grinder and these 7 tricks to save money on meat–you should also know that a meat slicer can save you, as well.

Cut your Meat Expenses with a Meat Slicer

I never really gave much thought to meat slicers, until I began paying attention to the cost of lunch meat, and the quality of what I was paying for. I don’t even want to begin to think of what is in them.  It was then that I realized that I could make my own quality lunch meat at home, for a fraction of the cost!

 

Alpha's cold meat platter - photo by Julia

Consider this example::

Around Thanksgiving, it isn’t uncommon to find whole turkeys for right around 98¢ a pound.  You decide to cash in on the deal, and you buy a couple.  After the holiday madness subsides–cook them up, slice on your meat slicer and use for lunch meat.  You can freeze the sliced lunch meat and use at a later date.

This works for all sorts of meat, obviously.  To maximize your savings, stock up when there is a sale.

Not only does it make for frugal lunch meat–it makes jerky making a snap!

Not Just for Meats!

But it doesn’t have to stop there!  Think of cheeses.  You can buy in bulk {or not}, and slice your own cheeses for deli trays and appetizers for a fraction of the cost!  All exactly as you want them.

Most meat slicers will also slice various vegetables such as onions, carrots, cabbage {great for coleslaw or homemade egg rolls}, or for evenly sliced potatoes.

 

Meat Slicers Aren’t That Expensive

I always had it in my mind that purchasing a meat slicer was never for the frugal kitchen.  But I couldn’t have been any farther from the truth.  Truth is that you can get a quality meat slicer for around $50-$60 and going up from there.  When you factor in the amount of money you could save in your kitchen–I’d say it’s a good investment!  I know we’ve put ours to good use. :)

 

How do you put your meat slicer to work?

 

 

 

 

{ 2 comments }

Reduce Food Waste with a Vacuum Sealer

January 10, 2012

I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of vacuum food sealers and wondered to yourself if they were actually worth their purchase price.  I wondered the very same thing.  After owning one now for almost a year–I have to say it is one of my favorite frugal kitchen gadgets.  The Basics Vacuum food sealers remove all of the air [...]

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When I met my husband over 10 years ago, he introduced to me to a world I never knew.  The world of hunting and fishing.  My father wasn’t a hunter, and I can count on one hand how many times I seen him actually fish.  I’m not talking about him leisurely playing with the fishing [...]

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5 Reasons to Own a Stand Mixer

December 14, 2011

My Kitchenaid Stand Mixer is probably my most beloved Frugal Kitchen Gadget.  I cannot even begin to figure out how much money it has saved us. Initially, I had a very hard time justifying the purchase of an appliance that cost a couple of hundred dollars.  Especially since we were desperately trying to save money [...]

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Must Have Kitchen Gadgets for Pastries

December 6, 2011

  The Christmas season is upon us–which for a lot of us means lots of baking!  Many pies and other pastries will be made in this kitchen over the next few weeks–and I wouldn’t want do it without my favorite kitchen gadgets by my side.  Must Have Kitchen Gadgets for Pastries Pastry Blender Pastry Blenders make [...]

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Using a Hand Blender to Save Time & Money

November 30, 2011

> A few years ago I was absolutely clueless as to what a hand blender {also known as an immersion blender} was.  And now, I’m fairly certain that I wouldn’t make it through canning season or attempt to make a pumpkin pie without one.  Their not only good for making apple butter, and pumpkin pies–their also perfect for [...]

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To Can or Not to Can?

November 9, 2011

When you’re trying to cook as many meals as you can at home, you find that you need more and more kitchen gadgets.  Or at least I did.  Being the frugal person that I am, initially I had a very hard time shelling out money for those gadgets, when my goal was to save money, [...]

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Our Propane Cooktop

October 14, 2011

After 3 months of not having one {again!}, my {working} propane cooktop  is a sight to celebrate!  Let the cooking and canning resume! Which means that me and my best friend, the Electric Skillet, won’t be seeing quite as much of each other these days. Now let’s just hope that this one doesn’t decide to [...]

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Salvaged Sunday-Homemade Frappacinno

August 27, 2011

{It’s SO very good to be back into the swing of things!} I love me some coffee first thing in the morning.  But I’m not one of those coffee drinkers that drinks an entire pot daily.  To the contrary, since I am the only one in this house that enjoys a nice cup of joe, [...]

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