I've been working diligently to find more and more frugal solutions to a tight grocery budget (I'm feeding the four of us on $60/week). Trying to put together dinner on Tuesday nights is sometimes particularly difficult since grocery day is Wednesday which is the day DaHubby gets paid. But, a couple of weeks ago I stumbled onto something I thought I'd share.
A few weeks ago, I was trying to make an easy and quick chicken pot pie dinner on a Tuesday night with a recipe where I didn't have all the required ingredients. I needed a can of cream of chicken soup. Hmmm. And, I was standing with my cabinets when I had a light bulb moment.
I've recently started making the Vikings' beloved "cheese noodles" from scratch - using elbow noodles and a cheese sauce started from a standard white sauce of butter, flour, salt, pepper, and milk then adding shredded cheese to taste. It's just as easy. I can make it "cheesier" if we want. And, no "powdered" cheese.
Anyway, I mentioned here that we often have several Raman seasoning packets leftover around here. So, to replace my cream of chicken soup need...I made a more "watery" than usual white sauce (a little extra milk) and added a Raman chicken flavoring packet! This could also be done with bullion granules and possibly a cube, I suppose. Need cream of mushroom? Use a Raman mushroom flavoring packet!
I measured out about 2 cups of my concoction, inserted into the recipe, and DaHubby and the Vikings never knew the difference!
Simple (and frugal) ingredient substitution? Works for me!
For more WFMW, see Shannon's place today.
P.S. White sauce recipes abound on the net but here's the one I use:
3 T butter
2 T flour
1 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1.5 C milk
In a saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil - stirring constantly - over medium heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
At this point, add 1 C shredded cheese for cheese sauce or whatever seasoning you need!