I did a big shop up this week at Costco, it was not really planned, though I did have a shopping list of needs and was able to meet most of those needs in bulk. Of course that meant that my shop was $170 instead of about $40 because I bought in bulk, but it was cheaper in the long run. I now find myself with 5kg of onions and 3kg of carrots that really need to be stored so they dont waste. Both can be frozen and used later, so I dice or cut onions into wedges and store them in zip-lock bags, and julienne carrots and also store them in the bags, write the quantity and date on the bag and freeze them. I have done that with many of my fresh ingredients, rather than throwing out vegetables that were not going to be used. With these and other vegetables, I have been able to add them to stir fries, stews and when making baby foods or stock.
To make a vegetable stock, put into a large saucepan;
2 large brown onions, halved, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, peeled, coarsely chopped
4 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
6 fresh parsley stalks
10 whole black peppercorns
3 dried bay leaves
(I also add any other peels, leaves, heads of vegetables I have saved for extra oomph) Bring to boil then simmer for an hour, then strain out solids and freeze in 1 cup and 1/2 cup portions in zip-lock bags or containers. To make chicken or meat stock, add meaty bones into the water and bring to boil, then add the vegetables.
To make something for Baby Food, I chopped up some carrot, zucchini, celery, pumpkin, brocchili ends and added some chicken stock. Really any vegetables that complement each other would be fine for this. I simmered them til soft then blended in the Bamix with some lentils for protein.
With Christmas now less than a month away, and a number of large bills for our family, I have decided I am going to do the $21 challenge next week and use the rest of our grocery money for bills. I'll let you know how I go. For more information on the $21 challenge, refer to www.simplesavings.com.au they have some great ideas.