A little bird passed this along to us, and I thought it was well worth sharing! A lot of his recommendations are extremely frugal as well – fancy that. Making your own simple stocks, using old bread for breadcrumbs and croutons, avoiding cooking sprays (full of preservatives and really, when you think about it, insanely expensive compared to using your own oil in a pump bottle), using dried beans instead of canned when possible – this is all right up our alley. Some of these topics are things we planned to discuss on this very blog!
I must quibble slightly with two of his recommendations: for vanilla beans over extract and tomato paste in a tube rather than a can. Vanilla beans ARE wonderful as a special treat, but the cost is really outrageous for using regularly if you’re trying to budget. Using a good quality vanilla extract is a much better bet (Cook’s Illustrated rated plain old McCormick’s as the best, and we concur, after shelling out way too much for fancier brands that honestly didn’t deliver). And the tomato paste in a tube, well, it’s true that there is often paste leftover after using the frequently-called-for two tablespoons, but I’ve never hadÂ trouble saving it in a small tupperware container and using the rest within a few days. The tubular kind, again, is just too pricey.
The rest of the article is just great, though. Words to live by!