Family Magazine

Making the Most of Frugal Food Supplies

By Therealsupermum @TheRealSupermum

Making the Most of Frugal Food SuppliesSour milk, stale bread, hard cheese; it’s tempting just to bin them but with austerity in the air the phrase “waste not want not” is just audible at the back of our brains as we chuck out our not so long-life dairy products and other household essentials.  Another phrase from my childhood “they’d be glad of that in Africa” niggles at my conscience.  To be honest, I’m not sure about that one as I pour souring milk down the drain.  But there’s something to be said for the disembodied advice that my long dead granny seems to be still willing to offer.  Food is pretty precious stuff when you think about it and wasting it always makes me feel uncomfortable.  But is there really anything you can do with milk that isn’t going to see its best before date again?  Here are a couple of ideas I’ve managed to dig up from some old ‘make do and mend’ style books that have outlasted even grandma.  I’ve not included recipes or amounts – the latter will depend on what’s left over and the basic recipes for each can be found in any basic cookery book or online!

Waste not want not

  • Soured Milk Scones.  Souring milk has to be one of my biggest bugbears.  I buy a lot and get through a lot, but as the saying goes, there’s always one.  If you have milk and other dairy products delivered, you’ll probably have less of a problem with milk going off, but souring milk can happen to the best of us.  It’s a nasty surprise when it does turn up in that afternoon cuppa but added to a basic scone recipe it’s surprisingly good.
  • Stilton & Broccoli Soup.  Probably the memory of that rapidly mouldering cheese board left over Christmas got me thinking about this one.  Stilton, of course, comes ‘off’ when you buy it.  Leftovers get riper by the hour but it makes a fantastic base for warming soup.  I’ve used Broccoli for the “&” bit here, but celery, carrot even pear (believe it or not) will do.  A range of rapidly decaying vegetables can be added to create the base and the overripe cheese crumbled in adds a definite kick.
  • French Toast. As an alternative to giving stale bread to the less than grateful dog, add milk.  Even milk that’s heading in the opposite direction to fresh can be used up in this way.  For winter mornings French Toast is warming and wonderful and should see you through the school run and on to work.  If you’re unfamiliar with the recipe, search under either ‘French toast’ or ‘eggy bread’.

Preserving pennies

In big households the chance of weekly food purchases and dairy products actually going off in the first place is pretty unlikely, but in smaller households it can be a frustrating waste of good food and hard earned cash.  To avoid the problem in the first place try out local dairies for their delivery services.  Including, but not always limited to dairy products these days, doorstep deliveries can help you save on waste and often come with free delivery, helping to preserve the pennies too.  Wherever you get your food supplies, remember those phrases our grans were so fond of, with austerity in the air, we may well be glad of them!

Neil blogs about family life, food and being frugal, on everything from groceries to the perfect packed lunch.  When he’s not online he enjoys cycling, art and foreign cinema

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