As you may have previously read here, I'm trying to stretch my weekly supermarket shop by an extra day each week, thus saving myself equilivent of one week's grocery money every 7 weeks. I have found it a fun challenge and not a hard one to achieve. I think we all over-buy every week at the grocery store and I've found I've always got extra ingredients I can use to stretch us out that extra day.
Here is a snap of my fridge-pantry at the end of week 3 and 2 of "No Spend November" and as you can see, they're hardly bare:
|End of week 2 of No Spend November|
|End of week 3 of No Spend November|
For my 8th day last week, I used the last of the vegetables in the fridge to make a good quality stock. I had a chicken carcuss in the freezer from my rooster culling a few months back so I made chicken stock but if you don't have the meat, there is nothing wrong with simply making a veggie stock (veggie stock is still yummy). There are heaps of recipes for stocks if you Google "stock" but what it comes down to for me is, what have I got in my fridge that needs using? This is what I used in this stock: carrots, broccoli, onions, garlic, parsley, rosemary and sage. Peppercorns, mushrooms and a chicken carcuss. Add approx 6 litres of water and a dash of vinegar. I cooked it on a low heat for about 4 hours but it's up to you. The longer you do it, the more developed the flavour. By the end you should have at least 3 ish litres of stock.
Once I'd cooled and sieved the stock I had a stack of recipe options. I decided on risotto with mushrooms, roasted pumpkin and feta. Vegetable and chicken soup (but if I didn't have the chicken, it would have been just as good as plain old vegetable soup) and creamy cauliflower soup. All done with the stock.
I also whipped up a roasted pumpkin dip. We've been eating it with carrot sticks, on rice cakes and even stirred through pasta. Here's the recipe:
200g pumpkin roasted in the oven.
1 clove garlic, also rosted in the oven (wrapped in al foil)
120g unsalted cashew nuts
60g parmesan cheese
50g feta cheese
40g olive oil
20g white vinegar
1/2 - 1 Tsp paprika spice
1 - Roast pumpkin and garlic in the oven
2 - Once pumpkin is cooked, removed from the oven and cooled, place all ingredients into a blender/food processor and mix together until the nuts are all small chunks.
3 - Eat with carrot sticks, crackers or stirred through pasta. Yummo!
So even though I'm aiming to do a 8 day shopping cycle rather than a 7 day, in reality I could probably go for longer than 8 days with the remaining ingredients I have left in my fridge-pantry at the end of each week. I find Google is great for ideas on what to make with my odd remaining ingredients or sometimes I simply modify a regular recipe that I know based around the left over bits and pieces I have. Getting creative, that's pretty much all it takes!