Low Cost Kitchen Tips

Here are some quick and easy low-cost suggestions from the pages of the 1972 Southern Living Low Cost Cookbook that we'll be using next week.
-Slice any leftover roasts or steaks into thin strips and use them for Oriental stir fries.
-To deepen the color of gravy, stir in a small amount of instant coffee.
-Cut a whole chicken into parts, frying only the pieces that will be eaten, and stewing the remaining wings, liver and neck pieces that remain.  They may be used in dressing, dumplings or salad; the broth for soup.
-Purchase bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces, they are less expensive.  Cook the bones for broth.
-When you have garden green peppers or they are cheap and in season in the store, chop and store them in plastic bags in the freezer.   Use them in soups, casseroles, and vegetables.  I also cut them in larger pieces, and then I can cut into stir-fry strips or chop as needed.
I do the same with onions.
-Save the small celery stems and tops for soups.  Wash, chop and store them in the freezer until needed.
-Use any leftover mashed potatoes for these delicious Feather Rolls.
-Use leftover gravy or homemade white sauce instead of canned soup in casseroles.
-Make your own bread crumbs or croutons.  Save the heels and stale pieces  and dry in a 250° oven until crisp, but not brown.  Break them into a food processor or blender and whirl, or put in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.  For each cup, season with 1 tablespoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon dried thyme, ½ teaspoon onion salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  Store in a cool, dry place or in the freezer.  Crush the bag a little to pour them out.
-Grate and freeze any hard ends of cheese and keep in a bag in the freezer for adding to sauces and casseroles.  Cheese flavors can be mixed.
Handy freezer pie dough mix:
-Mix 3 pounds flour, 2 pounds shortening, 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons salt until mixture is of a coarse consistency.  Divide dough into six equal parts and store in freezer bags in the freezer.  To use:  Add ice water and roll the dough out.  Each bag makes enough dough for a single pie crust.
-To make a better-storing cake mix cake economically, beat ½ cup mayonnaise into the batter.  This makes the cake tender and moist throughout storage and the delicate flavor won’t be harmed.
-Store any broken cookie bits and crumbs in the refrigerator.  Use for crumb crusts or fruit crisp toppings.


  1. Very interesting about using coffee to colour gravy...I wonder if the taste will come through at all though?

  2. That is why it only calls for a small amount. It just enhances the flavor as adding it to chocolate does.


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