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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Monday, June 07, 2010

Frugal Kitchens 101 - Vacation Home Eating

Frugal Kitchens 101

The past couple of weeks we have enjoyed eating at our vacation home.  By default that means the cooking pattern was changed but that doesn't mean we couldn't be frugal.  When it comes to being frugal anytime you can have any homemade meal even if it as simple as a bowl of cereal for breakfast it will be cheaper than eating out.  In general especially with our vacation home we try to avoid eating breakfast, lunch and snacks out reserving our food dollars for dinners.  At the same time many dinner meals can easily be made at home  but in this case this is an excuse to use a few pre-made things like stuffed ready to cooked meats, baby carrots and salad greens.  True these foods are going to be just a bit more expensive than full prepare from scratch but they will be cheaper that full convenience or eating out.  At the same time delis offer a nice selection of salads and ready-to-eat meats like rotisserie chicken.  So vacation time becomes the time to use semi-cooked from scratch meals keeping foods on the simpler side while cooking as much from scratch as possible and using what you can fresh-prepared.

Fresh-prepared is really what you want to look for.  This will include things like salad greens, salads, stuffed meats, seafood, artisan breads, pastries, some dairy products and that type of thing.  In most vacation homes you will not want to bake your own bread or make your own yogurt and you may not have all your normal equipment for your normal style of cooking so make it a bit easier on yourself by buying good quality semi-prepared foods along with easy to prepare scratch foods.  If you cook anywhere 80 - 95% from scratch at home on a regular basis taking a few short-cuts when on vacation will not be a problem for you.  Cooking semi-from-scratch while on vacation will save you a lot of money while giving you the great nutritious food you are used to with some of work taken away.  That way you can enjoy great food at a fraction of the cost while away from home.

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