One of the major ways that we save money on our lunches, is by making everything that we take, from scratch.
I like to cook, but the thought of baking bread from scratch scared me. So I asked for a bread machine for Christmas and I got it! Last week was our first week to use the bread machine bread for our lunch, and it went pretty well. We even managed to keep it to one loaf! We were using at least 2 loaves of store bought bread a week, if not more. If you have a bread machine, or are not a chicken like me, this might be an easy way to save some money. I use the express bake 1.5lb loaf setting on my machine. It helps that I can work on other items for our lunch, while the bread machine is doing it's thing. Once the bread has cooled, I cut the loaf in half and then slice it and store it in the fridge.
That got me to thinking, why don't I make the chips? So, I took some of the potatoes from our stock pile, and proceeded. (This is where that fryer I got for Jeff for Christmas, comes in handy for my use!) Well needless to say, last weeks attempt at chips was a DISASTER. They tasted good, but evidently I did not absorb enough of the oil from them, and they turned into mushy potato slices. But they still tasted good, so we made do last week. NOT one of my better cooking attempts!
Today I found a recipe online for chips and tried again. SUCCESS!!! And the recipe is super easy!
Microwave Potato Chips
Potatoes (Number depends on how many you want to make, and how big your potatoes are.
Spray oil stuff
Slice your potatoes as thinly as possible. (After making sure to wash them really good.) I found that cutting the potato in half length wise works best if you are using a knife to slice them. If you have a grater that has the veggie slicer on the side, use it.
Spray the plate with the spray oil. I used butter flavor but do not think it really matters.
Arrange the potato slices on plate.
Sprinkle with whatever seasoning you like. I used garlic and sea salt on one and creole on another.
Microwave on high 5-6 minutes. Keep an eye on the chips and when they begin to show brown spots they are done.
LOTS better than my attempt last week at chips.
I also make our deserts for the week every weekend. I try and use whatever items I have at the house. Last week I picked up some black bananas and made several loaves of banana bread. We used one for our lunch last week, and froze the others to use in the future. This week I am going to make some cookies.
Not only is it cheaper to make these things myself, but it is cutting down on waste as well. No plastic bread bags, chip bags, or cookie packaging to go in the garbage.
To encourage you to start taking your lunch, I have a giveaway of a reusable bag that is perfect for taking your lunch to work in. I use one just like it and it works great! All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment and tell me what is one way that you save money by taking your lunch to work. Make sure that you leave an email address so I can notify the winner. One entry per person. Giveaway ends Thursday, January 15, 2009. I will draw a winner using a random number generator and announce the winner on Friday morning. Good luck!