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Let’s talk about some easy ways to make FREE recipes!! Everyone loves FREE right?!?!

I finally got around to making Mr Man the croutons that I’ve been collecting in the freezer from all the homemade bread I’d been making. I know he was beginning to think they were a figment of my imagination since they’ve been there for months and I refused to buy him anymore of the junk they sell in the stores. So it was a real treat when he had freshly made croutons on his chicken salad for lunch earlier this week. Talk about beyond easy!! These babies can be made in a snap and taste SO much better than anything in the store, I promise!! How easy??

  • Cubed bread from heels and any left over stale slices. (Cubes don’t have to be perfectly uniform or anything, just a rough cubing in the size you prefer your croutons)
  • Any seasoning combination you prefer. I used Garlic powder, dried Onion flakes and dried basil.
  • Olive Oil or Melted Butter

Add seasonings to crouton cubes in gallon baggie. Shake until well mixed. Add just enough olive oil or melted butter to lightly coat the bread cubes. Shake up in baggie until well coated. Then spread cubes onto single layer on cookie sheet. DONE!! Bake at 350 for up to 30 minutes or until they reach the level of toasted you prefer. Stir every 10 mins or so to prevent burning. Let cool COMPLETELY before storing in a plastic baggie or container. These little gems were amazing slightly warm on our salads. I can also see making a larger size cube with different seasonings to go along beautifully with tomato or french onion soup!! Plus if you think about all the heels or stale pieces of bread you’ve thrown away before…now you can cube them and keep em in the freezer until you have enough to make a batch of homemade croutons and they are in essence FREE!!!

How about free broccoli pieces?? I used to be so bad about wasting broccoli…I prefer to eat the ‘flowers’ and used to cut off all the stalks and toss em. How incredibly wasteful of me!! Shame, Shame!! Now I cut off the ‘flowers’ for whatever I’m making and put the stalks to the side. After dinner or after a batch of freezer meals I now take those stalks and do a rough chop on em before putting them through the pulse cycle of my food processor. It takes that rough and tough stalk and turns it to a chunky broccoli confetti that is so easy to freeze in small or large batches. We’ve used ours to top baked potatoes along with a bit of shredded cheese, butter and sour cream, it’s great mixed into mashed potatoes too or as a base for an amazing Broccoli and Cheese Soup!! Regardless of how you use it the point is that we’re using it now instead of just throwing it away!! Just think of how many more heads of broccoli we’d have to buy to make all these recipes instead of just using one whole bunch of broccoli, flower to stalk…

Or how about all those trimmings, peelings, ends etc that we just throw away when cleaning and prepping our veggies?? Those scraps used to fill my garbage can, not anymore!! Before I even start I put a baggie on the counter to toss all those onion peels, carrot peels, celery ends, garlic ends, pepper ribs etc. in as I’m prepping. PUFF!! Now I have all kinds of “free” veggies to add to my chicken or bone broth!! And since the bones were saved from another meal too that makes ALL my broth FREE!!

Last time I checked the grocery stores weren’t giving away free croutons, broccoli bits or broth… Just a few ideas that have helped my grocery budget that I wanted to pass along. Plus, as an added bonus, you’ll always know exactly what is going into your food and it just tastes better when made with love from scratch!!

Do y’all have any other tricks for stretching the grocery budget or simply wasting less?? Love to hear em!!

With Much Love

❤ Kristy