Thursday, October 21, 2021

Thursday, One ingrediant cooking, Thrifty Thursday

 Let's talk one ingredient cooking to save money. This post was inspired by SAM'S post about her $9 pantry challenge.  For which she took some flack!

There is real food insecurity in this country. I am not a hot dog or white bread eater on a regular basis. But once in a while I like a hotdog. I think you can be a purest about food, and I am just not.

What I am however is a one ingredient cook.  Not on everything, because it would take way too much time and effort and cost more.  I guess what I am saying is I have my limits.

Now not to harp on the chili I made yesterday, but let's look at one ingredient cooking.

burger ( this is ground beef with beef suet added) I would call it a one ingredient food maybe the experts wouldn't

canned beans ( they had added salt which I rinsed and drained)  But I am telling you if this had been a meal where food was short as in scarce I would not have done this as we need all the calories we can get. I will tell you that I consider all canned veggies with salt one ingredient, the experts would not. I will usually use dry beans but for the sake of convenience canned are great. I think every food storage should have canned beans.  If you can't cook you can still have protein and eat.

garlic this is a one ingredient food. Now you could used the minced garlic in a jar (not one ingredient) but I do have this on hand when I am in a hurry. 

onions ( one ingredient)

tomato sauce ( I have my own frozen) I also have cans for convenience. Canned tomato sauce is not one ingredient as it usually has spices, or modified corn starch in it and always salt. 

canned tomatoes ( I USED MY OWN) I always add1/2 tsp. of salt to my tomatoes before processing. 

You will need spices which are one ingredient but read the labels as they can have fillers

salt, pepper, cumin,chili powder, garlic powder,onion powder, and cayenne pepper.

Now I made a large pot of chili.Enough for at least 16 large bowls.  

I calculate the cost of this to be about $7.00 as I used home grown tomatoes and onions. Each bowl represents a full can of chili. 

Canned chili can be found for $1 a can, it would have a lot of sodium, not much meat and many fillers.  However I do have canned chili in my food storage. Again if you have no way to cook a can of chili would be very nice if hungry.

Corn bread:

corn meal is a one ingredient food If you read the label, some have added ingredients.

flour (not one ingredient unless you grind your own ww)  I do use processed flour

sugar (one ingredient) some would only say cane sugar as beet sugar is not non GMO

eggs one ingredient

baking powder one ingredient to me anyway

salt one ingredient

milk not one ingredient if pasteurized

butter I call this one ingredient but it will have added salt

What I am trying to demonstrate is that scratch cooking, has less ingredients and is better for you.

Now you can pick up Jiffy corn bread mixes pretty cheap and I think the cost would only be a little less cooking from scratch.  The mix would also be quicker.  But I don't know I can whip up a batch of biscuits, or cornbread in a very short period of time, so I will never use a mix.  Would I store mixes for emergency food storage?  You bet.

It will almost always be cheaper and better if you go back to the actual ingredients a dish needs rather than a mix, or a frozen version, or store bought ready made.  You will save money cooking from scratch, if you learn to do it you will become better and faster at it.

Cakes mixes are cheaper than making a cake from scratch.  I have done the math. So don't be afraid to stock up on a few mixes and use them.  Canned frosting however is just awful.  Have I USED IT IN THE PAST?  Sure have but I do not store it.  I store powder sugar and make my own.  Again if you practice it is just not that much work.

Learn to cook with one ingredient foods and store them when the prices are at there best you will save money.

SAM used carrots as her veggie in some of her meals.  This is a one ingredient food.

Potatoes one ingredient.

Why do you think S. Morgenstern wrote that man's first meal was stew?  Potatoes, carrots, root veggies, some meat and onions and garlic.  A one ingredient dish.  Well unless it comes in a Dinty Moore can.  Have I eaten Dinty Moore?  Sure have and I would also store it for emergencies.

I am not a food snob, I AM A FOOD CHEAP.

Are you a food snob?  ARE YOU A FOOD CHEAP?  Do you want to join my club?  Well Sissie and Sluggy are not welcome right now, but everyone else can join.

Thrifty Thursday:


2. saved a $1,$5,$10,$20 bill 

3. saved money in two of my 100 envelope challenge

4. saved all my $5.00 bills saved $30.00 in 5's this week now up to $2,230.00.  Have $15.00 toward the next 100

5.I found a boat load of change this week. .11 .11 .5 .10 .1, 1.13 It was a bang up week I tell you

6. Did some Ibotta shopping as I had no loss leaders and I needed a few things that they were carrying, so earned about $26.00 with a bonus. hair dye, root cover up, makeup, lip stick, I am not brand loyal.  as my sister in laws' would say I also have a cheap face.

7. downloaded receipts to fetch

8. cooked all but one meal from scratch at home

9. got leftover food at foodbank closing time.  Chicken breasts, potatoes, grapes, yellow squash, apples, raisins,rice krispies,butter,canned fruit, many bags of legumes and beans

10. Found chicken thighs marked down on a close out at Winco for .48 cents a lb.  So bought 4 large packages. Or 15 meals worth of meat for under $10.00  I just happened to be at the right place at the right time.

11.Used zippers I had on hand to repair items and then charged customer accordingly

12.purchased gas at the least expensive station 

13. used 4 large sausage and cheese dogs I obtained in a large package that was given to me.

14. enjoyed the last of the grapes from our vines

15. still picking tomatoes and onions from the garden.

What did you do this week to save money?

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are int the negative.




  1. I am trying to understand this "one ingredient" cooking concept, but it makes no sense to me. Maybe I am still dehydrated in the brain. It seems like you are referring to cooking from scratch.

    I have practiced baking cakes from scratch for about 45 years in the past. I do not need more practice because I would just practice eating it all, too. The Jiffy cornbread is just too nasty and sweet.

    1. I love that you praise eating your cakes, I do that also which is why I limit my baking. I also think Jiffy corn bread is way too sweet.

  2. Hmmm, this sounds very interesting. I am pretty sure I use this method for most if not all my cooking. Okay every once in awhile I sneak a cake mix into the mix...

    Wonderful thrifty moves Kim.

    God bless.

    1. I think you probably do. If you are frugal and looking for ways to save one ingredient is always cheaper.

  3. You did so well with end of day food bank stuff. Learning how much could go to waste after my daughter summer job if fresh stuff wasn't distributed to any I fully endorse this opportunity. I get your 1 ingredient concept. Nothing joined together prior to being part of the dish. You'd be do proud of the mock " cream of" soup I made by throwing all my odds and veggies into a crock pot with water, cooling, then pureeing. I frozen three two cup pouches in ready for my next hotdish. I'll add cheese which isn't one ingredient but so tasty- stretching it to keep salt per serving low. I really do know how to scratch cook!

    1. I am sure you do and what a good idea with the cream soup. I know we can all saute, mushrooms, and a few onions and make a white sauce and make our own cream of mushroom soup but time? Really? Who goes and buy mushrooms for that? Buy the soup hell with the sodium.

  4. This is a topic I am very passionate about. Food insecurity and not knowing how to cook really need to be addressed. I also only cook with whole ingredients. I think some consider my husband and I food snobs but we really aren't. When you consistently eat scratch cooked food from whole ingredients your taste buds change. Example, we went out to a diner years ago for breakfast. My husband took one bite of his eggs and could taste that they were egg substitutes and sent them back because he couldn't eat them. Not long after, I have a nephew who has been raised on a lot of processed foods and when he took a bite of real eggs he couldn't/wouldn't eat it. I have a lot of stomach issues when it comes to the chemicals that are in processed foods so it just makes sense for us to eat this way. I'm fortunate to live in an area where local farm raised food is usually cheaper than the grocery store but I know everyone is not that fortunate. People really shouldn't be so quick to judge. I just went and read Sam's post and seems to me it was a personal challenge for fun. I don't understand how anyone could take offense to that but to each their own.

    1. Lori, I completely understand about your husband being able to taste the difference in the eggs. I'm the same way. I would've refused to eat those egg substitutes too. I've experienced so many health problems due to the food, since moving here.

    2. HUB's and I have been out to restaurants where the food was so salty it was hard to eat. As I have always limited the salt in his food and most things are just too salty. People do need to learn to cook. It is a shame that the food industry has made everything boil and chew.

    3. Powdered eggs, gross, but in a emergency situation where there is no food,you would eat those eggs.

  5. I am a fan of Jiffy Corn bread mix. :-)

    1. I am shocked, shocked I tell you, in reality I think it is too sweet, but I will eat it and store it.

  6. Lordy, I saw the title and thought you were making a whole meal with just one I will admit that I'm a food snob. Food is one thing I will not skimp on. I mainly cook from scratch. It's how I grew up. It's healthier and tastes far better than convenience foods. I absolutely cannot stand boxed or packaged potatoes. I don't use cake mix either.

    I laughed so hard at the comment about Sluggy & Sissy not being able to Payback!

    Have a great weekend Kim!

    1. Well Anne and I starting a club with secret handshakes and secret words and they are not allowed. But you can join.

  7. I really liked Sam's challenge. She had carrots and beans, which are healthy. I think the meal as a whole was healthier than most fast food places. It is ok to eat hot dogs and white bread occasionally. I keep canned beans on hand because if the water goes off you have beans in the can and don't have to cook them. I actually ate them with (gasp) a piece of white bread this week and spinach salad. I actually took a can of canned carrots, made a sorta roux with a little milk, the juice from the can, flour, and garlic, added the carrots, and then blended it all in blender after it had been heated up. It was a decent carrot soup. I am not much of a cook, but I did manage Cindy in the South

    1. Very creative Cindy, but then you have been indoctrinated to food storage and storing things.

  8. We do a lot of cooking from scratch. I'd say are weakness is currently prepped meat entrees (think chicken with breading, or meatballs from Costco). I've tried to make both myself, but my super picky eater prefers the Costco versions. :-( We serve them with healthy things on the side, and they are not entirely bad, but I'd prefer alternatives. The rest of us rarely eat that, although the Costco meatballs are fine in a pinch, with a homemade tomato sauce.

    On a busy day, I'll sometimes have the chicken atop a salad for a quick lunch, if there are no leftovers.

    1. I swear there are some preservatives in things that make you crave them and only them. It is the same with my grand kids.

  9. I cracked up about Sissie and Sluggy.

    I am a retired chef, I have prefer scratch but can handle box/canned. Mother wasn't much of a cook so when tv dinners, canned and boxed meals came out that's the way she went. Daddy was just thankful for a hot meal.
    I do buy canned pork and beans as Hubby had them today with mini sausages in it for his lunch (he's off work. I love hotdogs but don't eat them much. Childhood of Daddy grilling hotdogs and Mother making potato salad. White store bought bread is all we ever had until my 20s.

    1. Well Anne and I starting a secret club and you can join but they cannot. We will have a secret handshake and secret code words. My mother was a terrible cook. She could bake like no bodies business but cook.... Dad called hamburger helper NIXON steak. I grew up on processed food and excellent baked goods.

  10. Sluggy and I are out to win this. I am a cheap and an expensive cook , it just depends.
    I do however have a very expensive face not that I look any better then you.

    We can win this slug the "one ingredient dish" let's think about that next weekend.

    Oh By the way be afraid, be very very afraid also tell Dan to get the wrapping paper out of the garage!

  11. I am laughing over here about your and Anne’s secret club, Kim. LOL

  12. Shhhhhh! How can our club be secret if everyone knows about it now!
    Not only do we have a secret handshake and code words but if we want to blackball someone we have to hit them in the back with a black beach ball.