Gabriela writes...

"I have begun using up ingredients in my cupboards, freezer and pantry (thus cleaning out the spaces) before I buy similar items. It’s very gratifying to see these spaces become streamlined and containing only what you use all the time instead of filled with items/ingredients that you bought for that one recipe. Using up such ingredients has forced me to get creative with what I have. For example:

  1. I inherited a bottle of sour salt which I had never even heard of. I decided to add it to dishes that called for lemon juice. No one noticed a difference. I am doing the same thing with all of those other spice bottles in my cupboard. One by one I will use up and toss and soonwill have a very organized and minimal spice cabinet.
  2. I decided to use a can of sardines in a ceviche. Sardines are much less expensive than fresh fish, shrimp, crabmeat etc and easier to work with. Who would have thought that Sardine Ceviche would be a hit with my picky son. Later in the month, I did the same with a can of salmon.
  3. I bought a case of tomato sauce at Costco and was using it only rarely so I told myself that I could not buy any marinara/spaghetti sauce until I used up the tomato sauce. I added chopped onions, olives, garlic and a bit of water. Turned out delicious!!!! Canned tomato sauce is WAY less expensive than any jarred spaghetti sauce. I will only buy tomato asauce from now on.
  4. I had accumulated different types of flour in my cupboard. I decided to not buy anymore until I used them all up. I had to combine flours when one type ran out but the family did not taste the difference. Most of the time and for most of us, it is ok to mix and match flours. Now my cupboard is uncluttered and neat. I will now buy the one flour that I use most often.
  5. I began buying “foldtop sandwich bags” to use with sandwiches and other food items that didn’t need to be air tight. Even a sandwich at work won’t spoil since it will be consumed within 3-4 hours. Fold top bags are much less expensive than zipper bags.
  6. Any home with teenagers has probably accumulated packets of hot sauce from fast food restaurants. I will be taking those sauces and adding water, cilantro, chopped onions and making a salsa. I bet they will like it.
  7. If I have veggies in my frig, I will not buy another type of veggie just because it’s what the recipe calls for. I will substitute with the veggie at hand. That way I don’t end up with so much produce that it ends up spoiling. That is a waste of money especially since certain veggies I only buy organic.
  8. If I have frozen fruit in the freezer, I will NOT consume it until I have consumed the fresh fruits that are close to spoiling. This has forced me to buy only the fresh fruit that is most popular in our house and in a small enough quantity that ensures it will be consumed before my next shopping trip. I don’t worry about buying too little fresh fruit because I can always dip into my frozen stash to get me thru until I go to grocery store again."

And she writes "Thank you for your website."
No! Thank YOU Gabriela