Yesterday I made a huge batch of chicken stock in the slow cooker with some chicken carcasses I had saved. I put some containers in the freezer and then made a big pot of chicken and vegetable soup with the rest. Perfect for this chilly winter.
I love everything about this trick. It couldn’t get much easier than throwing a few things in the slow cooker, covering with water and turning it on. Seriously, you don’t even have to chop things if you don’t want to. Homemade stock/broth is delicious, nourishing food. It reduces wastage of those useful animal bones and provides stock that is considerably cheaper than store bought- almost free if you consider that it’s just things you would normally throw out plus some water! I also love that you can control what is in it, adjusting salt levels to suit your taste and needs, as well as ensuring it’s made from good quality animals and free of all the wacky additives that often hide in store bought stock. Frugal and fabulous.
I have to note that ‘frugal’ for us basically means reducing wastage of what we already have as well as curbing unnecessary spending on new things. What we determine to be necessary and/or worth spending money on many people may disagree with. It’s all about personal priorities. So buying expensive organic meat , dairy and produce might not seem frugal to some, but to me it’s important. Frugal living and eating for us has really come about as a side effect of our expensive food changes (see Bones 1 & 2) in a maternity leave/saving to build a house situation. I struggle with the expense of buying a wide variety of good quality food. A ridiculously large amount of our income still goes on food but I’m aiming to find ways to be smarter with what we buy. I hate to waste leftovers, I stretch our meat a long way, we eat a lot of vegetarian meals and I save money where I can on some of the basics.
I’m also beginning to learn about gardening so we can hopefully supplement our supplies with some organic backyard produce. You can’t get any fresher or more local than your own garden. I can’t wait until the day I can go out and pick a basket full of vegetables for a whole meal. I mean it when I say I’m a beginner though- I only have a few little containers on the go in our courtyard and if I grow anything in these early days it’ll be more good luck than good management. I do have a budding broccoli outside that I’m extremely excited about… let’s hope I can keep it alive!