Piggy Bank Cooking

So, in my efforts to save money I have coined a new phrase, well nothing is really new is it, but it’s new to me so that’s what counts. I call it Piggy Bank Cooking, because it saves us money to fatten up our piggy bank. Or we have to resort to using our piggy bank to have anything to eat. Either way works. Our local supermarket has a magical aisle, magical to someone like me who uses coupons, makes her own laundry detergent and would still be cutting her kid’s hair if she hadn’t been asked very nicely a few years ago to, “Get those clippery things awaaaaaay, aghhhhh!” as kid runs screaming from room with half a hair cut.

So, when I see a bargain I have to act. And I have been acting. The grocery store has an aisle, as I said, filled with the marked down items they want rid of. Bashed up boxes of cereal, odd brands of over priced pasta, six packs with only three bottles left, things like that. I don’t care what the box looks like so I’ll often pick up these offers and bring them home, gleefully to my pantry/garage. They have been accumulating somewhat and today seemed like a good day to get rid of some of them.

I should say that I cook everything (well almost) that my family eats. I cook breakfast for those who will eat it – mostly just me unless it is a weekend then everyone wants some! I make lunches for work and school and I make dinner every night. I also make all our bread, all our cookies/treats/ice cream/jam/pickles/mayo. OK, well mayo is kind of an issue because I love to make it fresh but as it only lasts a few days I only make it infrequently and the rest of the time I use the bought stuff. I cut myself some slack, I do plenty. I have the same philosophy with pasta, I love to make it and I make it fairly often but I am not making hand crafted pasta for my kid to have slathered in cheese sauce, the dried kind will be just fine for that. Now ravioli on the other hand… but I digress. 

So, being in a monumental hurry, as usual and having got my daily loaves rising I realized that the full tray of chocolate chunk cookies I had baked on Monday had all gone. Every one. I had eaten exactly two. As I always send my boys to work and school with a treat, I realized I had to make something but I have to head out to the school in about half an hour to pay the first installment of the mandatory fundraising my son needs to donate in order to do band this year. $700! I’m buying bashed up boxes of cereal, picking up pennies on the ground and working for about $4 an hour on mTurk and we have to pay $700?! Sigh…rant over. Rice Krispie treats it is, is there any cookie/bake/bar as quick to make in the world and as cheap as these little beauties? 

Two minutes later I had raided my pantry for marshmallows, rice krispies and found a mostly eaten box of cocoa puffs. I hate half eaten boxes of stuff. Like most Moms/Mums (I’m English remember so even though I insist on Mum I usually get called Mom) I have this recipe down. Six, one, one. Six cups of cereal, one small bag of marshmallows (minus the one or two I may have eaten between bag and saucepan while no one was looking) and one stick of butter. This time though I changed it up and made two of the cups of cereal cocoa puffs, I didn’t want them all huge so I zapped them in the food processor until they’d broken up some but not too powdery.

OK, so measure this, melt these and stir. It’s not much of a recipe but that’s why I like it.

One tip – when you come to mush it all down into the greased 8 x 8 inch pan? Use wet hands, otherwise you’ll get rice krispie strings and globs of cereal all over your hands/kitchen and possibly in your hair. That has absolutely never happened to me ever, at all, not even once. Yeah right. I once went out with rice krispie goo on my back, how that happened I do not know.

Let it cool, cut it up and the next time you look they will all be gone because school is out and, “What is there to eat? I am STARVING!”

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Oh and with all the ingredients ($0.59 for the marshmallows, $0.25 for the other cereal and $0.60 for the butter) this came to approx $1.44. I will cut them up into 12 pieces or so that comes to about $0.12 each. Way cheaper than buying them and I haven’t contributed to the trash crisis on the planet. Plus you can’t buy rice krispie treats with cocoa puffs, because they are Kelloggs and General Mills products respectively and they don’t talk anymore.  They’re sort of the Montagues and Capulets of the cereal world. Not bad for 15 minutes. Took me longer to type this post.

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