After deciding to make the switch to organic food, I found that the easiest way to make our food budget work was to start making a lot of things from scratch. It’s easier than it sounds.
Here are the items that we regularly eat, and that I regularly bake:
- Pizza crust (2/week – they have to be small to fit in the freezer)
- Bagels (4/week)
- Stuffed Bagels (4/week)
- English Muffins (7/week)
- Pita bread (7/week)
- Crackers (1 batch/week)
- Samosas (4/week)
- Sandwich bread (1/2 loaf per week)
- Dinner bread (1 small loaf per week)
I bake once a week, during a 2-3 hour nap time, and luckily I have a great deep freezer for storing up. Here is my monthly schedule, which groups similar items together:
- 8 Pizza crust
- 28 Pita breads
(Both of these use the same recipe)
- 2 loaves of dinner bread
- 2 loaves of sandwich bread
- 16 Samosas
The dinner bread and sandwich bread both need time to rise and a very hot oven to cook in. I’ll usually try to make the samosa filling at some point earlier in the week, which makes stuffing the samosas during the bread’s rising time quite easy.
- 16 Bagels
- 16 Stuffed bagels
As with the samosas, I try to mix up the stuffed bagel fillings earlier in the week. Bagels can take a while because of boiling, so this is usually a week when Ben’s around and I can get him to help.
- 4 batches of crackers
- 28 English muffins
I love making homemade crackers, but it’s a long process to make a month’s worth and it’s a lot of muscle to roll out all that dough – so I’m usually grumpy by the end. I put them on the last week, so that in months with 5 weeks, I can split the job in half. English muffins are one of my favourite things to bake, so making more than 28 is usually a snap – if I can do this, it means that next month I have one less item to bake.
**Afterthought** I received the most wonderful gift I could have asked for – a KitchenAid Mixer – for Christmas. This has destroyed my old schedule because it cuts the prep time to almost nothing and allows me to make so much more of each item at once.