Dressing Up for Less

When I was a city girl and lived one fleeting moment to the next, I hardly EVER stepped inside a grocery store. My townhouse was one block from Kensington Market while my office was two blocks from St. Lawrence Market.

Photo c/o Upsplash Jeff Smith

City life allowed me to eat whatever I was in the mood for. If I wanted to cook I could pick up fresh ingredients as soon as a craving struck. If Thai was on my mind, I grabbed it on the way home from anywhere! My food options were limitless. I ate my way around the world while living in Toronto. Back then, dressing up for less meant something entirely different.

Photo c/o Upsplash Scott Webb

Back in my twenties, it meant weekends spent on the hunt for funky, affordable clothes at Kensington. Today, it means not having 11 bottles of salad dressing and condiments in my fridge. Which, I would end up throwing away later because of expiry dates. I still enjoy a good Frenchy’s Find all the same. You should see my mug collection.

Photo c/o Loli Clement

Too Much Waste

Our entire world could do with a lot less waste. I love saving a buck but I am also conscious of how much waste I am contributing to our Mother Earth. I have a hard time throwing away glass jars, yes, it is a real problem.

Photo c/o Upsplash Jose Gonzalez

I use my Mason jars to make martini’s, to hold dry ingredients, and to store homemade dressings and condiments. By only making what I need I am not throwing money down the drain or plastic bottles in my recycling bin. There is already too much waste in the world. Recycle as much as you can folks.

Photo c/o Siebe Warmoeskerken

This Week’s Spread

I keep seasoning mixes on hand that allows me to save money on my grocery bill. This week’s spread included homemade tzatziki, greek dressing, and salsa. Each of these were used in many different ways throughout my meal plan.

Tzatziki

My lemon dilly tzatziki mix never lasts long in the fridge. I find ways to put it on everything. Using low-fat President’s Choice plain greek yogurt is a must for me. Throw in some grated cucumber with a little garlic and let it sit for as long as you can before diving in.

I used tzatziki on my homemade turkey burger instead of mayo, on my mini souvlaki pitas and used it as a dipping sauce once or twice as well. It is low fat and low sugar but full of flavour. The best part is, it costs less than $2 to make. There is never any left to throw away.

Salsa

Nothing makes my taste buds dance more than Salsa. Pun fully intended! OMG! It is like biting into the most delicious place on earth. The iddy, biddy flakes of peppers, onions, chilis, garlic and just the right amount of heat makes for a perfect Friday night in. Add a cervaza to the mix and it’s a party. Well, you know how it is with kids!

This past week I used this mix as a salsa dip, I put it on top of my turkey burger above and I added some to tiny nan bread and backed it with some Tre Stelle bocconcini and oh, la, la!!! Flavour madness. And it only took 10 minutes to make and bake, total!

Greek Dressing

I honestly have used the Greek dressing the most. Once again, I mixed it in with the turkey burger, on my turkey burger, in my ground pork balls for pasta night, I drizzled some on the salsa nan mini’s above and I used the rest yesterday to marinate chicken.

And as promised, there was nothing left to throw away! I used it all. As the empty jar sat near the counter I thought to myself, how pretty.

My next thought was, that is a lot of spices just sitting inside that jar! I thought of my mother and how she would rinse out that last bit of ketchup from the bottle, and pour the water/tomato guck into a sweet and sour sauce. Mudder never wasted a drop. So off I went, I put a little water in the jar, swished it around, then added it to the pot of homemade chicken broth that was getting ready to bubble on the stove.

Disclaimer: As always, no one has paid me to write this blog. I share my ideas of my own free will!