Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on February 20, 2009
By Vicki McClure Davidson * Frugal Café Blog Zone
Last weekend, my favorite “slightly distressed” food store in Phoenix, Bargain Bin, had so many pocketbook-friendly bargains, I nearly did cartwheels. Two huge boxes of food later, I only paid about 50 dollars for a vast assortment of canned soups and veggies, name-brand cereals, Paul Newman Gourmet Decaf coffee beans, 2 bags of flour, pasta, a HUGE can of cooked pinto beans, and much, much more. I always hit this store or one of the dollar/99-cent stores first before going to the regular grocery store. By doing so, I typically save 50 – 75 percent on my purchases.
My most notable conquest in the food jungle on this day was buying about a dozen small cans of diced chile peppers (Ortega and Old El Paso brands) for a whopping 20 cents each. They’re usually 79 cents up to $1.29 each at the grocery store. High-five for frugality!
I often use diced chile peppers, fresh or canned, in homemade soups, burritos (click here for info on making homemade burritos), chile rellenos, taco fillings, bean dishes, soups, egg dishes, and a variety of casseroles (delicious when added to ham and potato dishes). Chile peppers are rich in vitamins, add great flavor to dishes, and because of their “heat” properties (making your sinuses flow), they work as a natural deterrent against the common cold and other air-borne germs. With the sinuses flowing, it is more difficult for nasty things to infiltrate your system, thus, giving you an extra edge against getting sick during flu and cold season.
Unless labeled otherwise, canned diced chile peppers are usually Hatch or Anaheim, which are less intense than jalepeños.
If you’ve not used chile peppers in your family’s cooking much or ever before, try using a half a can (or 1 or 2 tablespoons) rather than the entire can the first few times (refrigerate or freeze what you don’t use). Introduce chiles in your family’s diet slowly so that they aren’t overwhelmed.