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    Default No jars, packet mixes or prepackaged foods?

    I have made the decision to cut out all jars, packet mixes and prepackaged foods and attempt to only make meals and snacks from scratch. I don't like the amount of salt, preservative etc that is going into mine, DF's and my 2 yr olds body. Can it be done? Does anyone have any tips or advice? I'm thinking homemade museli bars, fresh tomatoes instead of tinned, homemade white sauce for lasagnes etc. I also have a 3.5 month old, how easy do you think this is to do?

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    Heaps easy. I work full-time and cook a meal from scratch with DP every night. I might eat a pre-packaged meal maybe twice a year and I feel disgusting afterwards.

    Can't really think of any tips.... but you'll probably have to stock up on a few essentials with the first couple of grocery shops but your bill should drop considerably once you have your pantry stocked.

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    Definitely do-able.
    I've recently realised that I have packets in the pantry that have sat there for months because I've only been making "real" food for awhile.
    May be pregnancy induced but I've only really been enjoying good natural food for months, and it's been such an easy transition that I didnt even really realise I was doing it.
    I still use packaged things like pasta, noodles, bread and cereals, but pretty much everything else we have is made from scratch.

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    FrogsnSnails  (14-12-2011)

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    Buttoneska is offline Winner 2010- Most Community Minded Thread Award
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    hey there, we tend to cook from scratch and i think it is very do-able.

    I still buy dry pasta, yoghurt, cheese and stuff like that. I have some back up tin beans/lentils for when I don't have time to soak dry stuff.

    I still eat tin spaghetti and 2 min noodles though cos i luffs them.

    My main tips to get started would be
    -make a list of all the meals you like to eat - work out which ones can be made from scratch and which ones you won't bother with.
    -learn how to cook certain style - ie. a casserole, soup, stir fry, risotto etc etc. Once you learn the method, it can be applied to many different recipes using different ingredients, spices, flavours. ie. a casserole using same cooking methods but with any protein, vegies, flabours = infinite possibilities. Practise, practise, practise - even if you are making the same type of casserole over and over again until you are comfortable with it - you can then change from chicken to beef, white wine to red wine, different spices etc.

    once you have a better idea of what you want to cook start bulding up your pantry with staples like
    -rice
    -flour
    -pasta
    -herbs and spices
    etc etc

    we make tomoto puree every yr but it takes time, you could start by switching to an organic tomato puree or using fresh tomotoes. (if you want method for making tomoto puree happy to share)

    thats all i can think of right now - any questions ask away.

    remember it doesn't ahve to be all or nothing either, you may start by changing one or two meal - say lasagne/meat sauce from scratch, a casserole from scratch. and slowly as it becomes easier and you feel confident you can increase it.

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    FrogsnSnails  (14-12-2011)

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    Yep, we do additive-free so that knocks out most packaged stuff. So much healthier, and cheaper!

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    FrogsnSnails  (14-12-2011)

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    There's nothing wrong with tinned tomatoes, even chefs admit that they're ok because they're made when tomatoes are in season and you can get them with nothing extra added, it's just tomatoes.

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    I still use tinned tomatoes and tomato paste, also have frozen peas and corn in the freezer as a back up. We don't use any other tinned or frozen vege.

    I make all sauces for our pasta, as well as homemade soup, white sauces, gravies etc. All of our evening meals are made from scratch. We do eat a lot of fresh vege.

    As far as kids snacks go I buy the small tubs of philly lite cream cheese and the kids love this as a dip for carrot/celery sticks or spread on rice crackers or water crackers etc. I use the easiyo yoghurt or buy the 1 kilo tubs and fill small plastic containers for in the kids lunch boxes. Dried fruit I buy in the biggest packets available and also put into small plastic containers for lunch boxes.

    I will often freeze a batch of biscuits, slice or mini muffins - this way I can give them something different every day and they don't get sick of the same thing. Homemade pikelets are another favourite snack.

    In summer frozen cubes of water melon and frozen grapes go down well. I also have the plastic iceblock molds and we make our own.

    We have always eaten this way, it isn't that hard.

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    FrogsnSnails  (14-12-2011)

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    Thank you for your replies. Don't get me wrong, we eat healthy, loads of fruit and vegetables. I didn't want people to assume that I can't cook a meal without a packet mix LG- I'm not saying that there is anything 'wrong' with tinned tomatoes, it is just that some contain food acids and large amounts of salt. I do make mini muffins and freeze and make my own breadcrumbs, pesto etc. Freezing veges is a good one, it will prevent those end of week throw outs. Now that we are down to one income I will have to budget a little better thats for sure. I'm off to make some blueberry muffins- from scratch

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    We went additive free when I became pregnant, we also ate really well but some things you just don't realize how many additives are there, the things we got rid of: Vegemite, tomato pastes, margarines, stock, taco sauces, burritos, corn chips , cooking spray, dried fruit -plus DH agreed to give up bacon and processed meat at home ( he gets his fix when we are out !) where we could we found organic additive free substitutes , I still use tin tomatoes , organic flours, nut butters and spelt or wholemeal bread and pasta when we couldn't be bothered making it!

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