Recipe: Easy no-bake granola bars

I think I could easily live off granola bars. Those little dynamite sticks of instant energy and protein – perfect for breakfast, or packed to go hiking, they’re such an easy-peasy no fuss option.

A box of my personal favourite brand sets me back CAD $2.49 for 5 (Approx. 50 cents a bar) – and I wondered if I could achieve cheaper on my own.

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Adventures in Bread Making: Soda Bread

1 loaf homemade soda bread: ~ CAD $1.86
Standard store sliced white loafs: CAD $3 – $4

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When I first started my quest for cheaper grocery bills, bread was one of the first places my mind turned. Not because we eat a lot of bread in my household, but because when we do eat bread we eat the fancier stuff. It’s pretty rare that we buy a standard loaf of sliced white bread – a pretty common purchase is a bag of Montreal style bagels (which even on the day old special one of our local grocery stores is $3 pre tax for 5), and on special occasions we’ll often grab an outrageously good loaf from the local Italian bakery. Truly, we are spoiled, and I’m not really interested in eating tasteless white slices in the name of economy. If it’s a choice between that, and no bread, I’d rather go without.

Luckily, there is another option.

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Welcome to Penny Gourmet

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Hello and welcome to Penny Gourmet: a blog focused on cost conscious cooking for food lovers.

Why did I decide to make this blog? Well, it’s simple. I love food. Maybe a little too much at times. I love the way food brings people together. I love the simple act of putting together a meal that puts a smile on a loved one’s face. I believe food can provide nourishment far beyond the simple nutrients and calories listed on the nutrition label.

Food lover on a budget

But, for a food lover on a budget, eating well can seem like an impossible task. Eating out? Forget it! Dining on delicious home cooked meals at home? Pshaw! Haven’t you heard of ramen noodles!? Our stereotype is that eating cheap means eating poorly – that good food is a luxury reserved for the rich.

I’ve fallen into that trap. Just recently I was horrified to see how much I was spending on groceries every month. Now, I am lucky enough to not be living on the breadline by any stretch of the imagination, but money can be tight. I certainly shouldn’t be spending hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on groceries every month. I felt a momentary panic. I was going to have to give up everything I loved and subsist on brown rice for a month! No more avocado on toast for me! (*Disclaimer: I don’t actually eat avocado on toast, sorry millennial-haters)

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