My family and I have lived for almost 25 years on basically one middle class income. In this day and age that’s not easy to do without developing many cost cutting strategies along the way. Cutting food costs is a big factor in living the abundantly frugal life, and a great way to do that is to use ramen noodles in many creative ways. You’ve seen them in grocery and budget stores-those little square packages of pale noodles with the metallic colored flavor packet. In my opinion, they are not very appetizing when just added to boiling water. But when you use them as a basic ingredient in your overall weekly cooking plan, magical things can happen!
I love to cook several packages of noodles, pan fry them, and then top them with my favorite stir fry ingredients. Sometimes I will not pan fry the noodles and just mix them all together with a stir fry, depending on how much time I have to cook dinner, and who will be eating it. My toddler grandson eats his vegetables much better when they are “hidden” in his meal! Instead of using the flavor packets, I save them for other uses. Cooked noodles without the flavoring are also super in Chinese chicken salads.
So, what do you do when you have amassed a large pile of ramen noodle flavor packets in your pantry? If you have collected beef and chicken packets, you may never have to buy bouillon cubes again! I have not bought bouillon in years. I use the contents of a packet of beef or chicken ramen flavoring instead of a bouillon cube when a recipe calls for that ingredient. Just a note here for you beginning cooks: when I say add a packet of flavoring, I mean the contents of the flavoring packet, NOT the metallic package itself! You may want to add more or less flavoring depending on your desired flavor level and salt intake. Today I’m making homemade chicken noodle soup in my crock pot. Instead of using chicken broth or bouillon, I used the contents of 1 packet of chicken ramen flavoring to every 2 cups of water, and then added the rest of my ingredients. Instead of buying expensive stir fry flavoring, I’ll add a packet or 2 of ramen flavoring to my stir fry meat and vegetables. Just open the packet and dump the contents into your stir fry while it is cooking. I generally use the beef flavoring for stir fry containing beef or pork, chicken flavoring for chicken, and oriental flavoring for any meat. The beef ramen flavoring works great in stews, roasts, stroganoff, and other beef dishes. I’ve used the chicken flavoring in chicken and dumplings, chicken potpie, cornbread topped chicken casseroles, and many other poultry dishes.
My family is crazy about ramen noodles! And my budget loves them also! If you want to “think outside the ramen noodle package”, just give some of my suggestions a try!
Source- personal experience