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Tips for Flavoring Food

by Nikki Willhite

A good frugal cook makes good use of spices and other flavorings. You can take simple food and make it great food with the addition of a few choice flavorings.

Spices can be bought in large containers, and they last a long time when properly stored. If you store your spices in a rack above the oven, they will loose flavor and not last as long. If you keep them well sealed in a cool cupboard, they will last for years.

One time when I was at college and out of money,  I lived for a week on nothing but rice. It was hard, but it was made a lot easier by varying the taste through the use of different spices and flavorings.

Everyone has a favorite spice. Who doesn't like the smell of cinnamon and cloves? The smell of cinnamon baking is almost as good as eating whatever is cooking.

Having said a few words about the importance of spices, here are a few tips to make some everyday foods taste better, using common ingredients.


Salt can make bland food taste good. It also brings out the sweetness in food. Try putting a little salt in your water when cooking vegetables such as corn.


There are many varieties of pepper, from the table variety, to smoked cayenne and chili powder.

Pepper adds a unique flavor to food. If you are using it in baking, sauté it in a little butter or oil first to bring out the flavor.

Add pepper to simple casseroles, like tuna noodle, and it tastes better.


Nutmeg is not just for pumpkin pie and cookies. Add it to the broth of beef dishes, and to mashed potatoes.


Add a little to the tomato sauce for such dishes as Spaghetti and Lasagna.

A pinch of sugar is also useful for taking away the slightly bitter taste of some foods.


Vinegar is best known for salad dressing and deviled eggs. You can also put balsamic vinegar on strawberries to bring out their flavor.


Squeeze lemon on our fish and greens. Add a little to cream sauce right before it is done cooking, and the sauce will look lighter and be clearer.

Apple and Pineapple Juice

Any food cooked with juice instead of water is going to be more flavorful. Use juice instead of water to make baked goods delicious. Add to stew to enhance the flavor.


Try using mayonnaise instead of butter before coating chicken. Use it in cakes to make them moist and tender.


Extra vanilla makes any baked product taste better.

About the Author: Nikki Willhite, mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing articles on the topic of frugal living for over a decade. Visit her at - where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal Happy Families- more than just money! 


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