Sunday Scratchups grew out of a series on its sister couponing and deals blog, Mashup Mom. When you start getting stuff on the cheap at the grocery store, it’s helpful if you are able to find a lot of different ways to prepare it — especially as your couponing matures, and you move beyond buying lots of processed premade foods just because they’re cheap.
My family didn’t cook much as I was growing up, and you’d be staggered by the lengthy list of common foods I never even tasted until I went away to college. (Asparagus? OK, maybe that’s reasonable. But broccoli? Any lettuce other than iceberg? lol) So I didn’t assimilate any skills in the kitchen growing up, was stuck in a pretty serious food rut, and didn’t actually learn to like cooking until couponing paradoxically forced me into it. Then, when my then-nine-year-old was diagnosed with food allergies a while back, it forced us all to be more mindful about the way we cook and the way we eat.
Now I have one kid with allergies to dairy and wheat, one low carb husband, and one kid who is just… picky. This all requires more cooking at home, and more thinking about how to incorporate variety and cook around sales while accommodating various special diets. So, why not have fun with it?
The amazing confluence of a bunch of random ingredients acquired on the cheap, this change in the way I think about cooking, and an Internet full of ideas somehow sparked a willingness to experiment a couple of years ago — and I’ve never looked back. Sunday Scratchups started with a weekly commitment to make one new-to-us dish around sale items, and has only grown from there. The cool thing about couponing and savvy shopping is: When you get ingredients on the cheap, it gives you permission to experiment and play. If a dinner doesn’t work out, it’s OK — you didn’t spend that much on it! And, over time there have been many more successes than failures and many new dishes to add to our family’s regular repertoire.
Will I ever be a gourmet cook? No, not so much. But I have fun with cooking, and enjoy playing around with ingredients and the process of pulling meals together around stockpile items plus grocery store sales. I hope you have fun, too, as you come along with me on this ongoing journey through Sunday Scratchups: AKA, grocery matchups cooking from scratch! I look forward to hearing your ideas, recipes, comments, and suggestions.
— Rachel Singer Gordon