July 6, 2011
Homemade cooking helps extreme couponer save scratch

So how do extreme couponers use up all those ingredients they score for next to nothing? They get creative.

Jen Freeman certainly does.

The Las Vegas mother of two and extreme couponer, who recently was featured at two extreme couponing events hosted by The Sacramento Bee and on TLC's "Extreme Couponing," said she stocks up on fruit and vegetables in season in order to save money, then creates recipes around her ingredients. I wrote about Freeman and her extreme couponing method in today's Food & Wine section. Click here to read the story.

Follow the link below to get Freeman's recipe for homemade strawberry preserves and a homemade strawberry preserves and poptart.

Family-size homemade strawberry poptart
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: At least 4
Recipe courtesy of Jen Freeman. For more recipes, check out her Tip Resource website.

Two frozen pie shells
1 1/2 cups strawberry preserves (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons sugar
Red sprinkles, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the thawed pie shells. Spread strawberry preserves in the center. Place second pie shell over the preserves and pinch edges together sealing the poptart closed. This can be done by rolling or by using a fork to squish the shells together. Brush with milk, sprinkle with sugar and red sprinkles. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Strawberry preserves
Cook time: About 30 minutes
Makes 4 cups
Recipe courtesy of Jen Freeman.
Note: Use within 30 days of cooking.

7 cups strawberries, hulled (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup sugar

Add strawberries and lemon juice to a saucepan and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until juices of strawberries release. Stir in the sugar and boil over medium heat until preserves reach 210 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour into glass containers and refrigerate.

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