It's Your Money: Stretching your food dollar - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

It's Your Money: Stretching your food dollar

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MADISON (WKOW)--You can pull together a mouth-watering meal in minutes. The secret is keeping your pantry stocked with versatile staples, like seasoned rice vinegar.

"Well, seasoned rice vinegar is great because it already has sugar and salt so it just brings out the flavor from everything from stir fry veggies to great simple salad dressing.  This and a little bit of olive oil gets your salad dressed," says Susan Westmoreland, Food Director at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute.

Another big favorite is garlic paste; add a little to raw meat and you've got the beginnings of a gourmet burger or meatloaf.

Susan Westmoreland "Garlic paste is great for adding a little bit of flavor to everything from meatloaves to burgers. But, really it's wonderful to have in your fridge if your making dip or a salad dressing and you just need a little bit of garlic."

Bruschetta mix makes a great light sauce when you mix it with pasta and diced tomatoes. And it makes a great topping for Italian salads, too.

"We are going to toss in some bread cubes and some chopped tomato. Toss it and it's this really flavorful, delicious main dish.

All of these staples can be found at your local grocery store.

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