I am all about saving some money! On Halloween, a friend posted that he had just carved a pumpkin. Immediately my spidey-senses were tingling! He was planning to come for dinner the next day, so I asked him if I could have his leftover jack o' lantern. He readily agreed, and I was very excited about the prospect of fresh pumpkin! To prepare it, since I use it mainly for baked goods, I carved Jack up into smaller pieces and laid them skin side down onto two baking sheets. Then, I added some water to the pans - just enough to barely cover the bottom. I baked them at 400° until the house smelled really good and the pumpkin was tender. After cooling them for a bit, I used a spoon to scrape the meat out into my food processor. When I needed a touch of water to loosen up the mixture, I used what was left in the baking sheets. To freeze it, I divided the pumpkin into 1/2 cup containers since my favorite recipes call for 1/2 cup or whole cup amounts. All in all, I ended up with over 8 cups of pumpkin! After pricing canned pumpkin at the store, I saved about $12, depending on the brand/sales. My first project was to make a double batch of Jeni's Pumpkin Bread, which I baked into muffins plus one loaf.
It just goes to show that with a little ingenuity and a bit of hard work, you can save a lot of money!