“Uncrustables” & Homemade Croutons

On March 19th I hosted a Great Idea Day.  It is one of my very favorite link parties.  I am all about shortcuts, tips, tricks, and what works for others.

Sara from Best Thing Since Slice Bread shared the tip of making PB&J sandwiches ahead of time.  I absolutely loved the idea and actually had one of those “uncrustables” makers from Pampered Chef.  It works like a charm and saves me time when packing my son’s lunch for preschool.IMG_0062 So you spread the peanut butter on both sides of the bread.  That helps the jelly from soaking in and making the bread soggy and nasty.IMG_0060 Add jelly or in my case apple or pumpkin butter.  (See recipes here, and here).IMG_0061 Then do the magic with your sandwich maker (they sell versions of these at most grocery and chain stores).IMG_0063 Next I stick them in individual freezer bags and then put them in one big freezer bag and take them out when I need them. (I mark my bags so they come home with Isaac and I can reuse them…yes, I am cheap…but you already knew that).IMG_0065IMG_0066 Ok the part that bugged me what this…IMG_0053 What do you do with the scraps of bread?  We do feed them to the duckies…which is nice.  But why not croutons?!?!

I cut up the crust into little bite size pieces…IMG_0054 I mixed 4 tablespoons of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” with one teaspoon of garlic powder and some shakes of an Italian Blend Seasoning.IMG_0056 IMG_0055 Melt the butter and pour it on the bread pieces…IMG_0057 Shake it to spread out the garlic butter love. 🙂IMG_0058 Spread them out on an aluminum foiled covered jelly roll pan (easy clean up!) IMG_0059 Bake them for 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until they are all golden brown.IMG_0067 Cool and store in a Ziploc bag for up to three weeks in your pantry.  No waste, time saver, cheap PB&J….GREAT IDEA!

Mark your calendars…next Great Idea Day is July 9th.

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Comments

  1. SERIOUSLY???!!! This really is a GREAT idea! I love that you can use all of the food and not waste any of it! I love it!!!

  2. This is great! I love uncrustables…and what a great idea for the left overs! 🙂

  3. Amy {Design Intervention} says:

    you know….this is seriously one of those things where you say, "why didn't I think of that?" Fantastic idea – – -I think I am just going to make an entire loaf of bread into sandwiches for the kids, put them in the freezer, and then, I don't have to stop and take a break from sewing to make sandwichs! Hmmmm….now that I write that out, it makes me sound like a really bad mom who doesn't want to take a break to feed her children 😉

  4. Isn't that tool UHmaaaaazing. One of my favorites. PC has a smaller size too that I use for tea sandwiches. Never thought to make croutons with what I've called "duck food". Great idea!

  5. Two Dollars says:

    I assume it would still work with the crust left intact? I've never removed the crusts and the boys have never asked me to, so why start 😉

  6. gail@myrepurposedlife.net says:

    brilliant! great tips!
    love croutons!
    gail

  7. I'm going to have to get some kids, so I can make the sandwiches, just to have an excuse to make the croutons! Yum!

  8. Sarah Sarniak says:

    This is so genius! I don't have kids yet, but when I do, I'm totally doing this.

  9. thriftytickle says:

    Brilliant! I will be linking to this and looking forward to Great Idea Day!

  10. everythingnicole says:

    Love it! I use the leftovers to make "french toast bites" for breakfast the next morning. xoxo

  11. Oh man….I can't believe I never knew about P.C. cutter thing. Gotta get one! I've been buying uncrustables in bulk, but they are still $.50 each times 2 kids. I only use them when I'm rushed in the morning before work and need to pack lunches….spend money to make money….but still ouch.

    I'm not a big crouton eater, but yours look yummy!

  12. Kimberly says:

    oh my gosh. brilliant!!!!! I am going to buy one of those sandwich makers THIS SECOND and then I am going to make croutons, the NEXT SECOND. AWESOME!!!! (You just don't know how much I love croutons)

  13. Wow, that sounds like a great idea! I had no idea you could make PB&J ahead of time and freeze them. We HATE soggy sandwiches so have quit eating PB&J unless we are going to sit down and eat them immediately. In fact the boys don't eat condiments on any sandwiches aside from ketchup on a burger. Crazy, huh?

    Thanks for the great idea! Do these work well to seal pie crust to make hand pies?

  14. Amanda @ Serenity Now says:

    I have the PC sandwich maker thingie, and I think maybe I just wasn't using it correctly, b/c it always tears the bread. I LOVE your crouton recipe. 🙂

    • Hi- have a knife to trim any excess off the crust if it doesnt come off :o) that is what I do!

      Happy “un-crustable” making!!! LOL

      Mary

  15. Miss Megan says:

    i've made croutons before but i didn't know you could buy a tool to make the "uncrustables".. i know what i'll be searching for now :).. thank you!

    <3 megan.

  16. Annie Wilcox Designs says:

    My husband has a caniption everytime I make these sandwiches in bulk for the kids. Now he won't be able to complain because our salads will be zestier than they used to be. Way to go!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Great idea!:) You can get the Pampered Chef Cut-N-Seal at http://www.pamperedchef.biz/annahunnicutt under "shop online" and then "specialty cutting tools." It comes in super handy with kids!

  18. Miss Megan says:

    french toast bites you do as you would french toast.. dip the chunks in the egg, milk, and cinnamon batter and fry in a little butter in the pan.. then add butter and dust with powdered sugar :).. or atleast thats how i do it! good luck dear!

    <3 megan.

  19. Mom Taxi Julie says:

    I was thinking OMG what a waste of bread. Then you went and did the crouton thing. AWESOME!!

  20. Nina Patricia @ The Adventures of Nina Patricia says:

    You are one thrifty lady. I love this. Oh, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who reuses the bags 🙂

  21. Anonymous says:

    You aren't *really* cheap if you line your pans with foil!!! But it's a great idea. So they aren't soggy at all when they thaw? We have a "double dinosaur" sandwich maker I picked up at Walmart for less than $2. The kids love it!

  22. Treasured textiles says:

    I will be making these tonight!!!

  23. thriftytickle says:
  24. These really are some great ideas! I love the uncrustables, but for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, they are crazy expensive. The croutons from the leftover bread is genius! Thanks for sharing.

  25. I will NEVER buy croutons again. I love making them at home with the leftover ends of homemade bread. Sourdough, wheat, whatever, they are delicious. My kids would rather eat those over crackers. But I totally need to get one of those sandwich cutters. I love it.

  26. Amber Patteson says:

    I am so thankful for your frugal tip. I will stop wasting bread and time..:)thank you so much I love to learn how to be more frugal.

  27. We have been making homemade croutons for AGES. LOVE THEM! IMO you really need real butter, though. 😀 Blend in some fresh garlic to the butter, add a dash of garlic salt, basil and parmesan cheese. Mmmmm. 😀

    • Thanks for visiting IC! Yah I love real butter but I try and cut back anyway I can lately. GAH…I hate having to watch it!

    • I often make homemade croutons too, but instead of butter, I use butter flavored cooking spray (Pam or other). Lay the pieces of bread on my pan, spray with butter flavored spray, sprinkle with garlic and italian seasoning and bake! They taste wonderful and much fresher than store bought.

      Also, if you have a Jimmy Johns close by they sell their day old bread loaves for .25 to .50. Not only are these still good enough for a homemade sandwich, but these make delicious croutons!

  28. Amber Ballard says:

    Awesome idea! My son is deathly allergic to peanut butter, but I am going to use his ‘wow butter’ (soy butter-looks just like peanut butter) to make these!

  29. I want to try this, but I’m wondering if the sandwiches are soggy when they thaw? Do you just take them out of the freezer and let them thaw out?

  30. don’t have one of the sandwichers (yet). Will make french toast bites. Another thought for the croutons is using ‘poultry seasoning’ or similar. Think homemade ‘stove top’ without the double packaging bag and box.

  31. I just made these last night….how easy!!
    I used whole wheat bread, homemade jam, and a round cutter with a fork to crimp the edges….they look fantastic and my kids are so excited to pack them in their lunchboxes 🙂

  32. Great idea! I’ve never bought Uncrustables because it seemed so silly to pay so much for something so simple and cheap. Glad to see the extra bread wasn’t wasted. Another idea is what my 91 yo mom taught me as I was growing up…She always kept a bread bag in the freezer for bits and pieces of leftover bread end, crusts, cornbread, biscuits, that leftover roll, etc. Once the bag was full, she made chicken and dressing (or stuffing, depending on where you live!). She also made a wonderful stuffed flank steak, rolled around stuffing, tied and baked.

  33. Does this work as well if you don’t use the snadwich maker & leave the crust on? I would love to try this. & can you freeze more than 1 in a bag? Thanks so much for the great ideas!!!

  34. I made the croutons last night with the crust my child doesn’t eat, and the ends of the loaf of bread! We use whole wheat, and it turned out sooo good! We couldn’t stop nibbling on them!…lol…Thanks for the crouton tip! 🙂

  35. brandi pitts says:

    I have a 2 piece cutter from WonderBread that cuts the crust off and then the inside piece seals the edges. It makes squares so it actually uses a bit more of the bread leaving just the crust which makes great bread crumbs.

  36. This is one of the best ideas ever! I usually buy bread at Sam’s Club where two come in a package, but felt bad when the second loaf was not as fresh when it was used. That second loaf now has a purpose!! It will be made into “uncrustables” which even my teens still like!

  37. You can also save up the cut up crust and us it for french toast casserole. I’ve saved the crusts from a few batches in the freezer and made the casserole when I had enough saved up. 🙂

  38. You are an inspired mom! I have never heard of uncrustables before! When I first saw the start of the article I thought you would be wasting the crusts, but of course instead you make them into yummy croutons. I think this post resonates with so many people because so many of us hate the crusts on sliced bread!

Trackbacks

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