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May 10th, 2022 at 06:58 am
I haven't bought much in the way of clothes since before the pandemic and most of what I've bought since it started was underclothes. My daughter and I both were sorely in need of some new clothes, me so more than her. I've been sewing up a lot of seams. Woman Within has been having a 50% off on most items this week and today was the last day of the sale, so I bit the bullet and bought.
For myself I got 4 tank tops, 1 t-shirt, 1 blouse, 3 shorts with pockets, 1 sundress and 1 short-sleeved dress, and a swimsuit. I color coordinated the tops with the shorts, plus I have a black pair and a navy pair already that haven't worn out, so those will go with everything, too. DD got 5 t-shirts (she got tank tops last year and won't wear shorts), 1 dress, and 1 swim top, since her swim bottoms are still okay. Only her dress and my swimsuit were not on the 50% off sale. Shipping and handling and taxes brought the total to $644.48. Without those it was $543.31. I think we did fairly well for plus size clothing.
The swimsuit I have is fine for going in the hot tub or the ocean when I'm not around people except DH, but I always have to wear a shirt if I'm up close with people in a pool or lake because it's a bit low cut, as most suits with good bra support are, and that cuts down my mobility. But when you are having physical therapy in a swimming pool, and the male therapist is standing above you on the deck, it makes me uncomfortable.
I finally found a higher scoop neck suit that does not have crisscross straps in the back and still has a built in bra. I can't put on or take off crisscross straps or suits that fasten behind the neck due to the rheumatoid arthritis in my shoulders. I've looked for years for a suit like this. And as I get older I find my modesty has increased, so this will be my public suit and the other will be for private.
It will be nice to have some new dresses. My favorite dress has faded after so many years of washing, plus it is heavy weight for a sundress. It also has ties and again, because of my shoulders, I cannot tie behind my back anymore or untie it, either. So that puts me down to one wearable summer dress in my current size. I have no winter dresses, although I used to wear the faded one with a turtle neck or sweater and some leggings in the cold season. And the one is very loosy goosy so it will be easy to wear over my swimsuit and then to put on again after physical therapy.
It was a big spend and I still would like to get two more t-shirts, but I really couldn't find any styles or patterns I liked and I didn't want to get the same pattern on a t-shirt that I have on a tank top. It would bother my OCD. A lot. I am really glad to be getting some new things. I'm tired of the same four shirts and four tank tops I've had for years. Now I can interchange them with some fresh new colors and patterns.
I also took DD to the eye doctor to get new glasses and she found some with octagon-shaped frames. She was okay with the color, but she really liked another color that they come in that they didn't have at the store. It was too late to get a hold of the manufacturer to see if they had any green ones in stock, but he will call in the moring after he gets a hold of them. If the don't have the green ones, she will just get the champagne ones. I really hope they have the green ones. They are so pretty in comparison. They put the champagne ones on hold just in case.
The copay for the exam was $10 and the glasses will run $259 after insurance. I thought they would cost a lot more, so I was happily surprised.
March 10th, 2022 at 12:31 am
I am almost well enough to get my third booster shot now. Actually I can't tell if I am still sick or if it is just allergies starting, because there has been pollen on my windshield for the past several days. I still feel really tired, but I'm functional. I have started taking my more serious antihistimine, though.
The last few days have been beautiful and in the 50's. There is still a chilly wind, though. It is nice even if it still isn't outdoors weather. I'm not sure what is causing all the pollen. The nearest daffodils are 4 blocks away and the forsythia haven't started yet. That basically leaves crocus and no one in the neighborhood but us has them and there are only a dozen blooming. Not enough to count for the pollen dump.
It looks like the guy who is going to do the mold abatement in the guys' bathroom and repaint it will start next week. He's also going to do the alcove of the back door area and the room Mom watches tv in that also houses my piano.
I've been holding steady on my weight because I haven't been focused on weight loss while sick. I also haven't been taking my cinzia, because I am not supposed to while ill. I think I can restart it on the weekend. I haven't really noticed any increased rheumatoid symptoms getting worse, but that may be because the weather is warming up.
I looked at all the grocery ads today and made up my shopping list. I haven't been inside a grocery store in a long time. DH has been doing the shopping, picking up little things here and there. But I need to do a bigger shop. Fred Meyer had the best ads this week, so that will be my main shop, but I think I will also go to Winco. They never have ads, but they always have the best produce and best produce prices. We've made it through all the potatoes we grew that weren't sprouted and it's the only place I know where I can get 20 lb bags of potatoes. We're lucky if we can find anything above 5 lbs anymore. Since potatoes are pretty much a staple of our diet I just want to buy the one big bag at a time.
We'll see how far my grocery dollars will stretch. I have been debating about raising my grocery budget by $100 every 2 weeks, but first I want to see if it is necessary. It'll really depend on the cost of chicken. Which I'll likely get at Winco, because they always have the cheapest chicken prices. They also have the turkey chorizo we like. Since chicken doesn't go on sale anymore, that's where I need to go. I don't need to buy pork except for a small ham. I don't need to buy beef or lamb. If I can find dark turkey parts (necks, wings, backs) either place for cheap, I'll buy those. They make the best broth. I might even go for chicken feet if I find them, because that is so much collagen for bone broth.
I have found the tomato strainer I want to buy and also the honey strainer. I won't use the honey strainer for honey, but it will help in the tomato sauce making department as well as in the bone broth making process, since it is fine enough to catch all the spices that I use in making it instead of having to use cheese cloth, which is harder to clean.
I have been debating on buying a 25 pound bag of hard red wheat berries. I have my own flour mill, and the wheat is from my state and non-gmo. This is the type of wheat berry that will make whole wheat flour. I might get a bag of hard white wheat, too, which is for white flour. Soft white wheat, if anyone cares, is for making pastry flour. Wheat berries last a lot longer than flour and these ones are sproutable, so if we wanted to grow it (which I don't) we could.
It's a little $2.24 a pound. 1 cup of wheat berries equals to cups of flour, so it would be like $1.12 a pound for flour. Which you cannot get anymore. Not to mention, we haven't been able to find whole wheat flour in months. So 50 lbs of flour per bag without taking up the room of 50 lbs of flour. I would have to figure out how to store it, though. I haven't been able to find food grade 5 gallon buckets in about a year. But I have found 1/2 gallon and gallon jars, so maybe I can store it in those.
I won't order until I know DH will be back to bring it in the house. DS has tweaked his back getting my mom up off the floor yesterday. Just what he needed, since he tweaked his back about six weeks ago. Mom's okay, but this is the second time in a week she has fallen. I'm trying to get her to go to the doctor, but she's refusing. I may have to pull out my medical power of attorney documents and force the issue if it keeps happening. We'll see.
Well, it's time to make dinner, so that wraps this up.
February 10th, 2021 at 04:13 am
Every year I make up a food preservation plan, which is an overarching pantry plan, really. I keep the previous year's plans so I can see what I planned before, what I actually achieved, and what I might want to do more or less of. This includes a canning plan, a dehydrating plan, a freezer plan, and a long-term staples plan. It's really quite in depth and when I make them up, I feel like I've got a really good handle on things for the coming year.
This year I will need to fill 1,316 jars, 626 quart jars, 28 pint and a half jars, 573 pint jars, and 89 pint and a half jars. I have around 750 reusable canning lids, but will need to buy more and maybe some metal ones if I can find them. I prefer metal ones for waterbath canning, but reusable for pressure canning. They are supposed to be back in stock now, but there was huge shortage during 2020 due to people growing and canning a lot more food because they were worried about food shortages. I think I have enough jars, but if I need to, I can store the culinary herbs, medicinal herbs, and teas I grow in take out soup containers or spaghetti sauce jars.
Knowing how much I want to do, helps me to plan how much of what I am going to plant in the garden, how much freezer space I will need, and how many mylar bags and food grade buckets I need to have on hand, and of course the aforementioned jars and lids.
All of this, if I can achieve it, should cut our grocery spending by half. That is assuming a good growing season and a good harvest year. It is worth it to me even though it is a lot of work. When you have to eat gluten free and you don't want a ton of processed food in your diet, and you prefer organic, you have to find other ways of doing things so you can actually afford all that.
In my case, it turns me into a prepper, at least with food. Not a crazy one, mind you, but like what our grandparents and great grandparents did, because they had to. I will be most comfortable, especially in these days of pandemic, to have a year's supply on hand. That is my ultimate goal. We have been building it back since the year we had to use it almost all up when DH was unemployed for 10 months.
Anyway, if you would like to see my 2021 Food Preservation Plan I made a video of it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iDcIjsSbTI
Maybe it will be helpful to anyone else who wants to build their own plan. Mine is for a family of four adults.
January 21st, 2021 at 05:16 am
Today I had a dentist appointment. I had to have 4 bitewing x-rays, and then had a cleaning and an exam. Everything looks great, but there might be the start of a chip on one of the pointy bits of the tooth behind the incisor. So we'll have to watch. I wear a mouth guard, but I still grind my teeth like crazy. It mitigates the damage, but doesn't always stop it. Since there is a $50 deductible for the year, plus we have to pay for a portion of the bitewings, it ended up costing $88. This comes out of our FSA debit card, which we are free to use up to the full amount for the year and they deduct pre-tax from DH's paycheck every payday through the year.
After that I came straight home and got here about ten minutes before my son's follow up appointment with the doctor. Right now he is doing a blind study and ADHD meds. Unfortunately they put them all in dark purple capsules so you can't see through them. DS is allergic to dyes, so it is affecting him somewhat, regardless of whatever is in the capsule. He is having to live on dye free Waldryl and we have to monitor him closely for the rest of the study in case he starts to have suicidal thoughts or violent mood swings. The pills themselves, if he gets put on one, will be white.
It is so weird to see some of the issues arising from his past that had been cured by cutting artificial dyes and artificial sweetners out of his diet. I think he must be on the placebo this week, though. There is no increase in focus. If anything, he is more spacey than usual. And he's pacing a lot. At least the placebos and actual drugs are gluten free so he doesn't have to deal with that on top of everything else.
The eat from the pantry challenge is still going great. Tonight for dinner I made French Onion Chicken. I haven't made it in a long time, but it is still as amazing as the first time I made it. And while it is time-consuming, it is simple, and a lot of the wait time I was just on my computer so it went by pretty fast. It is definitely not a set it and forget it meal. But it was so yummy and I even dipped my broccoli in the broth, which added so much to it.
I did alter it slightly because I did not have Muenster or Gryere cheese. I used Jarlsberg, because that is what I had on hand. I thought I had Gryere and in a normal month I would have just sent DH to get some, but instead I made do. The Jarlsberg gave it a slightly different, but nice flavor.
I cut up some extra onion while I was at it so there is about one onion's worth of slices in the fridge ready for some recipe later in the week. I also had to shred the Jarlsberg for this recipe, so I went ahead and did a big brick of parmesan and a big wedge of Romano. They have been in the fridge for a long time, so it was nice to use what I had and put it in a more accessible form for meals in the upcoming weeks.
We did do a little bit of grocery spending, though. My husband got my daughter some Simply Cheetos and some Dietz and Watson deli ham and then 2 loaves of bread. We agreed at the start of the challenge that bread was one of things we were going to buy and that we would allow a couple things for my daugher post surgery, so the ham and the Simply Cheetos were for her. We've found that the Simply Cheetos quell her nausea.
The ham was just so she could get something easy without help from others if she woke up in the middle of the night and wanted to eat something. She wakes up when the pain meds wear off and then likes to eat a little something with the pain pills so she is not taking them on an empty stomach.
That came to $24.24 of grocery spending so far this month. I may end up spending another $25 this month, because we are out of oranges and I started the last head of lettuce and possibly milk. We still have half a gallon and we don't really drink milk, we just use it in things or on cereal. I really would like to be able to put $750 in the beef envelope out of a $800 monthly grocery budget. Even $700 would make me very happy.
August 14th, 2018 at 09:31 pm
I think I am really going to like this two week meal planning/shopping business. I just have to plan really well, but if we can stay out of the grocery store I can definitely see the savings adding up. I think next time I will do an even better job, but I am just happy I came under budget and will still be able to have some pretty delicious, varied, spectacular meals.
Teriyaki/BBQ chicken wings (Instant Pot)
Green beans (garden)
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Shrimp Scampi (Instant Pot)
Green Beans (garden)
Chicken Fettucine Alfredo (Instant Pot)
Bell Peppers and Onions
All cooked together in the Instant Pot
Beef Cross Rib Roast
Green Beans (garden)
Penne Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Zucchini
All cooked together in the Instant Pot
Fried Potatoes and Peppers
July 11th, 2018 at 12:45 am
DD and I went mattress shopping today. We found a mattress and originally it was going to cost us $763, but we ended up getting it for $740, because the guy did not have any cash in the store. I had 10 $100 bills to pay for it and he asked if I had any other money. He asked if I had any twenties. Well, I had a twenty in my allowance envelope and I twenty in my household envelope so I told him I had two 20's. He didn't ask if I had any other money, which I did, but I wasn't going to volunteer it to see what he would do. So he ended up giving it to us for $740. Salesmen know that if you walk out of the store without buying they may not get you back in the door again.
He said usually he has cash in the store, but everyone who bought mattresses today paid in cash. He's so used to everyone paying by credit card or financing, that the small amount of cash he keeps on hand was wiped out. He even checked his wallet! It's his store so he can do that.
I wonder what he would have done if I hadn't had it. Maybe he would have knocked it down to $700. Maybe I should have hemmed and hawed, but I felt like $23 off was a nice discount already and I did have lower bills, even if I did have to rob another envelope. Now I will have to straighten that out, but I will have to break one of the $100's before I do.
We used some of the $5000 MIL gave us to make this purchase. DD has been having major back issues on the garbage bed she's been using. Hopefully the new bed will improve things. I know it did for me and for my son when we got new mattresses in the last couple of years.
We got a call from the endocrinologists office and they are getting DD in on the 24th of July. It was their first available emergency appointment and she's on a wait list for if someone cancels. Usually it takes 3 to 4 months to get into this guy, but after he looked at her test results he wanted to get her in quickly, hence the "emergency" appointment.
So even though no one has actually explained the test results to us yet, they are clearly significant. From what we were able to decipher online from our copy of the report, there is stuff wrong with her pituitary, her adrenals, and then of course the hypothyroidism. So two weeks and maybe she can start getting proper treatment for everything and maybe she can start functioning as a human being again.
Two weeks feels like a long time right now, but in medical time it is very fast. If I had gotten the message a little sooner we would have been able to get her in tomorrow, but between the time the front desk guy called and she called back it had been filled. Oh, well.
I have surgery on my toe tomorrow anyway. I am having the toenail root killed on the inside of my big toe because of all the reoccurring ingrown toenails I get. I've had one of the smaller ones done, and it destroys a small sliver of the nail bed so that the toenail just doesn't grow back along that part. It has worked wonders for the other toe. So I will likely be out of commission around here for a day or so and then be limping along for a few days before it is fine again. They do cut out the portion of the nail that has already grown, so that is why it'll mess me up for a bit.
Maybe tomorrow I'll give in and do take out. We have enough money right now to do so, I've just been holding on to it. If it is intentional spending I feel okay about it. It's the "I'm too tired or too lazy to cook," that is the problem. Not a planned for take out meal. We'll see how I feel once the lidocaine wears off.
May 27th, 2018 at 12:00 am
One of the things Amy Dazcyzan recommends in the Tightwad Gazette books is to make a price book. I have never done this and I really never considered doing it before today, but it would have really come in handy these last two weeks when making up the grocery list, so today I sat down with as many receipts as I could still find and started making a spreadsheet with the prices of everything that would fall under either groceries or household expenses.
This way when I make up my grocery list I will know approximately how much everything costs so I can make sure I am coming in under budget, give or take a sale or two. I will also know which store has the better price on what, though I pretty much have that in my head already. It will also let me know if I need to bump a staples purchase to a different week or if I have enough in the household budget for whatever purchase I want to make that week.
I always thought it would be a tedious process, and it probably would be if I were doing it by hand, but typing it into a spreadsheet is easy enough. I put everything in alphabetical order, and then if I need to add anything new I can just insert a sheet row in the appropriate spot and still keep it in order. I do love modern technology.
I think it may be time for me to put the Tightwad Gazette books on hold again at the library. I am in a way different place than when I've read them each time before, much more heavily focused on the food budget and budgeting more tightly in general. I've learned something new with each read and I think that was because I was open to something different each time.
Oh, also, I am going to venture into cooking with lentils. I am looking for some good recipes that do not have beef, lamb, or pork in them. Most of them seem to be made with ham and she can't eat that much fat. Chicken or turkey or fish are okay and so is vegetarian. Lentils are a protein my daughter can eat (and likes) without fear of it upsetting her gall bladder, or in the aftermath of having it taken out. I just found out that Thrive Life has lentils, too, so I added a #10 can to my monthly order. If she likes those ones, then I'll get a bucket.
May 15th, 2018 at 06:20 pm
I don't usually buy books, but I made a book purchase on Saturday. Yes, my library does have this book, but I was 13th on the waiting list. High demand books mean that people can only keep them out 2 weeks instead of 3, but that was still looking at a possibility of 26 weeks before I could read it, assuming people turned it in on time. Most people don't.
So I handed over my cash, $27.51, to the young man at B&N, who tried to sell me a membership card, but no. I don't buy books often enough to earn back and then benefit from the savings. What book did I buy, you may be asking by now? Well, I finally gave in and decided to read Dave Ramsey. I bought The Total Money Makeover.
I have been avoiding Dave Ramsey for the last 12 years, to be honest. Yes, I did do a debt snowball, but I didn't know about it from reading him. I just figured doing it like that would make me feel like I was making progress faster. Yes, I did build and keep a $1000 emergency fund before doing it, but that was on advice from people here, not based on his method. Although it probably was, since a lot of you have read him. But I wasn't going to.
It wasn't that I thought he was bad or anything. I just didn't want to give up my paid off credit cards. Well, I did give up some of them, but we still have 5. We pay them off in full each month. But...oh, and here's the big but, I've been feeling for a while that we weren't using them responsibly enough, because they are just too easy to use.
But my chiropractor's office plays Dave Ramsey and I kept hearing him on my visits. And then he came up in my suggested videos on youtube. God has been putting things in my path right now that I have been struggling to deal with. Dave is just the last in a line.
First I was struggling with tithing while still in debt to my mother and my internet preacher answered a question on tithing. Then I was concerned that I lacked motivation, but in getting the spending back under control and in doing my five times a week Bible study. Then I was struggling with forgiveness for DH's sister and nieces over the stuff they pulled at Thanksgiving.
Forgiveness was in the next lesson and in such a way that it heals the person who forgives, not the one who holds on to the anger. Doesn't mean I'm willing to have holidays with them, but I might be able to at least see them now. So I asked for help about the budget and in walks Dave Ramsey, so to speak.
So I just finished reading the book last night. It took me 3 days. And I figured out how come I felt that way about credit cards. It's because we just buy what we need with no thought to it. And because I know we will pay it off each month in full, I haven't really been sticking to a budget when it comes to groceries and household expenses or clothing or eating out.
And with these bad habits getting out of hand, things felt tight every month and I didn't feel like I could possibly make payments on the loan to Mom, the only debt we have left. So I sat down and made up a better budget and if we actually stick to it, then yes, I can start paying Mom at least $500 a month.
DH's mother just gave us $1000. We had thought to put it in the Emergency Fund, but I think instead, we will use it to get current. The next two paydays will pay off what we have left on the credit cards before they are due and then we will go down to simply charging the auto pays, which total $407.50. It might be a little lower, but I am allowing $50 for Ting. We don't always go that high, some months we are lower, but we have never been above it, so that is what I put in the budget. But we won't use the credit card for anything else. Nothing but the auto pays. And we will use paypal from our bank account for online purchases, but not until we've had a moratorium on online purchases for six months or so.
I have also budgeted $1000 for groceries/household. I do think I can keep it lower than that, but I haven't been. Since I track my spending, more or less, I know I haven't. We are switching to cash for that. I will start with putting $250 in the groceries envelope. I figure $200 for groceries and $50 for household. Maybe I should break it down into two envelopes, except I usually buy household stuff when I go grocery shopping. We'll see. I know I need to get toilet paper, deodorant, and quart size Ziplocs, which will take up a good share of that $50.
I have transferred all the auto pays to one card, and as soon as the last little bit on the AMEX is paid off, I am going to cut it up and cancel it. I was just using it for Netflix and Hulu. I am also going to cancel my Best Buy card and no longer do any 18 or 12 month same as cash deals. I paid off the last one with part of our tax return. Instead I will be saving up money in a computer fund, though that won't start for a while.
I am not sure I am ready to cut the cord completely with credit cards, but I can't see having more than 3. One is the miles card, which DH will need if he starts working in Alaska again and has to fly all the time. He usually got 2 free flights a year, sometimes 3, so it definitely was worth it. Then there is the one my daughter is a signer on. Then there is the Costco Citi card, but I am not sure if that is going to be worth keeping yet. Without charging all of our groceries and gas, the amount of cash back will dramatically drop, and that was the only reason I got it in the first place.
My head knows that the best thing for us to do is to get rid of all but one card, but I am scared to do it. Mostly because the EF is not where I want it to be. I know you aren't supposed to use credit cards as a back up EF, but you know what 2016 and 2017 were like for us. If we had run out of money at least we would have had those cards to fall back on, which of course, is exactly that attitude I'm not supposed to have.
I knew Dave would let me have it over these ideas and I wasn't wrong. It sure has shown me what I need to work on and try to not rely so much on my security gland ruling what I do.
So next, I go back to an envelope, pay with cash system, except for those auto pays. I am looking into whether or not there are ways to pay them without paying by card. I think you can pay both Netflix and Hulu through paypal, but I'm not 100% sure. I think we can put storage on direct withdrawal, but I don't know about Ting. I haven't been able to find anything about Ting. But one of the reasons I really like doing auto pays on the credit card is so that I only have one due date to worry about, not an additional five. Right now I only have two to worry about and they come out on the same day.
So I will fund this coming payday's grocery/household envelope with $250.00 from the gift money, so all the money in the paycheck can go for the tithe and the Citi card.
I have already handed DH an envelope marked vending for the vending machines at work with $7 in ones that I had in my purse. He is to get $25 a month to use in the vending machines at work (he's been charging them). This gives him a little over $1 a day and the charge is 85 cents, so anything left at the end he can spend or set aside and save it for something he wants. Or he can save it all and quit using the vending machine altogether.
I will also have my own $25 envelope for something I want to do. I have no idea what I want to do with it, but sometimes just saving makes me happy.
I really would like to be able to squeeze out more than $500 a month to pay Mom. It might be $100, it might be $25, who knows? But whatever I can throw at it. She won't like getting weird amounts, but I don't care. It is not up to her how much I pay back at a time. It is up to DH and me.
As soon as we know what is going on in June with the job, I can decide what to do with the Emergency Fund. If I want to bump it down to $1000 and pay Mom with the rest or if we need to keep it there in case of possible job loss. It is scary to keep it at just $1000, but Dave says it keeps you more driven to pay off the debt so you can build the EF up to 3 to 6 months of expenses.
I get it. I get everything Dave says. I think I'm in the stage where I am not yet drinking the Kool-Aid, but I have read the ingredients and directions on the package and started preparing the beverage. He has his baby steps and I have mine. I do want to get there. And I want to get there fast, so time to put our heads down and start pushing that stone uphill.
March 26th, 2018 at 01:26 am
I have gotten away from meal planning lately and I do think it is a big factor on why we are getting too much take out, so I am going to get back to it. If I hadn't gotten my Power Pressure Cooker for my birthday I think we'd be getting even more take out. That thing makes it so easy to cook. I couldn't afford the Instant Pot that I wanted, but I could afford the 8 quart Power cooker that I got.
So far I've been quite happy with the decision and Instant Pot recipes are easily converted. I do want to get some of the inserts, though, so I'm saving up for those. I also do want to get the $400 Instant Pot one day, but that day is not going to be any time soon.
I think at least four meals a week are being cooked in the pressure cooker. Sometimes the full meal or sometimes I'll make baked potatoes or some other vegetable in the Nuwave oven. These two products alone have really simplified my life, not having an actual oven or stove to cook on. The electric skillet and the crock pot get some use as well, but the first two are my go to machines right now. Well, that and the microwave for steamer bags or canned veggies.
Discovering I can make spaghetti and other pastas in the pressure cooker has just simplified my life so much. Not to mention cooking a roast in less than an hour. Or a lava cake using Swerve instead of sugar. Anyway, I hope making a meal plan again will snap me out of some of the bad habits I have fallen back into.
Spaghetti and Meatballs (PC)
Enchiladas (Freezer Meal)
Pork Roast (PC)
Broccoli and Cauliflower
Chicken Fajitas (Crockpot Freezer Meal)
Air-fried Duck Breast (NW)
BBQ Pork Chops (PC)
Baked Potatoes (NW)
Lamb Roast (PC)
Baked Potatoes (NW)
March 21st, 2018 at 01:13 am
Laura was asking about frugal meals. For breakfast we eat a lot of egg variations, because eggs are still the cheapest thing we can buy, really. Or get for free from our ducks.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jl9orZD6JR4
Right now I'm on a baked omelet kick, where I just spray a mini-meatloaf tin and add two beaten eggs, 3 tbsp of vegetables, 1 to 3 tbsp of cheese and 2 tbsp of meat. I use up a lot of leftover veg this way. You can make them in large size muffin tins (not cupcake size) if you are making multiples.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes. It really depends on your oven for the time. In my Nuwave it takes 20 minutes and in my gas oven it takes 30 minutes. I imagine an electric oven is somewhere in between. Stick a toothpick in the center and check that it comes out clean and that is when it is done.
My favorite variations:
2 eggs, 3 tbsp pico de gallo, 2 tbsp sausage, 1 tbsp sharp cheddar, salt and pepper
2 eggs, 3 tbsp chopped broccoli and cauliflower, 2 tbsp diced ham, 1 tbsp sharp cheddar, salt, and pepper
2 eggs, 1 tbsp chopped tomato, 1 tbsp diced green bell pepper, 1 tbsp diced onion, 2 tbsp diced ham, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper
2 eggs, 1 diced green onion, 2 tbsp leftover or canned salmon or tuna, 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper
2 eggs, 3 tbsp leftover taco meat, 2 tbsp Mexi-blend cheese
2 eggs, 2 tbsp ground beef seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper, 1 tbsp diced Anaheim chili pepper, 1 tbsp diced red bell pepper, 1 tbsp diced red onion, salt and pepper
To make this easier on me, I will dice up a bunch of ham or cook a pound of sausage or ground beef and then flash freeze them flat on a cookie sheet for a couple of hours so they don't stick together, before bagging them up and leaving them in the freezer. That way I can easily measure out as much as I need the night before and it will be thawed by morning. I also have my containers of chopped veggies done up, so I can just mix and match in the morning. I am watching my carbs, so this is basically what I always eat, sometimes with additional veggies. For the rest of the family I have other options.
Another cheap breakfast we do is breakfast burritos. It is rather simple to do up a huge batch. It requires 24 eggs and 2 pounds of sausage. Brown the sausage, beat the eggs (I use my stand mixer because this is a lot of eggs), and pour the eggs over the sausage. Stir until done. If you don't have a large enough skillet for this, cut the recipe in half and do two batches.
Take a tortilla, spoon some filling in, add the cheese of your choice and roll once, fold one end up, finish the roll, and then wrap in aluminum foil. Freeze in gallon size ziplocs. This recipe will fill 4 bags. We keep one in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. When we run out we take another bag out the night before. My husband likes to dip his in picante sauce or salsa. I did this one for my youtube channel so if you'd like to watch it done here it is:
Scrambled egg sandwiches are another. You simply scramble your egg, butter a slice of bread, spoon the egg into it and fold the bread in half. It is simple, but amazingly good (even on cheap, ordinary bread).
Pancakes and waffles are something that can be made ahead and frozen individually so they don't stick together and then bagged up for the freezer. They can be warmed up from frozen or you can just take them out the night before and then warm them up. You can use mix, but they are simple and cheaper to make from scratch. Add some hard-boiled eggs and you have your protein as well. French toast also lends itself to make ahead and freeze and is very simple to large batch cook.
Breakfast is probably the easiest meal to save money on if you don't mind some repetition. I think lunches and dinners are more of a challenge, but I will go through my recipe binder and see what I come up with. Since we buy so much in bulk off of farms and raise some of our food ourselves, it is harder for me to figure what other people's costs are. But I do have some that I think will fit the bill.
January 6th, 2018 at 05:25 pm
Alliecat's plan with the ham this week got me thinking on ways I stretch food as well. I do this a lot, it is pretty automatic these days. So I thought I'd list what we do to stretch meals.
I like to build dinners around a large, whole chicken, one that is five or six pounds. The first night I will roast the whole chicken and we eat the dark meat and wings for dinner with potatoes and green beans. The second night I will make enchiladas or quesadillas with some of the leftover white meat chicken and serve that with rice and salad. Then I will pick the bones clean and take a cup of diced chicken and make chicken-fried rice, and the fourth night I make broth with the bones all day, strain it, pick any remaining chicken off the bones, and then make chicken noodle soup or chicken and dumplings soup, adding in another cup of diced chicken that I'd saved from the carcass.
Another good one is a large pot roast where you eat regular roast the first night (save your juice from cooking) with potatoes and carrots, French dip sandwiches the second night with the juice you saved for dipping mixed with a little bouillion), then shred up half the remainder and mix it with teriyaki sauce and honey and serve over rice and then dice the rest and make roast beef hash the fourth night. I generally make extra potatoes the first night to be used in hash, so I'm only cooking them once.
With a pork roast you can eat a third of it the first night and pull the rest of it with some barbecue sauce to make pulled pork sandwiches and then bbq pork pizza, and pulled pork with cheese in tortillas wrapped like a burrito. You can even add a can of beans and a 4 oz can of diced green chile pepeprs to the last one to extend it further and change the flavor up some more if you like those things.
With ham, of course we eat off it one day, make warm ham sandwiches the next day, dice up the leftovers and use them in omelets, on pizzas, and in stir-fried rice. Anything we can't use in the first few days we freeze in dices. I've even made up TV dinners with ham, mashed potatoes and ham gravy, and green beans and frozen them for those nights when I don't feel like cooking.
What are ways you all stretch food to cut your grocery expenses?