Friday, July 29, 2016

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers for the end of July

Friday

Chicken, vegetable and noodle skillet dinner
Fruit salad -- apples from our tree, blueberries from our garden and a banana in a dressing of plum liquid from stewed plums and homemade strawberry jam

Saturday

Homemade mushroom and black olive pizza
Fresh blackberries
Celery sticks

Sunday

Chicken soup, made with the leftover chicken and stock from Friday
Crackers and toast
Bananas

Monday

Vegetarian enchiladas, filled with rice, black beans, beet greens, garlic, onions and seasonings, topped with cheese/olives
Snow peas and carrots from our garden, raw, with homemade dip
Apple jello, made with old green kool-aid from pantry, lemon juice, gelatin, sugar, and added chopped apples from garden (apples that had been knocked off trees by squirrels. I cut off the bruises and chopped)
Blackberry cobbler

Tuesday

Leftover enchiladas
Leftover apple jello
Tossed salad
Leftover cobbler

Wednesday

Dinner at church, we had a taco bar and cookies

Thursday

Kale frittata topped with marinara sauce
Brown rice
Fresh apples, from our tree
Hot fudge pudding cake, topped with blackberry sauce (wild blackberries picked on our property)

Again, this week, I planned for an easy night, with making twice the amount of enchiladas that I normally make. Doing so gave me time to work on my knitting!

As I was watering the garden yesterday, I realized that we can get quite a lot for our meals, just here on our property, for the next 6 weeks. This should free up some of my grocery budget for stock-up items at Cash & Carry. For this month, I'm still below my budget. Of course, I still have some shopping to do later today. We'll see how I do by the end of the weekend.

On Wednesday, I worked in our church's kitchen helping to prepare the taco bar for about 100 members. I was working with 5 other ladies. It was interesting listening to them talk about some of the meals and foods they like to prepare. And it really drove home the truth that some folks cook frugally while others cook expensively. How we spend our money is an individual choice. As you all know, for me, I choose to cook frugally so that there is more money in other areas of our budget.

I hope your week went well, and you were able to keep cool. What were your favorite meals this past week? If you have a garden, what are you able to harvest right now? I'm still a few weeks away from tomatoes, but maybe we'll get green beans in a week.

Have a great weekend!

16 comments:

  1. I love your frugal meals! I have to start my meals rundown beginning on last Saturday.

    We had a chicken,summer squash casserole but I also wanted to test a recipe in the crockpot for my kids to use a smaller crockpot than what the recipe called for so I also made a chili bean vegetable soup.
    Sunday we had birthday meatloaf mashed potatoes and carrots.
    Monday was leftovers of any and all they could find.
    Tuesday was a cheap steak on the grill but by marinating and scoring it, I think it was fine.
    Wednesday was leftover steak and some mexican rice turned into tostados.
    Thursday was the last "old" potatoes, baked with meatballs in gravy with a fresh peach pie for dessert.
    Tonight is ???

    All meals had green beans served with them also since Dad gave me a bunch of them that were slightly overgrown so we ate those instead of freezing them.

    All good food!

    Alice

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    1. Hi Alice,
      Happy birthday to whoever the birthday meatloaf was honoring!! Everything from your week sounds delicious!

      Have a great weekend, Alice!

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  2. Favorite meal this week was roast, mashed potatoes and gravy with fried squash (some from our garden filled in with a couple from the farmer's market). Since we've started buying our beef by the half cow (in 2007), roast has become more special because there are a limited number in that half cow (and less than you might think!).

    From the garden? Harvested summer squash (plants are dying off due to squash bugs, despite me picking off their eggs) and tomatoes. Green beans are long done here due to the heat. I have one eggplant almost ready (first time ever!) and my son's watermelons are growing rapidly. One of the new chard plants has leaves big enough to use, and we've been getting an occasional Armenian cucumber, but the squash bugs are doing a number on those as well. :(

    I always love reading your menus as well as what all you bought for the month. I am still not and may never be on your level of frugality but it still inspires me to do better. :)

    Cat

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    1. Hi Cat,
      So about how many roasts do come from a side of beef? When I was at the farmer's market earlier this month, I was talking with a beef vendor who takes orders for sides and quarters. Just before my husband's salary was reduced 30%, I'd been looking into buying beef that way. It's been out of the question since, but I'm thinking about it again.

      Oh, such a shame about the squash bugs. So frustrating, isn't it? You get your heart set on certain produce items, only to lose them to pests. Good luck with the eggplants and watermelons, though! Those should be welcomed!

      Have a great weekend, Cat!

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  3. We were gifted a bunch of tomatoes, cucumbers & kale from our neighbors' garden. I was tickled with the food, of course, but more tickled that my neighbors made a connection with our family. We work at connecting with our neighbors, but it's not always reciprocated. Everyone is so busy these days. Anyhow, I changed up the menu plan to accommodate the kale. We had a ham & kale quiche one night. My daughter made up an oven marinara sauce with the tomatoes. I also had a huge freezer cooking day last Saturday. I hosted a birthday dinner for my sister here last night. So there was a lot going on on the food front here this week. Melissa

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    1. Hi Melissa,
      What a wonderful gift from your neighbors. The gift of friendship as well as the produce. It sounds like a lot of cooking at your house!

      Have a great day, Melissa!

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  4. Our meals were cold and refreshing for the most part, lots of salads for main dishes and cucumbers as side dishes. I think I will make a pasta salad for today as it sounds refreshing. It's so hot here we've been having rain pop up several days this week. I've already done the hotter chores outside today while it is still fairly cool.

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    1. Hi Belinda,
      Salads are such a cooling meal for dinner on a hot day. And I love that they can be made early in the day, before the house gets warm.

      Have a wonderful day, Belinda!

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  5. Because of hubby's health issues, we have been able to eat very frugally (you have to look at the bright side of things, right?) We have had rice with beans and salsa, rice with roasted veggies and a sauce, pasta with a white bean alfredo sauce (not sure if that recipe is a keeper), grilled chicken that had been in the freezer and zuchini practically every night since it is coming on fast and furious. I also made crockpot yogurt which turned out delicious and banana pudding with almost a gallon of milk that was left at hubby's work.

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    1. Hi Ruthie,
      Has it been difficult for your husband to give up some old favorite foods? My father had high cholesterol, and at one point had to give up red meat and high fat dairy foods. He was eating very lean, and eating some foods that he likely hadn't eaten much since his childhood (during the Great Depression). I think this was hard for him.

      What you prepared all sounds delicious to me! Have a great day, Ruthie!

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  7. This week our grandkids are over, so we are eating their favorites, honey spiral ham, shoyu chicken, lasagna (Costco readymade), and meatloaf. They will all be dropped off home on Saturday. This is their last hurrah before school starts, so we are planning activities and eating out every day. Today, we have bowling planned. I am going to suggest watching some bowling videos before heading out, to give them an idea how the game is played since we don't bowl at all. Our granddaughter is the only one familiar, yet she too couldn't believe bowling was a sport. I suggested googling "professional bowling". A few days ago, I suggested we play a scavenger hunt of finding outdoor objects, and taking Kindle pictures of the found objects. It first involves figuring out where they may see the object, so that's a lesson in reasoning. So far, they are not showing much interest and prefer more commercial activities. We tried miniature golf the other day, and they thoroughly enjoyed that. Even our youngest grandson was able to better himself after a few holes, so I was very pleased. This has been a very expensive week (we opened our purse stings wide) doing a mini vacation with the grandkids with the idea of creating some very nice lifelong memories for us all.

    Have a great weekend!!

    YHF

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    1. Hi YHF,
      You must have made wonderful memories for and with your grandkids! And isn't doing these things part of why you're living so frugally now? So you can enjoy times like these with your grandkids. Sounds fun!

      I hope your week is off to a great start!

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    2. Yes, exactly. Every time I see them, I renew my motivation to be frugal again, so we can enjoy spending the savings with our grandchildren. We know one day soon we won't see them often.

      However, I must say it is like culture shock stepping up the spending and winding back down. Yesterday, without our grandkids, we were back in frugality mode, bargain shopping and skipping lunch out.

      YHF

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  8. Cooking really has an individual style, doesn't it? Some are frugal cooks, some are expensive. Some follow recipes. Some just wing it. Some use local ingredients. Some use whatever's in the store. I'm sure it was an interesting discussion you had in the kitchen.

    For years, Ward and I washed dishes after our churches Wed. night dinners. How they were able to consistently cook such good food for so many people always amazed me.

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    1. Hi live and learn,
      Cooking for a crowd is something of a challenge. The hardest part, I think, is the planning how much of everything to buy. The gals who organized the planning end of things seem to know just about how much we need, which I found rather amazing. Like, with tacos, how many heads of lettuce does a group need to buy for making shredded lettuce for 100 people's tacos? We came pretty close on just about all of the ingredients. These are always fun nights.

      Have a wonderful day, live and learn!

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