Friday, August 12, 2016
Cheap & Cheerful Suppers with a full garden
Grilled cheese sandwiches and apple wedges
Black bean and chicken soup, topped with
Broken tortilla chips and cheddar cheese
Kale, olive and mushroom frittata smothered in marinara sauce
French bread and butter
Garden potatoes, pan-fried
Beet greens and Swiss chard sauteed with shallots and garlic in bacon fat
Apple and pear salad
Leftover blackberry pie
Leftover bean burgers
Chocolate cake squares
A church dinner and speaker -- we had a chicken and pasta dish, green salad and garlic bread
Black beans and rice skillet dinner
Sauteed garden kale and cabbage
Pickled beet salad
It's been another week of lots of garden produce. I used cabbage, kale, Swiss chard, garlic, shallots, beets, carrots, apples, pears, blackberries, green beans, potatoes, and various herbs from our garden this week. This means I've not done much in the way of grocery shopping, in over a week. I've spent just under $50 on food, for the month of August, so far. The only difficulty is harvesting and cleaning the garden vegetables. They don't come out of the ground all clean and perfect!
I'm also quite busy these days. Some days, dinner isn't all that much. I try to make up for it by cooking lots on the other days.
I hope your week went well, and you're enjoying lots of summer produce. What was on your menu this past week? Do you have any favorite August fruits or vegetables?
(if you're not following the prices comparisons for making hand-crafted soap -- have a great weekend, and just skip the rest!)
More on gift-making, for the soap:
While the goats milk melt and pour soap was best priced at Michael's with a coupon, I've found some honey almond fragrance oil at Hobby Lobby, which is cheaper than either Michael's or Amazon. It's $3.99 for 1 ounce. There's a Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon online, good through tomorrow, Saturday, August 13. Hobby Lobby is in the same complex as Trader Joe's, on my errand route, so no extra stop for me. 40% off, leaves me with a cost of under $2.50 for this fragrance oil.
Otherwise, Michael's is a good deal on the fragrance oil, if using a high value coupon. Michael's almond fragrance oil is $4.99. In comparison, Amazon has Barnhouse fragrance oils, priced at $2.95/bottle, but there's a $2.94 shipping charge, bringing the final price up to $5.89. It's actually a few cents cheaper to go directly through Eternal Essence Oil's website. Eternal Essence Oil's price is the same as Amazon's, but their shipping is only $2.89.
So, Hobby Lobby, with 40% off coupon, best price in my area. Michael's, next best, Amazon's price the highest on this ingredient.
Also, for anyone wanting to make large quantities of melt and pour soap, like 100 bars (I'm thinking wedding favors, sort of quantity), there are a couple of sources for melt and pour goats milk soap at a decent price (better than Amazon's prices in that quantity). Brambleberry.com has 25-lb blocks that sell for $39 plus about $20 shipping, for my area (shipping charges likely vary according to destination). I have been thinking about large quantities of melt and pour soap, to use as favors, at a future event. For me, @ $60 for the soap base, which would yield 100 bars of soap, my cost per bar would be about 70 cents, once the extra ingredients were factored in. Just an FYI, in case large quantities of melt and pour soap are what you're interested in making.