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Friday, November 1, 2019

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers for the Last Week of October

2-week old microgreens, mostly grown in my kitchen
Cheap & Cheerful posts show, week by week, how a budget of $135/month for groceries works out for our family of 4.

I didn't do any grocery shopping this week. So my total for the month of October is $159.67, over by $11.36 for the month.

One very wonderful and fun thing happened for us this past week. We got to eat out for lunch last weekend. A lovely lady from our church gave one of my daughters some cash for her to take her sister, father, and I out to eat. This was such a kind gesture on the part of this woman. She's been beyond kind and generous with my daughters and now my husband and I. The generous woman's gesture was a way to thank my daughter for some work she did for our church a few weeks ago. 

The meals this week were basic, but very good. Basic can be very, very good, don't you think? Here's how it all went down:



Friday
minestrone soup topped with mozzarella cheese (soup had tomato paste, kale, onions, oregano, garlic, carrots, lentil sprouts, barley, pasta, chicken, and chicken stock)
fresh-baked French bread
blackberry crisp



Saturday
chili cheese dogs (no bun for me)
cole slaw
leftover blackberry crisp



Sunday
tostadas on fried homemade tortillas with beans, ground beef, garden greens, plain yogurt, cheese, salsa
spiced cider



Monday
stuffed acorn squash
stuffing -- quinoa, apple, raisins, onions, almonds, sage, cinnamon
garden salad of baby radish greens, lettuce, chard, watercress, and tomato
last of the blackberry crisp from Friday
spiced cider



Tuesday  (daughter's night)
ground beef in gravy over scratch drop biscuits
carrots in honey mustard



Wednesday (other daughter's night)
curried chicken and vegetables over
brown rice
orange wedges



Thursday
bean burger patties
bread and butter
mixed vegetables (dented can on clearance)
garden slaw of kale, radish greens, cabbage, and apple in a dressing of melted jelly, mayonnaise, and vinegar


We are still eating from our garden(s). This week's garden produce included: lettuce, Swiss chard, kale, radish greens, winter squash, apples, watercress, tomatoes, garlic, oregano, lentil sprouts, and blackberries (foraged). While we are almost out of tomatoes, the microgreens will be ready to cut in a week. Everything balances out. This morning I am off to the produce stand's clearance sale. I have no idea what I'll find there. I'm hoping for pumpkins, squash, garlic, and apples. Anything else will be a bonus.

In baking this week, I made a batch of gingerbread muffins, using up some aging cooked steel cut oatmeal, and a batch of peanut butter granola that was very delicious. I also baked 4 large loaves of whole wheat bread, a couple of loaves of French bread, and a pan of blackberry crisp. 

I hope you all had a wonderful week. What was on the menu at your house this past week? Do you ever get to be on the receiving end of a meal out from your grown children?





14 comments:

Alice said...

Your meals look so good even though you call them "basic". I call them delicious.

We always have basic meals so here is what I can remember (Do you do that? Forget what you had to eat for the week?) Meatloaf with mashed butternut squash. Pork ribs with mashed potatoes and cabbage, leftover pork ribs and leftover pork roast with the rest of the mashed potatoes, cabbage and squash. Tiki Massala with chicken and white rice for the guys and brown basmati rice for me. Last night was more skillet sauteed chicken with leftover white and brown rice. We also finished off the wild rice chicken creamy soup. So now there is no leftovers and that's always how it happens on Fridays.

Our son is home during the week so we make enough for freezer meals for him and when he leaves Thursday night to go out of town we eat all the leftovers for Thursday night dinner and he takes 3 days worth of meals with him to last the weekend. Then Friday through Sunday my husband and I are empty nesters and we make lighter meals and we prep for the forthcoming week. It's a lazy plan for the week's meals when son is home and I'm at work all day.

Interesting story, hubby needed bananas so we went to a store close to home and happened to see boneless skinless chicken thighs marked down half price so he chose two of them. I asked him later if there were more of those. They are the best chicken but I'll only buy them when reduced in price. He said yes there were a few more. I suggested that when he sees a deal like that to buy them all, not just one or two. We can freeze them and they are a favorite. So last night he needed to get something at the automotive store next door and stopped in that same grocery store and came out with 4 packages of reduced chicken thighs. Yes, he bought them all this time. He feels like he should leave some for another customer. I feel like I should buy them all since the price is right and it's what we like best. So who is right? Me or him?

Alice

Live and Learn said...

No right answer to that question, Alice. :)

As you know, my son does the majority of the cooking around here. However, since he went back to school and is working, he is not able to do it as often as he used to. Last week he fixed some BBQ lentils per my suggestion from you blog last week. He added some left over chicken and tofu to get some different kinds of protein into the dish. It was delicious. I told him to write down what he did, so we could duplicate it.

Anonymous said...

Alice - like your husband, my mother was the same way "save some for the next person", not me (or my husband), I would buy them all, it's not everyday you get a great deal on certain items.

Lili - the means look very good and I love ANYTHING gingerbread, perhaps you could share your recipe?

Have a great weekend - Shelby

Kris said...

Alice, I confess I am more of a "save some for someone else" but is there truly a right or wrong? I don't know. Although when Meijer has its 10 for $10 sale (you get the 11th item free) I've been known to take all the Banquet sausages .... so I guess I'm not consistent in my actions .... I'm usually buying them for when our family provides a youth group pancake supper so I think that, in my mind, I've justified the purchase. There is a niggling little part of my brain that thinks the stores should be prepared for sales items to go quickly and stock up on them.

Lili, I think your stuffed squash looks like a restaurant meal!

This is hopefully the last of my goofy weeks for awhile. Driver's ed, orthodontist appointments and Halloween activities have made meal time a little wacky; I consider it a success that we have all sat down together to eat each night this week! The crock pot has been my friend ....
Monday: crock pot lasagna and spinach salad
Tuesday: honey/soy chicken, couscous, and spinach salad
Wednesday: crockpot Mexican chicken bowl with rice and carrot sticks (new recipe for us and it was a hit!)
Thursday: crockpot ham and potato soup and Bisquick biscuits (got home late from work and had a time crunch before everyone headed out the door--good thing I made the soup the night before!)
Friday: planning on a sheet pan supper with turkey kielbasa, potatoes, carrots and onions sliced and roasted on the pan.

Happy weekend to everyone!

Lili said...

Alice said...
We always have basic meals so here is what I can remember (Do you do that? Forget what you had to eat for the week?) Meatloaf with mashed butternut squash. Pork ribs with mashed potatoes and cabbage, leftover pork ribs and leftover pork roast with the rest of the mashed potatoes, cabbage and squash. Tiki Massala with chicken and white rice for the guys and brown basmati rice for me. Last night was more skillet sauteed chicken with leftover white and brown rice. We also finished off the wild rice chicken creamy soup. So now there is no leftovers and that's always how it happens on Fridays.
. . . He feels like he should leave some for another customer. I feel like I should buy them all since the price is right and it's what we like best. So who is right? Me or him?


Hi Alice,
My family would call your meals fantastic, I think especially my husband. Yum, sounds good!

You know, that's a good question with many angles and scenarios.I don't have an answer as to what is the "right" thing to do, as I am not consistent in my own approach. Sometimes, I wonder who the next person to shop will be and I deliberately leave some of the marked down items behind. Other times, like when I'm at the actual markdown rack, where there's an assortment of stuff, I take whatever I need/want. Most of the time, there is so much of a marked down item that I don't want it all or can't store it all. My freezer space is very limited, so I can only fit so much in there. As far as the stores are concerned, they don't mark items down to serve their customer base. They mark items down to sell them before they go bad to keep from losing money. Their thinking is to get that stuff out of the store as quickly as possible. In some stores, they seem to not want the clearance stuff near the regular items, as if having that markdown tag would bring down the appearance of quality in their store. From my own perspective as being the next customer to come along -- I certainly appreciate the customer who will leave some stock behind, but I don't expect it at all. And I don't begrudge someone who has bought it all. I've been that person who saw the last of a marked down item go into someone else's cart. I just figure that I should have been there sooner, not that they had any moral responsibility to not take an item that I also wanted. So, if I'm going by the Golden Rule, do unto others as you'd have them do unto you -- I don't expect anyone to leave half of the stock, but it is nice when they do. I think this is something that I should think about more.

There are many ways that we can be generous and show love to our fellow man/woman. Maybe for some folks, that means leaving plenty of the marked down items for the next person who may need it more. And maybe for other folks, that means giving to someone in a different way. Maybe your husband's approach is right for him, but your approach is right for you. See what I mean that I don't have a clear answer? This would be a really good topic for discussion as others could point out things that you and I can't see.

Anyway, I hope you have a great weekend, Alice!

Lili said...

Live and Learn said...
No right answer to that question, Alice. :)

As you know, my son does the majority of the cooking around here. However, since he went back to school and is working, he is not able to do it as often as he used to. Last week he fixed some BBQ lentils per my suggestion from you blog last week. He added some left over chicken and tofu to get some different kinds of protein into the dish. It was delicious. I told him to write down what he did, so we could duplicate it.


Hi Live and Learn,
your son's BBQ lentils/chicken/tofu sounds tasty. I like the variety of textures in something like that. Did you have this over buns or alongside something else? What do you think of tofu? I like tofu, but I know that my opinion is not the popular one when it comes to tofu.

Lili said...

Shelby said...
Alice - like your husband, my mother was the same way "save some for the next person", not me (or my husband), I would buy them all, it's not everyday you get a great deal on certain items.

Lili - the means look very good and I love ANYTHING gingerbread, perhaps you could share your recipe?

Have a great weekend


Hi Shelby,'the gingerbread muffins turned out well. I didn't follow a recipe, but went by a basic muffin recipe. I had about 1 cup of cooked steel cut oats. I put those in a bowl, broke them up and added about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of sugar, then mixed in 1 egg, 4 or so tablespoons of molasses, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/3 cup of oil, 2 teaspoons of ground ginger, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and about 1 1/2 cups of flour. I don't think I needed any milk, because there was enough liquid or near-liquid in the batter, but if I did, it was only about 1/4 cup, as needed. The muffins were delicious enough that I'll make them again.
Have a great weekend, Shelby.

Lili said...

Kris said...
Alice, I confess I am more of a "save some for someone else" but is there truly a right or wrong? I don't know. Although when Meijer has its 10 for $10 sale (you get the 11th item free) I've been known to take all the Banquet sausages .... so I guess I'm not consistent in my actions .... I'm usually buying them for when our family provides a youth group pancake supper so I think that, in my mind, I've justified the purchase. There is a niggling little part of my brain that thinks the stores should be prepared for sales items to go quickly and stock up on them.

Lili, I think your stuffed squash looks like a restaurant meal!

This is hopefully the last of my goofy weeks for awhile. Driver's ed, orthodontist appointments and Halloween activities have made meal time a little wacky; I consider it a success that we have all sat down together to eat each night this week! The crock pot has been my friend ....
Monday: crock pot lasagna and spinach salad
Tuesday: honey/soy chicken, couscous, and spinach salad
Wednesday: crockpot Mexican chicken bowl with rice and carrot sticks (new recipe for us and it was a hit!)
Thursday: crockpot ham and potato soup and Bisquick biscuits (got home late from work and had a time crunch before everyone headed out the door--good thing I made the soup the night before!)
Friday: planning on a sheet pan supper with turkey kielbasa, potatoes, carrots and onions sliced and roasted on the pan.

Happy weekend to everyone!


Hi Kris,
The stuffed squash was my favorite meal this week. It was really delicious, I thought. I like a little sweet mixed with savory tastes.
I think you did especially well with your week of meals. You are such a pro with the crockpot. I know you mostly prefer reading blogs, but if you ever wanted to share your best tips for using a crockpot, I for one would be very grateful to learn.

I agree about stores needing to lay in a large stock when they advertise something on sale. I think there's a tough call to make as a store manager, as far as how much stock to have without having too much and costing the store in having excess inventory. And I think stores would rather have an upset customer or two than lose money to excess stock with no where to house it all or perishable item loss. The good stores will offer a switch to a better brand, when possible. I've had that happen with canned tuna. I've been upgraded to the solid white albacore when they can out of the regular tuna.

Have a wonderful weekend, Kris.

Cheryl said...

Personally I never take all of something. I would hate to watch someone fill their cart and me waiting and not getting any. If there is only 3-4 that is one thing but to buy all and no one else gets a bargain, I couldn't do that.

Live and Learn said...

Lili said:

"What do you think of tofu? I like tofu, but I know that my opinion is not the popular one when it comes to tofu."

I wouldn't say that tofu is my favorite, but my son only buys good quality, extra firm which helps a lot. Also, it's usually in a dish with other ingredients and a sauce so it's not so noticeable. And lastly, he cuts into very small cubes so if texture is a problem, it's hardly noticeable. He may make a tofu eater out of me yet.

A doctor told me to eat soy 2x a week for joint problems so I really appreciate that he's trying to help with that.

Lili said...

Cheryl said...
Personally I never take all of something. I would hate to watch someone fill their cart and me waiting and not getting any. If there is only 3-4 that is one thing but to buy all and no one else gets a bargain, I couldn't do that.


Hi Cheryl,
There are a lot of variables, enough so that I can't come up with a hard and fast rule for myself. Stuff like, is this an advertised store sale where shoppers have the opportunity to get a rain check? Or, is this at a clearance rack with a variety of objects marked down, but maybe only 1 or 2 of each item? Does the store mark down a large selection of items on a regular basis, so that many shoppers will have the opportunity to get some sort of deal on a markdown at some point, or does the store infrequently mark items down, so most won't ever be at the store when there are any marked down foods?

Thanks for sharing what you feel is right, Cheryl. Have an enjoyable weekend!

Lili said...

Live and Learn said...
I wouldn't say that tofu is my favorite, but my son only buys good quality, extra firm which helps a lot. Also, it's usually in a dish with other ingredients and a sauce so it's not so noticeable. And lastly, he cuts into very small cubes so if texture is a problem, it's hardly noticeable. He may make a tofu eater out of me yet.

A doctor told me to eat soy 2x a week for joint problems so I really appreciate that he's trying to help with that.


Hi Live and Learn,
That's interesting about soy for joint problems. I hadn't heard that. Have you tried soy milk? That's an easy way to get soy in, just substitute soy milk for dairy milk a couple of days per week. I rotate between the different alternative milks. This month I'm on soy milk. For other tofu meals, I've mentioned that I like thinly sliced tofu fried in a bit of oil and seasoned with soy sauce, garlic powder, pinch sugar, vinegar, and ginger -- the same basic ingredients in teriyaki sauce, so teriyaki sauce would just be simpler. I do this for lunch at least once per week for just myself. It's easy to make.
Good luck with this!

Ruthie said...

Your sprouts look so green and full. Are those lentils? I tried sprouting some a couple of weeks ago and some of them sprouted and some just opened. I am eating them, but they look quite anemic next to yours. I used a container that was intended for sprouting (I purchased it about 25 years ago) - maybe my kitchen window doesn't get enough sun? It is a western exposure.

Lili said...

Hi Ruthie,
So you mean the photo at the top of this post, or from last week's Cheap & Cheerful post? The photo at the top of this post is of microgreens, which are baby plants. My lentil sprouts are considerable less green. They do have some small green leaves on them, though.

The whole growth cycle for growing lentil sprouts has been 7 days for me. I soak the lentils overnight on the 1st of those days, then allow them to sprout for another 6 days. The 5th and 6th days are when the tiny green leaves show up. Near the bottom of this post is a photo of jars of my lentil sprouts on the 7th day. I grew them mostly away from the window, then moved them to near window on the last couple of days, turning each jar each day. I hope this helps.

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