Stay Connected

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Cheap & Cheerful suppers for the last few days of June

As it's been the last week of the month, you can guess that we are down to the produce in my garden, some very old looking bananas, canned tomatoes, and a large bag of carrots. Which means, I've had to be somewhat inventive with meals. I'm also cleaning out the freezers, trying to make room for ground beef-10 lbs and fish-5 lbs (on sale this week at Cash & Carry). Chicken leg quarters on on sale again for 50 cents/lb. I'm on the fence as to whether or not to pick up another 40-lb case. But I can't buy any of those meats if there's not room to store them.

So here's what we had for dinner this past week:

chicken smothered in mock pesto (basil, garlic, olive oil, salt and black pepper, a mix of provolone and mozzarella -- no Parmesan, here, and no nuts)
rice topped with marinara sauce
fresh cherries
banana bread

refried bean tostadas w/ lettuce, cheese, quickie salsa, plain yogurt, fried corn tortillas
fresh cherries

ham and cheese sandwiches, with mock pesto as condiment (it was a hot day, and didn't want to heat the kitchen)
fresh cherries
greens topped with oven-roasted tomatoes

pbj sandwiches
spinach salad
ice cream sundaes

chicken, tomato, radish greens, cheese and pasta stove-top casserole
more ice cream

potato salad (using up leftover egg salad from last week)
marinated garbanzo beans and roasted tomatoes over lettuce
herbed rice "polenta", topped with quickie marinara sauce

radish greens, swiss chard and cheddar quiche
cream cheese and chive mashed potatoes
lettuce topped with leftover garbanzo bean-roasted tomato salad
blueberries and raspberries for dessert

What's been on your menu this last week of June? Do you find that you run out of any particular ingredients during that last week of the month?


  1. So we still don't have good deals on ground beef or any beef so use very little of it mixed with ground turkey to and other fillers to fill the casserole dish. That was Sunday--tater tot casserole with a big salad and lemon dessert. Monday was baked chicken pieces with green peppers, onions, tomatoes over jasmine rice. Tuesday was leftover chicken turned into chicken pot pie with homemade biscuits. Tonight will be something on the grill maybe.

    I have done a lot of grocery shopping the last few days and one thing that really bothered me was going into a store that I rarely go to and they have all these great priced labels on some things. I go to the checkout and I see these items ring up at normal prices and wonder what is going on. It appears I need a key card or something in-store in order to get the "deal". I was so upset because they had my fat free, sugar free lemon pudding and the cool whip lite that I use for my lemon dessert and no one else sells the pudding anymore. I was going to walk away but a clerk came by (I was in a self checkout) and so I asked what the deal was and that I needed to walk away. He said "I can scan a card so you may have the discount" and so I got my pudding packages for 75 cents each. But why don't they just give the "deal" to everyone instead of scanning a silly card? I don't appreciate that kind of business. I'm sure it says something in the small print on the sale label but I can't read that small print anyway.

    I do run out of stuff all the time but my adult kids never write almost empty items on the grocery list. They leave a peanut but jar in the cupboard that has only enough in there to use a scraper to get out and then don't put it on the list. I rarely eat PB so I wouldn't know it was almost empty. Dad likes it on his oatmeal so he is the loser.


    1. Hi Alice,
      Your meals sound delicious -- especially the chicken with peppers, onions and tomatoes! Those are flavors that I love together!

      I hear you on the grocery store loyalty programs. I, too, get so annoyed with that. One of our stores has abandoned their loyalty program altogether, and they now make a point of letting customers know that everyone gets the same good sale prices.

      The fine print is still a problem for me, though, at many stores. It's so small on the tags, things like you need to purchase a certain amount to get the sale price. That's really annoying. I tell the clerk that I didn't realize I needed to make a minimum purchase to get the "special" price, and I'm not interested in that item if it's a full price when buying just one. I'll just have them put that item back for me, rather than pay a price that is more than I want to spend. I know it's not the clerk's fault, but I feel so annoyed in the moment. (I do try to be polite about it.)

      I understand how you must feel, when you're not notified that an item needs replacing. Then it seems like no one lets you know until right after you've gone to the store. Like you're supposed to be clairvoyant, and know what everybody needs. It is frustrating. Just remember, Alice, you are doing a great job. You can't help it if someone else doesn't let you know that you need to buy more of something.

      Keep up the great work!

    2. I'm such a stickler about getting all the discounts (sale, coupon, points etc) that I know I am not a valued customer. At some stores like Kmart and Walmart, I don't know if I have a good deal until the cash register where if the coupon doesn't scan, I can't use the coupon. Then I tell the cashier that I don't want the item. I think it is only fair that if they don't take a coupon, I won't buy the product. The cashier's always look puzzled though, as they give me back my coupon, they say "you don't want it?" (like I thought you needed it regardless of having the extra coupon discount.)

      Your meal planning, Lili, is par excellence!!


    3. Hi YHF,
      I think you bring up a valuable issue that many of us face -- when we find that the sale or coupon price is not available to us, how do we "handle" the not wanting that item. The cashiers really do look perplexed that we wouldn't want that item after all. I think by just handling it as business, as usual, works best for me. And it sounds like that's how you deal with that moment, as well.

    4. That's a good way of putting it..."business as usual"...nothing personal. It really isn't. Another way I see it is stores are gaming customers into their stores via sales, to pick up the loss leaders, just that I am using the tools of their game while not falling victim to their ploy. If enough customers did what we did, stores would not be able to play this game... I guess you could say the spendthrifters enable the bargain shoppers to win, likewise the debtors enable the savers to get a return on their money (in normal economic times.)


    5. I love looking at it that way, YHF -- that those spendthrifts are subsidizing our bargains! We always say the same thing about staying in hotel with a complimentary breakfast. Since so many of the guests don't take advantage of that "free" breakfast, it's like those who go to another restaurant in the morning are subsidizing our breakfast. That works for me!

  2. We had elk steak ,beet greens and radishes from the garden for dinner last night. We will be eating from the garden and I will be canning a lot this summer. This will allow me to really work on my pantry. Chicken thighs were on sale here for .88 so I bought quite a few. My pantry is well stocked with elk , deer and antelope I canned. I am going to place an order for some bulk items with my grocery budget for next month so it will make for some interesting meals. Thank you for all your help Lili it keeps me on track and it all adds up.

    1. Hi Dee,
      Wow! A totally free dinner -- elk steak, and garden veggies! Isn't that such a satisfying feeling, when you can pull that off?! Great work!

      It sounds like you are set for meat for a long while. And with a producing garden, you should be able to really get ahead on your pantry stock-up. It's a lot of work to garden and can. You should be very proud of your efforts. That's a substantial contribution to the household finances!

      Can I ask -- from where do you order your bulk items? I have a few pantry items on my own list, and I'm shopping around now.

    2. Dear Lili,
      I will be ordering them from Emergency Essentials . They are not that cheap but they give me peace of mind. By having almost free meals this makes up the difference. Oh I just realized by saying bulk I mean a large quantity maybe that is not what you were thinking ?They are in # 10 cans. I purchased some dehydrated eggs a few months ago boy are they coming in handy ! I usually garden but put in a huge one this year. So far it is doing amazing. You are such an inspiration I read every post and they are always so helpful. Thank you for doing this.

    3. Hi Dee,
      thanks for that information. I'll check their prices as well. By bulk, I'm just meaning large quantities of a few items that normally you can only buy in small amounts in the regular grocery store, like plain gelatin in a canister instead of small packets.

      I was looking into canned, dehydrated eggs a few weeks ago. Are you finding them t work well for you? Are you using them only in baking, or also for egg-based meals, like scrambled eggs, quiches, frittatas?

      That large garden of yours will really pay off! Good work!

  3. We are eating from the freezer mainly. I am using as much as possible to make room for the seasons produce, but I have been cooking so little that I am not making a very big dent in my stockpile. However, I have a huge turkey thawing and also 2 large Boston butts I am taking out of the freezer today for smoking tomorrow. That cleared out a lot of freezer space!

    1. Hi Anne,
      Oh that will clear out a lot of space in your freezer! I've been thinking of baking one of the hams, as that would give me more space for other foods, plus some breakfast meat.

      Smoked turkey sounds so delicious! Enjoy it -- your 4th of July party will be a feast!

  4. You just got me thinking--I also have a spiral ham in the freezer and we're out of lunch ham meat so I think I might just thaw one to cook this weekend and then I'll have plenty for sandwiches next week! Good idea! And that's why I love reading here because you make me think.


    1. Hi Alice,
      And I get zilliions of ideas from you all, too! Really, since I began blogging, I feel like I am more in control of our finances than ever before. I have been inspired to try so many recipes and foods that I've not wanted all that much before. Even though the leg quarters weren't my favorite, they're working out fine, here. Thanks to all of the wonderful suggestions. Enjoy those yummy ham sandwiches next week!


Thank you for joining the discussion today. Here at creative savv, we strive to maintain a respectful community centered around frugal living. Creative savv would like to continue to be a welcoming and safe place for discussion, and as such reserves the right to remove comments that are inappropriate for the conversation.


Be a voice that helps someone else on their frugal living journey

Are you interested in writing for creative savv?
What's your frugal story?

Do you have a favorite frugal recipe, special insight, DIY project, or tips that could make frugal living more do-able for someone else?

Creative savv is seeking new voices.


share this post