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Friday, January 27, 2017

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers for a Late January Week

  • lentil and vegetable soup, using whatever veggies I could find in the fridge, plus canned green beans, canned tomatoes and some macaroni pasta
  • freshly-baked French bread (it came out of the oven 5 minutes before serving, can't get much fresher than that!)
  • tangerines
  • blondies that my daughter made, late, late, late last night (love those night-owl university students!)

  • hot dogs
  • a pasta and nut sauce
  • canned green beans
  • cole slaw

  • ham and corn pudding
  • yam casserole, topped with mini-marshmallows
  • cole slaw

  • leftover ham and corn pudding
  • leftover yam casserole
  • candied pineapple slices, sauteed in butter and brown sugar

  • 10-minute turkey pot pie
  • canned cranberry sauce
  • olives
  • blackberry-rhubarb sauce (from the freezer)

  • leftover lentil and vegetable soup, topped with cheese
  • garlic toast made from leftover French bread
  • dried cranberries

  • baked turkey bacon
  • pancake squares
  • stewed prunes

So, another week gone. I don't know if you've noticed, but there's a repeating pattern in my menus. Friday I always make double of everything. I freeze half, and on the following Wednesday, we have a completely leftover meal. Sunday, I also double-batch most of dinner. Then on Monday we eat leftovers.  Thursday is always an easy breakfast for dinner menu. And my husband now always cooks on Saturday. This routine greatly reduces the amount of time I spend cooking dinners.

The other area in which I am really saving time is grocery shopping. I stocked up pretty well in the fall months. I'm now using those supplies for the bulk of our groceries needs. I have another busy weekend ahead of me (volunteering all day on Saturday), so I don't think I'll have time for any grocery shopping this morning, after my appointment. We are running low on eggs. So be it. I can save time by skipping grocery shopping this week, then doing a big stock-up next Friday, when I won't have other weekend obligations to follow through on. 

Do you ever find yourself facing this sort of decision -- shop now and have ample supplies, or, delay shopping another week and save 2 hours? It is a way to save time. One of my delightful daughters offered to "help" with the grocery shopping. It was sounding great until I realized that her list consisted mostly of Cheetos and Doritos, while mine consisted of the "boring" foods like eggs and whole wheat flour. I did make a promise to do a huge shopping trip the first week of March, and maybe some Cheetos will make it into that shopping trip.

Anyway, I'm wishing everyone a great weekend. If you live where there's a storm, I hope you don't have to go out in it, but can sit by a window and just enjoy the view. Snow is always prettier when I don't have to drive in it.


  1. We were supposed to have snow where we are but have only had flurries that melt as soon as it hits the ground. I'm not complaining! But it still is winter and will be for a while yet.

    Meals, yes, we've had some good home cooked meals lately.
    Sun. spaghetti
    Mon. leftover spaghetti, garlic bread
    Tues. sweet and sour pork/chicken, rice
    Wed. honey garlic chicken, pinto beans
    Thurs. more spaghetti, cottage cheese

    I hope I have the order correct and that I haven't missed something. We ended up with spaghetti again last night because when I cleaned the deep freezer I dropped a plastic container of tomatoes with onions and peppers. It cracked the container but the contents were fine. We love spaghetti so that is what I made from it. Friday's are always up in the air. Saturday's are days we wing our meal as the day progresses.

    We'll go back to smaller meals next week since my son goes back to school and then daughter returns from the Middle East tomorrow and she'll be home one day and then she goes back to school.


    1. Hi Alice,
      Spaghetti is good! I'd be happy eating it several days, too. I hope the storm holds off until your daughter returns, and everyone gets back to campus. Less to worry about. And I'm sure you're eagerly anticipating her return!
      Have a great weekend, Alice!

  2. Our meal plan for the week runs Sunday - Monday since I shop on Sundays (if I go shopping that week). I love leftovers as they make the cook's job much easier and am thankful that my familiy does as well. The hardest part with levfovers is preventing my boys with hollow legs from devouring them before the next meal. Here is what we ate this week and have on the plan for this weekend. PS I am adding lunches to my meal plan next week so that I am sure to have lunch too. I am going to try "packing" myself a lunch when I make the rest of them so I have something ready to go when I get home mid-day. Now I just need to come up with some handheld options that I can eat while working.

    Mon - Mac and cheese w chix/ broc, roatsed maple carrots, salad with romaine, spinich, cuke/ tomato
    Tue - leftovers
    Wed - beef/ veg (mushroom, carrot, celery, potato, green bean, barley) stew, corn bread (bake potatos when making this)
    Thurs - Lunch HM pizza,salad using spinich/ cuke/ tomato/ hb eggs, fruit
    Dinner - shift original meal to Friday: leftover pizza topped, carrots/ celery sticks, slementines/ shliced honeycrips apples/ red grapes
    Friday - Lunch - Chicken Curry soup wirh spinich/cauliflower/ mushrooms/carrots, pocket sandwiches, celery/ pb, fruit
    Dinner moved shift to thursday - lemon/ perrper pork tenderloin, baked potato, green beans, sliced honeycrips apples
    Saturday - Breakfast - Protein shakes
    Lunch - leftovers
    Dinner - saturday - fried rice (freezer rice, onion, peas, eggs) and stirfry chicken, broccoli and mushrooms (onion)
    Sunday - Breakfast - Protein shakes
    Lunch -any leftovers or PB & J, carrots/ celery/ cukecumber slices with ranch dip, pear/ apple/ clementine/ grape salad
    Dinner - With family, bringing dessert TBD with what is in the pantry


    1. Hi Saryn,
      Your meals sound delicious! i hope you have a fun time with family on Sunday. I'm sure that you'll come up with something wonderful to bring for dessert.
      Have a lovely weekend, Saryn!

  3. Yes, I have been dealing with the decision whether to shop or not for a few months now. Mostly, I have chosen to NOT shop, and just keep trying to work with what I have in my freezers, fridges and cupboards. My last big shopping excursion was early November. Since then I have only picked up milk, fresh fruit and sometimes fresh veggies. It has been a very interesting experiment, and I am hoping to continue into February. Besides, pushing a grocery cart across a snowy parking lot is a major deterrent for me.

    1. Hi Jayne,
      There's something simpler about not going out to grocery shop, and especially so when you have wintry weather to contend with. I forgot about the parking lots and snow. In Utah, some stores would keep the lot plowed, but not all. And if it wasn't a plowed lot the cart was hard to maneuver over icy ruts. I'm enjoying not shopping as often, this month. Shopping takes a large chink of time out of my day, and I can accomplish so much more if I don't shop.
      Have a great weekend, Jayne!

  4. We've had issues with snow & ice keeping us from getting out this month. Before the ice storm hit, I said, "Maybe I should get to the store!" My eleven yr. old daughter said, "Mom! We have plenty of food!" It made me realize how much security I find in a well-stocked larder. While it's good to be prepared, I have to keep my attitude about such things in check.

    This week I found a great deal on a butt half ham at Safeway. It was $1.08/lb., but I also picked up some other great deals on clearance & with coupons, so I got an additional $5 off my $25 order (that was a digital "Just 4 U" coupon). I hardly ever shop Safeway, but I happened to hit it right on that trip.

    We ate that ham for dinner one night, had leftovers for lunch the next day & froze enough for our Monday night quiche dinners for 2 Mondays worth. Plus I froze the ham bone for navy bean soup in the future. There weren't very many juices left, so I gave those to the dog. All in all, a good deal.

    I'm glad you're hitting a good grove with your meal prep, Lili. I'm going to follow your example this week & try to get some stuff made up ahead & into the freezer for future meals. Melissa

    1. Hi Melissa,
      I don't shop at the "regular" grocery stores much, either. But every once in a while there is such a great deal that I can't pass it up. I'm glad you found such an awesome price on the ham, and had that coupon for Safeway. That's an incredible bargain for a large piece of meat.
      Have a great day, Melissa!

  5. Your dinners look terrific, Lili.

    Your Friday post reminded me that I have cabbage in the refrigerator that I wanted to cook for dinner tonight, but I forgot. I made a vegetable chili instead and put up enough bowls for lunches this week and still have some for dinner tonight and then once again during the week.

    Your turkey pot pie looks good too. I made a chicken pot pie one night this week. I had a can of mixed vegetables, one can of chicken, a can of peas, and a can of cream of potato soup, so I mixed it all together doctored it up and added it to a pie crust. It was a big hit and super easy to make. I love meals like that.

    1. Hi Belinda,
      Your chicken pot pie sounds yummy, and super easy for a busy weeknight. Well done!
      Have a great week, Belinda!


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