Stay Connected

Friday, March 3, 2017

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers for the First of March

  • boxed macaroni and cheese (a freebie from a few weeks ago)
  • canned green beans
  • ambrosia salad, made from sliced bananas, canned pineapple chunks, mini marshmallows, and flaked coconut
husband cooks
  • rice and lentils
  • sauteed canned tomatoes, with cheese
  • carrot and celery sticks, with Ranch dressing
  • baked chicken breasts, in a sauce of onions, canned tomatoes, garlic, herbs, over
  • linguine
  • cole slaw

  • beef stew, made with beef, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, herbs, potatoes, canned peas
  • garlic toast

  • hot dogs wrapped in scratch biscuit dough, with homemade honey mustard
  • canned green beans
  • canned corn
  • cookies
my son's fiancee was over for dinner
  • baked ham, with homemade cranberry mustard
  • brown rice
  • steamed carrots
  • slaw with cabbage and celery
  • garlic toast
  • pumpkin pie
  • leftover ham
  • leftover brown rice
  • canned green beans
  • blackberry-rhubarb sauce
  • pumpkin pie
March, already! I am so anxious for spring, this year. It's been colder than usual in our area, so more soups, stews and other wintry meals. I baked a pumpkin pie this week, even. When I went out to the garden, yesterday, I could see the rhubarb poking through the soil. That prompted me to dream up some yummy rhubarb desserts. Just a few more weeks and that is a distinct possibility. All of those thoughts of rhubarb mean that I need to finish what is in the freezer. Rhubarb sauce will feature heavily for the next couple of weeks. Did I mention, I am so looking forward to spring.

What's been on your menu lately, and what foods are you dreaming about on these early days of March?

Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. With the house purchase happening so quickly, so an impending move along with the major hit to my bank accounts, we are sticking to my preplanned, March dinner menus for the most part. Lunches remain leftovers or sandwiches to tote to work/school BUT I have ramped up my frugality and after using up what few cold cuts this week, and sliced cheeses next week, I will only have sandwich fillings using ingredients from home: tuna salad, chicken-either sliced or as salad, PB or almond butter and jam, sliced from blocks cheese sandwiches (we observe meatless Fridays during Lent), egg salad or sliced hard boiled eggs with mustard. I see pasta salads with beans for protein on the lunch menu as well. Homemade bread vs cheaply bought combing sale plus coupon (I normally only buy "good" bread like Arnold's oat, or whole wheat). Fresh fruit is being used up, some replacements will be bought, but I want to use up the canned fruit as well. Breakfast: we are using up the cold cereal, jams on toast, eggs several times/week. I am out of yogurt, but will buy that as I like it for a morning protein source and smoothies (great way to use up fzn berries!). I have some fzn, homemade banana and pumpkin mini breads in the freezer, which will be served as well, if not as snacks. "Extras" really are off the list. I don't relish moving a ton of food. I hope to close at the end of March, get the work done on the new house, move by the end of May. I have a $300/month food budget plus $100 for take out (pizza, Chinese etc). $400 equals a new sink and vanity for my bathroom. Sure, I will have to spend some (already spent about $10 on milk, incidentals)but it is severely slashed!

    1. Hi Carol,
      I can see your meal plan forming, and it makes complete sense. By cutting back on shopping now, you have less work in the moving, and you free up a little cash for projects in your new place. A new sink and vanity is inspiration to tighten the grocery reins, for just a couple of months. Our house needed a lot of cosmetic work, when we bought it, so we did basically the same thing, cut way back on anything that wasn't a necessity, so we could get our home to where we were happy enough with its looks. Plus as the down payment pretty much ate our "cushion", we knew we needed to be vey careful with spending, just in case the house needed a major repair before we could rebuild a savings. We lived with rust carpeting in the family room for many years.

      Does you new house have any fruit trees or rhubarb?

      Have a great weekend, Carol!

    2. Sadly, I don't think there are any fruit trees or perennial garden items like rhubarb but I am planning a small, "kitchen garden" and will include a planting of several plants of rhubarb, which won't be available to eat from until next year.

  2. I'm trying to avoid looking at your pictures--they are making me hungry and it's only mid-morning! ;) We have had a milder than usual winter but no garden produce will be available for at least a couple of months. Hope you get spring soon and can enjoy fresh food. I will share your dream of rhubarb, along with fresh asparagus and lettuce. My blood work for my yearly physical shows that I am anemic so I have been trying to eat more red meat as well as buying spinach, legumes, etc. A deviation from our normal menu at this time of year ...

    1. Hi Kris,
      You probably already know this, but don't forget to eat high vitamin C fruits/vegs with your iron foods. It helps with iron absorption. And if you're taking iron supplements, take them at a time of day when you are not taking any other minerals (like calcium). At last with beef prices having come down rom their super high of a few years ago, eating red meat is more affordable than it has been.

      Fresh rhubarb, asparagus, lettuce -- all of that sounds so wonderful to me, right now. Our garden provides kale in March, from last summer's plantings, before going to seed. And we also have sorrel and watercress which are both early spring vegs and perennials, here. But the main part of our garden won't be ready until May and later.

      Have a wonderful weekend, Kris!

    2. Thanks for the tips on taking iron. I also just found our I am severely anemic and do not really care for red meat/ I am adding spinich salads and a supplement. Since this is all new to me I was not aware that the absorption was helped with vitamin c so I will need to add some in, maybe some orange sections in my spinich salad. I also need to move the time of day when I take the supplement so it does not interfere with my calcium.


  3. I don't readily recall meals (lunch and dinner), because I'm not the cook if that is any excuse, however I do eat! My job in the kitchen is cleaning garden vegetables and cleaning up after cooking and after every meal. I don't waste water as much the way I do cleaning, so I happily volunteer. I think that's why more and more of the cooking job has shifted to my husband. Also, I collect the gray water and pour it down our low flush toilet to avoid having plumbing issues, and other hardly used drains to fill the ptraps, depending on how clean the water is.

    On topic, other than buying Chinese takeout char siu pork and eating that over several days as is, one of my favorite ways to eat this sweet meat is to serve it on cheap ramen (plus add other toppings like our garden vegetables, green onion, and fresh egg). Also huusband fried gau gee using Chinese fish cake instead of ground meats, pan fried our favorite salmon ends, and fried some Korean pancakes to serve as sides. Lots of frying to use the same oil, and we later froze the remaining oil to add to our bean patties later. We relied on the same side dishes every meal, and this week added boiled garden beets w/mayo and sekihan (adzuki mochi rice) to the spread. We like our side dishes enough that some meals don't have an entree, and the meal resembles a salad bar buffet. Especially Koreans and Japanese, love serving a variety of side dishes with every meal. There might have been a frozen prepared "mystery" burrito thrown in somewhere, the identity of what's in it is only known after a bite. I can eat a burrito with the side dishes and call it a meal.

    Have a good day!!


    1. Hi YHF,
      Your comment about side dishes and some Asian preferences was interesting. In Anglo-Euro food culture, sometimes this is seen in pickles and relishes, but in modern culture, that is primarily seen with holiday meals. With your husband and yourself, does someone plate up the meal, or do you each help yourself? If you're helping yourself, does one of you set things out, designating those items which are the meal plan? I'm just curious.

      Have a wonderful weekend, YHF!

    2. Gosh it is Friday! Usually my husband is in charge of setting the serving table. He warms up the leftovers and makes all the sauces that go with each side dish (specific sauces which were passed on from his mother, which he commits to memory). He's the one with any sense of taste, so he does the final layout and inspection. Sometimes, he adds another dish in the last few minutes before dinner, usually served by 5pm everyday, since after 5pm our electric rate rises sharply.

      The meal plan for the day is discussed at breakfast, and that's when he reports what he's picking from the garden (that's his baby), while I have a better handle on what needs to be used up in the pantry and freezer. I'm also the one more in touch with sales and bargains in store and online. And I'm the one who pays the bills and keeps tab of our finance.

      So in light of these, we decide what's on the menu for today, or if we're running an errand and do eat out, we may not need a full meal at dinner, etc. Like today we pickup our RX glasses, and since it will be a full day out, I will suggest a Groupon that I bought for $5, a supposedly $30 value Vietnamese Pho meal for two people, at a casual takeout, so no tip required. I try to keep our meals out $5 or less for two of us. Lately, we have made picnics out of our grocery haul, so no eating out expense.


  4. I agree with Kris. That picture of the beef stew is making me hungry. That's one of my favorite meals.

  5. Your menu this week looks delicious. I was not feeling very well this week so meals were made in the crockpot for my family with items that I had on hand (was not up to shopping so $ saved!). I made then a pot roast/ carrots and onion and then served it over baked potato with fresh green beans and sliced apples on the side. I ate part of a baked potato and 1/2 of a leftover turkey burger along with some fresh spinach. They ate more of the same the next night and I added in some corn muffins made with fresh corn added. I ate the same meal as the night before. The next day I took the remaining leftovers and turned them into a beefy vegetable and mushroom barley soup to use up some wrinkled grape tomato, mushrooms that needed to go, the rest of the corn, green beans and beef plus some fresh garlic and onions. The ate buttered toast on the side and a romaine salad with cucumber. I do not really care for beef so I had the same meal as above. Lather, rinse repeat the next night plus clementines. On Friday I was admitted to the hospital and the boys grabbed hoagies and snacks as we were heading to the emergency room. Not sure what they are doing while I am here but I am confident that there are plenty of options including a few freezer items (think chili, precooked meats, casserole, soup). There is also plenty of fresh fruit and veggies and breakfast/ lunch options on hand. That being said I am sure there may be a few treats $(chips or pizza ect) that may happen. We did spend our usual $ amount on their sandwiches but I am ok with this. I should be home in a few days and plan on continuing to use the above items to make it easy on myself until I feel back up to cooking. Family and Church Family have already called to offer meals too. It will all work out and I am so thankful that I had the foresight to prep so many items and that I am able to keep a good stockpile for emergency situations



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