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Friday, October 12, 2018

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers for October

  • frozen corn dogs
  • sweet potato fries
  • cinnamon applesauce

  • scrambled eggs
  • *roasted potatoes
  • *tomatoes, *zucchini, and Brussels sprouts sauteed together

  • *vegetable and bean soup
  • crackers
  • plums 
  • lettuce, cucumber, and *tomato salad

  • peanut butter and *strawberry jam sandwiches
  • *apple wedges
  • lettuce, cucumber, and *tomato salad

  • ramen, vegetable, and egg soup
  • crackers
  • applesauce

  • sausage, pumpkin, mushroom, sage sauce over pasta
  • *tomato and cucumber salad

  • homemade hamburgers on buns, with *tomato slices
  • coleslaw
  • *winter squash
*indicates item is from our garden

Late at night, when I couldn't sleep, I calculated the cost of our homemade burgers. (I know, some folks count sheep. I count dollars and cents.) Anyway, I used 1 pound of ground beef, at $2.24/lb, 4 buns, on markdown for 35 cents/4, tomatoes from our garden, some seasonings, dried onions, and garlic powder, at about 10 cents. So, for 4 quarter-pounders we spent $2.69, or 67 cents each. That's a super deal!

Do you ever calculate the cost of your meals? If so, what do you think is an especially high-value meal to make at home?


  1. The meals sound wonderful and delicious!

    My week was definitely "off" for some reason. I have plenty of items in the freezer and yet I just couldn't get it together. I did have something every day and we did not go out to eat any day.

    We had vegetable/beef/barley soup on Sunday with roast beef sandwiches on homemade buns. I know one day I didn't feel well so I had a baked potato but I don't know what the others had. Another day we had baked chicken with noodles and we also had a corned beef casserole. Last night I had an omelet while my men finished off the corned beef casserole.

    I had made some of the copycat quinoa, black bean and corn wraps for lunches as well as leftover soup or casserole all week. I also made breakfast burritos and oatmeal for breakfast.

    I now have an empty refrigerator with no milk, one dozen eggs, no butter, no lettuce, no coffee creamer, no half and half, no leftovers, no bread. I won't be able to get to the store until Saturday morning. I haven't died of hunger yet so I'm sure we will be able to find something for supper tonight.

    I don't really calculate costs of my meals because they always are so cheap. I would guess they are always pretty low.

    My freezer is packed with foods to make meals, I just have to put that meal plan together. But I don't love to make a bunch and freeze. For me that just seems like a lot of work when I would rather plan the meal and make it each day. My son has requested a tater tot casserole and I have a turkey breast in the freezer that I think I'll make this weekend. I see a couple of meaty soup bones that I probably won't make soup from but maybe broth and use the meat for something else. I have some pork I sliced up for stir fry so that could be made this coming week as well. That pretty much is my meal plan for the forthcoming week!

    1. Hi Alice,
      your meals sounds very delicious.
      When we're out of milk or butter, it does feel like the fridge is practically empty. I bet you managed quite well, though. I suspect that you are a very clever cook!
      Have a great weekend.

  2. You crack me up. I don't count money but I do choreograph what ever show I am currently working on.

    1. Hi Out My window,
      I also menu plan and make mental lists of what needs doing when I can't sleep. I figure it beats berating myself for my failures.
      Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. I kinda sorta calculate the cost of my meals, but I don't love math the way you do! Last night we had turkey stew and homemade bread, which was pretty darn cheap to make. I used leftover frozen turkey, potatoes, an onion, and carrots as well as herbs and leftover chicken broth, and you and I both know how inexpensive it is to make bread. I think of meals like that as "peasant meals" because the ingredients are humble and inexpensive (but it sure tasted good!).

    1. Hi Kris,
      Your "peasant" meal sounds delicious and frugal! Well done!
      Have a great weekend, Kris!

    2. Kris,
      Your turkey stew sounds amazing! Interestingly, I choose to cook "peasant meals". I know those "throw together without a recipe" meals are often the BEST, right? Throw in a slice of easy to make no-knead bread and you have the most filling and nutritious meal on the planet. Get out of my life fast food!

    3. Thank you, Alice! I've been making the no-knead bread where you stir together flour, salt, yeast, and warm water and let it sit in a warm place overnight and then bake it the next day (there are variations on this recipe)--it's my go-to these days when time is tight but I still want to make a home-cooked meal for my family. Is that similar to the recipe you use?

    4. sounds exactly the same and mine has variations also!


  4. Fellow math nerd here so I do this ALL.THE.TIME, Lili! (not when I can't sleep, but when awake :) It just brings me satisfaction to put a delicious meal on the table with minimal expense by strategic shopping and planning. Weird, I know. I love many of Beth's recipes on She always costs out her recipes. I like to make them and see how much more I can economize compared to her figures. She does use more organic and less conventional foods than me, but still good for comparison. I agree that those peasant meals can be delish!

    I have made my own bread a time or two and the loaves have been pretty good. I have a goal to do this more often if/when we have company. Normally we don't eat a lot of bread with meals, and I haven't found a recipe that makes a good whole wheat sandwich bread for lunches. Any suggestions?

    Have a good weekend everyone. It finally feels like fall here in NC and I'm celebrating by making a big pot of soup, ingredients bought frugally of course :)

  5. Good idea, I might try your "counting the money" trick. I often take to bed "solving a problem", hoping a solution would come to me when I wake. Sometimes it does, and I agree doing these mental exercises can be more constructive than tearing ourselves up for mistakes. Oddly, bedtime is my favorite time for doing that, too.

    I must confess, I haven't paid too much attention to meal planning or shopping lately. I have been a bit lost and unfocused for awhile, and not planning much of anything. Yet the days speed by as I am not accomplishing much. I can get lost in the darn-dest problems. Lol, I think I just enjoy problem solving as an activity, and when I learned that art is problem solving I realized that's the attraction. Still working on my projects but now have even more unfinished WIP's. I have given myself permission to live with this insanity, since I am powerless to change, I know I am digressing, but I have come to understand that having unfinished WIP (works in progress) is my MO to test ideas. I have no desire to see the finished objects.

    I know I'm way off topic, but I hope to explain my absence, as I sense you are in transition too. Thank you for having your wonderful blog, as a way to discuss our common interests and to keep in touch.



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