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Friday, January 10, 2020

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers for a New Year

I finished up most of January's grocery shopping this week. Of course, there wasn't a whole lot on the list. I picked up a few pounds of bananas, a head of cabbage, a jar of decaf coffee, 5 cans of pumpkin (on clearance), 9 gallons of 2% milk ($1.19 each), fruitcake fruit, Pringles potato chips (only bought 1 can -- 79 cents), a pound of mushrooms ($1.69), pumpkin-spice marshmallows (29 cents/bag, bought 3 bags), about 6 lbs of apples, 1 package hot dogs, a free energy bar, 40 lbs of oranges, 15 dozen eggs, and 10 lbs of carrots. I spent $62.91 this week, leaving me with $25.02 leftover in  January's budget of $106.04. Our fridges, freezers, and pantry are bursting right now. When the wintry weather finally hits our area, I think we'll be just fine, as far as supplies go.

In case you're curious -- a 40-lb case of oranges has between 72 and 88 oranges, which will probably last us through mid-February. With the eggs, our family goes through 6 dozen or so per month, if we're regularly using eggs in baking, for breakfasts/lunches, and for dinner entrees, such as quiches. So, 15 dozen should be about a 2-month supply for us, with a couple dozen for freezing, as well. I like having some eggs in the freezer, to use in those weeks when I'm waiting to find a good deal on eggs.

Friday's and Saturday's dinners used some of the ham that was baked on New Year's Day. It felt like we were eating a lot of meat over the holidays. So, by Sunday, I was pretty happy to have vegetarian dinners again.

I'm sorry, I didn't take many photos this week.

leftover ham
roasted butternut squash
leftover potato casserole
leftover marinated artichoke hearts (clearance- dented can)


lentil, ham, and carrot soup
roasted butternut squash
Christmas candy for dessert

refried beans and salsa
brown rice
tortilla chips
carrot sticks

lentil-based minestrone
butternut-spice muffins
cheddar cheese slices
peanut butter cookies

Tuesday (daughter cooked)
Traditional Vulcan Breakfast -- Plomeek Soup, a vegetable soup, using beets, carrots, and sweet potatoes, among other veggies --my daughter used this recipe, it freezes well
grilled cheese sandwiches
blackberries (frozen) topped with dusting of sugar

leftover lentil minestrone soup from Monday
egg, bread, cheese strata
orange wedges

Thursday (other daughter cooked)
tuna-noodle casserole, adding peas and some celery leaves
canned green beans

Tonight is the night that we take our tree down. I've planned a dinner of homemade pizza, cole slaw, and snack mix made from mixed nuts, raisins, and pretzels.

The holidays featured a lot of rich or snacky foods. I think it'll will be a lovely change to sink into menus of soup, homemade breads, and simple desserts. You may have noticed, 4 of the 7 nights featured soup this past week for us.

You may be wondering a bit about the Vulcan soup. I previously mentioned that my two daughters are big Star Trek fans. One of my daughters came across Vulcan recipes and thought she'd try this out. The soup was surprisingly delicious, and it used up a bag of beets that I'd dug in late fall and had been sitting in the fridge. (Without the leaves, beet roots can keep in cold storage for several weeks. I did use the greens within days of harvesting the beets.)

That's my week of suppers. What was on your menu this past week? After a rich and decadent holiday season, what was the simpler food that you craved the most?

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!


  1. I look forward to more Star Trek dishes. :)

  2. I looked at the Star Trek recipes. Your daughters definitely chose a more do-able one! Pig's blood and lamb's heart are not ingredients everyone keeps on hand!

    We are also expecting a nasty storm this weekend, but I think we're ok, supply-wise. My husband will be getting extra gas for our generator.

    I've had a respiratory bug this week, so I've kept meals pretty simple. I agree with you--after the holidays, simple and healthy is more appealing!

  3. Hi Live and Learn,
    She made some bread/biscuits that were Star Trek inspired a couple of weeks ago. I'll have to ask her what they were called again.
    I'm glad that entry made you smile.

  4. Hi Kris,
    I was plum out of lambs' hearts the other day so the vegetable soup had to do.
    Have you needed to use your generator much in past winters? I sure hope that you storm is not as bad as it is looking right now. Stay warm and well!

  5. We don't often have to use our generator (we are fairly close to a main shopping district so I don't think we've ever been more than 24 hours without power) but I am sure grateful for it on the rare occasions when we have needed it. Ours doesn't power the whole house but we can keep a space heater going as well as alternating between the fridge and freezer to keep from losing food. We purchased it used from the previous home owner and we probably should consider getting a newer, updated version, but it's hard for me to justify the cost when we need it so infrequently. As we get older, we may change our minds on that.

    The track of the storm looks like it won't hit our area quite as hard--hopefully we will get more snow rather than ice--I hope you get through your weekend ok!

  6. The Star Trek soup cracked me up! Hope you have a nice weekend.

    - Tina


  7. We've been having ham and collard greens for the past several days. How do you escape leftovers? Only my husband and I, and we now don't eat dinner, so entrees last forever. But I am not complaining either.

    Have a nice weekend!!


  8. Kris, like you we have a generator since we are on the coast with lots of hurricanes, nowadays. (Seems they are becoming more frequent and stronger...)We had several hurricanes where we lost power for about 2 days, which we could and did manage.

    We wound up getting our generator after 2 events. One Saturday-out of the blue-we had no power for over 24 hours, along with ALL of the neighbors in the entire region. Turns out there had been a wreck that had knocked out an entire substation, so NO ONE in our county had power. And then, another time, on a typical, no storm day, we had no power for 12+ hours, which really isn't that long. But the cause of that outage?? A boat was dragging its anchor and broke the cable that brings power to the island where I live!

    When we realized just how vulnerable our power source was, we opted for a generator. I must confess it is top of the line and would power the whole house if need be (not needed of late since just 2 of us at home now, plus that takes a lot of fuel)But we used to worry a bit even going out of town, fearful that a storm would pop up and knock out the refrigerator and freezer, which happens. My husband is diabetic and we wanted to be sure his insulin was protected, along with our perishables. Plus, without power, we had no water as we were on a pump.

    We used the generator this past year with Hurricane Dorian and with Hurricanes Michael and Florence the year before, but our power wasn't out all that long with any of these. The generator is just an insurance policy, plus we have it also in case of ice or snow, which also has affected us!But, the worst power outage I've experienced (I grew up on the coast and have lived now back on the coast for 23 years, so 45 years of coastal living) was inland when I lived in Charlotte NC and following Hurricane Hugo we had no power for 8 days and no generator! Now THAT was an experience and not in a good way!So hoping those of you in the path of the storm will fare okay with no power outages!


  9. I love seeing the thrifty meals that you share! I myself still have several large heads of cabbage (both green and red) harvested from my very last garden haul this past Halloween. They are continuing to keep decently well for me in the fridge, but I need to be sure to prepare cabbage in some fashion or another every week in order to stay on top of it (especially since I'm mostly only cooking for myself these days!). Good thing I love cabbage (and even more so the $aving$ of free garden cabbage!) -- because I still have PLENTY more to power through, lol....!

  10. Although the storm was not as bad as predicted, we still stayed in today. Got all of the holiday decor put up, and the regular weekend stuff of laundry, floors, dusting. Also used this frigid day to do a puzzle, a sand craft kit, made a big pot of lentils and bratwurst, and a beach themed desert kit I picked up on clearance a while back and saved just for a shut in day. Hoping to get out tomorrow to visit my dad (2 miles away) just for the sake of getting out. Grateful that the storm was nowhere near what was predicted but there is still ice on the roads. I wish my 7yo would be cool with that many nights of soup. It’s what I’m dreaming of! ✌️

  11. It sounds like a week of delicious, simple meals! I am continuing to plow through my freezer for meals - this week we had pasta fagole and toast, chicken legs, rice and pan sauce, homemade pizza, leftovers. My daughter had a baby so I am taking her a couple of meals - lassagne, oriental pork loin and fried rice, Hello Dolly bars leftover and frozen from Christmas, and cinnamon knot rolls. We are also enjoying leftover Christmas candy, oranges and apples. Have a great week!

  12. Hi again, Kris.
    That's good to know that the storm began to track differently than previously anticipated. I hope you haven't needed to use your generator. But, I'm sure you are glad to have it for peace of mind.
    After many delays, we did finally get our first dump of snow. It looks like about 4 inches, which doesn't sound like much, but schools in my area were cancelled today. We'll see how tomorrow works out. My daughters are substitute teachers, so they are hoping school is operating tomorrow.
    I hope your week is off to a good start!

  13. Hi Tina,
    I thought the Star Trek soup might amuse some people! It was very tasty. So I can attest to the fact that Vulcans eat very well.
    Have a great day, Tina.

  14. Hi YHF,
    The upside to not eating as much as when we were younger is lower food costs and less cooking. But I see your point, entrees must seem to last forever. We haven't quite reached that point in our house, with 2 young adults here, but I can definitely see that we're headed that way. I know I just can't eat as much as I used to, even when I'm trying to be more active.
    Ham and collards sounds very tasty.
    I hope your week is off to a great start, YHF!

  15. Hi Lynn,
    with your generator it sounds like you are set to handle any bad weather. It sounds like this was a very well-though out decision and makes the most sense for your circumstances. Good job!
    Have a great day, Lynn.

  16. Hi there,
    we love cabbage, too. I like it added to soup or for a quick salad. And it keeps so well. Good luck getting through the rest of it!

  17. Wow, what a very productive day you had, Vanessa! The puzzle sounds like a lot of fun as well as the beach dessert kit. Making memories with your kids!
    Have a great day, Vanessa!

  18. Hi there,
    Congratulations on the new grandbaby! I'm sure your daughter really appreciated the meals during this very busy time with a new baby.
    What are Hello Dolly bars? I've never heard of those before. Your meals sound very delicious and I'm sure were enjoyed by all!
    I hope your week is off to a great start!


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