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Friday, February 21, 2020

A Leap Month of Little Joys and Satisfactions: Another Week of Good Food

I went shopping last Friday to pick up some special weekend-only deals and a couple of special foods for Valentine's Day dinner. I bought some fresh asparagus, unseasoned wild rice/red rice/brown rice blend (bought from bulk bins, less expensive per pound than Rice a Roni), 5 pounds of pasta (49 cents/lb with coupon), 4 cans of tuna fish (50 cents/can with coupon), 1 pound of bacon ($2.99 with coupon), and a quart of Core Hydration water (freebie), spending $10.69, leaving $59.56 remaining. 

Mid-week, I went to Walmart and Cash & Carry and spent a combined total of $62.97. I am now $3.41 over budget for the month. The good news is we are well-stocked going into March. I maxed out my spending at Cash & Carry and bought larger sizes of 3 items in order to save on the per-pound price. Plus I bought a couple of items to use next month. I won't feel I need to go back to Cash & Carry so soon. I'm now finished with February's grocery shopping and beginning to put together March's shopping list.

Here's what we ate this past week:


Friday -- Valentine's Day
boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to tenderize, then dredged in seasoned flour, and cooked in a skillet, then topped with sauteed mushrooms
fresh steamed asparagus, seasoned with lemon-rosemary finishing salt (found at the back of the cupboard when cleaning)
multi rice blend, cooked with some onion powder, dried thyme and salt
dark chocolate cake (my daughter made)

Saturday  (daughter's night -- I did her night last week, so she'll do 2 times this week)
cole slaw
orange wedges
leftover cake


turkey, potato, carrot, stuffing hash
orange wedges


bean, cheese, corn, and tortilla casserole

Tuesday (daughter's night)
vegetable lentil soup
drop scones

Wednesday (other daughter's extra night -- she didn't have much time so she opted to pick up frozen stuff from Walmart at her own expense)
frozen pizza (Great Value brand)
frozen peas (also Great Value brand)


Thursday (clean out the freezer and fridge dinner, part 1)
meatloaf (freezer)
stuffing made with frozen corn muffins and biscuits
turkey gravy (freezer)
tomato-basil soup made from frozen tomato paste and frozen basil
oven-roasted frozen sweet potato cubes
last of the grapes that daughter bought over a week ago
cookies from frozen cookie dough

You can see that in addition to cleaning cupboards, I am also cleaning out the freezers. Last night was the beginning of meals based on leftovers in the fridge and freezers. I have a few more containers of leftovers to open for tonight's dinner, some of which I'm not even certain of their contents. This should be interesting!

What was on your menu this past week? Anyone else currently working on the contents of their freezers? 

One last photo to offer you -- I have purple primroses popping up all over the yard. The purple ones are the hardiest in my area. They're usually in a shady spot, so it's a bit like going out for a treasure hunt to find them. This clump was beneath a bush near the kitchen door.


  1. I'll say the meals were exactly how I cook and what I eat!

    We are working our way through the freezer but when a store deal comes our way we just can't resist. Hubby found a good deal on chicken thighs (skin and bone in) but such a good deal he purchased two of them. I opted to debone them but asked him to skin them. With the bones, I made chicken broth and froze several packages and used one pkg of three for dinner. I use a delicious homemade chicken seasoning and cook them in a skillet. My son loves my chicken seasoning. We had chicken vegetable noodle alfredo for supper and it was good.

    We had meatloaf one night, zuppa toscana (homemade), baked chicken and sweet potatoes, homemade rice a roni with sausage rings, homemade chicken cordon bleu, and I'm sure there was more but I can't remember.


  2. You got some great prices for the food you bought last Friday, at least for here anyway.
    And primroses popping up here and there. That must be so much fun.

  3. Alice, would you share your delicious homemade chicken seasoning. I am always looking for good chicken ideas.
    Lili, I look forward to your posts each morning. The daily inspiration that help me to maintain a frugal mindset with out feeling deprived.

  4. Robin,

    It's from allrecipes. I quadruple this recipe and store it in a glass jar. I also like a fine mixture so I put mine in a spice grinder (coffee bean grinder) to grind it all up. I also go heavy on the cumin. I sprinkle it on my boneless skinless chicken thighs very generously. It is so good!


  5. Hi Alice,
    Thanks for sharing where you found your chicken seasoning recipe. I'll check that out.
    For deboning your chicken thighs -- I've never done this. Is it hard to do? This would be so nice to have boneless thigh meat. I used to make baked chicken tenders, using boneless/skinless thighs. They were tasty and came out crispy without any added fat. For your chicken Cordon Bleu, did you use breast meat or thigh meat? I've been putting together a possible menu for an upcoming birthday celebration and Codon Bleu was my top pick for entrees.
    Your meals sound delicious, Alice!

  6. Hi Live and Learn,
    For here, too, those were great prices. I rarely find pasta for that price, so I jumped on it when I saw it. That coupon came at just the right time as we'd depleted most of our pasta stock.
    Looking outside right now, it really does look like early spring, here. I know that could change at any time, so I'm trying to enjoy it.

  7. Hi Robin,
    Thank you so much for your kindness. Posting everyday is helping me to find those simple joys in my own life. I'm happy that what I share helps you, too!

  8. Love the prime rose - such a pretty color. When I was reading your menu from the week before I noticed you only mentioned 1 daughter making dinner - now we know why - haha. It think it's great they are responsible for planning and making a meal once a week; gives them an idea of what it will be like on their own.

    Alice - I'm going to try your chicken seasoning recipe too!

    Have a great weekend

  9. Love the prime rose - such a pretty color. When I was reading your menu from the week before I noticed you only mentioned 1 daughter making dinner - now we know why - haha. It think it's great they are responsible for planning and making a meal once a week; gives them an idea of what it will be like on their own.

    Alice - I'm going to try your chicken seasoning recipe too!

    Have a great weekend

  10. I didn't know that primroses could be colored blue. That's so pretty! We have a few in front of our house which are a pinkish-red and yellow color.

    I feel like I'm giving my brain a workout when I try to remember what meals I cooked this week. Tonight was mac and cheese and spinach salad. Last night, crockpot lasagna (made with egg noodles because I forgot to buy more lasagna noodles!) and green beans. Wednesday was turkey sausage/white bean chowder and a quick wheat bread. Tuesday I made taco pie and maybe salad? Monday was leftover chicken legs from the weekend and salad.

    I am enjoying your daily postings, Lili! I'm sure it's a lot of work for you--thanks for doing it!

  11. Lili,

    I had my husband skin the chicken. Then I turned them over so the bone is facing up. I use a sharp knife and slice vertical down the bone and then with the knife go around the bone loosening it. Then slide the knife around the upper knuckle and the lower knuckle cutting the bone out and leaving a nice thigh filet. The bones still have use in my opinion by making chicken stock out of them.

    For the chicken cordon son had been given a meat box gift from his work and there were two small chicken breast meat pieces. I used those by pounding them flat, then putting on them chopped ham (left from Christmas) and swiss cheese. I secured it with toothpicks. That gave us two chicken cordon bleu but I need to feed three people so my son said there was also two pork filets in that meat box. I made pork cordon bleu with those following the same procedure. They were both very good. Then I followed the regular procedure of rolling them in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and baking them.


  12. Hi Shelby,
    It's actually more purple than blue. I couldn't get the color to come out right in the photo, due to poor lighting.
    Yes, with my daughters, unless one is sick or super busy or out of town, then they each have one night per week. I'll swap with them if they need a specific night off. You're right. I think it's a good way for them to discover ways to feed themselves and maybe families some day, while keeping to a budget. They each occasionally buy extra ingredients for their nights, and that is good, too. Doing so has helped them compare prices and weigh whether or not something is really worth it. both of them are good shoppers. They've both clued me in to new places with great prices, too.
    I hope you're having a great weekend!

  13. Hi Kris,
    I had a hard time getting the color right with the plant in the shade. The petals are really more purple than blue.
    Your meals sounds delicious as always, Kris. The sausage and white bean chowder sounds especially good for a chilly night.
    Have a lovely Sunday, Kris!

  14. Thank you for all of the details, Alice. I really appreciate that you took the time to answer my questions!


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