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Thursday, August 26, 2021

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers This Past Week


homemade pepperoni pizza, medley of sautéed summer squash, tomatoes, green pepper, Swiss chard, apple wedges with homemade caramel sauce

beef and bean tacos (with homemade salsa), cabbage, carrot sticks, rice, blackberry pie

pancakes, breakfast sausage, sautéed Swiss chard, cookies

meatloaf and gravy, rice, roasted zucchini, fresh figs, blackberry pie

chicken and vegetable soup, biscuits, cookies

hotdog cookout, potato chips, sweet potato fries, carrot sticks, apple wedges

chicken and gravy, rice-stuffed grape leaves, sautéed Swiss chard, cucumber salad, brownies

Tonight -- homemade pizza again. I love our homemade pizza more than restaurant pizza. In fact, more and more I am loving home-cooked meals more than restaurant meals.

Breakfasts this week included homemade yogurt and blackberries, homemade granola, homemade instant oatmeal, raisins, applesauce, bananas, toast, eggs, milk, coffee, tea.

Lunches were more varied as I tried to use what I could from the garden. Most days, I set lunch fixins' on the counter for each of us to put together our own lunches on our individual timetables. These lunch components included cream of sorrel soup, Italian vegetable and lentil soup, white bean and vegetable sandwich spread with homemade bread, various leftovers, cheese and peanut butter sandwiches, celery sticks, carrot sticks, fresh blackberries, apple & kale salad, squash blossom salad, crackers, cookies, brownies, ice cream.

One of the commercial items that I hope to use less of this next week is crackers. My family loves them and can go through a box in a day or two. I'm planning on making some different types of buns and biscuits this next week to go with soups or salads instead of getting out another box of crackers. Baking scratch breads would stretch our supply of boxed crackers a little longer.

What was on your menu this past week? Are there commercial foods for which you try to find homemade substitutes?


  1. Sunday-cooked a good-size ham from the hog we bought last year. Made cheesy hashbrown casserole using dehydrated hash browns, homemade GF "cream of chicken" soup, Cheddar, and sour cream, as well as baked beans.

    Monday--date night for parents after out of town chiro appointments. Leftovers for kids.

    Tuesday--roast beef in gravy (cooked after our open freezer door incident a couple months back and frozen), mashed potatoes, and fried squash. *side note: while we're using the potatoes from our own garden I'm not peeling or cutting them, just scrubbing and pressure cooking in the Instant Pot and mashing them with milk and butter and salt.

    Wednesday--leftover ham dinner from Sunday

    Thursday--street tacos made with a single sirloin steak and a package of stew beef (neither enough to feed my family on their own), both cut to similar dimensions and marinated, then served in corn tortillas with homemade salsas (regular or verde) and chopped onion, and "refried" beans (made in Instant Pot) from dried pintos and seasoning, topped with a sprinkle of Cheddar.

    Friday--making Great Northern beans cooked using half gallon of homemade chicken stock, the ham bone from Sunday, as well as some chopped ham. Will probably cut up some carrots from our garden, and some onion, to add. I have a GF cornbead mix that's been in the cupboard quite a while so that may be the side if I run the oven (hot here today).

    1. Hi Cat,
      that all sounds delicious! Set an extra place at the table. I'll be over for dinner tonight. That freezer mishap a while ago has led to a couple of easier meals now, it sounds.

      Have a great weekend!

  2. I don't remember all of our meals this past week but I have noticed an uptick in meals with chicken--in my area, it's definitely the most affordable meat right now. We still have quite a bit of meat in our freezer so I feel like we have many options for meals. I'm currently trying to figure out grocery purchases and meal planning now that my son is at college--it definitely makes a difference. My daughter will be taking driver's ed starting in mid-September, which means she won't be home at dinnertime for a few weeks. When my son was in driver's ed, he ate a lot of sandwiches, so I think meals will be sort of weird around here till mid-October.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Hmmm, I'm trying to think about meat prices. I think you're right about chicken being one of the cheapest meats right now. I haven't priced pork roast/loin prices lately. In previous years, I could get pork for less than chicken at times. But we're not huge pork fans ('cept bacon and ham). I've stocked up on ground beef (20 lbs) to get through winter. I paid $2.88/lb. I also bought about 15 lbs of b/s chicken breasts at about $2/ lb. This way more than I used to pay per pound for meat, but it is what it is. Eggs are still a good deal for protein sources, even if price on eggs is up significantly.

      Oh, my heart feels for you with your son away at college. You didn't mention how you felt, but I imagine it feels like a hole in family life at times. Your plan for when your daughter is in driver's ed for more sandwiches or other portable dinners sounds like a good one. Burritos and wraps are also a good, portable solution for meals. I am wishing your daughter a lot of success with her driving lessons!

      Have a great weekend, Kris!

    2. There are chicken shortages around here. We provided fried chicken for my family reunion and I had to call a few places before I could find someone with enough supply to fix the order. And I was only asking for 40 pieces or so.

    3. That's interesting about your chicken shortages. This week there are sales for ground beef and pork butts due to the upcoming holiday. I bought some ground beef but I think we may go back for more, as well as pork. My husband loves pork loins and butts but the prices have definitely increased on those items. I bought a whole chicken for 99 cents a pound and it's currently roasting in my crockpot. The pricing seems wacky--last week a dozen eggs was $1.79/dozen and today it was 79 cents/dozen for large eggs, so I bought 2 dozen. Milk prices at Aldi were around $2.79/gallon for skim (what we usually drink) and $1.29/gallon for 1%, so I went with the 1%. The variability in pricing makes it hard to plan. I'm grateful that we don't have to watch every penny and can weather some of this, but as we all know, a few pennies here or there can really add up over time.

      Lili, the word that comes to mind in terms of my son being gone is wistful. He is doing well--he is meeting new friends, he connected with an old friend from youth group (she is a year ahead of him and they are both in the pep band), and seems to like his classes. He's been good about texting and we've had a couple of video chats. I have had it on my heart for several years now to start a young adult group at our church, so I have been pursuing that and we hope to launch our group in September. While there is no doubt that I miss my son, I feel like we are staying in touch well and I am appreciating the extra time I can devote to starting this group. Thanks for thinking of me.

    4. Hi Live and Learn,
      I wonder why the difference in chicken availability? I'm glad you were able to find enough for your family reunion. All's well that ends well, right? Are supermarket prices on chicken higher than usual in your area right now?

    5. Kris, I think you have a great plan with starting a young adult group at church. You'll be doing something really necessary and helpful while keeping busy enough to not feel wistful as often. And I'm glad that your son is thriving while away from home. It's hard as a parent, though. I sometimes think that we think about them much more often than they think about us. I guess that's normal.

  3. I just bought bone in chicken breasts today on sale at Safeway for 89 cents a lb after old people discount. I have bscb and thighs in the freezer but not the bone in breasts. Plenty of chicken available here except I have noticed fresh wings are a bit hard to find. I’m in good shape with meat at the moment, but will continue to pick up sale priced stuff if I find a gap in my freezer.

    1. That's a bargain, Diane! I love that you call it the old people discount!


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