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Thursday, October 26, 2023

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers Plus Grocery Shopping for the Week

Grocery shopping for the week

My daughter picked up a bunch of bananas for me while she was at Walmart on Monday. Spent $1.60. I need my bananas for my lunchtime smoothies.

On Wednesday, I went to WinCo to buy Halloween treats and 5 medium/large pumpkins (28 cents/lb). I cook these large pumpkins (large compared to my garden pumpkins) with the skin on and puree for winter pies, breads, muffins, cakes, soups, and pasta sauces. I also bought a head of cabbage (78 cents/lb, some bulk peanuts ($1.98/lb), bulk cornstarch ($1.28/lb), bulk flax seed meal ($2.28/lb), bulk peanut butter powder for smoothies ($6.08/lb), ketchup ($1.18), boneless/skinless chicken breasts ($2.88/lb), a gallon of whole milk ($3.29), and 5 dozen medium eggs ($7.28). I spent $54.34, for $55.94 total for the week.

I spent $247.91 last week, which was the first time in the month I grocery shopped, so my monthly total so far is $303.85.

Dinners this week


Our first homemade pizza in months. I made a garlic, rosemary, olive oil crust, then topped with tomato-based sauce, pizza blend cheese, and sliced gyro meat that was leftover from my husband's and my birthday dinner in April (it's been in the freezer all this time). With the pizza we had sautéed Swiss chard and onions, and chopped apples. We watched Crazy on the Outside, with Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver, a free movie on Freevee watched with the Roku.


A vegetably meal tonight. Sometimes I just want lots of vegetables. We had black-eyed peas, baked with onions, garlic, celery leaves, thyme and olive oil. With this we also had steamed baby carrots, oven-roasted purple potatoes (using up the tiny ones), and cheese.


Again with the purple potatoes. This time I chose some larger ones and baked them, then topped with a cheese sauce. Sautéed kale and grilled onions on the side.


I made beef and vegetable stew, using carrots, celery, and potatoes from our garden, and some frozen peas. I wasn't feeling great this afternoon. A stomach bug is going through our family and it was just catching me. Anyway, I took my bowl of stew to bed and suggested others make toast to go with their stew. I started to feel better after eating my serving of stew. 


This was my easy day, including making an easy dinner. I made scratch tomato soup and focaccia bread. So tasty and it hit the spot. 


One daughter made dinner for us tonight. She roasted a small garden pumpkin then mashed it with butter, baked a sheet pan of purple potatoes, and skillet-sautéed a large chicken breast, diced, seasoning the meat with onions, garlic, and tex-mex spices.


My other daughter is cooking tonight. She's making scrambled eggs, sautéed cabbage, slices of freshly baked bread and chopped fresh apples.

The air turned very cold this week, so I'm hurrying to get celery and the rest of the garden onions in. I washed and sorted 2 bundles (of 9) of celery this afternoon. I pulled out the good ribs for fresh eating, then chopped the rest of the ribs and leaves for the freezer, to use in soups, stews, sauces, and casseroles this fall and winter. The celery was very dirty, so I only took care of 2 bundles today. I covered the rest of the plants with 2 sheets for the night, in case temps really drop overnight. The next few days will be freezing overnight. So I hope to get all of the celery harvested by Saturday. I'm a little slow getting everything harvested this year. Oh well, nothing I can do about it now.

How was your week? Were there any especially tasty meals on your table? My favorite dinner this week was probably the pizza dinner, closely followed by all 6 other dinners. Can you tell I like to eat?


  1. My Dh has been gone hunting so just cooking for myself. Knowing he was going to be gone I had my dd get me some Trader Joe’s frozen Kung pao chicken when she was in SLC a few weeks ago. I ate that 2 nites. It’s so good for a frozen meal and I just love it. Then I made hamburgers for two nites. Today I made a pan of vegetable beef soup. That’s all I remember.

    It’s very cold here and we got about 10-12 inches of snow the last couple days. It’s been a real pain having Dh gone for this, but most of it will be waiting for him when he returns lol. I did the bare minimum. He will be home Saturday around noon, but I’m leaving at 11 for SLC lol.we are leading separate lives this month!


    1. That's a lot of snow, Diane! Where do you live?

    2. Montana. It is a lot of snow for a first snow. Not loving it lol.

    3. Hi Diane,
      That sounds like a lot of snow for October! I hope you enjoyed your time in SLC.
      I'll remember the TJ Kung Lao chicken. It sounds delicious. I may want to give it a try for an easy meal sometime.

    4. It’s so good for frozen food! And at $6 a bag it’s an affordable convenience food. With some rice or noodles and other sides you could get 4 servings from one bag. Not many convenience meals that you can do that. I bought another bag when we were there over the weekend lol. My Dh doesn’t like it, or any Chinese food, so now he needs to leave again so I can eat it.

  2. I have gone back into the office to work ( 3 in office, 2 at home) after 3 1/2 years working from home and it has really changed my day. I feel like I'm scrambling all the time. Dinners have been more difficult to get ready by dinner time and definitely needs more planning the night before. We got by the last couple weeks but I have to plan better going forward.

    We had pulled pork, mashed potatoes several times due to leftovers, brussel sprouts, broccoli, sheet pan chicken dinner with cubed potatoes, beef stew, beef and bean enchiladas that were more like wet burritos, kale salad, asian salad, banana pudding. I'm sure there was more but I can't remember. Most of it was from pantry or freezer. I think I need to make bread this weekend as that is just about gone.


    1. Hi Alice,
      It sounds like you're having to make adjustments to working in the office again after being able to work from home for a few years. My husband only goes into the office 2 days a week. Even that seems like so much time spent commuting.
      Your meals sound tasty, even if you felt like you were scrambling to get them done each evening.

  3. We had two different family events last weekend that we took food to, and this week has mostly been filled with leftovers. Luckily, we love leftovers.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I love leftovers, too! Many meals simply taste better the second day. I hope you had a good time at the family events.

  4. My DH, BILs and a friend were hunting the past couple of weeks, too, but based out of our house, not away like Diane's. Diane, hope your hubby was successful! Mine was, and when we processed his elk, I provided seasonings to make some of the grind into chorizo. The taste-test chorizo and eggs, and some leftover-chorizo burritos were by far the hit of the week, food-wise, around here. Lili, hope you're all over the stomach bug by now!!!! Sara

    1. Hi Sara,
      It sounds like you've been very busy the last couple of weeks, feeding a crowd and processing the elk. I hope you have some easy days this week.

      I was the lucky one. I was only sick with the stomach bug for 1 evening. Sometimes I bounce back quickly.

  5. No luck so far. I hope he doesn’t get one. He’s got a cow tag along with the general season. We used to need that meat, but now we don’t. I like it ok but if I have beef I’m never going to grab the elk lol.


    1. Well, Diane, if you're going to eat elk, cow is the tastiest, in my opinion. That's what DH got this year... the only elk he saw was on the cow weekend, and we're just looking for great meat, not a trophy. Hope your hubby's enjoying himself and staying safe, one way or another. Sara

    2. My son got a cow today. They are going back out this weekend I guess. Dh said if he gets one he’s taking the back straps out and giving the rest to a guy he knows whose son can only eat elk for meat. Good!

  6. Simple, frugal and wholesome -- well done! We ourselves are still managing to eat out of the garden (though I believe Mr. Frost is finally to make his appearance here early next week (Zone 5)). The other night I whipped up Lentil Sloppy Joes from some of the last of the garden tomatoes, peppers, bulb onions and green onions, served over homemade bread. This weekend I'm hoping to get around to making asian-style Green Onion Pancakes since we still have so much green onion growing (I stuck the bulb ends of grocery store scallions into the garden beds all spring and they really took off) -- which I'll likely serve with Asian-inspired sautéed swiss chard (of which I also still have plenty in the garden and need to get to the chopping/blanching/freezing of pronto!).

    1. I'm impressed with your garden green onions from grocery store ends. Goos job!
      I don't think I've ever had green onion pancakes. I'm guessing they're fairly eggy? your lentil sloppy Joes sound tasty!

  7. Hello! I love peanut butter powder for smoothies also, it's not as messy. I usually have a smoothie for my breakfast. Almond milk, peanut butter powder, frozen banana and flax seeds, it's really good. What all do you put in yours?


    1. Hi Shelby,
      I have a smoothie with or for lunch every day. I put 1/2 to 1 banana (and sometimes some frozen blackberries), some soy milk powder, pb powder, flax seed meal, almond flour (for healthy fats),, and a tablespoon or 2 of one or two of these vegetable powders -- carrot, beet, spinach (most days beet), plus a heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder to cover up the vegetable flavors, and then water to get it all blending. I figure I'm getting both fruits and vegetables in a high protein beverage.

      I prefer a thin smoothie, about the consistency of a glass of chocolate milk. If I make a large one of these, it's my whole lunch. But often I eat some leftovers, too, so I make a small smoothie, and it's like having a glass of fortified milk with my lunch. I like the peanut butter powder because it's so high in protein compared to actual peanut butter.

      And you're right, it's not as messy and makes cleaning the smoothie blender easier.


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