Sunday, January 22, 2017
LIVING ON A CLOUD
A Few Thrifty Things I Thought of This Week
In my last post I wrote about grocery shopping on a budget, one of the things I forgot to mention is that when shopping for produce that has a single price per item, such as the head of lettuce I bought this week, it pays to take the time to weigh them and get the most for your money. I bought almost a pound more lettuce for the same price as the smaller heads.
I also wrote about keeping the menu simple. A lot of recipes these days are just silly, they must think people have nothing better to do with their time than hunt down strange and obscure ingredients. Or someone would spend $20 on ingredients for a batch of brownies (a recent recipe I saw). When we first set up housekeeping our beloved Gramps gave me an old cookbook printed in the 1930s. Almost all the recipes were straight forward and most had fewer than ten ingredients. If you want to find some simple inexpensive recipes, hunt down an old cookbook, pre mid-1950s. Many have menus, also. You can find them at estate sales and at antique stores and often for less than a modern cookbook. Old cookbooks put out by ladies' organizations are also a great resource for those that want to cook simply.
You may or may not know this about me, but I have very long hair that most of the time I wear in a braid. I was standing in the beauty aisle the other day, studying the options for rubber bands. They had these pretty ones made of elasticized ribbon, but the price! Four little ribbons for $3! So I went down the craft aisle, and there they had a better selection of the same type of ribbon in packages with about 50 times more ribbon for half the price. So I'd say it pays to venture into other parts of the store.
Menu For the Week
I promised dear anonymous that I would write about our weekly menu for the week, so here it goes:
I've already written about what we have breakfast in the previous post, and since we all get up at different times, it varies from person to person. Since I have wait a half-hour after taking my thyroid medication before eating, I usually just skip breakfast all together or have a cup of coffee.
Lunch is our main meal of the day:
Monday: Bean burritos and a salad. Made from our own refried beans, home canned salsa and about 4 oz. of cheese. The flour tortillas were bought from the reduced-for-quick-sale bin.
Tuesday: The leftover burritos and a Big Mac salad.
Wednesday: Oven fried eggrolls and stir-fried vegetables. We used cabbage, sprouts, carrots and a jar of our home-canned white chicken for the filling. The vegetables were one of those frozen bags of vegetables.
Thursday: Beef pot pie made from our own carrots, potatoes, peas, onions and home-canned beef.
Friday: The leftover pot pie and a hearty throw everything-in-it green salad.
Saturday: We ate at Subway, because I had enough points for a free sub. Jamie got a footlong special that was $6 and Ran and I split the free one. So for $6, the three of us ate out.
Today: We had a brunch of fried potatoes, sausages, eggs and a fruit compote. The potatoes and onions were home-grown, the sausages were canned late last year when I ran into a deal on Jimmy Dean sausage for 99 cents/ lb. Eggs are still cheap here.. And the compote consisted of our own fruit that I canned last Summer.
For dinner we either eat the leftovers, or make sandwiches (from the $1.49 deli ends and pieces or my homed-canned meat), or have homemade hummus with carrot and celery sticks and crackers, or have some cheese and crackers. Most of the time I skip dinner because I am on a very restrictive diet because of my low-functioning thyroid.
For dessert this week I made old-fashioned cornstarch pudding to use up the milk that we had bought when the grandchildren visited. Ran's been watching his diet very closely this week in anticipation of his yearly exam next week, so I haven't been cooking or baking much. And we had homemade granola bars:
Don't Buy It, Make It
2 1/2 C. oatmeal
1/2 C. nuts
1/3 C. honey or cane syrup
1/4 C. butter
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
a dash of salt
1/2 C. dried fruit
1/4 C. chocolate chips
3 tbsp. peanut butter
Line an 8-inch pan with aluminum foil and butter well.
Toast the oatmeal and nuts in a 350 degree oven for 5-8 minutes, stirring half-way through, tasted as dark as you desire.
Combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and peanut butter in a small saucepan. Cook until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolves. Pour over the oatmeal/nut mixture. Stir in the dried fruits and chocolate chips.
Press into the prepared pan. Refrigerate. Remove from pan and cut into bars.
Thrifty Things We Did This Week
Knitted Ran a pair of mittens from some lovely tweed yarn that I found at the thrift store.
Ran helped a neighbor install hardwood floors in her bedroom and was rewarded with the leftover wood for firewood and woodworking.
Spent a grand total of $12.17 on groceries: $2.50 for 8 oz. cheese, $1.50 for a quart of cream that was reduced for the strays, $1.42 for a head of cabbage, 79 cents for a head of iceburg lettuce, $1.25 for a package of Naan on the reduced bin, 72 cents for a bunch of green onions, $1.34 for some celery, $1.67 for packet of hummus seasoning, and 98 cents for a head of red leaf lettuce.
Ran made some kim-chee with the cabbage using a fermenting kit that we received for Christmas.
Watched the inauguration for free on YouTube. No need for cable TV!
Which reminds me, I've been biting my tongue through this entire post, trying not to write something that I'll regret later, so I'm going to cut this post short and wish you all a joyous week from the old Zempel boarding house!