Search This Blog

Saturday, February 18, 2017

THE $20 EXPERIMENT: DAY 5

Hello dear friends!  Are you getting bored with these daily postings yet?  Only two more days, Yay!  Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I'm getting a tad bit reckless.  Today I used up almost all of my barbecue sauce, save about a tablespoon. I took the remaining sauce and the rest of my fire-roasted tomatoes and simmered the beans in them.  So from here on out we'll have barbecue flavored beans, whether we want them or not.  I also got a bit more generous with the cheese. I still have about a third of it left.  The phrase for today was use it up! Ran went downstate to help our son with some building projects, so it was just Jamie and me.  So for lunch:

We used up the last of the tortillas and made a burrito with the dreaded rice and beans, some cheese, and I used that gravy I held back from yesterday to give them some flavor.  I really overstuffed them; two for Jamie and one for me.  And I served them on a bed of lettuce that I swapped out the taco shells for.  It was a good filling lunch.

Dinner:

I used up those three little biscuits that I made yesterday from the leftover dough for the pot pie.  We put  a few tablespoons of the barbecued beans over the biscuits and Jamie suggested that if we put some of the beans on the lettuce and sprinkle cheese over it, we would have a kind of taco salad, so that is what we did.
If I were carrying this experiment on to next week, I'd buy some inexpensive salsa.  We don't mind eating the beans, we eat a lot of them anyhow.  I had an orange for breakfast, as always Jamie skipped breakfast and had his coffee, which I didn't include in the challenge.

So Far

We still have the leftover pot pie to eat, we're waiting for Ran to get back to eat it, about 1 3/4 C. of the beans, a couple carrots, a bit of lettuce and kale, one-third of the cheese, five potatoes, one orange, two bananas, and the beans and rice. Oh! and approximately one tablespoon of the barbecue sauce and almost all of the oatmeal.  Again, if I were carrying on for another week, I'd buy a small box of brown sugar so we could enjoy the oatmeal.

I've also discovered that this way of eating is very time efficient.  Make one kind of meat at the beginning of the week and you're through for the next six days.  Ditto for the beans.  The rest of the meals were just a matter of assembling the ingredients and a quick pop in the toaster oven or on the griddle. I t would be perfect for single working people, there wouldn't be any excuses for not having the time to cook, you could do all your prep work in one evening.

What Else?

Here's what approximately ten hours of my time the last two days has gone to:
Canning the leg quarters that I bought on sale for 29 cents a pound. To can them I first roast them, then cut the meat from the bone, toss all the bones and skin into a pot and boil that to make a broth. Then strain the broth, cull the meat from the bones, refrigerate the broth so the fat will rise to the top and harden. Defat it, saving the fat for soapmaking.  Next I heat the meat with the broth that I season with parsley, sage, rosemary thyme, paprika, salt and pepper.  Then pack them into sterilized jars with 1 inch headspace.  Put on the lids and caps and process for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.  So you can call me lucky, or fortunate, or blessed, which I am all three,  but it is still a lot of work  on my end to fill my pantry!

Hugs
Jane

33 comments:

  1. I find these postings interesting, and am not bored in the least. Canning is labor intensive, and multiply that if you grow and harvest it first. But it's an awesome feeling to have those jars lined up on the shelf, for the every day or for when times are hard. And using it all up (as in saving the fat for soapmaking) whether it's from a place of gratefulness, or being a good steward of what is given, is a great way to live life, I'm thinking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd have to agree with you there, Laurie! Plus I really like the connection I feel to my grandparents and those that came before when I do the things they would have done. Thanks for all your support!

      Hugs
      Jane

      Delete
  2. Good evening! I have not found these posts the least bit boring. I have enjoyed reading them. Lots of food for thought!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Personally everything tastes better wrapped as a burrito.
    That canned chicken looks delicious. Coping with a horrible sore throat - that makes me think it would feel wonderful on my throats right now.
    Even if a small household could adopt the $20 challenge for one week out of a months worth of groceries, I would think it would benefit their finances and adaption to leaner times (if they should arise) without causing to much crankiness.
    Hugs, Jen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry about the throat, Jen! Sheesh, you're having a rough week. If I could, I'd send you a big hot bowl of chicken soup with lots of garlic.

      Yep, it would be a good exercise in preparedness. Actually this week has been pretty easy and we've certainly haven't been suffering. Hope tomorrow will be better for you, dear, Jen!

      Hugs
      Jane

      Delete
    2. I just got off my soap box so according to the Mister, I am feeling better - ha!
      Add some chili powder and a sugar in your mix and I would agree it was an easy week. :)
      Hugs, Jen

      Delete
    3. Nothing like a good soapbox rant to make a person feel better, Jen! I'm still smarting from the "lucky" comment. I find it dismissive. Would someone say that you are "lucky" if you got a paycheck for working forty hours a week? and I'm off! Ha! Do you remember that skit on Mad TV where the two ladies would do a rant tag team style? That's what I always think about when I'm on a rant. I think it would be fun to have a YouTube channel and do nothing but rant about things. Better sign off before I get myself in trouble!

      Hugs
      Jane

      Delete
    4. Amen to that. I vaguely remember that sketch, but I would watch a YouTube show like that. A little clearing of the brain - it can be a breath of fresh air. I work for my dad and according to my peers I am so lucky, you know because I must be sitting at my desk eating BonBons all day. Not trying to squeeze a few hundred out of a dollar.That one grated on every nerve I had, It isn't easy to remember it is just people being unintentionally insincere. That job has taught me so many life skills...I feel confident in saying "I got this." You're so lucky your hard work, and sweat has you looking at a $20 grocery challenge and saying "I got this."
      Hugs, Jen

      Delete
    5. Ugh! The old eating bon-bons smack down. Heard that all the time in the late 70s and early 80s when I was a stay-at-home mom. Just what exactly is a bon-bon and where do you buy them? Don't forget you must always be reclining on a brocaded chaise while eating them, preferably while listening to some long-haired music!

      Hugs
      Jane

      Delete
  4. I love making the meat and not worrying so much about dinner all the time. Just make it a different way and you are good. I haven't canned much meat before -we freeze a lot. It's been interesting watching you do it. You are doing great- only 2 more days!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll have you doing it one day, Vickie, even if I have to come to your house and help you do it! Gotta say that beef canned up tastes like the finest steak. Canning it makes it very tender. Have a lovely Sunday!

      Hugs
      Jane

      Delete
    2. You know I should probably can a few jars just in case of ER's. I'll look into it.

      Delete
    3. If you can can green beans, you can can meat Vickie. Chicken is so cheap right now. AN easier way to do chicken is to just cute the meat into pieces and pack it into the jars raw and pour boiling water over it to fill to 1 inch headspace. Always pour a bit of the boiling water in the jars before putting in the meat, I've learned, or else the cold meat might make your hot sterilized jars crack. I do my chicken with the broth, so it is soup and stew ready. Really adds a lot of flavor. Hope that helps!

      Hugs
      Jane

      Delete
  5. Jane, wow..I just recently found your blog and am just loving all these wonderful posts! I am reading many of them this evening. My hubby just recently retired so I am enjoying your ideas for saving money. How long have you folks been retired?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well thanks Mary Ann! That ought to fill some time, I'm very verbose! It will five years in September since Ran retired. I've always been a stay-at-home mom so I guess I never retired. Ha!

      Hugs
      Jane

      Delete
  6. I am also enjoying your posts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Annie! When I have a bit more time, I'm planning on reading (and commenting) on all of yours blogs.

      Hugs
      Jane

      Delete
  7. I am really enjoying these posts! I read about your canning of the chicken with great interest. I make jams and chutneys, but I must admit I have never canned meat. A stocked pantry is definitely a blessing, but it definitely doesn't just happen, does it? It takes a lot of work, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bless! You need a pressure canner to can meats and vegetables. They are fairly expensive, I believe around $200 but are worth it if you have a big garden. I can all my meats rather than freezing them because we have several electrical outages every year and living off the beaten track our electricity company isn't too quick to remedy the problem. Most of the time, meat and veggies are a lot easier to can than jams and chutneys. Really, it's actually a pretty easy process.

      Hugs
      Jane

      Delete
    2. Thank you, Jane. I don't have a pressure canner and I am not sure if I am brave enough to use one! But I am rather intrigued by the whole concept. :)

      Delete
    3. Yeah, it's probably not practical unless you have a really big garden, Bless. They really aren't as dangerous as the movies make them out to be. You'd really have to be not paying attention for one to explode and the newer ones have a little escape gasket so that wouldn't happen anyway. But I think everyone is afraid to use one at first. I know I was!

      Hugs
      Jane

      Delete
  8. These posts are not boring! They are inspiring. I really like the idea of having the big joint and having it for meals during the week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks dear Sharon! If you're single, you could get a nice big roast and be done for a couple of weeks. Or if you did it once a week and froze the extras, you wouldn't have to make anything the next month and have a nice variety. I'm talking myself into this!Sorry about the misunderstanding!

      Hugs
      Jane

      Delete
    2. Thanks Jane for the ideas which I am going to follow, There is just me, I was widowed 3 years ago and still have problems cooking for just one, lot of wastage occurs, lol! (Alls good, I think we both are oversensitive!)

      Delete
    3. I understand that, Sharon. There's only so many times you can make a recipe smaller.I guess when you live alone, the freezer becomes your best friend.

      Hugs
      Jane

      Delete
  9. Your posts are not boring, they are inspiring and encouraging with good tips.

    Now that I'm alone, I find myself eating the same thing several days in a row, or spread out through the week. :-) Cooking and meal times are definitely NOT the same without my dear husband.

    Have a lovely Sunday and a GREAT week ~ FlowerLady

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The truth be told, I probably would too, Rainey. That roast would have just been reheated for several days, then the rest put into the freezer. I imagine it can get quite boring. Everything is geared towards families in the grocery stores, it seems, and when they do have individual servings of things, they charge a premium. Normally, I wouldn't be making this many dishes, either. We usually just have leftovers for dinner. But I that would be boring to read about! Have a beautiful Sunday!

      Love and HUgs
      Jane

      Delete
  10. Joan of Crystalview CottageFebruary 19, 2017 at 5:46 AM

    Happy Sunday Jane of Sweet Briar cottage! One of the best results of your experiment is that we hear from you everyday! So fun to read of your adventure. We are in Columbus Ohio helping our younger son move. He and his wife are expecting their first baby! #5 for us!!! I can't wait to go home to rural life in Mi. Big city life is not for us!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations, Joan! Grandchildren are the best thing ever. All the joy of children with none of the work. I hear you on the big city life. The traffic gives me a mild stroke, coming from a place where people make u-turns on main street because there is no traffic. They even move fast in the grocery stores, darting around me with their carts. I guess we've discovered where we need to bloom. Have a safe trip back home!

      Hugs
      Jane

      Delete
  11. Dear Jane,

    You're welcome to email all the plant photos you want! I need a good challenge. :)
    Wild greens have been such a thrifty addition to our diet, I really don't know what I would do without them.

    Love,

    Marqueta

    ReplyDelete
  12. I too am enjoying reading these posts. They make me really rethink my menu and how I can stretch things further here. ;) Boy you canned a lot of chicken! I'm sure that it will be enjoyed for months to come. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh it will, Debbie. Ran said we don't need to buy any more meat until 2018!

      Hugs
      Jane

      Delete