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Posts tagged with: saving money on food

Day #2: No Spend Week Diary

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Today is Day #2 of our No Spend Week challenge. So far, so good. We’re out of milk now, but have managed to not go by the grocery store yet. I’m trying to hold off until at least Wednesday to spend our $13 on milk and fresh produce. I do have some almond milk (that’s what I use for my coffee), and the kids will use it with cereal when in a pinch, though it’s not their favorite. We’re soldiering on for now. 🙂

Day #2  Notes:

I made PB&J sandwiches for the girls’ lunches; only 2 slices of bread left after today’s sandwiches.

Fresh fruit and vegetable supply count:   nectarines, 4 strawberries, couple chopped pieces of celery (for dipping in PB as snack tomorrow), half spinach bunch, couple of carrots. Supplies are definitely dwindling!

My meals:

Breakfast:  Coffee (meant to make another smoothie since we still have frozen fruit, but ran out of time getting to work!

Lunch:  Chicken & green beans (Sunday leftovers) with white rice. Getting pretty old by now, the 3rd day in-a-row. Still have more chicken to eat up (that was a big chicken!), but the green beans are now gone.

Dinner (cooking now):  Pork roast (from freezer) with carrots cooked in crockpot (win!); canned corn on the side from pantry. I’m mad at myself for forgetting to pull dough out of the freezer before leaving for work. I’d intended to have rolls on the side but by the time I get home, dinner will be ready (thank you, crockpot!) and we won’t have time to let the dough rise. I’ll have to remember to do that for later this week, because I’d been looking forward to some yummy, doughy goodness! (I love breads and cheeses, what can I say?) 😉

 

I still have plenty of ideas for dinners we can make from foods we’ve got on-hand. Our freezer still includes a lot of meat (different cuts of beef, boneless chicken breasts) and bagged stuff that’s easy to throw in the oven (from Costco we have packages of Orange Chicken, Fish Sticks, and Coconut Butterflied Shrimp). Lots of possibilities for the rest of the week! Other than being bored with my chicken-and-rice leftovers, we’re doing good! I’m confident we’ll make it through the week no problem!

 

Whats on the menu at your house tonight? If you’re participating in the No Spend Week challenge, what types of meals have you planned out from food in your pantry and fridge/freezer?


Thanksgiving Leftovers

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I know you’re probably getting sick of hearing about Thanksgiving by this point, but I wanted to write one last Thanksgiving-themed post to tell you about how far our Thanksgiving food stretched this year…

From a single meal we were able to serve:

  • 3 adults + 2 kids for lunch on 11/27
  • 5 adults + 3 kids for dinner on 11/27
  • 1 adult + 2 kids for lunch on 11/28
  • 1 adult + 2 kids for lunch on 11/29

And still going strong….

I finally had to eat something different for lunch yesterday (11/30), but I packed up and froze enough leftovers to feed our family (2 adults + 2 kids) a full Thanksgiving dinner for some future meal. And we still had an extra serving of sweet potato casserole for some future meal side-dish (now frozen) and extra turkey leftovers that I’m planning to make into turkey-noodle soup tonight (same recipe as chicken noodle soup, but using leftover turkey & turkey broth).

IMG_5088 IMG_5089

In my conversions, 2 kids = 1 adult (in terms of portion size), so our Thanksgiving dinner made 17.5 servings, not including the leftover sweet potatoes and turkey noodle soup planned for tonight.

Not too shabby to get nearly 20 meals out of a single dinner!

Also, I wanted to thank you guys for the tip on saving leftovers! I don’t mind eating leftovers but in years past I’ve never thought to freeze any uneaten Thanksgiving leftovers. I think I’ve eaten leftovers for a couple days, then the rest sits around in the fridge until it eventually goes bad and/or gets thrown out. I’m excited to get every bit of use out of the leftovers this year (saves money and cuts down on food waste!) I’m particularly proud of myself for saving all the turkey broth. This is something I never used to do, but since I’ve started blogging I’ve been saving chicken broth anytime I’ve cooked a full chicken (tip: although most breast meat is at least $2.50/lb.+, you can often find full chickens priced at as little 88 cents/lb.) I like to cook a full chicken in the crock pot and I’ve learned to save any chicken drippings and/or broth for future cooking. Flavorful AND frugal! : )

Hope you all were able to stretch your Thanksgiving into many meals, too!

Any other tips for saving food so leftovers don’t go to waste? I have a friend who posted a picture on Facebook of a “Thanksgiving leftovers” quiche with potatoes, stuffing, eggs, turkey, and cheese. Thought that was pretty creative, too!


Shameless theft of gift ideas…

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Every year, my sister gives me the BEST gift and, thanks to my good for nothing memory, I forget to steal it and claim it as my own. But I figured I’d share it here so maybe you can do a better job of gift idea theft than me.

My sister bakes the world’s best cookies (no exaggeration) from scratch and as awesome as that is, it’s not the best part of her gift. She also includes all the dry ingredients for a complete dinner and prints the directions on beautiful holiday paper. This year’s selection: tortilla soup with corn bread.

Sure, nothing makes me feel older than getting far more excited over a pre-mixed dinner than the new Lady Gaga CD but… we all have to grow up (somewhat) sometime.

So, steal the idea for next year and claim it as your own. There is no shame in stealing good ideas.

Thanks Cole.