Thrifty Thursday - It's All In the Kitchen

Saturday:  Temporary panic and then calm.  I didn't know we were having dinner at synagogue Saturday evening.  Call it miscommunication or lack of understanding but it threw me into a panic.  Fortunately I had prepared a casserole of Mac and Cheese for our dinner and so I came home, put it in the oven, whipped up a pan of homemade brownie batter to bake alongside, tossed salad fixings into a bowl and Voila! A meal worthy of any Saturday evening dinner.  Whew!

Stopped at a grocery in the next town with a friend on our way back to synagogue.  Salad dressing was needed for my salad which was on sale...with a store rewards card.  Well, no problem.  Filling out the info takes 30 seconds and I saved $3.  Works for me!  John has one of these stores in his work area and often runs in for an item or two, so I gave him one of the cards to use.

Sunday:  We were off to Samuel's to see to the kitties.  Weekend relief duty taken care of, I surprised John with the request we stop off at a favored grocery in the area of the lake that has nice big steaks in the meat counter.   I had money set aside for this special treat.  We got our paper and a nice fresh homegrown tomato in the store, too.

Pan browned steaks, baked potatoes and salad made up our meal.  The steaks were large enough we each set a portion aside for a later meal.

Monday:  Weather changed our plans.  The house has held up surprisingly well over the weekend so not much housework wanted doing.  And since I set aside all goals, projects and plans for the month, there really wasn't a thing I needed to attend to.

The weather suited our meal: Kitchen Sink Soup, a nice vegetable based soup with just a little ground beef for flavoring.  I set aside half a can each of peas and carrots, chopped another quarter of the big onion (half went into the soup) and set aside for another meal.

Plenty of soup and cornbread, enough to set aside some for Samuel if we happen to go up when he comes home.  Enough soup still for another meal or two.

Washed a full load of dishes.  Opened the door to dry.

Tuesday:  1 chicken breast, cooked, the remainder of the vegetables from yesterday's soup, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 2 small red potatoes diced...The makings of a chicken pot pie!  I used an easy stir and pour crust to top it: 1 cup flour, 2 tsps baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup melted butter.  Pour over pie filling, bake at 375 for just under an hour or until golden brown.  That is one economical dish!  We ate roughly half and have as much leftover.

Opened a package of Brussels Sprouts (fresh) that came pre-weighed.  I'd much rather buy loose but it wasn't an option this past week.  I trimmed the stems on all of them, put half in the freezer after rinsing.  Steamed the rest to go with our pot pie.

Supper: Grilled Cheese sandwiches and warmed over soup.

Washed a full load of laundry.  Underthings, around the house shirts, towels and sheets, what John refers to as a mutt load.  Put them all in the dryer for one hour (sheets and towels and it was too wet to hang outdoors).  I timed them for 60 minutes.  I was surprised to find that I had one damp wash cloth and one damp spot on a pair of underthings and everything else was perfectly dry.

That damp misty rain has made the potted garden grow a good two inches!  I am pleased that natural watering is so beneficial.  I moved the pots with no drainage onto the front porch (they still got plenty of rain sprinkled on them) and left the other pots in place on patio and back deck.  I spied a little radish top peeking out of the soil.  Not yet big enough to eat but getting there.

Wednesday:  One of our favored breakfasts is a littler hardier than just toast and a good way to stretch a serving of sausage to feed two...It's simple as can be: Bits of sausage atop cheddar cheese toast.

We went to fair.  We pre-determined what we'd spend while out.  Surprise!  We brought over half that money back home again after!  And that was after also buying our supper and dog food from the funds.  Not bad.  What will we do with our savings?  Put it right back in the bank and save it all over again.

John gave me all the ones from the change we'd acquired during the day.  These went into our vacation fund.

Thursday:  Washed a full load of dishes following our breakfast.

Not enough cold cereal for breakfast so I chose to prepare a hot cereal instead.  Oatmeal this morning.  Really hot cereal is a far far better value than any cold cereal.

Dinner today: leftover Chicken Pot Pie and a green salad.

Made cookies from scratch.  Honestly I was trying to save time, mixing the cookies before lunch and not baking until afterwards, but the dough rose in the warm kitchen and that seemed to stretch it somehow.  I got roughly an extra dozen cookies from the dough.

Pizza dough set to rise for tonight's meal.  I don't have mozzarella, but do have plenty of feta, cream cheese, cottage cheese, provolone and Parmesan to use on the pizza.  Toppings will include some turkey pepperoni and turkey sausage.  I think I'll go pinch some basil to toss on to the pizza as well.  There's plenty of new plants in the bucket with the rose bush as well as in the flower pot with the geranium.

I used the last cup of whole wheat flour in the pizza dough after checking expiration date and finding it was getting near time to use up.

The German coffee we buy appeared to have expired.  A note to customer service department proved the date on this coffee read day/month/year...Not month/day/year as American expiration dates do.

Sometimes there's a bigger savings in what you DON'T do.  For instance, I meant to go to the grocery this week to buy cold cereal on sale, but we didn't even stop as we drove past the store in the town where the fair is being held...And we'd created a list of other items to pick up, too.  NOT buying the cereal or other items right now, means my grocery budget remains on point...And who knows how many impulse buys we skipped as well?

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