More belt tightening

Budget friendly recipes for today:

  • $0.85 Breakfast – Fruit smoothies for breakfast (per person: 1 banana, 1/4 c. frozen fruit, a splash of milk so the fruit blends nicely, and 1/4 c. of vanilla yoghurt) 80 cents for the bananas, part of my new gallon of milk, the rest was on hand
  • $6.59 Lunch – DD and I had fish tacos, Boogie just had fish sticks with green salad, and the other two had leftover gumbo.  The kids and I also each had a piece of fruit, theirs was leftover from last week (apple and orange, good keepers), but mine was new (pear).
  • $0.53 Dinner – meatless tonight, Koshari, which is dirt cheap food anyway, but I had everything but a container of tomatoes on hand already.

To clarify a point, I am not posting the cost of these dishes, but what I paid literally to put it on the table.  If I had it on hand, I am not adding it to the cost.  For today, the entire cost of the box of fish sticks is added to the price of lunch, even though the box is still 2/5 full.  But since it will be rolled over to next week (or later), the whole box must be accounted for now.  I bought 2 heads of cabbage for $1.30 (I love cabbage for this reason), but since it will be in at least 3 recipes this week, I am spreading out the cost between those recipes. It may even stretch to a fourth recipe (because I love this okonomiyaki recipe, and I have the rest of the ingredients for it).

I am off and on planning my menu for next week, trying to come up with recipes which will clean out my stash more, so I won’t have to buy more things.

  • can of chick peas plus seasoning from pantry and tahini from fridge = hummus, buy some carrots and celery for dipping
  • whole chicken in freezer, winter meal ahead! I have stock in the freezer, so all I need is some of the carrots and celery, some potatoes leftover from this week, onion, maybe a parsnip (because I have recently discovered that I LOVE them)
  • chicken carcass, plus any onion, carrots, and celery left at the end of the week = chicken stock for the freezer, I have a turkey carcass in the freezer that need simmering, too.
  • I have a quart bag of taco flavored beef in my freezer, and a couple pounds of dried pinto beans, so there will be something mexican next week, maybe burritos, maybe tacos, maybe enchiladas
  • I found a box of jumbo pasta shells in my pantry, and will make this recipe with them and my last container of homemade red sauce, I will only need to buy the cheeses and lettuce for a salad to go with.
  • I have some random cans of vegetables, potatoes, green beans, and corn.  I know some are quite old, so I will probably make a soup out of them with some meatballs from my freezer and some homemade stock.  I will probably bake some dinner rolls to go with the soup. Essentially this will be a “free” dinner.
  • And I have a pound of polish sausage in my freezer.  There is so much you can do with sausage!  I will probably do one of our favorites, filled with super cheap ingredients: Polish Noodles and Cabbage.
  • two more nights to plan . . .

I am also musing on the week after, since I will continue to need to tighten our belt.  Almost all of our bills hit on the first of the month, which means we won’t have any real breathing room until the 15th.  Especially with DD’s birthday coming up before the 15th.  I think I am putting her party on the weekend after. 🙂  Things that I am thinking for the week after next:

  • Cooking the chuck roast I have in the freezer for my “large cut of meat” for the week.  If it is still cold here, maybe as pot roast.
  • I have recently discovered that I have not 1 but THREE opened boxes of lasagna noodles in my pantry.  I will definitely be doing something about this, which means I will be making 2 pans (one for dinner and one for the freezer).  This means I will be needing to make a pot of red sauce earlier in the week, and then maybe a second trip to the store (after the 15th) to get the cheeses and meat.  If I make it with meat.
  • Definitely a sloppy joe night, since I have 2 bags of it in the freezer.  All I have to buy is buns and stuff for salad.
  • I have 5 tilapia filets (and the rest of the box of fish sticks) in the freezer, so to counteract all the beef for this week, there will prolly be a fish night.
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