Picture courtesy skenmy
There was so much month at the end of the money this month. Goodness! Several hundred dollars of mainly medical bills vacuumed up our funds until my husband's next payday (Friday--praise the Lord!). This major budget setback meant I absolutely could not go to the grocery store for "just a few things" (although I did pick up two gallons of milk, a bag of sugar, and some lettuce and spinach last week).
Concerning food, boy was I ever thankful for my shopping habits of buying extra when pantry staples hit rock-bottom prices. I knew my family would have plenty of food to eat, as long as I diligently and creatively cooked from scratch. What I didn't know was that we would have two extra adult mouths to feed every day, for every meal (another story for another time). This required even greater creativity, and even more cooking from scratch. If you don't have the money, you've gotta make the time.
When a pantry is properly stocked, a woman can cook up plenty even when the grocery money is gone. I remember a Little House episode where the Ingalls were out of just about everything, but that didn't stop Ma from feeding her family three square meals a day. One just has to become a bit more resourceful.
So what have we been eating?
Breakfasts consisted of:
- pancakes, sausage patties
- waffles, sausage links
- blueberry muffins
- homemade granola
- french toast
- homemade wheat toast
- scrambled eggs, toast, canned mandarin oranges
- To stretch our milk, I mixed up some dried milk and added that to the gallon. I also added a can of evaporated milk and one can of water to equal whole milk. Not sure that I would want to drink a cup of it now, but it is fine for making and using in soups.
- Tuna noodle casserole, salad, watermelon
- Macaroni and cheese, mixed vegetables
- Chicken tortellini soup, bread
- Baked potato bar (with cheese, frozen veggies, bacon), salad
- Sloppy Joes
- (more that I can't remember right now!)
- Turkey (bought after Thanksgiving), potatoes, carrots
- Turkey noodle soup, bread
- Chicken enchiladas, homemade salsa, chips and salad (my mother-in-law bought the salsa ingredients and salad when she was visiting)
- Roast, potatoes, carrots
- Beef stew from leftover roast
- Beef Tips in gravy with noodles
- Spaghetti, salad, homemade french bread
- Parmesan pork chops, baked potatoes, green beans
- Homemade pizza
- Apple crisp
- Texas sheet cake
- Peanut butter Rice Krispies
- No Bake cookies
- fruit (fresh when we still had apples and bananas, dried and canned when we ran out of fresh)
- Graham crackers--plain or with peanut butter
- bread and butter/peanut butter
Potatoes were recently on sale for .98-cents for a 10 pound bag. You can do so much with potatoes: mashed; potato pancakes/patties; make your own hashbrowns; bake them; use them in casseroles, egg dishes (see my recipe for Tortilla Espanola), or soup, and on and on.
I love to buy oats in bulk, and I am feeling blessed that I stocked up. I've made not only oatmeal, but also granola, no bake cookies, and an apple crisp. You could make a meatloaf if you had a little ground beef.
At the last case lot sale, I purchased flour, evaporated milk, mandarin oranges, and some vegetables. These, too, were wise investments. I am grateful I have them on hand to get us by when we don't have money on hand!
Through a little ingenuity and, admittedly, a fair share of time in the kitchen, it is indeed possible to feed guests well even when the money's tight. Practicing hospitality is always in style no matter what is going on in the economy. These are good habits to learn and live by!
linked to Frugal Friday and Menu Plan Monday