Friday, September 21, 2007


Can you believe its already Friday again?!!! I am so glad its here. We here in Eastern North Carolina finally have had a few "rainy" days. Its been so long, I forgot what it was like!!! We didn't get a huge amount of rain in inches, but it rained lightly all day long yesterday and looks like it might do that for part of today too. Its wonderful!!! I can't hang out clothes to save on the electric bill, but the AC isn't running as much because its cloudy, so that's a fair trade off!!!

Now for some frugal food tips:

1. Declare a "We're not going to the grocery store week" (or month :o)!). Most people have enough food in their pantry, kitchen cabinets, fridge or freezer that they could eat for a week or more without even setting foot in the grocery store. There are leftovers, staple items and that marked down meat you froze in the freezer. If you go look, I bet you could come up with some delicious meals. We just need to get organized and "make do". This strategy comes in handy when an unexpected expense comes up or you just want to made do until pay day. Also, if we use up some of that food, we'll avoid wasting it.

My daughter and her husband recently did this. They decided to try to use what they had and put off going to the grocery store. They were invited to our house for Sunday dinner and we sent home the leftovers with them. We also picked some produce from the garden. We have green peppers and eggplants right now. She made veggie lasagna with them which turned out good. She even served this to out of town guests!!! They were very resourceful and this became a game for them!

2. Avoid eating out as much as possible: We have saved a lot of money by avoiding eating out. Of course, we eat out occasionally as a special treat and we love to eat out. Our recent strategies for this have been:

Eat out for lunch at Wendy's during the week instead of a date night on Friday night. This also saves gas because we are already in town at work. My husband and I can eat for less than $10.00 as compared to $30 to $50 on Friday night at most restaurants. Last week my husband bought BBQ plate tickets for a church harvest day. We went to the church and got to eat with old friends. We enjoyed looking at the crafts they had for sale, bought some quilt raffle tickets and even discovered an antique store in the area we didn't know existed. It turned out to be a great place with lots of second hand stuff. We didn't buy anything, but will definitely keep this store in mind for the future. But, my point is we had a fun date without spending a lot of money.

Bring food from home. When we visited our daughter, son in law and new grandbaby at their home, we didn't want to ask them to cook for us. We also didn't want to spend the money to take us all out to eat. So we cooked food at home and took it. I made my signature potluck dish, Mountain Bean Pot (in a crock pot), took a package of hotdogs, buns, and store brand tortilla "scoops". When we got there we plugged in the crock pot to keep the beans hot, heated up the hotdogs and buns and had a delicious meal. The kids had leftovers (I mean planned overs) for the week as well.

3. Planned Overs: Plan the use of your leftovers. If you are serving something that nobody will want to eat as a leftover, make sure to cook only enough for that meal. If its a good food for another meal, then plan accordingly. I like to use leftover vegetables in vegetable soup. I also like to cook pasta in the chicken broth after boiling chicken for a casserole. If I add a little of the boiled chicken it makes a great lunch at work for a couple of days. Leftover chicken can be used for chicken salad sandwhiches or in a burrito. My son will eat leftover spaghetti or lasagna, no matter HOW MUCH I MAKE. It never goes to waste.

My sweet sister-in-law taught me to call them "planned overs"!!! That's a great frugal concept!!!

4. It goes without saying to always buy all food at the lowest price possible. I seldom buy anything that is not on sale and/or with a coupon. Meat has to be on sale or marked down. The only exception is when I plan poorly and run out of a necessary item and have to pay full price. ARGH! When its on sale at an unbeatable price, of course, STOCK UP.

This is the Mountain Bean Pot recipe. I always take this to church or family potluck dinners.

Mountain Bean Pot

3 cans of beans (mix or match Pork N Beans, pinto beans, light red kidney beans, navy beans, etc.) (you can add more or less beans depending on how much you need)
1 pound of browned and drained hamburger
1 package of bacon, cut into bite size pieces, fried, and drained
3/4 cup catsup
1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar (add more if you like it sweeter)

Throw everything together in a pot on the stove or crock pot and heat until bubbly. If I am taking it somewhere away from home, I put it in a crockpot and plug it in on low when we get to our destination. Its always a hit.

If I wanted to make it more frugal I would leave out the bacon, but the bacon in it is pretty good!!!

Please go to for more frugal tips!


Joy said...

Great tips :) I need to do better with leftovers. When I had chickens I didn't worry - they got a lot of the leftovers, but I don't at the moment and if I am not careful I throw too much away.
I've tried really hard not to go shopping this week.... just living out of the fridge and pantry. I think I have spent less than $30 this week, so that is nice.
Have a great weekend,

Littlepenpen said...

I love your frugal friday posts! I had a "make do with what you have" day here this week. I found some buffalo chicken strips in the freezer and made a potato/ mushroom soup dish and biscuits for supper. It was something we don't normally have, and everyone thought I had gone out of my way that day. It was so good! LOL

Littlepenpen said...

Oh yeah... the baby is cute with his huge green peppers!

Busy Woman said...

Eating out of the pantry is a brilliant idea. If we did this one week out of every month we could save conserably on our grocery bills !

ancient one said...

Your little farm boy is doing some growing too as well as those peppers. LOL He is sooo cute!!

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