Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Kitchen Frugalness

I've been on a mission to use up what we have on hand. Grocery prices are so high and I'm tired of spending big bucks there and still not feeling like there's anything to eat.  I've decided this is my own fault! The fridge, freezer and pantry are full, but it takes some thought and work to get it on the table. Especially after working away from home all day!

So, this is my current menu planning method.  Number 435th try. (grin)  I made a list of all the possible main dishes and all the possible side dishes that were available in the kitchen.  The list is left laying out on the kitchen counter.  There are so many possibilities when you open those  pantry and fridge doors and stare.  ESPECIALLY those that need to be eaten soon before they disintegrate.  My list included some squash and cucumbers that were given to us.  Much too tasty to let go to waste.

Then the night before, or in the morning if I forget, we check to see what we want or need to eat the next night.  Frozen meat can be put in the fridge to thaw and will be ready to cook by the next afternoon.  An on going grocery list can be made when I realize we are out of something or that some item is needed to complete a particular dish. 

Its helpful that Hubby can look at the list and help with the decisions!  In fact while I was typing this post, he was looking at the list and asking what we are having tonight.  I stopped what I was doing, joined him in the kitchen and we made the decision together.  Tonight we will have leftover pork chops, banana sandwiches, and pasta salad.  The bananas are getting ripe and there are a couple of tomatoes that need to be eaten and would be good chopped up in the pasta salad.  It is so good to stop the waste and save money at the same time!  I won't even get started on how frugal it is to take leftovers for lunches while at work.

This time of year we start to get lots of fresh vegetables and nothing is better!  Here is my first picking of green beans.

I stocked up on potatoes recently at the grocery store that were on the produce manager's sale.  They are delicious, but as you know, you have to be on a mission to eat them because they will start to deteriorate quickly.  I combined some of them with the green beans and some onions, cooked in chicken broth.  It was delicious and made a great side for several meals.

In the fridge were a couple of cucumbers and some fresh broccoli that I had left from making some pasta salad last week.  So these became our fresh vegetable appetisers to munch on while the real food was cooking.  Not only did it keep them from going to waste, they were delicious and helped to curb our appetite some so as to not eat as many calories.

I added a few sunflowers cut from the yard in a vase and that completed our frugal and delicious meal.

We have already put to good and delicious use some items from the freezer that seemed to sink to the bottom of the abyss.  My grocery bill was about half what it had been the week before and this week is looking very frugal too. 


Lena said...

Nice job on using up what you already have. Good luck on your menu planning!

TN Quiltbug said...

You have inspired me!

Impera_Magna said...

It's so hard to figure out what's for dinner when you've worked all day... and a list like this the perfect way to make decisions and use stuff up before it goes bad!

Good on you!

Susannah said...

Good for you, Debbie. My husband and I were saying that in the last year a good share of our money went for food and gas....we need to be more attentive and keep track of things better. Good job!


Little Penpen said...

I need to go through my 'pantry' (pie safe) too. I'm finding some expired dates on some of my things. Not very frugal if we don't use it, huh?

A Sunday Nugget - Mercy

I am so thankful for God's Mercy!!!  I can never, ever, be good enough, but with His Mercy, I am made whole. Matthew 5:7 - "Bless...