My 2021 Challenge

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alliesmama4
Posts: 7514
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: My 2021 Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 »

I have been in frugal mode with using up my food. The other day I worked too long and was too tired to cook. I did not have anything cooked ahead. However remembered I still had store-bought meatballs in the freezer. So threw 4 of them in the counter top oven to bake and while they were baking I sautéed a mix of onion and muti-colored bell peppers from a mix I had in the freezer. I opened a jar of marinara sauce and heated some of it. When the meatballs were finished baking I dipped them in the sauce. Then put them in a wide shallow bowl with the peppers & onion and topped with the remainder of the sauce. Added a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese and parmesan and nuked it in the microwave to melt the cheese. I would have liked to have used the broiler to melt the cheese but the pan the sauce was heated in was too big. Still it turned out well and was fairly easy to make and cheap. Then last night I was too tired to cook the dinner I had planned but ended up making another quick and cheap meal. I had frozen shrimp in the freezer so quickly thawed it out in warm water and made homemade cocktail sauce. A while back I bought a bag of organic russet potatoes primarily to use some of them to make seed potatoes for my garden. I knew I would never eat all of the potatoes before they started to sprout so I nuked some of them. I then hollowed out some of the center and ate that with my meals then. I froze the rest to make potato skins for a later date. So last night I nuked 2 halves and then added shredded cheese and nuked them again. Added sour cream, salt, and pepper. They were so good and quick. I think I will also try to add some bits of bacon the next time I make them. I would have preferred to bake the potato skins but just not have the time or energy to wait.

The other day I bought a few groceries and one of them was a rotisserie chicken. It was on sale for $5.00 and I had a $5.00 coupon from CVS for groceries at my local chain store. So for a few pennies in taxes I had free chicken. I ate quite a few meals off of it for lunches and dinners. Still have some left and I plan on making chicken salad with it. Then after the meat was gone I threw the skin and bones in to the crockpot and cooked it for an hour and them removed the bones to pick all of the little bits off of the bones. It comes off more easily when the meat is warm. I shared the little bits of meat with Teddi. I weighed the meat and he had two meals from the bits and pieces. I did add a little bit of extra meat from what I had removed previously to make sure he had the right amount. He did not seem to be affected by eating the chicken ie no extra scratching. After removing the last little bits of meat I threw the skin and bones back in to the crockpot to cook for 24 hours to make bone broth.. I have a lovely big bowl of chicken broth that I plan on making hot and sour soup with. Since a chicken can really be stretched a lot I plan on buying another one next week while they still have the sale. I have money in my slush fund to pay for it. My slush fund is money saved from my budget. When a bill goes under budget I save the money for my slush fund. The slush fund is for extra or unexpected things.

Right now making do with what I have in the way of milk. I ran out of fresh milk and cream. So using evaporated milk for my coffee and almond milk for cereal. Started eating corn flakes for breakfast with a few raisins and walnuts. Originally bought the corn flakes to make air fryer "fried chicken" Not going to happen since it would take too much of my time. Right now I am wanting to do too many other things so want food that is quick and easy to make.
Janet Alliesmama

HappyDaze
Posts: 1405
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:11 am

Re: My 2021 Challenge

Post by HappyDaze »

Janet, you come up with such great meal ideas and I'm glad you share them! I finally made "my version" of your potato salad last week. I added some chopped pickled vegetables and a little of the liquid from the jar and some diced up banana peppers and a hand full of chopped cabbage. It was really good and I had two meals from it and gave some to my daughter.

alliesmama4
Posts: 7514
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: My 2021 Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 »

HappyDaze wrote:
Sun Apr 25, 2021 8:46 am
Janet, you come up with such great meal ideas and I'm glad you share them! I finally made "my version" of your potato salad last week. I added some chopped pickled vegetables and a little of the liquid from the jar and some diced up banana peppers and a hand full of chopped cabbage. It was really good and I had two meals from it and gave some to my daughter.

Sheila I love the idea of adding the chopped pickled vegetable, yellow banana peppers, and the juice. I am going to try to make a small batch of potato salad tomorrow to use up a few potatoes and I am going to try to add pickled yellow banana peppers and some of the juice like you did. Thanks for the tip.

A friend of mine from India invited me for dinner and she said it was nothing special "just salad." She had a nice variety of lettuce, radishes, tomatoes etc but the one thing she added, that I never thought of before, was boiled potatoes that were thinly sliced. It was a nice addition. When we went to Chicago to visit with her sister and her family her sister told me it took her a long time to find the right kind of potato in the US to use in Indian cooking. She recommended red potatoes. I guess any potato would do for the salad but I think red holds together better compared to russet.. The dressing was a simple vinaigrette.
Janet Alliesmama

alliesmama4
Posts: 7514
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: My 2021 Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 »

My challenges have been really big the last two weeks. I had some necessary repairs done on my car and then asked to have them check my A/C. It is was not working properly. Yikes! After the finally repair is done with the A/C next Friday I will have spent around $1,000.00 for everything. Thank goodness we had the stimulus checks. I had not planned on spending most of it on my car. However A/C is necessary in the Midwest in the summer. Plus we will be driving my car to Tennessee the end of May and I am pretty sure it is going to be HOT!

One way I have been able to save money was to fall back on my food storage. I really enjoyed the convenience of the purchased meatballs that were in my freezer. They were easy to prepare in the counter top oven and I had a lot of bell peppers in the freezer as well as marinara sauce in the pantry. A sprinkle of mozzarella and parmesan all made for quick meals that were tasty and frugal. I think I have had at least 4 meals from the meatballs. Also used up the last of the Croatian sausage that was free from my aide. I made a quick stir fry of cabbage and onions and then cut the sausage in to thin slices, cut in to quarter sized pieces, which distributed the meat nicely throughout the cabbage and onions. Also found one last hot brat hiding in the freezer which I nuked and ate as a sandwich one day for lunch. I have some turkey lunch meat, from the freezer, that I am chopping up and adding to my salads. So little bits of this and that from the freezer and pantry in order to make quick meals. I have been eating other things but these are some of the things I remember off of the top of my head.

Teddi's vet had told me that after he had been off of chicken and beef for a while to reintroduce it to his diet one protein at a time. I have a lot of chicken in the freezer so decided to test Teddi to see if chicken is one of the things he is allergic to. He has been on chicken for two days and he is itching like crazy. So no more chicken for him. I had tried bits of chicken before but this last two days has really affected him more. Sad because the little guy really was enjoying the chicken. Today he will go back on salmon to help him with his severe itching. There is still a little bit of cooked chicken in the fridge but I will add it to my salad today.

I have had real concerns about the weather affecting my fruit trees this year. I check them daily when I go to the mail box or when Teddi is out doing his thing. Yesterday noticed my pear tree is setting fruit and it looks like tiny, tiny little peaches are forming on my 3 peach trees. My apple tree is still iffy. It was in full bloom when the sever cold weather and snow hit about a week ago. Keeping my fringes crossed.

My spare bedroom is coming along nicely. All of the stuff from there has been relocated and now working on the drawers. A lot of the things in the drawers are craft related so some of the things will go to the craft room which will free up storage in the spare bedroom. Next week I plan on deep cleaning things ie
shampoo the carpet and wash the windows and curtains. The bedding is all clean but that room has not been used for anything but storage for years so all of it needs to be washed and hung on the clotheslines in the garage to freshen them and then the room will be ready for my niece. She will be here on the 18th. Can hardly wait.

This morning was very peaceful. I was outside with Teddi. It was cool around (50 F) but the sky was a lovely blue and the sun was shining bright. I looked at the pine trees that are about 30 ft tall and thought how blessed I am to live here. The trees were only 3 ft tall when I bought them years ago when President Obama gave us a stimulus check. Amazing how much they have grown. They provide a nice wind break for my house as well as there are all kinds of birds living in them. The birds were all singing their morning songs from various sites in the pine trees and the woods behind my house. So lovely to hear.
Janet Alliesmama

HappyDaze
Posts: 1405
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:11 am

Re: My 2021 Challenge

Post by HappyDaze »

Janet you are doing great! I am sorry about your car repair bills but now it is all set for your trip. How nice that your niece is coming for a visit!

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