Category Archives: Food Savings

Lesson 1397 – First Annual Father’s Day Rib-Off

This weekend, of course, was Father’s Day weekend. We spent the first half celebrating with my brother and his wife over their son’s high school graduation (go Chris!). The celebration included lobster rolls, buckets of beer (I’m not kidding – buckets), a warm sunny day, and reclining seats on the ride home so I could sleep. (Note to self – next time eat a little more, drink a little less.)

And then that brought us to Sunday. In our neck of the woods we usually have a local rib fest on Father’s Day weekend. It’s a wonderful event, well run, and lots of fun. We’ve gone for many years, but when you take 8 people to a rib fest (you have to pay to get in) and then you have to pay about $25 for each half rack of ribs (and let’s not forget the drinks, sides, and ice cream that all goes with that) we found ourselves often taking out a small mortgage just to attend.

The ribs were good, the festival was entertaining, but my pocketbook cried every time we went. Continue reading

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Lesson 1391 – Makalapa Spread

 

 

This weekend I spent some time going through my mother’s collection of cookbooks. She had quite a few of those church and garden club ones, you know the cookbooks that are sold as fundraisers of which you are obligated to buy?  I don’t mind getting those community cookbooks at all, in fact they often end up having the best “handed-down” recipes ever. So nothing (and I mean nothing) was going to be  moved to the discard pile until every single recipe in every single book was looked at.

And low and behold, I found this gem of a recipe from, of all people, my Aunt Diane.

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In reading how and where it was served, I thought it would be perfect as a Memorial Day appetizer. Looks straight forward right? It is – provided you know where to find all the ingredients in the store. I had no idea where to find jalapeno relish (it’s near the hot pepper jellies which is near the mustard/olives condiments) and I honestly had to google Chili sauce because I had never used it before and didn’t even know what it looked like (FYI you can find it near the ketchup.) In any event, once I had the ingredients, it was spit spot and done. Continue reading

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Lesson 1387 – Yellow cake

At a yard sale this weekend I found a treasure trove of old handwritten recipes. Oh sure, there were many recipes cut out from magazines (Robert Conrad’s potato casserole anyone?) but it was the ones written on those 1950’s – 1970 recipe cards (you know the ones with the little flower decorations in the upper left corner) that got my attention.

I have a few of my mother’s handwritten cards and I consider them to be among my most treasured possessions.  (Soon, I’ll be making those chocolate, peanut butter, rice Krispy cookies that I talked about at my mom’s funeral.)

It’s a lost art. Who writes down recipes anymore? It’s more like, if someone requests a recipe we send them the link to where they can find it, time just seems to fly a little faster these days. And even if we had the time to write down a recipe, who has the time to make it other than for a special occasion? Pizza hut to the rescue.

Well I have time (in between everything else I have to do.)

Think about it. When I grew up food was how you showed your creativity. While my mother did work (after the kids had gotten older) most women didn’t, they stayed at home and took care of the flock. Preparing food was how they nourished their families, while the recipes nourished their creativity. When received from a friend, most recipe cards began with “from the kitchen of..” Sharing recipes was the social network of its time.

My kids, who are the sons and daughters of this storyteller definitely know the potential of a good story (or two) when they see it. Helping me sort through the recipes on Saturday night and placing them into two binders, every single one of my kids knew what was coming.

What will we start with first? They asked me. Continue reading

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Lesson 1140 – Keto diet and backyard chickens

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It turns out that a Keto diet is a *very* good diet to be on if you have chickens (and want to make a thrifty dish or two. This one crustless quiche recipe uses 12 eggs (although to be fair it makes 12 servings so that’s really only one egg per serving.) Once made, I froze the leftovers and in the mornings I take one serving out, sprinkle more cheese on it and then heat it in the microwave.I think this is a terrific breakfast recipe for anyone, especially older kids who sometimes are so rushed they forget to eat something for breakfast.Here is the original recipe from I breathe I’m hungry.

It’s a low carb and gluten free breakfast casserole recipe that is hearty and easy to make!

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Lesson 1131 – Real Soup in a Cup – A thrifty and healthy lunch

Several people pointed me to this news story that has made the rounds recently. Basically, it’s the lament (whining) of a 350 lb. woman on benefits (she lives in the U.K.) She currently receives about $32,000 year (includes public housing) and claims that she remains fat because the government is not giving her enough money to buy healthy food or to join a gym. If she only had more money, she claims, she would be able to lose weight.I’m not even sure where to start with this one.

First, if you look at her cupboard, you’ll soon realize that the woman wouldn’t know healthy food it came up and bit her on her substantial bum. Second, last time I looked, walking was free.

As a mother of 6, I have spent years figuring out how to feed my kids a healthy diet without breaking the bank. I’m all about saving money and I’ve written about it in newspaper and magazine columns and articles. I’ve even taken the SNAP challenge and did quite well on less than $35/week (and I also showed how I could *save* money while on SNAP.

My kids, deprived beings that they are, very rarely get grocery store cookies, cereals, or soda. They just don’t because none of us need that garbage. The other night we had a cake for a birthday celebration. We all enjoyed it because it was special. Cake is celebration food – it’s not something that should be eaten every day.

Some of my readers have asked me to write again about how I plan our weekly menu and then how I shop for it. (I routinely spend about $160 – $180/week to feed our family of 7 adults – that comes to about $26/week. And trust me, when money was *really* tight, I’ve fed everyone for less.)

I have a few other projects to finish up, but in the next few weeks, I will do just that. I’ll share our weekly menu (something I do every Sunday morning) and my shopping list. I’ll make the meals for the week and will show you exactly what we eat.

If one spends $180/week on food that comes to $9360 per year. That’s a far cry less than $32,000 (and remember, I’m feeding 7 adults (our youngest is 15) – the woman in the news article is feeding herself and two children.) With the money I could save on her benefits, I could probably afford to buy a second-hand bike which could provide even more exercise.

Until I do my menu sharing, to start things off, I’ll give you a quick money saving healthy recipe which I plan on using for the entire winter.

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Lesson 439 – Flock worthy egg muffin cups

When you raise hens for eggs and not for meat, sometimes you have to get a little creative with how you serve those calcium covered delicacies. Don’t get me wrong, even the youngest in our flock can tuck into a platter of scrambled eggs with bacon on Sundays but sometimes those lovely weekend eggs can very quickly turn into weekday “not-again” eggs.

Trust me, if it’s made with eggs, my kids have probably had it. I’ve tried a few recipes in the past, sausage and cheese burger pies come to mind, as do quiches of every type but often it’s just too much of a good thing.

The other night for dinner I decided to try another egg experiment. I had seen a recipe on individual egg cups and thought I bet I could do something like that.

This is what I did: Continue reading

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Lesson 315 – Eggplant meat sauce from eggs

We don’t charge for our eggs. With so many people in our community still struggling in this economy, we would rather give them away to people who can use them.

Bounty for all

There are those, though, who want to give us something in exchange. Although entirely not necessary, (and I’ve made sure they know that) the act is greatly appreciated – especially by my 5 (yes 5!) teens. Through the summer we get garden tomatoes, squash, lettuce, and fresh basil (the plant of the Gods).

We have one friend who in exchange for a constant supply of eggs (about 2 dozen every week or so) drops off a bag of produce from the grocery store about every other week. Sometimes there are cherry tomatoes, grapes, peppers, or a bag of potatoes. It’s a lot of fun because we never know what we are going to get and my challenge is to fit the produce into our already planned meals for the week. Continue reading

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