Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Posting Hiatus

"What's for Dinner" posts stopped last week because I was very ill. They will start back soon so watch this space!

2010 is the year of art and creativity on a budget. We're going to be making gifts all year long as well as working on items to sell at local festivals. These will be over on my Gypsy Crafts blog.

It is also going to be the year of sticking with a food budget, eating out only at pre-approved intervals, and just having a great time at home as a family. Lots of tips and ideas will be posted here.

I'm hoping to build up my reader base and share some knowledge with each of you.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What's For Dinner - Tuesday & Wednesday December 8 & 9, 2009

Let me preface this by saying that our meals this week have not exactly been well rounded. Hubby is working and I’m battling some personal issues so our meals are piecemeal at best.

Tuesday evening we had grilled cheese sandwiches.

Bread = 43 cents
Cheese = FREE (my mom bought Kraft singles but did not like them)
TOTAL = 43 cents

I need to add here that I had hubby go buy me a Bolthouse Green Goodness drink because I was feeling a little bit veggie deprived. This was $3.25 and will be added to our weekly total.

Wednesday we had soft tacos since I had seasoned cooked ground beef already in the freezer.

Ground Chuck & onion $1.39
Refried Beans – 1 can = 75 cents
Taco seasoning mix = 33 cents
Tortillas = 77 cents
Cheese = 41 cents
Salsa = 15 cents
Frank’s Red Hott & Sour Cream = 50 cents
TOTAL = $4.30


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

What’s for Dinner – Monday December 7, 2009

Tonight was a spaghetti night. It is a weekly staple around here, usually made on the days when I am under the weather or we’re in a rush for a quick meal. No veggies with dinner, except for the tomatoes in the sauce and I guess they are more technically a fruit. Oh well, we’ll do better next time.

1/3 of a box of thin spaghetti = 58 cents

1 jar of sauce = $1.19

Parmesan Cheese = 25 cents

TOTAL = $2.02

Weekly Total = $2.02

Obviously we won’t be able to eat that cheaply most days. Of course, one day per week with spaghetti is always a budget stretcher for us.

How about you? Do you have any super cheap meals you toss in each week? If you do, please comment and let me know!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

What’s for Dinner – Saturday & Sunday, December 5 & 6 , 2009

Jack wanted a yummy dinner and was talking about going out for dinner. This was not what I wanted to do so I suggested that he pick something up at Costco while he was there. He got a big bag of Tequila Lime Hot Wings and fries. This allowed us to have a “restaurant” dinner at home without the restaurant cost.

  • 2/3 bag of a wings (the bag was $15) = $10
  • French Fries (1/4 of a bag) = $1.05

TOTAL = $11.05

Sunday was shopping day. On our big shopping day (Aldi got me for $179.43) we get on “splurge” type item for that day’s meal. This time it was a bag of tamales. The bag contains 6 beef tamales in husk that we steamed for dinner. There are 2 left for my lunches but since they all were cooked, they are counted in the meal price.

Total = $5.45

Weekly Total = $35.47

Friday, December 04, 2009

What's for Dinner? Friday December 4, 2009

Tonight we’re doing breakfast for dinner. Jack has wanted to do this for some time and since I’ve been feeling bad the last few days, he is cooking. Tonight is Breakfast Bowls. We saw something similar on a commercial for Denny’s several years ago. Their bowls started at $5.99. We knew we could make something just as good or better for less.

  • 10 ounces of Kroger brand hash browns (1/3 of a bag) = 74 cents
  • 6 eggs = .53 cents (Yay for Aldi’s eggs!)
  • Bacon Ends & Pieces box - 4 ounces = 28 cents
  • Frozen spinach & Green Peppers – 2 ounces of each = 50 cents
  • Shredded Cheese = 50 cents
  • Spray olive oil, salt, pepper, Frank’s Redd Hot = 25 cents
  • Canned biscuits = $1.37
  • B&B and Jelly = 50 cents
  • 32 ounces of milk = 66 cents

TOTAL = $5.08

Weekly Total = $18.97

Thursday, December 03, 2009

What’s for Dinner – Thursday December 3, 2009

What’s for Dinner – Thursday, December, 3, 2009

Tonight’s dinner is a bit of a Jack concoction. Bless him, he is willing to cook tonight since I’ve been having a bad day. I don’t know what to call it – except dinner. LOL! It isn’t the cheapest meal but I’m sure there will be some leftovers.

I’m trying to add some more veggies into our diets. We try and honestly, we tend to eat with the seasons. In the summer, we eat a lot of fresh veggies from our garden and local food markets. In the winter we eat more stews and chilis and stuff of that nature.

I’m going to start adding a weekly total to the end of these posts. My week will start on Monday and end on Sunday.

  • Bag of frozen Mexican Garden Blend Veggies - $1.10
  • 2 chicken breasts (about 1 pound) - $2
  • ¼ pound of shrimp – $1.37
  • 2 packs of Goya seasoning – Free (we got this from a store that was going out of business – long story) if purchased about 25 cents
  • 1 can of tomatoes - 54 cents
  • Rest of the pack of tortillas from yesterday - 60 cents
  • Spray olive oil, salt, pepper, etc – 50 cents

  • Shredded Cheese, Sour Cream = about 50 cents (cheese was free)

TOTAL = $6.86

Weekly Total = $13.89

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

What’s for Dinner – Wednesday December, 2, 2009

Jack is still working so I decided to go ahead and try to cook. I’ve been battling a migraine since 2:00 this morning. Anyway, I had to make something that would hold well in the event that we don’t eat until nearly 8pm.
We’re having soft tacos of a sort. It is basically just filling for tortillas.

  • Ground Chuck – about 1 pound = $1.39 (sale meat)
  • Refried Beans – 1 can = 49 cents
  • Tortillas – Whole pack is $1.19 = half of pack = 60 cents
  • Cheese – Free from the gift certificate Jack got at work but normal price is about 99 cents
  • Frank’s Red Hott & Sour Cream = 50 cents

Total = $3.97 if we’d paid for all ingredients/$2.98 at price actually paid

Dinner Pricing - Monday & Tuesday 11/30 & 12/1

Hubby & I spent the weekend at a friend’s home. We brought some things to her house to eat so that she would not be footing the bill for our food. We took about $15 worth of stuff with us including apples, turkey, cheese, bread, and some other things like chips and granola bars. Had we been at home, we would not have gone through that much stuff, however, we wanted to be good guests. We left the rest of the food with the hostess as a thank you.

Monday night’s dinner was a simple affair of remade leftovers. We had turkey bites – bits of turkey cut into thin strips and dipped into barbecue sauce and ranch/Frank’s Red Hott dip. This was mainly food for my husband. I had a few of the turkey pieces but mainly I ate some leftover pasta topped with a tablespoon of butter & a small amount of shredded cheese.

Turkey – Free (from other meals)

Barbecue sauce, Frank’s Red Hott, & ranch dressing – 50 cents

Elbow macaroni – Free (from other meals)

Butter – 6 cents

Shredded cheese – Free (hubby’s gift certificate from work)

Total = 56 cents

Tuesday’s dinner was not nearly as cheap. We had spaghetti and jar sauce.

Spaghetti (1/2 a package) = 55 cents

Prego Spaghetti Sauce (on sale at Kroger) = $1.10

6 slices of bread = Free (hubby’s gift certificate from work) – good use of stale bread

Shredded cheese – Free (hubby’s gift certificate from work)

Garlic & Brummels & Brown margarine = 35 cents

Total = $2.00

Friday, November 27, 2009

What's for Dinner? Wednesday & Thursday, November 25 & 26

Dinner Recap for Wednesday & Thursday

It was a little crazy here on Wednesday night since my mom came by so I did not get to write about our meal. I took the ½ of the leftover white beans from the night before & froze them for a later date. The other half was made into a thick and hearty soup.

One thing to note is that I am adding in the sales tax on the food. In my area of the country, sales tax is on groceries (I hate this – I loved living in FL without a food tax). That tax is 9.75%.

White beans – free (part of last night’s meal calculations)

2 cans of tomatoes – 54 cents each = $1.07

2 cans of tomato sauce – 25 cents each = 50 cents

1/2of a box (2lb) of elbow noodles = 92 cents (1/2 of what I cooked was put in the fridge for a quick me lunch or two)

Cornbread – free (leftover from last night)

2 slices of white bread (for the one who did not eat cornbread) = 10 cents

Brummels & Brown margarine, Frank’s Red Hott, Italian Seasoning = 35 cents

TOTAL = $2.94

This served 4 adults with pretty big appetites. We had a small portion left over that I sent home with my mom. The funny thing is that they WERE going to go get $1 burgers from a local fast food chain, spending about $5 to $7 on the meal. High fat, high calories and mystery ingredients are all you get in that stuff. Instead, they got a hearty meal that everyone, including my picky father, enjoyed. I count this as a great success!

Thursday was Thanksgiving. Jack & I planned & saved so that we could go see New Moon. We went to the 1:00 pm showing. There were a total of 9 people in this nice clean theatre. It was really nice. Anyway, tickets were $7 each & then $10 for the popcorn/drink combo we got, so $24 for our treat. It was expensive but still not as bad as a meal out someplace may have been. Besides, the last movie I paid full price (even at matinee pricing) to see in a theatre was probably Hair Spray when I went with my mom.

Dinner was turkey & cranberry sauce. I did not really feel up to eating more as my tummy was full on popcorn & the candy bar I smuggled in. J

Turkey = $4.93

Butter = 40 cents

Lemon juice, salt, pepper = 25 cents

Cranberry Sauce = $1.10

Sweet Potato Pie = Free from Jack’s work gift certificate

Whipped Topping = Free from Jack’s work gift certificate

TOTAL = $6.68

Of course, there are leftovers. Hubby takes the legs & wraps them in foil. He puts the foil pack on the dash in his work truck and by lunch they are warm enough for a meal. Tonight we’ll eat the left over breast meat & then freeze the carcass for the next time we want soup or stew.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What's for Dinner? Tuesday 11-24-09

Today we had a yummy Southern dinner. It was typical fare for Jack’s family when he was a kid. We had white beans with ham, pan fried potatoes with onion, and cornbread.

White beans (HUGE crock pot full – enough for several meals) = $1.50
Ham = FREE! This was the bone and left over meat from a ham we smoked earlier in the year. The bone was frozen until use.
Potatoes = The last of that 8 pound bag we had. About $1.50 worth
Onion = 25 cents
Oil, Salt, Pepper, Frank’s Red Hot, garlic = 75 cents
Corn meal = 50 cents
Egg = I pay 49 cents per dozen at Aldi (53 cents w/tax) or 4.5 cents for one
Milk = 1.5 cups or 25 cents

Total = $4.35

This is dinner tonight, freezing a huge portion, and the white beans will become a component of tomorrow night’s dinner.

I also made jello (free) and a banana orange bread.

banana (3) = 29 cents
1.5 cups of flour = 30 cents
1 cup of sugar = 22 cents
frozen oj = 1 tsp or about 10 cents
egg = 4.5 cents
baking powder & salt = 10 cents (maybe)
1/2 stick of butter = 50 cents (we use real butter here)

Total = $1.56

I honestly think that less than $6 for dinner and desert for at least two nights is not bad!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Where I Talk About Food

Jack went to Schnucks today while at work. He got a $25 gift certificate from work so he spent a whole 6 cents above that. He got a big turkey, 2 bags of shredded cheese, a sweet potato pie, a loaf of bread, bologna, margarine, whipped cream, a soda & a donut.

We went to Kroger when Jack got home from work. I had $75 on me and we spent $65 total in two separate orders in order to take advantage of the sale price on turkey.

The first ticket was $19.96. We got 9 pounds of ground chuck on clearance price from $1.99 per pound to 1.49 per pound and a 12.16 pound turkey (sale price was 37 cents per pound).

The second ticket had a lot more stuff on it. We got some reduced price lettuce, some clearance shampoo and conditioner (about 75 cents cheaper than I normally pay), 3 white 7 day candles in red glass, 4 boxes of wild rice, 2 all natural sour cream, cranberry sauce (whole berry), tortilla, sweet potatoes, a 11.44 pound turkey, Abuleta (clearance), egg nog, milk, and beer. Total was $44.70.

For roughly $65 we have enough food to last us quite some time. We now have four turkeys. Three will be frozen for a later time. Generally speaking, we will smoke a bird a few times a year. You cannot beat the price of 37 to 39 cents per pound for meat. The last turkey from our 2008 buying spree was just cooked in September for a large gathering.

What's for Dinner? Monday 11-23-09

Today for dinner we’re having a huge pot of chicken and rice soup. I will break down ingredients here:

Chicken breasts (3) - $2.90
Carrots ½ bag – 50 cents
Garlic, celery seed, sage, salt, pepper, liquid smoke – about 60 cents total
Riceland Wild Rice - $1
1 cup of Jasmine rice – 50 cents
Total - $5.50

This is a HUGE pot of soup. It will easily feed us tonight and have enough for about 10 or more lunches. Jack says it is about equivalent of 20 cans of soup. I am going to be putting it up into lunch sized portions and freezing it. It is a whole lot better for the microwave meals that Jack suggested I pick up today while we were at the store.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What's for Dinner? Sunday 11-22-09

Tonight's meal is being cooking now. Hubby is on his way home from hunting (2 hours away) so our meal will be late.

I deboned a few chicken breasts (3) and put them into a marinade of olive oil, garlic, vinegar and Romano cheese. The boobs are lying on top of a potatoes (3) that are cut into bite size pieces.

I got the chicken in a box deal at 1.90 per pound. This is about 2 pounds so $3.80.
The potatoes were a big bag (10 pounds) for $5.00. I used 3 of the 10 potatoes so $1.50.
The marinade was a $1.00 bottle and the cheese was less than 50 cents worth.

We were going to have a veggie but hubby got home late and we just ate the casserole. Not too balanced but better than a burger & fries!

Total meal = $6.80

This yielded 2 huge dinner portions & lunch for me on Monday

What is for dinner at your house???

What's for Dinner? - New Segment

I've been posting dinner preps on my private journal and just realized that frugal people may be interested in these too.

I am breaking down the prices on our meals. I will be putting the price next to the item. I put the entire price on the meal as cooked that day. If I have leftovers to freeze or use another day, those are then considered "free" to my budget. Since I have FMS and will have good & bad days, it is important to have back up meals in the freezer if necessary. My family is just the two of us (both adults with normal to large appetites) and I plan leftovers for my lunch, if possible, for the next day.

Our meals will vary greatly in price. More than anything, I am posting it so that we can be aware of what we are eating. Prior to this week, we were eating out 2 - 4 times or more per week (either in a restaurant or take away). Our stomachs and intestines were not happy, neither was our wallet.

This is a start. I hope that by posting my meals here, it helps some of you to think outside of the box when it comes to meals.