What Did We Eat–Winter Garden Goodies! January 20, 2018.

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This week, after looking around outside in the covered porch, I found a few items lurking around out there.  I also took a walk out into the muddy, muddy garden and found a few things.  I decided to use those up instead of buying more.  Novel thought:). LOL!

I baked a butternut squash we grew.  It had a few bad spots, but I cut them off, cubed it, and roasted it with olive oil, salt and pepper.  I used home-canned pickles.  I cooked burger from last year’s cow (there’s a bit left, still.)

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We ate up the rest of the chicken I baked earlier in the week.  Rob made some pizza using some pre-baked bread crusts he found at Grocery Outlet for around $1 for 2 a while back.  He used toppings we had on hand.  I baked one of the gluten-free Costco pizzas I buy frozen.  I added toppings to the cheese they come with.  We cruised along on that for a few days as we made lots.  (Thank goodness I didn’t eat an entire pizza in one day!)

Last weekend, I went out and got a few things, mostly produce.  One thing I bought was a 15 pound bag of potatoes for $2.50.  So, we baked up a bunch of those. We’ve had those a couple of times this week.

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Out in the garden, I found a nice cabbage, some kale and a bunch of boc choi.  The boc choi was a surprise, as it was hiding behind some other things and I didn’t see it until I got out there!  I finished up a head of cabbage I had previously picked, and was delighted to see that this one was in excellent condition.  On the covered porch, I found a small handful of potatoes, a couple of small squash and a few onions.  I should tidy the porch more often:).

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That cabbage grew a lot since this picture was taken at the end of last summer!

I also cleaned out the small freezer above the fridge because I had the things all slide out and land on my feet one too many times.  I found a couple of mystery baggies of various meats and some other items.

So, I made a soup from pork(?), the potatoes, an onion, a bunch of cabbage, carrots, frozen beans, and some tomatoes.  I also dumped in some pinto beans that were also lurking in that freezer.

I cut up a bunch of cabbage and put it in a Ziplock in the fridge for coleslaw over the next couple of days.

I made smoothies from fruit I froze last summer.

Rob BBQ-D some steak from our new beef we recently received to see how it was.  It was amazing!  We had baked potatoes and canned green beans with it.

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I also used up every avocado I had, which Rob got at Grocery Outlet for a very low price last week.  I made guacamole.  We had enough for 2 days of that, too.

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The peaches and applesauce have really come in handy this week, since Lovana had 2 wisdom teeth taken out on Monday.  She had a really hard time with one of them.  So, she’s been eating lots and lots of ice cream, peaches, applesauce and mashed potatoes.  When I took her back to the dentist on Thursday, I got her a milkshake at Burgerville.  She is finally feeling quite a bit better today, and went to work for the first time since last weekend.  Good thing.  The ice cream is about gone:).  The triple chocolate, the chocolate chip mint, and the vanilla.  Trust me, she had a lot of willing helpers to eat ice cream.  So, you could say ice cream was one of our food groups this week.

I decided to skip my usual weekend shopping this week.  Instead, I want to use what’s in the fridge, home-canned and frozen items, cabbage, boc choi, kale and pantry items.  If it’s going to fall out of the freezer onto my feet, that’s it.  It’s going on the plate!  Later in the week, if I need milk or something, I’ll worry about it then.  I’m right on track for a moderate-spend month, and I’ll just leave this week’s money in it’s envelope in case I run out of things later this week.

 

12 thoughts on “What Did We Eat–Winter Garden Goodies! January 20, 2018.”

  1. It sounds like you had a feast waiting for you n your porch and in your garden. I need to do the same as I would like to have a no spend February. I’ve never done one, do you plan on having one?

    1. I don’t think I could actually not spend a cent on groceries in a month. When we run out of things like milk, I just buy more. I still have a growing child. Also, I do not want to deplete my pantry basics all the way. Things such as butter and gluten-free flours and mixes are always stocked when I find a sale on them. I need to buy salad ingredients at this time of year, but we often opt for cooked veggies instead. I want to maintain the pantry, so there will be no huge grocery bill to fill it back up anytime. I want to make a dent in home-canned and frozen fruits and vegetables since the winter is marching right along and it will be gardening time in a few months. I don’t care it those things get used up all the way, as I will replace them this summer and fresh is best.

      I know many people do “no spend” months with different “rules” that work for them. I have seen one lately where the person allowed herself $100/week on groceries for her “no spend” month. I thought that was pretty generous for a “no spend” month. I’ve also seen them where people have spent only $25 or less for the entire month. That sounds brutal. I have done a couple of grocery challenges where I only spent $25 per week, but that’s always been during the summer when the garden is producing well. And, even at $100/MONTH, that is pretty hard to do for me, even with the garden producing very well, but I have done it.

      So, I’m thinking another “moderate-spend” month in February is what is realistic around here. My plan is to finish January and sail through February trying to focus on using the winter garden produce up before it goes bad, using home-canned and frozen items to utilize what I worked so hard to preserve and store, and shelf-stable pantry items as needed. I plan to buy produce as needed; dairy, eggs, and bread items as well as gluten-free items. That’s where the real money comes in–the gf items, but thankfully, I don’t eat all that many prepared items and I don’t bake a whole lot. I will have the cousins for a couple of days, and need to buy their preferred foods or they simply won’t eat. (They are special needs, and they like what they like!).

      What “rules” would you follow if you did a “no spend” month? I’m very curious as to what you might do.

      1. Since I’ve never tried one I would probably try to focus on making meals from my pantry and freezer and only buying necessities like milk, produce and meat. No eating out, that’s a hard one for us as we do enjoy our time out of the kitchen. Also, not buying things that I want because I can, and instead really thinking on my purchases. I liked the tips in SJ’s post. Thank you for your blog!

        1. You’re welcome!

          Those are great ideas! I find it very hard to pass up a good bargain as well. Staying out of the store can save me a ton and force me to use the things that have been around for a while. Years ago, I went to every 2-week shopping, and have even had success with once a month cooking. Right now, I usually go every weekend.

          One thing that helps me stay on track is putting the exact amount of money, in cash, that I am willing to spend, in an envelope. It can be for the week, or the month. Then, IF I go with cash only, I’m pretty good about staying within that amount. If I mix in the checkbook or debit, it’s much easier to go over budget. It’s also better when only one of us shops–when we both run in for a few things….well, it’s easy to get a little too much! Usually, it doesn’t matter, but on a grocery challenge, we are very careful with that. This month, it’s working well, as I put a moderate amount in the envelopes.

          When I drive around with kids, which I do a lot, it’s so easy to stop and grab something for them to eat. I think French fries are a food group for us! That’s a huge challenge around here, as well, but we’ve been doing pretty good lately. I have told the cousins that I will take them to McDonald’s one time next weekend when I’m keeping them. They love it so much, they would eat there every day if they could! When I do that, I take it out of another budget category, not my grocery budget, as it’s more like entertainment. But, whichever category it comes from, it’s expensive, so I keep it to a minimum and try to use coupons as much as possible. I use the app to get the coupons.

  2. I’ve never had a no spend month for groceries. My ‘no spend’ is in other areas like not eating out for lunch, saving gas by not driving, not going to the thrift store, cutting my own hair, etc.
    I’m always buying milk it seems. I’m also always on the lookout for the best grocery deals and price matches. I like to keep my pantry filled with the lowest prices I can find. On my ‘low spend’ months, I may only spend $10 or $20 to restock the pantry. But so far, it’s never zero.

    1. Those are all great ideas to keep the budget under control. I have to confess, I don’t ever cut my own hair. There are many people with that talent, I’m not one of them. Rob usually cut the kids’ hair, but sometimes he was busy. When the boys were little, I thought “how hard can it be?” For me, HARD! I just kept cutting and cutting and cutting, trying to get it even. Rob finished it up for me (I think that kid got a crew cut), and always cut the kids’ hair thereafter. The girls wouldn’t even think of asking me–they always had him trim them up! I have many other talents:), so I’m glad to leave that one up to others.

  3. I do a little more like you. I try to always keep a contingency fund so if I see something at a good price I can stock up, or if we run out of something I can pick it up. I’m working hard to use things up simply to make sure everything stays well rotated. I already have some items on my list that I will be restocking.

    Everything you guys ate sounds delicious!

  4. The garden that keeps on giving… I noticed those glass plates in one picture. My mom used to have some. They were a little bit on the smallish side so when we’d come over and share a snack or other than large meal she would use them with different placemats. It was like an art show to see which design we would see through the plate that day!

    1. I have a small size and a little bit larger size. When we first got married, we had a set of cheap, white plates and a set of Pfaltzgraff–the blue and white, common pattern. The white ones chipped right away and I quickly needed new ones. The Pfaltzgraff is still in great shape. I saved it for “good” and people have given me their old ones they didn’t want anymore, so I have over 25 settings. Sadly, they are still in bins in the shop–no where to put them here.

      So, Rob went down and bought a clearance set of dishes–the pink ones. They have been amazing! Now, those dishes are over 30 years old and still going strong with daily use. Funny thing—they became antiques over the years and can only be purchased at flea markets, etc. for quite a bit more than we paid for them in the first place! A few have broken over the years, so Rob has picked up a few where ever he could find them over time. Now, I have some goblets, glasses, dessert glasses, salad bowls, small bowls and larger bowls along with the plates. They’ve been the most amazing dishes!

  5. Love how you were able to find various items in the garden and porch to help with this week’s meals! I have done pantry/freezer challenges a few times, with varying degrees of success. Never a “no spend” because I would need fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, and bread (although, technically, I could make my own bread or just eat rice or pasta). This January is one such month, where I have been trying to eat from what I have (but then, I did a big shopping trip in the first week!) But I kept the spending down the next two weeks, so it evens out.

    1. I was super glad I didn’t shop last week. This week, I ended up spending more than normal! It just works that way sometimes. So, it evens out:)

      My niece and nephew are spending the weekend, and they only eat certain foods, so I stocked up on those. Certain yogurts, bagels, ciabatta bread–very specific things they will eat, and they only eat those! So, I stock up when they are coming. I was very surprised to find that my nephew likes homemade chicken-rice soup. I made some and he’s eaten several bowls of it over the weekend! Hurray! What a pleasant surprise:)

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