Tag Archives: potatoes

March 2017 Low-Budget Grocery Challenge–End of Week 3


It’s all about potatoes, potatoes, potatoes!  I went back to the discount store where Rob discovered potatoes for 10c/lb last week, and bought 100 additional pounds for $10.  I gave away 20 lbs right off the bat, and started cooking potatoes.


While I was at the store buying the potatoes, rejoicing because there were still some left, I bought my daughter $1.29 worth of snacks.  And, that was it for the week–$11.29.  That brings the total up to $61.29 for a 3-week total, leaving $138.71 from the $200 I set out in envelopes.  What did we eat?  I’m glad you asked.

Refrigerator items and produce left over from last Friday or before that I used:  cheese, milk, eggs, lunchmeat, sour cream, carrots, celery, lettuce, tiny bit of broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, 1/2 and 1/2, butter, onions,  POTATOES!

Freezer items:  1 chicken, 2 lbs ground beef, bacon, frozen waffles, leftover frozen bits of roast beef from a ziplock I discovered, refried beans from last weekend (I froze several pints and we ate a bunch all week as well), corn, frozen bread and muffins

Home-canned and pantry:  green beans, peaches, fruit cocktail, salsa, spaghetti noodles, various tomato products, lentils, quinoa, canned black and kidney beans. (Lovana made a bunch of soup and I’m not sure what else,and took it and a bag of potatoes with her, so you won’t see some of these ingredients in my menus)

Garden:  Chives!   I only got enough to sprinkle on the soup, but it’s a start!


The girls made large batches of cheddar-broccoli soup and potato-cheddar soup.  We had that several times, including today for lunch.  My sister took a bunch for her lunch one day when she got to my house to drop Alissa, and realized that she had left hers on the counter at her house.  Rob also took some in his lunch, and my mom enjoyed it, too, when she came over for lunch one day.  They are getting some serious cooking skills!


They also made a simple cornstarch chocolate pudding from my “More With Less Cookbook.”  It was great.

I found a container of frozen turkey-spaghetti sauce in the shop freezer that was a couple of years old.  I wasn’t sure if it was still good, but it was excellent and we ate spaghetti one night with green beans.

We had tacos several times.  I mean like 4-5 times in the past week. There were leftovers from our company last Sunday, and then several people ate refried beans on tortillas throughout the week.  I froze a few of the beans, but had to pull 2 pints out on Saturday morning because I found that some dear friends from out-of-town were going to be able to eat lunch with us Saturday.  So, I still had tortillas, cooked more burger, finished up the cheese our friends brought last Sunday, used most of the lettuce that was left, and a tomato.  There were still chips from the huge Costco bag I opened last weekend and lots of home-canned salsa.  (I put the chips into Ziplocks immediately after I open one of the huge bags and they stay fresh for quite a while.)

I made an enchilada casserole from–wait for it–tortillas, beans, sauce, cheese.  We ate it for dinner tonight.

I cooked a chicken Saturday night.  I have to admit it tasted really, really good after so many tacos.  I boiled the bones and have some broth to use this week.  I made mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans with it.

Rob made chicken-potato pancakes from:  1 cup cut up chicken, 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes, 3 eggs, a few tablespoons of chopped onion, salt and pepper.  He then fried them in a pan.  They were amazingly good for supper last night.  I made salad from leftover taco lettuce and tomato, and put salsa over the top, along with leftover green beans.  Rob also ate leftover corn.

To sum up the potatoes:  mashed, fried for breakfast, potato-chicken pancakes, baked potatoes, potato soup

So, the meals ended up being quite repetitious this week.  Still, we enjoy Mexican food a lot, and we love potatoes.  The chicken made a nice change.  I feel really good about how the week went.

I will be buying a few more fresh things this week than last.  The lettuce is almost gone as are a few other things. But, the challenge was helped along a bit when my sister gave me an avocado, some veggie chips she got for really cheap at Grocery Outlet, and 1/2 of the stir-fry veggies she bought today.  I enjoyed stir-fry for dinner tonight and she enjoyed the other 1/2 for her dinner.  My other sister gave us some crackers and another bag of snacks.  My aunt and sister did the cooking for this Sunday’s family dinner and gave me the week off.  I guess none of them want anyone to really suffer through this challenge!!

As I stated in the rules in the beginning, I have another account where I occasionally buy some fast food for one kid or another. It’s my “keep from going crazy and keeping balance in my life on crazy days” account.  That was my day on Thursday.  I was hit with several unexpected things that I needed to do and I ended up driving around a lot, doing school in-between driving around so it went late into the day, taking care of a sick kid, and more.  I was simply not home at lunch time with no time to plan ahead for it, and yet, had a car full of hungry kids.  Guess where mine wanted to go?  Seriously, just guess.  Yep.  Taco Bell.  Ja’Ana chose Taco Bell.  Where she bought…..yep…..burritos and other items containing tortillas, beans, rice, etc.–one of those $5 boxes.  It surprised me a bit.

I limited each one to $5 and they were fine with that.  Michaela and I chose Dairy Queen.  Later, when Alissa was picked up, she also chose Taco Bell, which did not surprise me since she doesn’t eat dinner here.

There is lots and lots of food still left around here.  I’m not sure what I’m going to cook this week, except for something from the broth.  And potatoes.  I’ll let you know as it unfolds.  How is it going for you?






Easy Chuck Roast With Potatoes and Carrots in Slow Cooker


Today, I had another busy day.  We were trying to burn slash piles from the logging that was recently done on our property.  I wanted to take a meal to friends  this evening, so I chose to use my trusty slow cooker.

I thawed a chuck roast overnight.  This morning, I put the roast into the slower cooker.  The roast was sprinkled with onion soup mix.  I buy it in a large bulk package from Azure Standard and just dip out what I want with a spoon.  It tends to clump up after a while, so if it is that way, I break it apart.   It still works fine.  One package can last me for several months, and it tends to draw moisture, especially when the zip-topped bag doesn’t get closed well:) I got some of the 50 lbs. red potatoes I recently bought for $10.  Red potatoes tend to go bad sooner than I’d like, at least around here, so I’m pretty committed to using them up in a timely fashion.  I cut off any bad or ugly spots, but just left the peels on the rest.  I peeled a bunch of carrots and threw them on top.  3 small “squiggly” peppers were in the fridge, so I cut them up and added them.  I sprinkled it all with a little salt and pepper.  I poured in about 1/2 cup water, and was good to go.

I turned the cooker on high for 2 hours to give it a jump start.  I wanted to take the meal mid-late afternoon, so I wanted it to cook a little faster than normal.  Then, it was turned down to low for about 6-7 hours.  It was very easy, tasty, and much appreciated when Rob took it over to them.  Exactly the kind of recipe I like to make on busy days!

We rounded out the meal Rob took over  with green salad, and a bunch of items that the 4Hers cooked yesterday–some stuffed shell pasta, stuffed sweet potatoes, and Dutch oven peach cobbler.  Our family ate more of the leftovers, plus some of us ate Crab Louie from 4 Dungeness crabs friends sent over from their recent catch.


Each fall, we buy a 1/2 beef from a friend of my sister.  The beef is pasture fed, then finished on grain.  When you buy so much, the price is much cheaper than in the store and you get roasts, steaks, hamburger, soup bones, etc.–all for the same price per pound.  This year, it was $3/lb.  However, that is hanging weight, so it is actually more than that, plus we paid cut and wrap.  I save all year for this purchase, putting some aside each month so it isn’t such a big expense all at once.  Once we have it in the freezer, we eat it frequently because it’s already paid for and tastes great. Because of health issues, my diet is supposed to be mainly protein and veggies.  (A gluten-free diabetic is hard to cook for at times)

It was also nice to be able to use up so many leftovers from the fridge–it saves so much money!