Saturday, September 24, 2011

Make ahead cooking on the flip around day.

Today is what I call a 'flip around day'.  Day or Night which is it?

What that translates to is, I worked a 12 hour night shift so want to only sleep as much as necessary to function so that I can go to bed tonight and be back on a "normal" person schedule tomorrow.  What it also means and that it is generally a practically wasted day as I am so tired and only want to sleep let alone be productive. But, thanks to my great husband I got a good solid 4.5 hours of sleep and woke up feeling like I could accomplish a few things.  Since I work a few nights next week, I thought I would cook some make ahead, get better as they sit in the fridge meals, so that next week I don't have to spend much time on cooking.  The other motivation is I have been following this blog and this blog lately and have been trying hard to be a better cook.  As part of that came the reality of our new $115/week grocery budget.  It was another corner that could be shaved down to try and get Jeremy home.  So again, I plead if you would please consider giving even just a meal out worth of $20 to give Jeremy a home and not an institution please please do.

So here's what I've made so far today

Butter for the dishes I have made today.  As a side perk, buttermilk which will be used to make corn bread later in the week.  Also, here's a little tip when making mashed potatoes use buttermilk in place of the butter and milk and you will end up with luscious smooth mashed potatoes that are naturally low fat!   Try it! It's amazing, I haven't made them with margarine and milk since.  So the butter cost-$1.88 for 2 big pots of food, but you could say free in our budget since it was purchased last week.

With the Des Moines trip for fingerprints, our grocery budget was $85 this week. In case you haven't noticed, gas is like expensive LOL!  The cool thing is we have been able to redeem quite a few points over the last week or so and have made a lot of head way by using the gift cards.  This week's grocery budget is thanks to the "safety bucks" my husband saved up at work.

Yogurt Made a gallon of yogurt for let's say $6, it's probably less, but who knows.  Again all the supplies were purchased on last week's budget, so $0.  Why do I bother making my own yogurt?  Well because it's A. cheaper B.Healthier, I control the amount of sugar, etc. C. Better for our Earth that we were given, yogurt containers aren't recyclable here and plus its just more waste.  We'll make peach yogurt with the homemade peach jam I made last week from our peach tree.

Black eyed peas and rice
Used a cup of rice I had on hand, 1/2 can coconut milk that I had on hand, and a can of black eyed peas that a friend gave us, some of the butter I made and a little garlic salt.  So really, I say it was free.  We had it with home made cranberry sauce from last Thanksgiving.  It was delicious! And we have left overs for later in the week. I did use it as a side dish to our steak and egg plant on the grill supper too.

Luscious Lima Bean soup was made with all stuff I had on hand.  Pretty sure the dry lima beans had been around for awhile.  It will provide a meal for all four of us, plus two work lunches.  So a pretty much free meal.  The broth was made from scraps of another meal.

In the pot now is Curried butternut pear soup.  It did cost me some chicken broth $2 since I haven't been making my own broth/stock for long enough yet to have adequate reserves.  The squash I had left over from last week, or the week before, and then I just used some of the pear sauce I made last week.  It will get better with time in the fridge.

Great Northern beans are soaking for white chili tomorrow.  I will also make red chili using left over enchilada sauce from our enchilada fund raiser.  Pretty much all stuff on hand with a few dollars in groceries. I was going to buy canned beans, but the price difference swayed me to just cook them myself.  Less sodium for less $ and less waste. 

The laundry is only part done.....but tomorrow is a new day.  Pretty happy with the progress on a usual "wasted" day. 

A beautiful day.  The kids played with their friends and I cooked.  We even played a little basketball.....but now they want to go see The Hawkeyes play.  Let's see if we can swing that soon!


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