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January budget, using leftovers, & more boring stuff ;)

January 3rd, 2012 at 07:52 am

I need to pay rent and water today but other than that, there shouldn't be any spending. I hope! I need a lot of NSDs as January's budget is slim, indeed. My car and life insurances are up for renewal this month so I have a lot money going out and not much coming in!

I'm going to cut my grocery budget to $100 for this month. Considering that I can't eat enough of the high carb, low cost foods like rice, beans, and pasta to do much good it's definitely going to be a challenge. My diet is mainly meats and low carb vegetables with a tiny amount of the higher carb things thrown in once in awhile for variety. I'm going to have to make better use of the foods I already have on hand and really limit my trips to the grocery/food spending. I know I can do this but I might need a cheering section. Smile

In light of the above, I have a mexican stew simmering on the stove and will take that to work with me. My boss will most likely eat some as will some of the other folks hanging around. I've had a few people online and at work express the opinion that it's odd to take food for all to work but it isn't odd to me. I still struggle with cooking small quantities, leftovers seem to languish into oblivion in my fridge, and I'm not real big on food that's been cooked, frozen, and reheated so in addition to making very small quantities of food, I make larger quantities and share it. I call it Random Acts of Food Kindness, or RAOFK for short. Wink Some of the young people where I work don't have money, don't have much food, and absolutely love to dig in to whatever I bring. And I love cooking for others so it's a win win situation. It might look like I'm spending money on food for other people (which doesn't help my budget) but this stew is made entirely of leftovers and if I hadn't created it I'd have thrown it all out!



Not bad, huh?

14 Responses to “January budget, using leftovers, & more boring stuff ;)”

  1. CCraw Says:

    Great idea for a stew! I don't eat that many carbs either...alot of stews and one of my favorites are meatballs with brown gravy and whatever veggie I find. If you like cabbage fried cabbage is awesome. Just saute the onions, add the cabbage and let cook down, a little garlic powder or salt and black pepper....is great with a slice of cornbread! Good luck on your grocery budget!

  2. PauletteGoddard Says:

    You're a cook after my own heart! I'm considering using these little pouches of bulk spices as my cheering section. My high-protein trick is to buy a "bulk variety package" of meats from a butcher that includes roasts, and use the slow cooker for the meats, and freeze what I can't eat within three days.
    Insurance is due for us this month too. I suck in my breath and count the pennies starting three weeks before the payment deadline.

  3. DeniseNTexas Says:

    CCraw, do you make your meatballs? If so, what kind do you make? I've only made breakfast meatballs and swedish meatballs but I want to try my hand at some others. I bought some frozen meatballs from Target recently (on sale, of course) and they're okay but mine are much better and I won't do that again! I absolutely love cabbage and fried is delicious as is baked. I really prefer it baked but will eat it just about any way I can get it. Smile
    Paulette, I always have the best intentions with larger quantities of meat. I say I'm going to divide and freeze it but I forget. Ugh! My sister brings the meats home and immediately does that. I have a food saver type thing and use it but I need to use it more and for this purpose! Maybe we can cheer each other on??? Wink

  4. CCraw Says:

    The meatballs I make are pretty plain but after cooking in the gravy for quite some time taste great. I just put hamburger, garlic salt, crackers, one egg and onion. The longer you let them simmer the better they are. It was one of my kids favorite meals.

    We also make Mexican "chile". You can use the cheapest steak or cut up a portion of the cheapest roase (that's what I do) and season it with garlic salt and black pepper, you can also add a bit of comino, brown it and then finely chop a jalapeno or serrano and simmer in tomato sauce until the meat is tender. We eat just that with either flour or corn tortillas...It's great with both...

  5. CCraw Says:

    And I forgot to add that I cheat....I use brown gravy packets. After the meatballs are browned I pour the brown gravy mixture over them and simmer....probably has too much salt but I don't know how to make brown gravy. I suppose I should learn though!

  6. Shiela Says:

    We got our home and car insurance due this month too. ANd like you I'm trying hard to bring grocery, entertainment, etc. budget lower this month. Good luck with cutting the grocery spending down this month.

  7. DeniseNTexas Says:

    CCraw, I warmed the last of those mediocre frozen meatballs, added some brown gravy and have that in a container ready for my lunch tomorrow. I'll have it with squash. Thanks for the idea. Smile The meatballs you make sound simple enough. I'll give those a try. And the 'chile' you make is just seasoned beef, onion, tomato sauce, pepper, and cumin? Ohh, that sounds delicious to me! I'll have to try that some time!

    Shiela, good luck to you too!

  8. CCraw Says:

    I hope your meatballs came out tasting good. I think you'll like the chile, my mother law used to make it and it's pretty tasty. It's alot like guisada only it doesn't have potatoes and isn't browned with flour like guisada is. Enjoy!

  9. DeniseNTexas Says:

    CCraw, I tasted them and they're not bad! Not great but that's because the meatballs are so blah. The gravy makes them more palatable and with the veggies they'll be fine. Smile Hey, it's food and it's cheap!

  10. Carol Hardie Says:

    That look's great!i too have cut back on eating too many carb's!i am really missing my Home-made Bread!and also like so many other's have to cut the spending for the next month,Car insurance due in,telephone due,C-card also due in,not an easy month for me,i have just spent the morning cooking up quite a few meal's for the freezer,it's a cooler day here,so i'm all prepared now for the next heat wave!i hate hot weather!i must make some meat ball's myself,they are so yummy!

  11. DeniseNTexas Says:

    Carol, why don't you have your blog anymore? I really am so glad you checked in and found me! Smile

    It seems January and February are somewhat stressful months for a lot of people, huh?

  12. Carol Hardie Says:

    Hi Denise,no i never had a Blog,but you were the very first person i met when i learnt to use the Computer!i would love to have my own blog,but i don't know how to do it,i am going to look into it!i bet a lot has happened since we last chatted! xx

  13. DeniseNTexas Says:

    Hmm, I thought you had a blog here at SA, Carol. Oh well, that's been awhile so no telling where I got that idea. Wink
    I sent you email so we can make sure to stay in touch!

  14. Carol Hardie Says:

    Ok,that would be great!

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