Saturday, September 20, 2008

where have I been

I saw an endcap of Kraft mac-n-cheese in the box yesterday, on SALE for 95 cents a box, normal price 1.39. Last time I looked at those you could get them four for a dollar on sale, maybe 35-45 cents regular price......

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Zucchini lasagna

I used a whole zucchini, peeled and sliced thinly lengthways in place of noodles.....layered with thinly sliced tomatoes and green pepper from the garden, cheddar cheese ( I didn't have any white cheese on hand), and a can of spaghetti sauce poured over all. Baked at 350, I'll report back tomorrow...

Cheese cost: approx 2.00
Spaghetti sauce: 1.00

This made enough for three meals for the three of us. We added a chopped veggie salad from the garden, and I plan to add cornbread to tomorrows menu.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


We got 14 pints from that two meals for three of us, not too bad.
Canned it up this afternoon, then opened a jar for dinner. I was afraid the pressure cooking would turn the beans to mush, but they were fine. It was a little bland, but there is virtually no salt cooked in, so I don't mind adding salt in the bowl.

Friday, September 5, 2008

chili recipe

ten cups of beans, washed---about 5 quarts of water to cook in

bring to boil, simmer til tender, I used a canner to cook in, then drained off most of the liquid---left just enough to cover the beans

two onions, cut up fine, and browned in a little olive oil

ten tomatoes---I got these five for a dollar, they were cracked---peeled and cut up

five pounds of hamburger, browned and drained--this is a lot of meat, but it was on the edge of freezerburning, so I just used it up

1 tablespoon cumin

2 tablespoons mild chili (we buy ours in Hatch on the way to Tucson every year)

2 tablespoons garlic powder

3 tablespoons Penzey's adobo--this doesn't have salt in it

3 tablespoons Penzey's southwest seasoning

Since there isn't any salt in the cooking, I add some commercial adobo at the end, just to taste

simmer all together, being careful not to let it burn

It was good, a bit bland, but the youngest member of the household does not like spicy food, so we can add to it in the bowl.

Since it was was fishing night, I had to put it in the fridge--we'll can it today and I'll post how many jars we got.

USDA food allowances

I am attempting to feed my family well on half the USDA food allowance.
One of the first things we did was to visit the local bean elevator and purchase beans, rice, barley, and lentils in bulk. Beans average fifty cents a pound purchased this way, the rice slightly higher. I'd never had fresh dried beans before, and there is a huge difference. They cook in a couple of hours, no overnight soak, and they're more tender. Makes me wonder just how old the ones in the store actually are...

The USDA allowance chart for June 08 would let us spend $464.30 on food monthly. This is the thrifty plan. The liberal plan would be $908.90. I'm not sure how realistic this actually is for most of us. My goal is to spend $250.00 or less for food each month. Summer is fairly easy, as the garden is producing and we eat a LOT of squash and tomatoes!

We don't buy a lot of canned soup, as the sodium content is so high, but I am working on canning soups myself, to drop the cans bought to zero. The current project is chili, with cheap beans and a five pound pack of hamburger that is threatening to freezerburn if I don't use it. I don't remember how much the meat cost, but it was on sale--I will average it at 1.99 a pound.

Did you know you can ask the meat dept to grind your purchase into hamburger and they will usually do it for free? Lean hamburger has been as high as 3.99 a pound for super lean at Safeway, but they had a sale on london broil last month, it was 1.99 a if you have that ground at the store, or do it at home, that's 2.00 saving per pound, and it's better for you!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

it was good for lunch, too

I added three eggs, another tomato, and half a green bell pepper from the garden, and scrambled it all up. It was just enough for the three of us for our lunch.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


What I made for dinner:

I browned half an onion in a little olive oil, then added half a large zucchini, cut up in small pieces.
When that was nicely browned, I added one cup of Basmati rice and two cups of water. While that was simmering I cut up and added a small green pepper, two quartered and chopped brats, and two large tomatoes, then put in a dash of adobo and put the lid on. Ten minutes later, it was ready.