MAKING USE OF BONES
I brought home the bones from our Christmas prime rib. They went into a big pot of water where they simmered overnight into a nice bone broth. I then used that broth to make beef and barley soup that we served Sunday after church.
On Monday I spotted avocados at Costco — 6 in a mesh bag for $3. I’d signed up to bring guacamole to a New Years party at church, so this was a great find. The avocados were so soft that a man looking at them beside me said, ‘These’ll need to be used about 20 minutes from now.’ But thanks to Pinterest, I knew that avocados can be halved and frozen without going brown. I took a chance, and picked four of the mesh 6-pack bags– 24 avocados in all. Even if I had to throw away three or four, I figured it was still a good deal. At home when I sorted them out, 9 were still quite firm and will last just fine til Wednesday. The rest I peeled and stuck into ziplock bags in the freezer. Avocados freeze beautifully with NO browning if you peel them and remove the pit first. As you can see in the photo, the frozen avocados are almost as green as my front door!
DOUBLE THE PIZZA, DOUBLE THE FUN
When we made too much pizza dough one night, we tossed the extra into a bag in the fridge to be the start of a quick meal a different night. Our youngest two had a good time making pizza all on their own that night.
STASHING AWAY EXTRA BREAD
Each Christmas eve my mom serves clam chowder in bread bowls. This year there were lots left over, and so I brought them home and stuck them in the freezer. Some I will use for stuffed french toast casserole. I might make some of the rest of it into croutons for soup or salad. Then anything we don’t use will go out to the chickens. Almost every day our chickens end up eating leftovers from our kitchen, whether that be fried rice that’s beyond its prime, vegetable scraps, or stale bread. Not much goes to waste around here!
BEANS AND RICE, RICE AND BEANS
(Can you tell I’ve been listening to Dave Ramsey podcasts?) Thursday dinner this week was chili, made with tomatoes I’d canned from our garden and ground beef that I got on sale several weeks ago. I love making soups and stews in the winter time, and I routinely double the recipes so that we can get two meals from one meals’ worth of effort.
STAYING WARM IN WINTER
It’s been cold here and we’ve kept the wood stove roaring for warmth. We harvest wood for free each summer on John’s mom’s property in the mountains. Our furnace is electric, and it can easily cost $350 or more to heat the house in the winter for a month, and so as much as possible we try to keep the house warm with the wood stove, and limit the furnace use to the week hours of the morning when it is very cold and the fire burns down. We also pile blankets on the beds and turn on a fan in the hall to blow heat toward the bedrooms. In general it works pretty well.
What did you do in the frugality department this week? I’d love to hear about it. And as always, my cookbook Family Feasts for $75 a Week is on amazon if you happen to need some inspiration in the cooking/ grocery spending department.