Monday, July 28, 2014

Frugal Accomplishments This Week

This was a crazy week, and I was unable to go shopping at most of my usual places, so much of what I did regarding food was just making do with what I had in my house already. In terms of produce, I had a ton of carrots and cucumbers and tomatoes that I bought cheaply, and little else (a drop of eggplant and zucchini) so all week long, instead of going shopping, we made do with what we had, what we foraged, and what I ended up being able to buy from the reduced rack at the grocery store, so lots of repeats of veggies... I made a bunch of legume based breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. And we barely used the AC here, despite it being really hot.

I didn't have a chance to write down every single day what I did that specific day, so this is just what we did over the course of the week to save money.

Inherited my grandma's sewing kit, knitting and crocheting needles/hooks, beading supplies, as well as necklaces and earrings.
My kids got a hand me down art set from the aunt.
Got a hand me down shirt for Mike.

Fixed the kids' toy electronic piano toy.

Cooked up 2 lbs of kidney beans in the crock pot, then 2 lbs of navy beans then froze them in small portions, to defrost and use in place of canned beans in recipes
Cooked up some apple scrap drink.
Rendered some chicken fat and made cracklings.
Served crackings and rice with grated carrots for lunch, sauted in rendered chicken fat.

Made jaggery syrup to use as a cheaper replacement for honey (same texture) but still is a non refined sweetener.
Ground 6.5 lbs of green buckwheat flour, 4.5 lbs brown rice flour, 4.5 lbs millet flour, 2.25 lbs white rice flour, 1 lb short grain rice flour, and 1 lb chickpea flour.
Mixed up a batch of xanthan gum free, high protein, all purpose gluten free flour mix.
Made a bunch of healthy, gluten free muffins for breakfasts, to go in the freezer. We had these for breakfasts most days this week.

Went shopping and stocked up on a bunch of past prime/reduced rack produce (apples, cucumbers, tomatoes) for a very low price.
Stocked up on sale rice, as well as marshmallows for less than 25 cents a pack.
We were out of gluten free corn flakes which I had bought very cheaply, and the scratch and dent store where I'd bought them no longer is carrying them, so I stocked up on other simple gluten free corn flakes for half the price that gluten free corn flakes usually cost (and their ingredient list isn't so bad- only 4 ingredients). They had gluten free sweet cereal (which my husband and kids like as an occasional treat) super cheaply, so I bought 2 bags of that for the gluten eaters in my family, and a similar more expensive but still not too expensive, version for the non gluten eaters in the house.
A different store had raisins and quinoa on incredible sale, so I bought a decent amount (2 lbs raisins and 2 lbs quinoa). The quinoa I put away in the fridge so it'll last a while and I don't have to worry about it getting buggy- I don't want to use it now because even on sale it's still expensive, so I'm saving it till I really have a hankering for quinoa and then I'll use the stuff I already bought cheaply.
They also had these chocolate filled gluten free wafer rolls on sale, which I love but have never seen gluten free before. I bought two packets and am saving them for a special occasion.

I made some homemade flatbread.
I fried up some noodles to make a cheap, gluten free, yummy snack.
I used frozen past prime peaches, jaggery syrup, bulk bought coconut oil, and home ground flour flour to make peach crumble.
Made a mock honey cake using jaggery syrup.

I cooked up some chicken gizzards- one of the cheapest meats locally- and used the water it was boiled in to make chicken soup, and then used the chicken gizzards in another dish made with the veggies I had in the house (ratatouille)
I wanted to make beef lo mein, so I used some of the cheapest beef I can get locally- goulash meat- which is usually tough and needs to be cooked long and slow in stew. Instead, I boiled it in the pressure cooker until soft, then sliced it up and used it in the lo mein, and froze the water from boiling it to be used as broth in a future recipe.

Foraged plums, figs, carobs, and capers.

What did you do to save money this week?


  1. Just wondering: aren't cornflakes naturally gluten-free? I picked up a box of regular cornflakes for kidlet a while ago (we don't eat cereal every day, but it's nice to have that option) and took a look at the ingredients, and it was just corn, water, sugar,salt, and one other thing that I can't remember but was definitely not wheat. Maybe it's different where you live? But if you can get regular cornflakes, they're really cheap.

    Oh, and the health store nearby recently started carrying flaxseed, so I started using it as an egg substitute. I can't thank you enough for the tip! Even though my husband was a bit "eh" at first, he was persuaded by the cookies.

    1. Most corn flakes sold locally (as well as Kellogs, etc...) have barley malt in it, which has gluten. The corn flakes I buy have just corn, demrara sugar, and salt.

      How do flax seeds compare in terms of price to eggs where you live?

    2. 500 g of flax is the same price as 10 eggs, but I'm pretty sure it'll last a lot longer.


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