Frugal Birthday Breakfast

I am a breakfast eater, and by far my favorite breakfast is pancakes. It used to be pancakes, bacon/sausage, orange juice and other assorted and sundry food items. But with the current gut condition (celiac, IBS, gastritis, hiatal hernia) I have had to dramatically change that. I eat cleaner, which in the end is much more Frugal. And I eat healthier. So, let’s get cooking.

Picture # 1 – The ingredients are a bit on the cheat side, but still Frugal. The blueberries and strawberries were in my food pantry package for June. I already had the syrup. The pancake mix (one of my favorites) was purchased, on sale, at Target.

Picture # 2 – I decided that I wanted as many smiles for my Birthday Month as possible, so let’s use the blueberries for affect. And not bad for flavor either!

Picture # 3 – The completed meal is pictured below. But, there is a story involved. The 2 cards are from my 2 besties – my lifelong bestie (on the right) and my Michigan bestie (on the left). The flowers (barely seen) in the vase were also from the food pantry package. The orange drink is actually carrot juice. Again, from my food pantry package. The tea cup and saucer were part of my Birthday gift from my lifelong bestie. Oh, to finish it out: the vase for the flowers was purchased from a silent auction many years ago; the crock that the spider is in came from a local thrift store, as did the place mat and napkin – rockin’ the Frugal!

Picture # 4 – The devotion for my birthday was titled ‘Be Satisfied’. I am!

PS – my apologies for the pictures being stuck together. I am still trying to figure out this website!!

Happy Frugaling

Food Pantry Cooking

Week 2 of the 30-Day Spending Freeze – July 17 – 23, 2016

I received a very generous variety of foods when I went to the Food Pantry on Wednesday, July 13, 2016. There were a lot of fresh vegetables: Broccoli; Brussels Sprouts; Pea Pods; already-slice Red Onions; Red Potatoes; Red and Orange mini Sweet Peppers; and an Asian Cashew Slaw Mix (see recipe below for what I did with the Slaw Mix). There were also a lot of fresh fruit; Bananas; Mangos; Oranges; Grapes; and Limes. (see photo of fridge, below)

I also received quite a bit of dairy. I gave away some of it, due to being lactose intolerant. I also received a dozen eggs, which I gave away because I had already purchased a dozen fresh from a co-worker who gets them straight from the farm. There were also a lot of non-perishables, as well as a good selection of Gluten Free goodies.

This is what my fridge looked like after receiving the food:

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Because the fresh foods can be on the cusp of spoiling, and because I work full time, sometimes things get away from me. But, part of being Frugal is making the most of food that many others would throw away.

I work 12:30 – 9 pm M-F. My ‘lunch’ at work is usually at 5 pm, so that is the main meal I cook for, and I eat basically the same thing all week!

Here’s what was for lunch all week:

Here’s the Recipe:

Asian Chicken Stir-Fry

6 servings

1 package Asian Cashew Slaw kit

2 cooked chicken breast, cubed

1 lb pea pods

6 mini sweet peppers, julienned

Stir fry all ingredients. Once thoroughly cooked, add one package of the Sesame Oil dressing included in kit. Stir and serve with rice of choice.

Being Frugal isn’t painful, nor is it about doing without. It is about being creative with what God blesses you with.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV)

~ Blessed Frugalling ~ Beth

 

Of Food Pantries and Circuses

 There are times, when being frugal, it pays to say ‘Yes’!

Take this week, for example. I work at a job that is well-paying, but sometimes I need a bit of assistance in the financial department of my life. When it comes to food, I am frugal, but there are times when the bills are more demanding on the bank account. I have to make decisions, sometimes tough ones. I am doing well with the 30-day Spending Freeze, but it means, for me, sparse shopping, which means not always having fresh fruits or veggies. Welcome the Food Pantry! This was my week to visit.

I use only one Food Pantry, and it’s open times are very limited. I have to rearrange my work schedule, once a month, in order to pick up my food. I am a celiac and have IBS, as well as being lactose intolerant, so my food list is geared toward those food allergies. But, we do get to go in and ‘shop’ with the assistance of a volunteer (bless their hearts). You start at the fresh fruit and veggie coolers, and they ask you ‘Would you like this, or that, etc..’ And they fill your cart for you. I say ‘Yes’ to most everything, and if they want, they can throw extra in the cart!

Well, there are always surprises, because they are also putting together your special diet box in another area of the site. I don’t get to see this box until I get it into my car. There are always some really special surprises! Plus, I have been going to this location for 3 years (on and off), so many of the volunteers have gotten to know me, and will put the extras in. Sweet people.

Of course, once everything is sorted, and taken care of, I get to get down to the business of cooking or preserving the fresh produce. That is where the fun begins!

The dehydrated bananas are so good – like a banana candy. The bonus of putting the muffins in the freezer (I did receive 2 packages, and indulged before freezing!) – I will forget about them for a while and then, weeks down the road, ‘discover’ a sweet treat!

Part of being frugal, when free food is offered, is to be a grateful recipient.

We had a Circus Day, this week on Friday, at work. We had lots of fun, and lots of food. At the end of the day’s festivities, the leftover food gets given away to the employees. I am on the Fun Committee, and spent my day assisting with the different activities, and serving the food. So, of course, I am going say ‘Yes’ to the free food. Two hotdogs, 2 bags of chips, 2 sodas and 2 cupcakes were my weekend gifts.

All in all, it was a good week for being frugal.

Stay tuned for what I did with the Food Pantry food.