I’m having a good time making my grocery money stretch; using God’s resources carefully; praying and watching Him work. I altered my menu a bit last week, when we we’re given the swiss chard. I thought… hummm, the green chard would be good in a stir fry, and the white stem, cut on the diagonal is similar to celery, + the zucchini and yellow squash I have on hand,+ the left over rice, the 2 chicken breasts (filet’s), onion what was given, and to top it off, I found a package of Kung Pao chicken seasoning so… all this = a fab oriental dish, loaded with flavor and nutrition. I started the meal off with a cream of chard soup and added Thai curry powder for seasoning. I feel as though the Lord has given me inspiration. All good things come from HIM.
“I am a great enemy to waste and useless extravagance, and see them with real pain.”
Thomas Jefferson, 1801
This week I have 10 Euros to spend:
This is what I bought:
4.99- bag of frozen fish filet’s (Alaskan fish)
1.69- toilet paper
.96- 3 cans of tomatoes
1.56-6 cans of beverage
+11cents for next week!
This week will be an extra challenge in some ways because we have our friends, Ana and Angel coming on Saturday. We’ll all be here until Tuesday and then we will drive up to Galicia for a week in the cool weather. We always eat a first and second plate, so that will be about the same; the difference is that in the evenings we normally eat leftovers or sandwiches and I will have to do a bit more for the Spanish tastes. So… here is what I have planned:
My menus for this week:
Thursday, July 31st- any leftovers in the fridge to use up before our guests come.
Friday, August 1st- still eating the last bits of leftovers before our friends come, not wanting to waste a thing! I’m so glad that John is “on board” with this and is extremely flexible when it comes to food.
Saturday, August 2nd- AM- we will eat leftovers or eggs, whatever there is…
PM-Ana and Angel will eat supper with us (about 10pm) 1st plate: breaded fried zucchini, 2nd plate: fish filet’s and rice, orange cake
Sunday, August 3rd-2pm meal: 1st plate: bean, potato and veggie soup, 2nd plate: beef and mushroom gravy, french fries, sliced tomatoes, custard pudding
Supper- 1st plate: pasta carbonara, 2nd plate: pork loin slices with apricot curry sauce, rice, orange cake
Monday August 4th-2pm Meal:1st plate: zucchini patties & corn fritters with cream sauce , 2nd plate: meatballs with roasted potatoes, sliced tomatoes, chocolate cookies
1st plate: Cream of zucchini soup, baked fish, fried onion rings, french fries, any leftover dessert
Tuesday August 5th- We leave after breakfast: packed sandwiches: possibly, tuna fish, chocolate cookies
Wednesday August 6th- we will be in Galicia!! Yippeeee!!
My blessing I received last week:
1.) 16 pears from a neighbor
2.) 1 yellow squash from a neighbor
3.) a bunch of Chard from a neighbor
4.) 2 BIG zucchini squash and 4 green peppers from a neighbor
5.) 3 beautiful tomatoes, from a neighbor
My baking for this week:
A batch of Angel Biscuits will be transformed into: sweet rolls with almond paste filling, cinnamon rolls, cheese and ham biscuits, & plain biscuits.
1 loaf of wheat bread
1 *orange cake
*note: pictures will be posted of these after they are baked.
*I realized that I had 3 bottles of orange extract so I got on recipezaar.com and clicked on “ingredients” , typed in, “orange extract” and it came up with all the recipes using that ingredient. It’s a great website that our daughter Anita made me aware of.
Check out this video for a bit more inspiration:
Thanks for all of your encouraging comments.
What an interesting time this is! We continue here in the village and have received some “garden blessings”. One of my greatest challenges in this venture, is not so much the food, but rather the toiletries; toilet paper, toothpaste, etc. On the food front, if I run out of potatoes, I can just prepare rice or pasta… but the paper and cleaning goods, are must have items. Also, I have had to buy things here in the village, that I already have at home in Loeches. Still, I am staying within the 10 euros.
Those who know me best know that I enjoy making soups. For us 1 pot of soup lasts 3 meals. So I usually have 1-3 different kinds in the fridge at any given time.
Some of you have commented both positively and negatively about the “lentil & walnut burgers”. We eat lentils anyway and like them, so this is just another way for us to enjoy them. They are on the menu again this week.
This week I started out with 10.02 because I had 2 cents left over from last week.
1.38- 2 liters of whole milk
2.99- 3 kilos of potatoes
.59- bleach (for laundry)
.32- a can of tomatoes
1.88- 4 chicken breast filet’s ( I got this for 30% off)
.99- 8 hotdog buns
1.01- 3 cucumbers
.86-1 kilo of sugar
My Menus for this week:
Thursday- Mexican Bean and Rice Soup, Salmon patties (leftover from last week) with a bleu cheese cream sauce, rice, sauted zucchini and onions.
Friday- Cream of Potato Soup, chicken filet’s, breaded zucchini, tabbouleh
Saturday-Salmon Chowder, German sausages with sauerkraut and potatoes
Sunday-Cream of Potato Soup, Stromboli, marinated zucchini salad
Monday- Cream of zucchini soup, Chicken breasts, pasta salad
Tuesday-Salmon Chowder, Lentil & Walnut burgers, buns, alfalfa sprouts
Wednesday-Cream of zucchini, Chili and rice
My Blessings last week:
2 homegrown onions- every year I look forward to these. There is no strong “bite” to them and are really wonderful. I also use the tops for soups and casseroles. They are similar to scallions or green onions.
A HUGE head of lettuce-a neighbor brought us this homegrown treat.
2 packages of popcorn from my sister Sue! Treats in the mail! Always fun!
Vegetable seeds to plant from our daughter Bobbie and waiting for me in Loeches! (she said they were in the mail!) I can hardly wait!
“The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the Lord will praise Him-may your hearts live forever!” Psalm 22:26
My baking for this week is:
Pizza Bread (for sandwiches and with soups)
Cranberry (dried cranberries) Pecan Bread
Since I don’t generally follow bread recipes, I just made my white bread and added more sugar to the sweet bread. I also plan on making some French toast with the cranberry bread and it might be good for sandwiches. I never measure and I only have 2 bread pans here in the village, so I made an extra round loaf of pizza bread and made “muffins” out of the remaining sweet bread. Also, note that I had a bit of pepperoni left over and a chunk of Parmesan cheese to put in the savory bread along with some Italian herbs.
I keep going on this personal challenge and I told John that it seemed as though we were living the parable of the fish and loaves being multiplied! It has been a lot of fun and also fun to read some of your comments. I hear that several of you are doing the same challenge (perhaps with different amounts to spend)! We keep each other inspired and encouraged.
Clean out your pantry/cupboards Every time I do this, I end up saving a bunch of money. First of all, I usually discover several items pushed to the back that I’d completely forgotten about, which inspires meals. Second of all, it’s a good way to inventory the kitchen staples you have on hand. Third, it lets you get rid of stuff that has become outdated. Fourth, it lets you rotate stuff around so that things are easier to find (making home meal preparation easier). A pantry cleaning is an excellent little weekend project that can save you money in multiple ways.
Left over from last weeks money: 10cents
What I spent this week:
starting balance: 10.10€
1.00- 5 boxes of tomato sauce (on sale)
.45- 1 kilo of baking flour
1.29- 1 pk of pre-mix for baking bread
1.09-1 kilo of pinto beans
1.39-2 kilos of onions
.99- 4 heads of garlic
Menus for the week:
Thursday, July 17th- Bean Soup, hot dogs with sauerkraut on buns
Friday, July 18th- Vegetable soup, Noodles and beef, red cabbage, biscuits
Saturday, July 19th-Breakfast for Lunch: Pancakes, fried eggs, grits and tomatoes
Sunday, July 20th- Fish chowder, roasted turkey legs, potatoes, fried zucchini
Monday, July 21st- Leftover soup, turkey salad sandwiches w/ alfalfa spouts
Tuesday, July 22nd-turkey soup, ham and cheese omelet, zucchini patties
Wednesday, July 23rd- cream of zucchini soup, salmon patties, red cabbage, and rice
Blessings I have received:
4 lovely zucchini: what I have made with these zucchini: 1.) zucchini bread 2.) zucchini fritters 3.) a zucchini marinaded salad 4.) Cream of zucchini soup, 5.) hamburger pasta soup with zucchini 6.) zucchini enchiladas
Last weeks baking:
1 loaf of zucchini bread
1 batch of biscuits( angel biscuits- the dough can be in the fridge for 1 week and used as needed)
This weeks baking:
1 large loaf of bread
cinnamon rolls (using angel biscuit dough)
biscuits (using angel biscuit dough)
I stay encouraged! Please leave your comments.
Fun times! We are in the village working and hoping to get a lot of work done. I marketed for the summer before leaving Madrid at the cheapest store because the village stores are at least triple the price. Just can’t do that. I have stayed within my budget however. So… this week my 10 Euros went for:
.69-box of whole milk
.23-liter of soda
.90-2 kilos of baking flour
.86-one kilo of sugar
4.29-1 bag of frozen fish (merluza- forgot what that is in English)
.49-3 green peppers
.69- head of lettuce
.79- hamburger buns
+.07 left over!
+.03 from last week
+.10cents for next week!
Thursday July 10-chicken rice soup, tamales, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes
Friday July 11-lamb and barley soup, pastrami and swiss cheese sandwiches w/sprouts
Saturday July 12-chicken noodle soup, hot dogs with sauerkraut and swiss cheese on buns
Sunday July 13-cream of tomato soup, hamburgers w/ cheddar cheese on buns
Monday July 14- potato and cheese soup, bean and cheese burritos, salad
Tuesday July 15- hamburger and pasta soup, tortellini w/ cheese sauce, salad
Wednesday July 16-leftovers
This week, I decided to use a lot of the “bits and pieces” I have in the fridge and cupboards. The hot dogs come in big packages and so I plan of adding those once a week until they are gone. They are big FAT ones from Germany and pretty good, as hot dogs go. I made the tamales out of leftover chicken, the torellini is the last of the package I bought and the hamburger pasta soup, will be polishing off the last bit of the ground beef leftover from the hamburgers. I am also using the cheese I had in the freezer to make-up for the lesser amount of meat.
We’re now in the village and the freezer is small. I’m saving the fish for when Ana and Angel come to visit in August.
My Blessings this week:
* our neighbors (and guests for supper) brought us a bottle of wine (again, we will save this for guests)~ it’s the custom here in Spain to bring wine and we hear it is the same in France where are kids live.
* 1 lemon, ½ liter of tomato juice, ¼ of a can of grapefruit slices, 1 cup of orange juice, given to us by a neighbor leaving town.
What the Lord is teaching me:
Our pastor, Angel gave a good and encouraging message on Sunday, using in part, the text from Psalm 27:13-14. Let me quote it for you:
” I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
Our pastor was speaking of the trials that we are all facing here in Spain with the hight cost of EVERYTHING and the mortgage crisis in Europe. Some in the church families are struggling more than others. Some of us add to these challenges, the terrible exchange rate, but his last words impacted us and ministered to us. He said,” Now this week, no matter what happens, look to the Lord and what He is teaching you.” Good words, a good reminder and encouragement to those of us who may grow weary in the struggle. So this week:
~I will be CONFIDENT of God’s provision for us.
~I WILL see the GOODNESS of the Lord.
~I will WAIT with anticipation to see Him work.
~I will be STRONG (He is my strength)
~I will TAKE HEART
~and… again (he says it twice) I will WAIT for the LORD.
Here are my tomato plants… they are growing and I should be getting those cherry tomatoes soon! I am also picking the small leaves off the chard for salad greens. I love growing my little pot garden. Please leave your comments and tell me how you are doing. Have a great money saving week!
When I started doing this, I thought that I could spend ten euros a week for about 4 weeks. Well, here we are in week #6 and I really think I can carry this on for another 6 weeks, at least. I dug deeper in my chest freezer and found another package of ground beef and 3 packages of beef filet’s (thin sliced beef… kinda tough but it will be good for the crock pot).
Blessings I received last week:
My tomato plants have so many little cherry tomatoes! I love to see things grow. I will take them with me to the village (they are in pots).
Friends brought us a very nice bottle of wine, which we will save for guests.
* we are thankful for so much!
I had 8.90€ to spend this week.
What I bought:
6.32-2 whole chickens
1.50- 3 baguettes (bread)
1.05- 1 dozen eggs
I stayed within my budget! yippeeee!! I bought this food for our neighbors who are coming over tonight. I’m doing 2 barbecued chickens, but I am counting on leftovers.
My Menu for the week:
Thursday- Our neighbors are coming for supper: starters: bread canopies with smoked salmon and grated hard boiled egg, cheese, fried squid rings, olives, 2 whole barbecued chickens, roasted potatoes, salad, chocolate pudding
Friday-corn and potato chowder, chicken and cheese burritos, Mexican rice, salad
Saturday- We are eating at Ana and Angels house- what a fun treat for us.
Monday-chicken filet’s with ham and gravy, (food I prepared for guests and froze the leftovers)
Tuesday-grilled deli meat and cheese sandwiches on homemade bread (we will eat on the road on the way to the village)
Wednesday-chicken soup, tortellini’s (ricotta cheese+ spinach) with meat sauce, salad
Baking this week: I’ve got 3 loaves of bread in the oven,+ chocolate pudding,+ blackberry pie (I will bake this on Monday and take it done to the village with us)
What I pray: I ask the Lord for wisdom, creativity, and provision each day. What I am enjoying is the process of watching the Lord supply all my needs and how He blesses my efforts. Even today we heard that the EURO has once again gained on the US dollar, which means less money for us+interest rates have just been raised here in Europe. So, what can I do? Ask the Lord for help! And He does! He has also sent me people who give me encouragement in this little project of mine. For all of you who are also on such a journey, keep up the good work!