Once again I made the goal of using my pantry stock and spending under my limit of 10€.
I bought some milk, yogurt, lunch meat & fresh cheese (queso fresco) & apples. I normally make my own yogurt but I wanted to try my hand at making non-fat yogurt. It was a success, though there was a bit of whey on the surface. Otherwise, it is a hit!
What I have left is 1,60€ which will be put back into my coin drawer and I’ll replace it with another 10€ bill.
I have several goals I need/want to accomplish and these challenges help me see the fruit of my labor.
Today I spent: $0 on groceries
Total spent these last 19 days: 70,35€
Average per day: 3,70€
We called about a turkey at another market and got a better price: 3,95€ kilo! That’s better than the 5,40€ from the poultry store here in Loeches. Anyway, we ordered two 5 kilo birds because those are as big as they have them here.
All we invited are coming and we are so glad to have a shared day with them. I’ve prepared a Power Point with some photos and a mini presentation to project on our living room wall… just to teach them what THANKSGIVING is. As we Americans know, it is a day that we celebrate for very specific reasons.
I hope to post more updates after the 16th of this month.
After church today I opened a jar of my chili with beef that I had canned and we ate that over rice with a salad. For supper it will be more of the same or egg and toast.
Day #16: We traveled to the village today. We actually left a bit late, and got to the house at 8pm. We stopped in Coria to buy a few groceries. I plan on canning the hamburger for future meals. No one calls, no meetings… just work and I have time to CAN! I love that.
Spent today: 39,35€
37,20€- 8 kilos of hamburger (that’s 17lbs 6 oz)
0,60 cents-1 liter of whole milk-(John drinks whole milk)
0,20 cents-1 onion
1,55 euros-2 romaine lettuce
Spent the last 16 days: 58,85€ (but most of it is for the future.. canned ground beef)
Average spent per day: 3,67€ per day
Meat… I love the stuff! I especially like to can it. Last year for Christmas, John gave me a pressure canner and a couple hundred jars and 800 lids. I’ve run down my ‘stock’ considerably and I can’t stand to see those empty jars, so when I have a few days in my otherwise busy schedule, I prepare for a canning session. For me, there is a tremendous satisfaction in seeing the fruits of my labor on the shelves.
Did I mention how handy it is? I can the hamburger for example, with different spices added. Some may be taco flavor, or sloppy Joe flavor. Some with chili powder or onions and garlic or Italian seasoning. When I have a recipe I want to prepare, I just open a jar or 2 of the hamburger… ready to go. No defrosting or panic if I have unexpected guests come for a meal. I’m pretty well set all of the time.
Blessings!! Today I received a package from my friend Joye. It was the mother-load of things I love! Here is what she sent:
7 cans of jalapenos (really needed those!)
2 cans of cranberry sauce
2 boxes of pie crust mix
2 popcorn balls
wow! we are very thankful and blessed by these treats. All these foods we can‘t get here and how helpful for my Thanksgiving feast! We are humbled by the Lords goodness to us.
Day #13 and I have spent 19,50€ in the last 13 days. Today I didn’t spend anything… sick in bed, all plans canceled.
Here is my menu for today:
I eat lightly usually a yogurt with cereal in it. John will eat the leftover meatloaf and any other thing he finds in the fridge.
Cream of squash soup (I’m making it with hot thai seasonings this time)
Machaca Burritos- a Cailfornia favorite using 1 jar of my canned shredded beef, 3 scrambled eggs, cheese, salsa, wrapped in a large flour tortilla
Fried flour tortilla wedges sprinkled with cinnamon & sugar
You may have noticed that I’m trying to finish off a package of flour tortillas in the fridge!
Paella- we are still working through all the paella in the freezer in 2 portion baggies.
Money spent on groceries today: $0
Total spent the last 7 days: .50¢
What I have left:
a bit of cabbage
1/2 of a zucchini
I also can still pick 2-3 cherry tomatoes each day from my garden.
We have guests coming on Thursday evening so I have to get a few things to buy for that, but I don’t plan on spending anything until then.
Well, here we go… day #3. I still have lettuce and tomatoes, potatoes, 1 zucchini squash, 3 carrots, 1/2 a cabbage & onions that are fresh.
I found a recipe for pinto bean burgers with a yogurt horseradish sauce and made them last night for supper. I went to my pantry and got a jar of beans I canned earlier this year, took out cheddar cheese from the freezer, added the cilantro from my garden, some onion, Worcestershire sauce, and egg, bread crumbs, salt & pepper and fried them up putting them on hamburger buns with lettuce and tomato. We ate them last night with 3 leftover for lunch today. I have a rice recipe I will try today to go with it. Our 2:00 pm meal will look like this:
Cream of Green soup ( I make this using all the green veggies I have on hand, like broccoli, zucchini green beans etc. It was leftover from when the kids were here.
2 nd plate:
Pinto bean patties (cheese is mixed in)~ these were yummy!
new rice recipe (brown rice & wild rice)- We really liked this.
1/2 of the zucchini, sauteed in olive oil & herbs
So far, I’m doing well on my plan to see how LITTLE I can spend on groceries.
Day #3 I spent: $0….nothing…nada!
I have left:
1 liter of non-fat milk
I’m using my last package of paper napkins, so John & I have switched to cloth to make the package stretch.
I’m also on my last tub of margarine which I use for some baking. For eating we use only butter.
Total spent since October 20th: $0
12/1/08- toilet paper 1,05€
12/4/08-chicken bouillon, 3,85€
12/4/08-lettuce, 1 kilo of tangerines, 1,80€
Well there you have it! I have spent 6,70€ to get us by with 13,30€ left to spend the next 10 days. We continue to eat well and frugally.
We did spend money on some Spanish ham, manchego cheese and holiday candy: turrón and sent it to our friend, and mother tongue speaker, Ricardo, who has faithfully worked with us on the Aragonese NT. I also had to spend some cash on butternut squash because I was asked to make a cream soup for 45 ladies this Friday night. I’ll be reimbursed for this so I didn’t include it.
I’m saving money and it looks like I will have what I need for that ROAST BEEF I want to serve for Christmas. I’d like to have a Standing Rib Roast and will cost me more. My menus are planned for when the family comes… one of my favorite/relaxing things to do! Only 10 more days to go!
Our meals for the the next 10days will include:
macaroni and cheese with ham
and toasted sandwiches using the luncheon meat I have in the freezer.
On another note: last week when we returned from the village, I checked the garden and found that it had frozen in Madrid while we were away. All of my potatoes plants were dead so I dug them up to see if any were worth eating. Here is my photo of what I found:
Isn’t that just GREAT??? I had never grown potatoes before and I can’t tell you the encouragement digging this little guys up! I couldn’t have been happier. I’ll definitely grow them again and I have some “seed potatoes” sprouting in the garage now. In the articles I’ve read on the the internet, they say that seed potatoes should be purchased… well, these just came from our grocery store and did very well!
I was also able t pick these pea pods from my garden to add to salads. Very yummy.
I’m having a great time with all of this! Please leave your comments and tell us what you are doing in this challenging economy. Many Blessings!
This has been a good and fun week! Well, it’s been 12 weeks, 3 months of spending 10€ a week! This week, I have to give myself a raise… to 15€ a week instead of 10€. I am just out of too many baking items. After having our guests with us, and all the beverages (juice every morning, coffee, soda, chocolate milk for breakfast for the daughter) for the adults and their teenage daughter, I need a raise. Normally, I don’t have to buy that stuff in such quantity, but it was worth it too, because we love them and love being with them.
I still have plenty in the pantry, but the everyday staples and toiletries, have been depleted. I’m going to try to do the 15€ a week for a while but I also may decided to go back to 10€ and then do a quarterly “larger” marketing day of say, 50€. I will have to decide on that… My goal remains the same: use up my pantry, and save money for other “funds” or adjust for the changes in the economy as needed.
starting balance: 15 Euros
.49- 1 kilo of flour
.49- 1 kilo of flour
.49- 1 kilo of flour
.98- 1 kilo of sugar
1.15- 1 dozen eggs
.65- chicken hot dogs
.71- 1 liter of non fat milk
1.98- dish washing soap
2.65- 1 liter of olive oil
1.45- 1 liter of sunflower oil
*- I am officially out of nuts of any kind in the village house. I think I may have some almonds in the Madrid house. We will live without them for a couple of weeks!
Menus for this week:
Breakfasts will be: oatmeal, banana bread with jam or peanut butter (Mom and Dad brought that for us last year)
Suppers will be: pita bread sandwiches, veggie sandwiches with all of the tomatoes, zucchini, sprouts and onions we have, or leftovers
John and I feel that we eat very well.
Thursday, August 20th- 1st plate: Gazpacho 2nd plate: Pinto beans and rice, salad
Friday, August 21st- 1st plate: Tomato soup 2nd plate: fish fillets, rice-a roni, pisto ( squash, tomatoes and onions)
Saturday, August 22nd-1st plate: bean soup (using leftover beans) 2nd Plate: Pasta and meat sauce, salad
Sunday, August 23rd-1st plate: fish chowder (leftovers from the fish) 2nd plate: Pork Loin, couscous, sliced tomatoes
Monday, August 24th-1st plate: cream of zucchini soup, 2nd plate beef fillets with mushroom gravy, spetzael, salad
Tuesday, August 25th-1st plate:Leftover soup, 2nd plate: pork Loin, rice, zucchini
Wednesday, August 26th-leftovers
Blessings I have received this week:
Look at these veggies! I took a photo each time I was given them. I have had so many tomatoes that I canned some of them… they just keep coming!
The green peppers have been diced and frozen on a cookie sheet then bagged for recipes during the winter.
How does my garden grow?
Here are my vegetable seeds that I started. I have peas, broccoli, haba beans (may be called fava beans in English…not sure), and lettuce. I made “pots” out of newspaper, using an empty can as a guide. As the plants sprout, I will then plant the whole thing into the ground, paper and all. I have a few peat pots in the house in Madrid, but I will use this method from now on to avoid the cost of buying them again.
My baking for last week:
This is the baked oatmeal that I have included on this blog. It is really good and full of dried fruit. Since we are still in the village and have run out of brown sugar here (we have some in Madrid), I used granulated sugar. It’s good but definitely better with brown sugar!
Ok.. that’s all… tomorrow I will bake bread and other pastries for the week. I’ll post those later. I hope you will all stay encouraged in your own goals.
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.
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!
- I’ve sprouted, lentils, broccoli sprouts, and alfalfa spouts to add to salads and sandwiches (instead of lettuce)- thanks again to my friend Dana for sending me these!
- I’m using up all the little guest soaps, and the hotel samples I’ve collected and others have given me.
- I’m adding sand (from an old construction project) to the back yard patch of dirt, preparing it for a winter garden of carrots, beets, potatoes and lettuce. I’m hunting for the seeds. So far they are not in the stores. I’m also pouring boiling water down an ant hill, several times a day to rid the garden of them.
- our snacks include popped corn & iced tea
- we’re having more people over for coffee and muffins or a light supper instead of the main meal.
- I’m planting as many “pots” as I can of vegetables. I’ll take these to the village with us July 7th.
- We’re eating one or 2 meatless meals of week. We really liked the lentil/walnut burgers with sprouts, tomato and onion.
- instead of using the “premix” bread mix I buy for 1.29 as directed, (it’s for bread machines- I don’t have one) I added some more yeast and flour and was able to get two BIG loaves out of it. It’s very nice bread with lots of sunflower seeds.
Starting balance for this week: 9,55€
What I bought:
1.34- vegetable oil
2.55- olive oil
.55-hot dogs with cheese
1.69- toilet paper
.28- 1 cucumber
.25- 1 apple
.25- 1 orange
10.65-total spent I went 1,10 euros in the hole… grrrr…
* this week was a bit of an “extra challenge” because I ran out of vegetable oil, and olive oil.
** I got the hot dogs for the little girl that is coming tonight with her parents. That is just about all that child eats. The adults are having the last of the lamb chops in the freezer on the barbecue.
*** we are still using meat we have in the freezer. We have approx. 1 lb of hamburger, 4 pk of pork chops and/or loin chops, sandwich meats, like sliced ham, pastrami and turkey ( not very much).
I am having a FUN TIME challenging MYSELF to use up what we already have, while saving some money too.
My menu for this week:
Thursday 26 June-Cheese, bread, olives, salami, lamb chops (last of the lamb in the freezer), pasta salad, green salad
Friday 27 June-Curried carrot soup (reinvented from last weeks cream of carrot), pork picatta (left over from the guest that didn’t show up Monday), stuffing, green beans
Saturday 28 June-Potato cheese soup, Stromboli, salad
Sunday 29 June-Lentil soup, pastrami sandwiches w/ veggies
Monday 30 June-left overs
Tuesday 1 July-Left over potato cheese soup, scrambled egg & ham crepes with a cream mustard sauce, brussel sprouts
Wednesday 2 July- cream of tomato soup, roasted turkey legs (last 2 in the freezer) mashed potatoes, salad
Next week I will have 8,90€ to spend
*my cherry tomato plants have tons of little green tomatoes. Unfortunately my lettuce seeds must be old, because they just won’t sprout! The same with my green beans… they are several years old. I’ll do a replant and see if I can get them going…