Day12 and I have spent a total of 19,50 euros for the past 12 days.
I baked lasted Thursday so I have plenty of bread, cinnamon rolls, coffee cakes and peach turnovers. Our guest left after lunch and I’m still left with:
1/3 of a zucchini (I cut off a small piece to add to my soup today)
1 tomato (since I pick 1 roma tomato and 3 cherry tomatoes from my ‘almost gone’ summer garden, I still have not run out!)
The truth is, I feel so RICH! There is always plenty of good food here and I enjoy the management of the kitchen and the planning of my meals. I guess I’m just like every other homemaker out there… we just love our job!
homemade sausage (I always have sausage on hand because I make it and then can it in jars… sealed under pressure)
french toast with syrup (I brought back some pancake syrup from the USA last time we were there)
Dinner: (Guest here)
1st plate: sausage & white ban soup (using the leftover sausage from breakfast, the broth from the chicken & sausage that I canned and then saved when I opened the jars, kale from my garden)
Tonight we are going with friends to a FREE concert with traditional hymns to celebrate the Reformation. Happy Reformation Day!! We will probably just eat some leftovers in the fridge before we go out.
A menu plan saves money. Reducing trips to the supermarket, a menu plan reduces impulse spending. Using leftovers efficiently cuts food waste and ‘working in’ an ingredient that I already have helps me use what’s in the pantry or garden.
A menu plan saves time. No frantic searches of what to prepare… I know exactly what meals I’m fixing at all times. This frees me up to do other things.
A menu plan improves nutrition. John and I basically eat little or no junk food. We eat real homemade meals and we always have homemade bread on hand. I buy only fruit and vegetables on sale. When traveling, I also pack lunches to save on money. Almost anything I make will be tastier & more nutritious than buying on the road.
*I like to plan my menus by the week and I also plan for leftovers. I try to include at least one menu for guests too.
I started with .11 cents from last week: so may starting balance is 10.11
1.29- pre-mix bread mix
3.79-1 large can of tuna
1.35- 3 kilos of baking flour
1.10- 2 liters of beverages
.26- 1 can of beverage
* we have had guests which accounts for all the beverages… I still stayed within my 10 euros a week even with 3 more mouths to feed last week. The Lord is blessing! I have found my self resenting buying toilet paper though! Ha!
Menus for this week:
*again, breakfasts are usually baked oatmeal, yogurt, baked goods or leftovers. Suppers are usually leftovers or toasted veggie sandwiches on homemade bread (zucchini, onion, peppers, tomatoes, sprouts and cheese)
Thursday- August 14th-1st plate: turkey vegetable rice soup, 2nd plate: beef filet’s (cut in strips) that are marinaded in a package of “beef and broccoli mix” but I am using it with zucchini, onions and peppers and Chinese noodles
Friday- August 15th-1st plate: Breaded and fried zucchini patties with sliced tomatoes, 2nd plate: Chili and rice
Saturday-August 16th-1st plate: lentil soup (using 1 leftover sausage), 2nd plate: hamburger patties, rice and zucchini and tomatoes and homemade onion rings.
Sunday- August 17th-1st plate: left over turkey soup 2nd plate: spaghetti with meat sauce (using the rest of the ground beef from the hamburger patties I made yesterday) and salad
Monday- August 18th-1st plate: Left over lentil soup, corn fritters, 2nd plate:Roast beef hash (frozen from another time we were in the village) and sliced tomatoes with roasted peppers
Tuesday- August 19th-1st plate: Pasta salad, 2nd plate: fried eggs, grits, toast and sliced tomatoes
Wednesday- August 20th-Leftovers
I think we eat very well!
* I will post the blessings we receive and the baking I do in a few days.
2.10- 2dozen eggs
1.30- 2 liters of fat free milk
1.29- pre-mix bread mix
1.04- 4 cans of beverage
Menus for this week:
Thursday, August 7th-On holiday
Friday, August 8th-On holiday
Saturday, August 9th-On holiday
Sunday, August 10th-On holiday
Monday, August 11th- We return today. Ana and Angel will be with us. Planned meals will be:
PM-supper-1st plate, macaroni and tomato sauce, 2nd plate fish filet’s, french fries, sliced tomatoes
Tuesday, August 12th- Mid-day meal: 1st plate salad, 2nd plate: sausages, zucchini, tomatoes, rice
PM meal: 1st plate: breaded zucchini (fried in olive oil) & sliced tomatoes 2nd plate: meatballs, spaghetti
Wednesday, August 13th-Our friends left today so we are eating leftovers today.
My blessings I received this week:
~plums- 3 kilos (they are so good!
~ Ana and Angel bought a whole wheel of manchego cheese!
* I was also able to send Ana home with baked goodies and veggies and plums.
~I have a few leftover groceries from our entertainment fund, that I bought on the vacation. Ana and I traded days of cooking and we both spent very little money. I have a can of tuna fish, 2 onions, dishwasher tablets, 2 eggs, 2 yogurt, bits of turkey and bones I saved for soup.
I am overwhelmed to see how the Lord has blessed us and I feel especially blessed that the Lord is blessing my humble efforts.
What I baked this week:
I made bread and cinnamon rolls yesterday but it looks like I will bake again today or tomorrow. I have 1/2 loaf of bread and 4 cinnamon rolls left.
Yesterday, I also started some of my seedlings for a winter garden. I will plant peas and haba beans here in the village and the rest at the house in Loeches. Since we plan to be back here on September 12-27th, I may plant some more too.
This is a lot of fun for me!
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.
As you have read, I have been asking the Lord for wisdom and provision as I challenge myself to stay within the 10 € limit for groceries and toiletries each week. So I can testify to His goodness. I’m listing the tangible blessings He sent our way last week.
- 11 lbs of cherries we picked from a neighbors tree
- 2 lemons from the lemon tree in the village
- sprouting seeds (like alfalfa sprouts) from my friend Dana
- packages of Splenda, from one of our daughters
These may seem like small things, but I believe with all my heart that I don’t even have breath, let alone anything else, except by my Fathers hand. So I’m sharing this to His glory.
OK… It’s Thursday and I have done the marketing for the week. On Tuesday, we had an unexpected guest for a meal, so I had to run to the market, and spent 5.50… my balance was 3.16€ so I went into “debt” for 2.34€.
Today I started with a total of: 7.66€ to spend:
Here is what I bought:
1.29- pre-made bread mix
.45¢-1 kilo baking flour
1.05- 1 dozen eggs
.39¢- kilo (2.2 lbs) of carrots
.40¢-2 green peppers
1.19- 6 tomatoes
…which puts me .45¢ in the red for next week. Next week, my 5th week, I will have 9.55€ to spend.
*I was so thrilled with the .39¢ spent on a kilo of carrots. I went to the market to see what was on special. 1 kilo of carrots gives me lots of possibles for the upcoming week! Believe it or not, this is fun for me!
*Living in Spain brings different “entertaining” expectations and we have to keep beverages on hand for proper hospitality.
My Menus This Week:
Thursday June 19-Split Pea w/ ham Soup, leftovers, Salad
Friday June 20- Cream of Broccoli & Cheese soup, Chili and Navajo Fry Bread
Saturday June 21-Chinese hot noodle soup , Lentil Walnut Burgers on buns w/ veggies (spouts that Dana sent!)
Sunday June 22- Cream of Broccoli Soup, Fried Eggs and Fried Polenta, sliced tomatoes
Monday June 23- Cream of Carrot soup, Pork Picatta, Scalloped potatoes, sliced tomatoes, Cherry Pie (guest in the house)
Tuesday June 24- Navy Bean Soup, Turkey Casserole, Brussel Sprouts
Wednesday June 25- Cream of Green Soup (daughter, Anita’s recipe) Turkey Fried Rice, Won Tons
In addition, I will bake bread, cookies and Fruit and Nut Baked Oatmeal (it’s so good! I will post the recipe soon on this site)
I would love to hear your comments (please leave those) and also about how you are making ends meet in these interesting times.
Having fun with this,