Feeding my Family on $80 for a Month Part III

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By Liz

If you are just tuning in, feel free to check out Part I and Part II of this series.

So how did I do this week with only $32.10 of my $80 for my Penny Pinching June?

We are really getting down to the wire here and although my dry pantry staples and freezer are still in good shape, it is really things like my perishables I am having issue with. 

We are starting to miss a lot of dairy, items such as cheese, margarine, yogurt, sour cream and now that summer is here, ice cream.  I have been substituting real butter for the margarine, and while agree it tastes better and is better for us, real butter is expensive and does not stretch as far as margarine in certain recipes so I had to break down and get a tub.

Again I went to Aldi, I think I have been doing this to avoid Winco, there are just too many options at Winco, and I feel like I would be overly tempted to purchase more and blow through my cash budget.

Here is a snapshot and list of what I purchased this week:

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1 tub margarine

1 package cream cheese

1 package tortillas

2 dozen eggs

2 rolls of ground turkey

4 avocados

4 peaches

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I spent a total of $14.63 at Aldi.  Shortly after I got home, I realized I forgot to pick up milk, thankfully one of the boys was already out for the day, so I texted him and asked him to pick up 2 gallons, but he only brought home 1 (kids…insert big sigh here). I repaid him the 97 cents for the milk at dinner time. So my grand total spent for the day was $ 15.60, leaving me $16.50 for my final week of this challenge.




So what did we eat for this week?

Monday: Chili Dog Enchilada Casserole/ homemade potato wedges.

Tuesday: Pork Chili

Wednesday: Hamburgers/macaroni salad.

Thursday: Pizza (prior to the month I had found some rather large take and bake pizza’s that were discounted at Walmart so I picked up a couple and had them in stored in my freezer).

Friday:  Lemon Chicken Penne/garlic bread/salad.

Saturday: Spaghetti with Bolognese sauce (I had a spaghetti squash in my fridge for quite some time, so I made this for me instead of the pasta to cut back on the carbs.

Sunday: In honor of Father’s day and in an attempt to spoil my husband who is also a fabulous dad…I made steaks on the grill (that I butchered from a roast)/garlic smashed potatoes/green beans with lemon/sourdough rolls/dark chocolate cake with fresh raspberries.

One more week and it is going to be a huge challenge since our micro garden is now exploding and I need to put those ingredients to use, personally, I am starting to have cheese withdrawal and its summer so my kids want to know…WHERE IS THE ICE CREAM???

 

 


Hearty Rustic Pork Ragu

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This hearty and delicious recipe is packed with vibrant flavors and is a great way to sneak vegetables in if you have picky eaters.

Not only is this meal great for those cold chilly days, but it is also great for the summer when you’re cooking for a crowd and don’t want to heat your kitchen up by turning on the oven.

This is one of those great meals you can assemble in the morning and don’t have to touch until it is time to be served and on busy days…who doesn’t love that?

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Ingredients:

2-3 pounds pork roast or tenderloin

1 large onion, chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

3 ribs of celery, rinsed and chopped

1 medium bell pepper, chopped

4 -5 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon of ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

3 cups spaghetti sauce

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Directions:

1. Spray a 6 quart slow cooker with non-stick spray.

2. Rough cut all the vegetables into bite size pieces and place on the bottom of the slow cooker add seasonings.

3. Add pork roast on top of the bed of vegetables add an additional sprinkle of salt and pepper over the pork.

4. Pour spaghetti sauce over pork and vegetables (do not stir).

5. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours.

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6. Remove pork and break pork into bite size pieces or shred; then add back to pot and stir.

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7. Serve hot, over desired cooked pasta or over bread.

This is a favorite in our house and even though we have a large family, believe it or not, we always have leftovers with this  hearty meal and no one seems to mind having it for lunch the following day. So the next time you are looking for a crowd pleasing, satisfying easy dish to make, give this one a try and enjoy the recipe card below.

Hearty Rustic Pork Ragu
Serves 8
A crowd pleasing, hearty, delicious and thrifty dinner for anytime of the year.
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320 calories
13 g
114 g
11 g
41 g
3 g
311 g
802 g
8 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
311g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 320
Calories from Fat 95
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
16%
Saturated Fat 3g
15%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 114mg
38%
Sodium 802mg
33%
Total Carbohydrates 13g
4%
Dietary Fiber 3g
13%
Sugars 8g
Protein 41g
Vitamin A
84%
Vitamin C
41%
Calcium
6%
Iron
11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2-3 pounds pork roast or tenderloin
  2. 1 large onion, chopped
  3. 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  4. 3 ribs of celery, rinsed and chopped
  5. 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  6. 4 -5 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  7. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  8. 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  9. ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  10. 3 cups spaghetti sauce
Instructions
  1. Spray a 6 quart slow cooker with non-stick spray.
  2. Rough cut all the vegetables into bite size pieces and place on the bottom of the slow cooker add seasonings.
  3. Add pork roast on top of the bed of vegetables add an additional sprinkle of salt and pepper over the pork.
  4. Pour spaghetti sauce over pork and vegetables (do not stir).
  5. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours.
  6. Remove pork and break pork into bite size pieces or shred; then add back to pot and stir.
Notes
  1. Serve hot, over desired cooked pasta or over bread.
beta
calories
320
fat
11g
protein
41g
carbs
13g
more
The Fort Worth Homemaker http://thefortworthhomemaker.com/

Five Frugal for Friday

By Liz

Did you ever have those times when you felt like you were in a fog, and it lasted for a long time?  That was us this week.    At the beginning of the week, I got to meet up with an old friend for lunch and that was great. However, the rest of the week just seemed to have a heaviness to it that felt like it just would not go away which made the week seem endless, but thankfully it is now Friday and the weekend is upon us.

Here are my 5 frugal accomplishments for this week:

1. We flipped a car. This accomplishment was not intentional. We had purchased a used, “first car” to help a close relative over a year ago. At the time, they could not afford the car out right, and was considering a loan with a very high interest rate.  We were in the position to help out by purchasing the car in full, and the arrangements were, they were to pay us monthly, for the cost of the car (no interest or fees) until the car was paid for.  Unfortunately, that did not work out, so my wonderful, more than handy, mechanically inclined husband, did some minor repairs, buffed out scratches and touched up paint, detailed the car top to bottom and we flipped it for a profit that will pay for our summer vacation this year.

2. I made Saturday morning pastry. I always treat my family to some kind of pastry on Saturday morning, whether it is bakery bought donuts, bagels, or pan dulce. However, some Saturdays if the conditions are right and the motivation is there, I will bake. This past Saturday, I made both strawberry and cheese Danish.

 

3. I made bread crumbs. We seemed to have a variety of breads with our meals last week. We had sourdough, Italian, baguette, and pita ends and pieces sitting in bags on top of the fridge. So I took all of them and dried them out in the oven and ran them through the food processor.  It yielded me almost 2 cups of crumbs, which I then used to make a double batch of meatballs.

 

4. I made a batch of homemade pesto. We love pesto in our house. We use it on pasta, sandwiches and on meat, fish and some vegetables.  Our micro garden is in full bloom, so I used the basil from our garden to make a batch of pesto sauce. Making pesto does require a lot of basil and we only have to planters in our garden, so I basically wiped out our crop, but I am hopeful the plants will regenerate.


5. I gave myself an overdue pedicure.  I do my own pedicures at home every 2 weeks, keeping my toes looking fresh, however time got away from me this month and I had finally reconciled that I had the time to do it.  I set up shop on my back patio, with my pedicure kit, a book and a very large, icy glass of sparkling water and spent an hour of pampering time.

So those are some of the ways I saved some money this week. How were you able to save some of your hard earned cash this week?