Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: Gathering Up the Remnants

I haven't done a Thrifty Thursday post in a while, and I think I'm due for one.  Things have been tight lately.  So tight I can barely breathe.  You don't get rich from writing books and in fact, because I'm self-published, I might get 2-3 sales a week if it's a good week! :-)  

All of our combined income - Dan's job as pastor, as a job coach, and my crafts and books don't even make up one full income in this area so I have learned to be extremely frugal and to do whatever I can to make ends meet. 
This week, as I do each week, I've done the following to gather up those remnants and use up every little bit of what I have:

►  Bought split chicken breasts that were on sale (side note: sale prices are not what they used to be!).  There were 6 breasts in a pack.  I made barbecue chicken with four and a half of them and had that for dinner the other night with homemade rolls.  Last night I took the leftover chicken and made rice and made a casserole with rice, chicken and shredded colby-jack cheese.  There is a bit of that leftover which someone will eat for lunch.

The other breast and a half I turned into chicken salad which made up our lunch for two days.

I then took the bones, and a handful of onions, celery and spices and simmered it down into stock.  It made 2 quarts of stock.

So one package of chicken made up 4 dinners, 3 lunches, and 2 quarts of stock.  Not bad for $6.

► I finished cutting up the bushel & a half of pears that I received free from a friend.  I'm putting together a goody bag for her as a thank you.  Out of the bushel and a half I made 17 pints of pears in syrup and 6 pints of brandied pears.

► I went apple picking last week and got a bushel of apples at $.55 per lb.  This is so much cheaper than in the stores.  The farmers market I frequent has local apples for $1.29 per lb. so it made more sense to pick them myself.  I only made it through a quarter of a bushel so far and ended up with 8 pints of apple sauce and 4 pints of brandied, chopped apples. 

► Another wonderfully generous friend let me come and pick all the tomatoes, peppers and onions I wanted from her garden.  That was free and turned into 48 pints of sauce, 1 gallon freezer bag full of chopped onions, 1 of chopped green peppers and 1 of whole jalapeños. 

A note about free things - I have been blessed with friends who offer to share their bounty with me.  I generally never turn this down because 1) I'm learning I do NOT have a green thumb and even when I have a garden it is so sad and pitiful looking and 2) I am so very thankful for the ways God keeps providing for our needs.

► I had a cabbage that was starting to go bad.  So I cut out all the bad spots and made homemade hot pockets (cabbage, ground beef, and onions).  This is a favorite around here!  That made two meals.

► When I picked the apples, the farm also had pick your own peppers at $.99 per lb.  I never can find red peppers at a decent price so I picked a bagful of those.  I roasted them and canned them.  So good!

► I'm off to a retreat this weekend where I will have a book and craft table.  A great way I have found to use up my fabric remnants is in tea totes, tissue holders, and a new item - coffee sleeves.

I also made a few mug rugs with the scraps.

There are so many ways to cut corners, use things up, make due with other things and overall save some money!  You just have to have the desire and be creative.