Thursday, March 26, 2009

Using My Resources!

We are trying to be very careful about our spending, saving for the furlough weeks that Doran has to take for the rest of the year. I always planned meals and kept track of our spending, but now I try even harder to do it all better and cheaper. I had heard about the Westside Food Bank Food Club from a friend's blog, and had gone and purchased some items near Christmas...the meat was wonderful, and I used most of the staples, and veggies. I went again with Dorrie yesterday. I only got a $13 pantry meat, but the haul I got was incredible. I got 2 cases of Gatorade -great for a football/discus and shotput athlete. I got 8 loaves of bread (French bread used for French toast this morning and garlic toast tonight) rolls, hamburger buns (sloppy joes tomorrow), canned goods, cakes, candies, - what to do with 2 large loaves of rye bread I am trying to discover. I also got tons of veggies...2 head of lettuce, 2 big bunches of celery, dry red peppers (great in Dee's kung pao), jalapenos, tomatillos, four yellow squash, dried red peppers, beans, pintos, rice, corn flakes, 12 boxes of grape tomatoes, and just tons of stuff. It took me quite a while to put it away.

So, today, for my planned dinner, I made Lasagna. I had thawed 1 pound of ground turkey meat. For the sauce, I cut up the fennel I received in the box yesterday and sauteed it with the garlic and then added Italian seasoning,salt, and red pepper flakes and 1 1/2 super large cans of crushed tomatoes. That made enough sauce for 2 I had cottage cheese frozen that I had gotten on sale...mixed that with Parmesan cheese I had from a clearance, and some oregano. I also had an eggplant from yesterday that I had no clue what to do with, so I peeled, thin sliced, and browned the slices in a Cooking sprayed pan. To assemble, I put sauce on the bottom, then lasagna noodles, then the eggplant slices (covered the bottom layer of both lasagnas) then sauce, then cottage/Parmesan/oregano mixture, then mozzarella (2 pound bag I got on sale last week for 3.99!)I kept layering, and topped with the mozzarella. I had enough for two pans of lasagna, plus I made a little one for Nate's lunch (and our snacking pleasure) out of the extra. Still have some mozzarella left, too. And Kayty didn't figure out about the eggplant or the fennel until her second helping, when Nathan "kindly" pointed out that she had eaten that. It was so fun to try something new.

It's interesting. This is the first month I have really cut back. I am very careful at shopping the store, just goal oriented visits. No extra shopping. Planned meals. One or two meatless meals a week (Nathan still isn't used to lentils!) And I feel I have accomplished a lot!!

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