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Wow Zhoen you have energy lol my kids have aged my poor stove so much in the last year. son smelled out the house cooking bacon this morning. just have ideas cus plans change here fast or people don't eat. don't think I really cooked last week. I just keep options frozen etc makes life easier. but since free lunches at dh work ended now that cafeteria is open again can plan on more dinners.

last night was beef lettuce cups w peaches and ice cream, tonight seasoned chicken thighs , box scalloped potatoes and yellow squash that needs using up. since cool enough for oven to be on. all the peaches are in the fridge cus damn fruit flies are back.
 

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Have to do field work tomorrow so have to make up enough food for 2 meals.

Have smoked salmon with rye crisp and zucchini salad ready for one of them. A probiotic rootbeer (sale item treat!) and .... more rye crisp?? I guess that 2nd meal needs work. Stupidly ate all my peanut butter today and took all the older eggs to work. Should have kept them here and boiled them. I could boil todays eggs but they won't peel. I guess it is sardines and mustard and pickles on the crackers. I. Ick. I think I will try to cook up a skillet bread or something before I hit the sack tonight!!
 

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Have to do field work tomorrow so have to make up enough food for 2 meals.

Have smoked salmon with rye crisp and zucchini salad ready for one of them. A probiotic rootbeer (sale item treat!) and .... more rye crisp?? I guess that 2nd meal needs work. Stupidly ate all my peanut butter today and took all the older eggs to work. Should have kept them here and boiled them. I could boil todays eggs but they won't peel. I guess it is sardines and mustard and pickles on the crackers. I. Ick. I think I will try to cook up a skillet bread or something before I hit the sack tonight!!
Sardines on rye crackers with mustard sounds... like a recipe for weight loss! ;P (The only part I would eat is the mustard!)

Tonight I am trying (and currently failing) to plan out the menu for the rest of the year. Yes, really. I go back to school next week, and having a pre-made/pre-shopped menu has REALLY helped my sanity in pre-covid semesters... But I am stalling, because I should go organize the freezers and the cabinets and plan around what's there... and I. DON'T. WANNA !!! Seriously, it is SUCH a mess in there!!!

Right now it is looking like I will be in the city all day on Tuesdays for lecture-- so I am trying to think of either crockpot or make-ahead/reheat meals for those days, but it's still hot-and-steamy here right now, and crockpot anything sounds gross... Also I have ZERO idea what my other days/times of the week will be for the 6 weeks I am intern-ing ... sure would be helpful to know... :rolleyes:

The silver lining (if you can call it that) is that by the time October 15th rolls around, I'll be through with my internship and the rest of the semester SHOULD be smooth sailing. (She says naively as Godzilla swims into the harbor...)
 

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Maggie a couple packs of Ramen would be handy for these situations.
I got a BUNCH of lovely produce at reasonable prices on our drive this afternoon. Plan is ratatouille with eggplant, squash, onion, pepper, tomatoes. Softball-sized peaches and honey crisp apples.
 

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Discussion Starter · #85 ·
Tonight I am trying (and currently failing) to plan out the menu for the rest of the year. Yes, really. I go back to school next week, and having a pre-made/pre-shopped menu has REALLY helped my sanity in pre-covid semesters... But I am stalling, because I should go organize the freezers and the cabinets and plan around what's there... and I. DON'T. WANNA !!! Seriously, it is SUCH a mess in there!!!
For a while I was planning based on what I could SEE. I knew there was stuff in the back but didn't want to dig for it, so I wrote down the first 5-10 items in the freezer and pantry, and worked around that. Then when I had less stuff, it was easier to make a better list.

Crockpot? Hmmn, all I can think of is "big hunk of meat" with veggies. That can be warmed up for dinner, or turned into cold sandwiches, burritos, or vegetable soup.
 
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I was going to suggest same as CH - grab some obvious things and use them up to clear space. This soup recipe is called "big batch" and they are not kidding. I usually halve it. Clears out lots of veggies. Good as is but if you have a ham/bone to toss in it is amazing.
 

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I'm trying to clear out the freezers. I thawed a bag of chicken & rice, it's bland and mushy but edible. I'm thawing out a whole chicken. Let's see what we can make this week:

 

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It is time to start trying to use up some stuff and try to restock better this time!
Need to use up overstock of coconut flour. Did buy almond flour on super sale so I have more variety
Need to use up some spices so I made 2 jars of "anti-inflammatory" mix (turmeric, cinnamon and nutmeg) and brought 1 to work> I try to have 1-2Tablespoons of this a day when my old lady aches and pains start and it helps...also good source of iron (1.2mg per Tablespoon).
That shoudl go in a glass of water every day.

For meals: greens and eggs for 1 meal, crackers and tinned fish for another. I don't mind sardines if I don't think about them too much and it's a source of calcium for those of us who don't do the dairy. I think iron too...should check that. Anyway, other lunches: salads from the garden with berries and home made dressing. I've been skipping some suppers but have the crackers and stuff if I need something.
 

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Martha: you can put it in coffee but it doesn't taste great. If I'm in a tearing hurry I throw some in a cup of warm water, stir and chug. It's pretty good in my "banana pancakes" especially if I add a tablespoon of cocoa. Banana pancakes recipe: 1 mashed banana, 2 eggs, spices (you can get up to 2T of spices depending on the size of the banana and the eggs...not a touchy recipe). Mix that up well and fry like pancakes. I was eating it as breakfast but lately it's been dinner.

The mix was also good in a quick batter on squash blossoms.

I am now eating up my canned fish to make room for jars of duck and chicken that should be put up in the coming weeks.
Had canned salmon with berries and olive oil over zucchini from the garden. Eating up my fermented zucch as well! (to make room to ferment some more)

For tonight, I think I need to eat some of the eggs that have been sitting a week. It's their time. Probably with more zucchini...starting to get oppressive but it is healthy and growing so...best to eat it.
 

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Hi all,

I'm new and don't know how challenges work. Can I jump in? I'm trying to use up everything in my freezer, so I made a list of what we have and twenty meals off the top of my head I can make. I've already made spaghetti and meatballs and took three days to get through it, so I don't think I'm going to cook every day.

So, a question: I have half a can of coconut milk in the fridge. Any ideas how I can use it before it goes bad?
 

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Hi Stacy - welcome. The challenges are mostly to keep us motivated but certainly acceptable to ask for suggestions or use someone else's idea. I don't use coconut milk but used to make a "milkshake" with ice, skim milk, Equal and coconut extract. So you should be able to do something similar. I also made "orange Julius" with ice, skim milk, OJ, Equal and vanilla.
 

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Hi Stacy - welcome. The challenges are mostly to keep us motivated but certainly acceptable to ask for suggestions or use someone else's idea. I don't use coconut milk but used to make a "milkshake" with ice, skim milk, Equal and coconut extract. So you should be able to do something similar. I also made "orange Julius" with ice, skim milk, OJ, Equal and vanilla.
That sounds really good. I used to make smoothies. That would be a good way to use it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #97 ·
Hi all,

I'm new and don't know how challenges work. Can I jump in?

So, a question: I have half a can of coconut milk in the fridge. Any ideas how I can use it before it goes bad?
Welcome. It's a self-challenge and it sounds like you've got the hang of it already.

Coconut milk can be frozen, so put it in a container for later. I use it for curries, and also for popsicles.


It's September and temps are merely hot, not blistering. Should be a good week to grill a few times. Not ready for soup or heavy meals.

-- brats, salad
-- chicken, corn, spinach
-- rice bowl with fish, avocado, etc
-- chicken, zucchini
-- asian dumplings, fresh spring rolls
-- pork chops, mushrooms, spinach
-- potluck (with friends)
 
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Things here are still nebulous regarding my schedule, so I will continue to project as well as I can and tweak as I need to...
This week:

Tuesday: Baked Chicken (already made it tonight but we weren't hungry...) some kind of rice/stuffing/potato side...
Wednesday: Peking chicken (like peking duck, but using leftover chicken and high fiber/low carb tortillas)
Thursday: Scratch lasagna
Friday: Beanie weenies
Saturday: Omelettes
Sunday: Pork Chops

I have been big with the Starkist tuna pouches lately... I only like the "herb" version, but it is shelf-stable and I can keep it in my snack drawer of my car (Mom-mobile van.) It makes a low calorie/high protein snack whenever I need one and only costs about $1!!! I had one for brunch this morning while out running errands and that kept me from buying drive-thru.

Tomorrow for lunch I will probably have one of those as a sandwich with Schmidt 647 bread and some watermelon. For snack after lectures I have an apple which I eat with salt to deal with the after-school-stress-salt-cravings... I pass a whole gambit of fast food places on my lonnnggg drive home from the city.
 

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Discussion Starter · #99 ·
That week went fast, here's the middle of September:

-- BBQ (out)
-- roast beef sandwiches, apples (+soup if it's cold)
-- fish tacos, broccoli slaw
-- lemon chicken, yellow squash (maybe egg rolls)
-- brat, potato, and carrot skillet
-- big salad with tuna and egg, or possibly just sandwiches
-- baked/grilled chicken, cauliflower, spanikopita
 
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My meal plan continues to change and evolve as we get more information about everyone's schedules... One good thing is that if DD17 drops back to half-days in school, she will be home for lunch, which gives us WAY more options, plus extra supervision to make sure she actually EATS and doesn't forget or give her food away.

Meanwhile, between school and her job, DD14 is packing lunch 7 days a week, so we are starting to plan that better so she isn't stuck in too boring a groove, since she is vegetarian and her choices are a bit narrow (no access to a fridge or microwave.)

Our weather prediction is for highs in the 80's all week, so soup is not on the menu yet :( Meanwhile, I will not know until tomorrow at the earliest what my life looks like past this Wednesday.

So... our key word is flexibility!

Tonight- Shake-and-bake pork chops, stuffing, and green beans
Monday- Tacos (either black bean or veggie crumbles for DD14), black beans, salad
Tuesday- Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas
Wednesday- Linguine Alfredo (with chicken for those who want it) mixed vegetables
Thursday- Teriyaki chicken (possibly in the crockpot, depending on how the schedule evolves), rice, asian blend veggies
Friday- Beef and broccoli, rice
Saturday- Cheeseburgers and curly fries
Sunday- Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes

DD14's lunches : M-veggie sushi; T-Hard boiled eggs; W-Bombay potatoes; Thursday is no school so she can feed herself at home!!!; F- Spaghettios; St- "ploughman's lunch"; Su- vegetable fried rice

And, of course, ALL of this is subject to change at any moment... 🤪
 
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